Truthfulness or in the Yoga Sutras it is Satya, saying the truth but not doing so in a way that is harmful, as that would not be practicing Ahimsa (no-harming). My British mother always told my siblings and I if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anthing at all. While I agree there are times that speaking the truth is necessary.
I am known for my directness, I am honest but truly work to do so in a way to promote growth and positive reinforcement. I have done this as a swim coach, trainer in all my past jobs, as a teacher trainer, manager of the teachers at the studio and so far I have worked to be up front and honest with my kids when they ask questions. Now I try to tailor it to age appropriateness, like when my daughter asked when she was five about how people die. Now my son has asked the same question but also will I die and his daddy. The balance of course was being honest that yes we will but doing it in a way to not freak him out. Not easy believe me.
This week I had to have more of a rogue mole removed and honestly the bandage on it looks pretty bad. My daugther knew I had to go back to the Dermatologist so she was not as worried but when my son saw it, you could see his fear. It took some quick thinking on my part to be honest but soothe his fear that one of his would have to be taken out. I talked to him about it and he seemed to calm down but I am anticipating another conversation once he sees the stiches.
The whole truth and nothing but? Or should it be honesty given with a sense of balance toward what will aide in the other person's growth. I am honored that my kids trust I will tell them the truth in an honest but safe way and I am also honored that those I teach with also know I will be direct but with the intention of their aiding growth.
So, next time you are asked for feedback or a question take a moment to find the balance of telling the truth but with the intention of aiding growth.
I am a DC based yoga teacher, wife, mother of two kids and three animals who is using yoga both on and off the mat to find balance.