My best friend, Lisa, told me once that I remind her of the kid from the story The Emperor’s New Clothes. She meant it as a compliment and I took it that way. In fact, she took it to such heart, it has reinforced our relationship for over 20 years and counting.

In yoga, the term Satya means truth. The ‘ya’ in the word implies action. As though truth is a verb. Observance of satya also recognizes the subtleties of truth and how context, white lies and manipulation all play a role in violating satya. Depending how you’re interacting with satya, it might take on layers of meaning changing or growing as you study it.

For example, Yogiraj Achala said, ‘beware of nice people.’ In this statement, he is referring to a person who is nice before anything else. A person who always gives the standard polite answer, who cringes at deep questions, who puts up a façade of nice because to them, it is the prescription for a good life.

This concept of nice isn’t on the scale of nice and not nice. In this conversation, we are looking at Nice vs Real.

A real person gives you an honest answer, even if it isn’t the standard. A real person isn’t afraid to let something be complicated. A real person doesn’t have to edit their answers to make everyone more comfortable because they are coming from a true place. A real person, also doesn’t bear the burden of responsibility to remember the fine details of their words or actions because they were being honest in the moment.

This isn’t to say a real person cant be nice, or a nice person cant be real. But who are they more often?

We might say, we look for nice as one trait in relationships, but it joins a list with other characteristics. Think of your closest friends, are they nice or are they real? I wager, that your friends are nice, but you like them because you can be real with each other.

I invite you to take a moment and think about those people in your life who you most value. The people who make up your core. Would they have the courage to tell you that you’re not wearing any clothes, before parading you around the village? Would you tell them?

Stay real,