The third of the Yamas (guidelines for living) is Asteya, which means non-stealing. When we practice asteya we consciously live life from the perspective of abundance.
Asteya invites us to be content with what comes to us by honest means. When we dwell on what others have or what we do not have, we are seeing life from a perspective of scarcity. We are thinking that there is not enough abundance to go around. Stealing comes from a place of envy, incompleteness, or unhappiness. We grow up with stealing mentalities all around us in. It is not hard to convince yourself that someone else has so much and won’t miss something if you take it.
There are many ways we steal other than taking an object. We may take credit for someone else’s idea or actions. We can also steal other people's time by being chronically late. We can steal other’s joy. We can steal from the planet when we waste or take more than we need. The list goes on. We steal from our own time when we don't live in the moment by constantly fearing the future or reliving the past.
We have all experienced deficits in our lives. We all have desired things we didn’t get, a toy as a child, attention, recognition, etc. The practice of asteya is more than simply not stealing. It helps us to be aware of deeper causes of thievery within so we can get to the root of our individual deeper causes.
To cultivate asteya we learn to recognize abundance all around us and embrace it with gratitude. Knowing that we are enough and that we have enough is the heart of asteya. As we develop a sense of satisfaction and wholeness, we pay less attention to what others have in comparison to what we have. As we operate with abundance, offering generosity, we receive abundance ourselves. When we give from the heart, we receive.
Give give give.
"When we are engaged in the joy and challenge of building ourselves, we automatically serve the world rather than steal from it."