¨Our being is a brilliant pattern of energies, a spectrum of possibilities. At every moment we have the capacity to experience the open dimension of what we are.¨ Ngakpa Chogyam and Khandro Dechen
¨Emotions are intelligent expressions of energy that can lead us to our awakened nature.¨ Reggie Ray
Jealousy, envy and comparison, like any other emotional experience is not a problem. They are simply an expression of awakened energy.
With jealous, envy and comparison it can be incredibly difficult to turn towards the energy of those emotions because they often leave us feeling insecure, inferior, angry, frightened and ashamed. With envy we may feel unable to accept the accomplishments of our friends or wish we were celebrating similar successes. Maybe we are lusting after another’s possessions, career or relationships or wishing they were deprived of them. We might think of ourselves as losers or victims and the others as the only winners. It could kick us into a kind of competitive aggressiveness.
As we learned in the emotional awareness class, emotional awareness allows us to experience an emotion and let go into that direct experience. We can be immediately present with whatever emotion is experienced in a direct way. We can experience each emotion in a fresh and new way.
What is emotional awareness? It means being completely present and open with the emotion. With emotional awareness we are free in the experience of whatever emotion arises.
With gentleness, kindness and without judgment, when you notice jealousy, envy and comparison, turn your focus from outwards to inwards. Notice what physical and energetic sensations are alive in your body. Keep coming back to your body and the felt-sense of the emotional experience. Jealousy is a normal and natural emotional that every human experiences, it has even been observed in non-human species as well.
The effect of jealousy, envy and comparison on your physical body is that it activates your body’s sympathetic nervous system, fight or flight and stress response. Your body begins to releases stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradenaline, your heart rate and your blood pressure elevates
Envy, jealousy and comparison are a form of attachment in that we are comparing some part of our life with another who has accomplished more than us and we exaggerate its positive aspects. When we come out of the felt-sense of the emotion we begin to create a story where this becomes one of the most important aspects of life and our entire sense of self-worth gets wrapped up in it. It is based on a sense of self who we think will gain something from this preoccupation.
For example more money, a better job, better looks, a better relationship, more peace. It is super easy to go to envy, jealousy and comparison in the age of social media when we are all posting the A-roll of our lives and the b-roll is getting left behind. I know myself I struggle with comparison as somebody who is been a Yoga teacher on YouTube for the past 8 years when there are yoga teachers who have shown up in the last couple of years who have far surpassed me in subscribers, students and followers. The preoccupation is with our own sense of lacking self and a perceived sense of the other person having an advantage.
The result of envy and comparison can be an aggressive competitiveness to push ourselves towards that which we covet. Alternatively we can become so disheartened that we give up completely.
“Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.” ~Unknown.
We each have been given one precious human life. I was not going to give advice in this series, but here is some of the best advice I have been given recently, “Compare yourself to your own potential, not to other people.” When I tune into this envy, comparison, and jealousy and feel it in my own body, what message does it have for me?
Yoga Asanas/Postures: Reclined Side Bend or Supta Ardha Chandrasana, Supported Bridge Pose or Setu Bandhasana, Cat Pose or Marjaryasana, Child’s Pose or Balasana, Alternate Nostril Breathing or Nadi Shodhana, Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana, Tree Pose or Vrksasana, Standing Forward Fold or Uttanasana, Legs Up the Wall or Viparita Karini, Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclined Goddess Pose, Tortoise Pose or Kurmasana, Reclined Twist or jathara parivartanasana, Savasana or Corpse Pose, Hridaya Mudra
Props: Yoga Bolster, Meditation Cushion, Wall, Blocks,
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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Let me know in the comments how it is to open to the immediate experience of emotion of jealousy, envy and comparison and let go of trying to figure it out, let go of the storyline.
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