Jealousy. What Is A Mindful Response (Guest Post)

Note: Following is a guest post by Shalini Bahl, CEO of iAM Business Consulting, a consulting agency that focuses on mindfulness practices in the workplace. This post is copied in its entirety, with permission from Bahl, from her website. Feel free to pay her site a visit. ~Livewithwonder~

We all experience jealousy or a variation of it from time to time in our lives. Just to clarify jealousy includes feeling envious, covetous, desirous, and fearful of being replaced by a rival or competitor. Whether you run your own business or are an artist or an employee, at some point or another you must have felt jealous or envious of someone who in your mind is better than you. How about when everyone around you seems to be doing so well, especially when you read people’s tweets and Facebook posts of how absolutely awesome life is for them? Or how about when you think you have the most creative idea only to find out that some one else not only has that idea but also has introduced it and is already successful with it? It is ironic when we state our goal is something noble like lets say enhancing mindfulness in the world or empower others and yet when someone else does the same and does it better, our initial reaction is, darn, they did it before us. It is funny how our minds work…

How Do You Feel?

When you feel jealous notice how you feel in your body. If you can’t remember how your body feels when you are jealous, try this out. If you were a statue of a person who is jealous, what pose would you strike to display jealousy?  Notice the posture your body takes and how does it make you feel inside? Don’t you feel closed, constricted, blocked, anything else?

If you really think about it, what is the premise for jealousy? Jealousy is rooted in the fear of being replaced and that there is not enough for everyone. It is based on notions of scarcity and lack of faith in one self.

Mindful Ways To Deal With Jealousy

So how do you deal with jealousy? Most of us, especially if we are on a spiritual path or mindful people, may use our spiritual ego to push these jealous thoughts away or pretend that we are not jealous to begin with. But if we have felt it, it exists in us and it is good to acknowledge. True mindfulness is not avoiding it nor judging ourselves for it, but noticing it with affectionate curiosity, “hmmm…I am feeling jealous…very interesting.”

Here are some questions to ask when you feel jealous and you may add your own questions below that help you explore jealousy in a mindful way:

1)   How do I feel in my body when I celebrate this person’s victory in promoting a common goal instead of closing down?

2)   What happens when I open up to the exciting things others are doing – do I feel more expansive?

3)   Can I feel inspired by the creativity in others? Notice if instead of closing down, you truly appreciate the dynamic nature in others, do you catch on their spirit of innovation as well?

4)   How does your body feel when you move away from notions of scarcity to believing in abundance?

5)   Next time you feel jealous, instead of treating it as an unwanted guest, what if we met it as a close friend letting us know something about us that we had not noticed. Jealousy is only a symptom of a deeper issue within us, a belief that perhaps identifies with scarcity or lack of faith in ourselves or something else.

So next time jealousy knocks on your door, let it in and find out what it is telling you about you. Be curious about your Self and open up in a playful manner to the possibilities within you, now further stoked by the creativity in others.

And tell me, how do you deal with jealousy?

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