I have spent much of the past couple of months thinking about “clean company.” During one of our teacher training lectures, we learned about niyamas of the Eight Limbs of yoga. Niyamas deal with personal observances and self-discipline. One of the five niyamas is saucha, which, in short, means cleanliness. This definition applies to cleanliness of the body–both inside and outside. But what really spoke to me and what I have taken away to think about on a daily basis is “clean company.” The following quote from one of my favorite articles about how yoga is a 24/7 practice always hits close to home:
You are not just practicing when you’re standing on your head, you’re practicing when you delete the crappy people out of your life so your mental energy is not totally consumed by hating or judging and can be directed to more beautiful and useful things, like becoming the radiant person you already are.
Lately, I have made a conscious effort to choose wisely who I spend my time with. Who inspires you? Who believes in you? Who sees greatness in you when perhaps you do not? Who proves to you that you are important to them, and you never have to question it? We are all unique and valuable in our own way; we should be with people who recognize this!
These are all questions I have been asking myself and I have noticed I should continually ask myself for years to come. What can be upsetting is that things–and people–change. Friends or acquaintances who once energized us and lifted us higher may not be those people anymore–and it is important to recognize that it is okay. Recognize who those people are in your life now and hold on to that! It is such a revelation to know that we do not need to settle in any aspect of our lives, including those we are surrounded by.
I would like to rearrange this quote a bit. For one, I do not necessarily like the idea of “changing.” I believe we simply become more ourselves. We allow ourselves to become who we’ve always been. Nevertheless, we are different, just as those who are important to us become more themselves as well. I love this quote because of its honesty and truthfulness. Life is not perfect; there are stumbles and bumps along the road. Get rid of the unclean company. Get rid of those who only bring you down. Get rid of those who do nothing to help your being. Don’t stumble over something behind you. Acknowledge who makes you happy you are alive and stay close to them! Those are the people we should cherish.