I am now coming to the end of the second week of my Yoga Teacher Training in Goa, it has been a roller coaster. I have another blog post to write about my experiences of that first week but it hasn’t been properly formulated just yet, I think my brain is still trying to compute exactly what happened. For now, I shall talk about envy, which was topic that our morning meditation focused upon. Envy is a truly abhorrent emotion and one I am sure we all experience at least time to time. I can’t see that it serves any purpose other than to make the envious feel bad.
We are studying Yoga Philosophy as part of our Yoga Teacher Training and today we focused on the Yamas and Niyamas, these are guiding principles for achieving enlightenment but in our modern lives lets settle on pure contentment. Aparigraha is the practice of non-possessiveness or attachment. Whether it be to other people, belongings, our body as it is in the present or to our thoughts, these ultimately bring us suffering. We are always striving for more, never content with what we have and create a story that happiness will be attained once we possess X, Y or Z. We are constantly striving, never arriving and forget the journey (the most important element). We also believe that if a person has the things we desire, then they must be happy. However we do not know their measure of happiness or what they have sacrificed to get to where they are.
I read somewhere that when you are struck by a case of the green-eyed monster, you should turn it around, congratulate them and wish them every success. This does not have to be in person, I am envious of people I have never met. This concept was introduced to us in our morning meditation, that you should strive to be happy for whoever it is you are envious of. This is a technique I have successfully put into practice and it really worked. Just because someone has something or has achieved something you desire, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do it or have it too. We are living in a world of abundance and there is plenty for everyone. From the outside, we have no idea how much work that person has put in to get to where they are. It is very easy to conclude that they were lucky or had it handed to them but this is highly unlikely. I used to look at successful people on Instagram and pick them apart to make myself feel better. Now I am inspired by these people and use it as motivation to work harder, if they can do it then I can too.
I had an experience very recently where someone I know was given a fantastic work opportunity, I can see that she is destined for greatness and I felt that familiar pang of jealousy, why not me? But then I stopped myself, I noted how she applies herself, is consistent and on top of everything else is a lovely person. I am happy for her and I hope she excels. If it happens for me further down the line then that’s great, if not then that is not the right path for me.
So next time you feel a pang of envy, try turning it around and see if you can be happy for them I guarantee you will feel better for it.