What is it to have conviction?The word conviction is rooted in the word convince, and derives from two Latin words con-with, vincere-conquer. Conviction is to be convinced without question, to hold steadfast to the belief of that which your actions stem. Where we place our conviction lies completely and wholeheartedly on where we place our beliefs. If our fundamental belief is fear, than our actions will never have conviction. If our fundamental belief is that the universe is tirelessly conspiring in our favor, than no matter the circumstance, we will always have the conviction to proceed with courage. Spiritual practice demands self-awareness, knowing ones beliefs, knowing where one will stand with conviction and where one will not stand at all. Self-awareness is gained through the process of reflection, mindfulness, and continued study. In yoga philosophy this practice has a name, Svadyaya. One practices Svadyaya each time one sits with philosophical texts or meditates in asana on their mat. Svadyaya is practiced every time one asks oneself if the response one is offering to any circumstance is correct or incorrect in accordance with ones deeper beliefs. Svadyaya is also asking if the beliefs one holds serve self, and the greater good. If the words of my writing have created questions needing answers pertaining to yourself, now, directly, than you are currently in the practice of Svadyaya. The practice of Svadyaya eventually bring us to face to face with ego, and the practices of the dissolution of the unhealthy ego. An unhealthy ego is just as much an ego deficient in self identity as it is an ego excessive in self identity. In my opinion, a common trapping of the student on the spiritual path is loosing the healthy ego in the desire to dissolve the unhealthy ego. A healthy ego allows an individual to be true to their own self in alignment with their higher self. A healthy ego is reflected in the actions that stand in the conviction of ones spiritual morals and beliefs. For me, conviction is committing to the practices that work for self betterment, knowing myself and honoring my truth. Conviction is standing up for injustice when injustice crosses my path. Conviction is not apologizing when I am not sorry. In my practices I constantly find myself refining my beliefs to better serve my truths, which does not always align with an outside perceived notion of what is right. However, with conviction, I am happy to stand in my place, knowing it is right for me. I hope you also learn to honor your truths, enjoy the potency of the ever unveiling of your beautiful self, and the strength of standing in your conviction. With love, All ways, For Giving, Genevieve

“To yield readily--easily--to the persuasion of a friend is no merit.... To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either.” ― Jane Austen