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This week's assignment has to do with stealing. Of course none of us would walk into Target, for example, and steal something. That is not the focus this week. This week we focus on the more insidious ways in which we steal from ourselves and others.

How about one-upmanship? Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you are sharing an important experience and before you can finish your story they have stolen from you by telling you how, not only had they already done that, BUT how they did it bigger or better than you did? Or made the conversation about themselves entirely?

How about stealing from the earth? With our current water shortage our community was certainly challenged to only take from the earth what was necessary. I scolded myself more than once for allowing the water to run in the sink while I "quickly" did something else rather than treating running water as a very precious moment indeed. We do not own the earth or its resources! It is on loan from us with the idea that we will cultivate it in preparation for future generations. Do you take the resources from the earth for granted? Are you investing in your future generations or stealing from them by only thinking of what is in it for yourself in the moment or carelessly taking more than you need? What we have today is largely based on the actions of our ancestors.

With that said, do you steal from your own future by living with too much? I know I certainly have done this! There was a time, in the not so distant past, that I had far more than I needed while not preparing for my future. I had more clothes than I needed because at the time buying clothes gave me a temporary "high". As Yogis we are foremost interested in being strong on the inside. When have you stolen from your future by looking for satisfaction outside of you? Could you have given to your future by looking inward and building fortitude from the inside out? Can you be grateful for what you have instead of looking to get more?

Have you stolen from your employer by texting your friends or being on Facebook rather than doing the job your where paid to do? Or actually talking ill of the person or organization that is paying you?

How about stealing from yourself with a packed calendar of events? These days that is extremely easy to do! We want to support our family and friends in important life events, but at what point does this throw ourselves and our families out of balance until we have lost the simplicity of just being in the same room with each other with nothing to do but be a family or be with ourselves? Balance is an important word when looking at whether or not we are stealing from ourselves. Are you so out of balance you cannot give yourself exercise, rest, or quiet time?

How many times have you overworked for the job that supports your family only to realize that you have stolen precious time from your family? I have sadly done this my whole life out of fear I would not survive when in fact I was over-spending and stealing from my kids on a daily basis.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT THIS WEEK:
This week start to take notice of how you might be stealing from yourself, the earth or others. Be a good listener, try to slow down and remember to do your best to live in balance.

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