By Maddie Rodriguez

Keeping it Real.

As yogis, we try to see the best in everyone. We practice kindness and compassion. We know the importance of empathy and of being careful not to inflict any unnecessary harm with our words. But we should remember that it is equally important to be honest and to stand up for what we know to be right. When misunderstandings spread we do no one, least of all ourselves, any favours by backing down or remaining silent.

Speaking your truth isn’t always easy; in many ways, it seems easier to just smile through an uncomfortable situation or change the subject. But being honest and standing your ground are essential ways to care for both ourselves and our communities.

Honesty can mean being real with your loved ones about our feelings, even if those feelings are complicated and not entirely positive. It can mean correcting misinformation, even when that misinformation is coming from a family member or friend. It can mean standing up for someone who is being treated unfairly, even when it scares you.

Whatever form honesty takes, it always takes strength to act on it. But it is a type of strength worth building—because we’ll never build a better world without it.