Hold on lightly to today’s truth. For today’s truth may not be tomorrow’s truth. – Almine

Think about how relatively little you knew in your youth compared to what you know today. Then think about how relatively little you know today compared to the wisdom that awaits you in the future. Then consider that this growth is infinite! This is what I like to call living truth. It’s alive, always expanding and becoming. Dead truths are the ones that get us into trouble; they might begin as living truths but then crystallize into dogmas. And, as we all know, dogmas tend to bring more pain and limitation than enlightenment. Dogmas are like prison bars; living truths are like wings in motion.

No matter how smart you are, it is a vital act of humility to always maintain honest awareness of your perceptual limitations. Be ready at all times to revise what you believe with new perceptions and observations. This goes for everything, including what you know about cleansing and caring for your body. So carry your beliefs with you, but carry them lightly on your journey of personal transformation. If you are honest about your experiences throughout your life, you can trust them to shape and reshape your beliefs and lend them weight.

Honesty: The Ultimate Cleansing Agent

People often ask me how I follow what appears to be a very strict lifestyle amongst the business of normal life in New York City. Some have even asked me to confess to my vices-because, surely, I must have vices! After all, how could anyone manage to avoid all the toxic traps, temptations, addictions, and social pressures that are ubiquitous in big-city living? The fact is, I once battled furiously against these modern lifestyle traps and often fell back on my vices as temporary consolation.

I was raised in Los Angeles in the entertainment business. I was raised to be a consumer of high-quality goods the way some people are raised to be athletes, actors, or politicians. I underwent rigorous training at the Academy of Neiman Marcus. My coaches were my parents, their country club friends, and my ruthless peer group. Their expectations were exceedingly high, and I almost fell for the whole charade-hook, line, and sinker. Heck, I almost died for it.

The short answer to the question of how I maintain the Natalia Rose Institute lifestyle is honesty. I’ve found that the only way to free myself from anything is to be completely honest about it. Honesty can sometimes sound brutal or disruptive, but if used wisely and compassionately, it can be a highly effective tool-essential for bringing new energy to a stagnant situation. If you read my books and blogs, listen to my audio broadcasts, or watch the videos on my website, you know that I am utterly honest about my life. This is because when I see the roots of my pain, I can see that the feelings and behaviors that spring from them do not represent my highest, most authentic self, but are products of a life-deteriorating paradigm. This inflames in me a passionate determination to eradicate this paradigm of destructive cultural forces, and to cultivate a clean, life-generating one in its place.

Exercise Honesty for Health and Beauty

Honesty has been essential to my self-reeducation. From preschool through college, I received a mainstream education and was raised in the Christian tradition, so everything I learned was from the bias of the Christian-American ideal. I could not really understand what was wrong with me or with our culture until I read about our civilization’s history from a different angle. Eventually, I found that the version of history that had been spoon-fed to me reeked of ruthless domination, enslavement, and destruction. I began to see that the culture I was raised in was suffering from a disease, a literal sickness. This compelled me to seek more honesty from history and to begin to dissolve the social conditioning that was poisoning me at my own roots.

In other words, I chose not to be sick, even if it meant often being ostracized or ridiculed by the group. I kept asking myself, How can I let my authentic self finally breakthrough and emerge from the hard little shell of my programmed self? Day after day, I worked hard to find answers and kept shedding layer after layer of the social lies that had imprisoned me for so long. I learned not to hand over my power to whatever social pressures came my way, but to cultivate it from within.

Once, when I was still coming to terms with my inner conflicts via this alternative lifestyle, I remember ranting to a friend: “If I wanted to, I could be shopping at Barneys right now. I could dress better, play the game better, social-climb better. I could speak more eloquently and act more refined-I could do it all better than anyone else! But,” I added with a Clint Eastwood squint and a curl of the lip, “I chooooose not to.” I wasn’t in my center that day; I was having a rant. It happens less and less.

For many years I still engaged in the madness, trying to pretend it was necessary for my marriage, for my image, for merely ensuring I didn’t walk out of the house in a potato sack. But once I had significantly cleared my body of blockages, I became sensitized to all kinds of toxic activities and patterns that had always been a part of my life-such as constant shopping, wining and dining, coveting the so-called finer things of the material world, and soliciting the praise of certain social groups. I couldn’t ignore the imbalances anymore. I could actually feel these activities sucking up my energy.

When I finally listened to my spirit and opted out of the rat race of social vanity, guess what? I didn’t fall to ruin. I realized that I only needed a few quality pieces in my wardrobe and the natural beauty that comes with glowing health to feel like a million bucks. Now, when I see someone with an excessively polished appearance, I am wary of it: What is it hiding? It’s exhausting to keep up appearances. Yet, most people have been trapped for so long beneath the layers of social norms and expectations that they’re afraid to let their true selves come to light.

So many people today spend all their money on clothes, shoes, restaurants, and other trendy gratifications, but then cannot afford to heal their bodies or rest their weary souls. It’s a mad cycle that can only be broken with honesty. This means being brutally honest with yourself first and foremost, and then, by extension, being honest with the world around you-through observation, words, actions, and behaviors. This means routinely checking your intentions and motivations, honestly assessing whether you are following your own authority or somebody else’s. If you are not honest with yourself, you forfeit your power, and no amount of shopping, dieting, or social climbing will make you feel beautiful or worthy.

Only after taking a good, honest look at myself was I able to shed so many of the social lies that kept me feeling sick and inadequate. Now I follow my own sense of style: clean, comfortable, feminine. The best thing about it? It’s wonderfully simple to maintain!

This concludes our eighth lesson. In the next edition of The Rose Program Insider, we will talk about how to realign with your center, reclaim your power, and recharge your body!