Jealous Much?

Written by: R.R. Shakti

“I want his job!”

“How do they have so many followers?”

“Why does she get to marry someone like him?”


You think that following a path of “enlightenment” means never feeling “jelly”? Yeah, right!  Jealousy (fear that someone will take what you have) and envy (wanting what someone else has) are primal, inevitable, and ultimately useful emotions. What counts is how you use them. Try the following steps to revolutionize covetous feelings for a more meaningful, joyful, and abundant life.

1. Breathe. 

Unless your house is on fire, meditation really is the number one go-to.

(Side note: if your house is on fire: get out, call the fire department, then meditate.)

By tapping into your breath, you can regulate your body and mind. Center your awareness on your inhalation and exhalation. Follow the sensations of your breath moving in and out. Slow it down. Allow yourself to feel what is happening inside. You can become instantly more mindful and create a sense of mental spaciousness.

2. Choose your emotional “players.” 

What you may find, in that space of meditation, is a smorgasbord of emotional choices. You can be green with envy, yes. But you can feel other things too—like fear, anger and heartbreak. Challenging emotions commingle with happy, fun, ones like satisfaction and elation. All these emotions wait for you in the stillness of your breath. Each one is as valuable as the next. They make you a whole human. You don’t always get to choose which emotions become activated in a situation, but you can decide how they will play out in real time. Emotions are like little psychodynamic, archetypal actors waiting for you to write the script. Who is going to come out to play on the stage of your life? What are their lines?

3. Plant seeds of gratitude.

So you’ve taken note of people who seem to have more than you. Observe.

You may have also noticed those who are seriously struggling—chased from their homes, battling illness, fighting for survival. As my grandma used to say, “Count your blessings” …literally. There is an exquisite magic in saying little thank-you prayers throughout the day, like:

“Thank you for my eyes.”

“Thank you for my job.”

“Thank you for my life.”

It doesn’t really matter who or what you are addressing. You are simply planting seeds of gratitude in your psyche. Do it enough and you will eventually have a pretty amazing garden of abundant self-empowerment.

4. Be inspired.

Something really beautiful happens when you are grateful. You start to see the world through the lens of abundance. You can be both content with your life as it is AND possess a passion for improvement. You remember yourself as incredible and see the same “incredible-ness” in those around you. Naaaamaaaaste! Self-defeating envy is transmuted into inspiration.

Ask yourself:

“What is it about a successful person that inspires you?”

“How do they exemplify what you want and who you want to be?”

“What did it take to get them there?”

Then, get ready to expand yourself in ways you’ve only dreamed of.

5. Send abundance. 

Okay, this is awesome. I derived this practice from the Polynesian meditation method of Ho’oponopono. It is intensely powerful for shifting awareness and transforming emotions, but you need a good imagination. What you do is this:

  • Close your eyes and establish a deep connection to your breath.
  • Envision the object of your envy (that successful beauty) on a platform below you. Get a clear picture of this person—how he sits or stands, her features and facial expressions, the clothes he would wear, etc.
  • As you inhale deeply imagine a light of powerful energy pouring into the crown of your head. Let it fill you with sensations of abundance and joy. Then feel it radiate out from your heart.
  • As you exhale completely allow the imaginary light to pour from your heart down to the person on the platform. Inhale and exhale with the light moving through you for several breaths.
  • Then, holding a clear vision of the person in your mind’s eye, say to him or her, “I wish for you unlimited abundance, success and love.”
  • Imagine the light flowing through you, filling you with unlimited abundance, success and love.  Then watch it carry unlimited abundance, success and love down to your “object of envy” until you both are glowing radiant with the light.
  • Picture the person receiving this blessing from you with an open heart and deep gratitude.
  • Thank each other before gently letting the person go. Sometimes he will disappear. Sometimes he will be absorbed into your own sense of being.

6. Collaborate!

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali recommends that we befriend success. I mean, this is obvious! With both inner power and inspired respect, you can now reach out to personally connect. Extend camaraderie, ask how you can be of support and see if there is an opportunity for collaboration. Who knows, your “object of envy” might want a little bit of what you’ve got, too. And why wouldn’t she? You are incredible.

7. Give credit. 

So now your envy has taken you to a better place. You are grateful and empowered to grow. You have a new awareness of who you desire to be and what it will take to get you there. You may even have a new partner in crime. Even if a physical relationship never unfolds, you can maintain a healthy mental connection to this person and all the ways she motivates you. Let her know she has rocked your world. Share freely with others about how she has inspired you.

(Bibi McGill, I adore you! Thank you for rocking my world!)

Envy never looked so beautiful. Inspiration is the new green.

If you enjoyed this article

Honored in Origin Magazine for the “Leaders Who Inspire” Series, Shakti has traveled throughout the world, gaining insight experience and inspiration; bringing yoga and hope to people from all walks of life. Sharing her expertise with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, cancer patients, those struggling with substance abuse challenges, and friends with special needs; Shakti is a rm believer in the power of yoga to awaken the body’s own healing process. She combines ecological aware- ness, social service, and mind/body integration to o er a dynamic message of peace and personal empowerment. Her teachings call for radical authenticity and practical human engagement for a real life experience of awaken- ing to one’s inner power.
Shakti has been featured and honored in Yoga lifestyle magazines such as Shakti Yogi Journal, Mantra: Yoga and Health, and Elephant Journal. She holds an A.A. in Outdoor Recreation Leadership from Colorado Mountain College, a B.A. in Traditional Eastern Arts with an em- phasis in Yoga, from Naropa University, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. from Paci ca Graduate Institute.