Friday, January 2, 2015

Jealousy as an Inquiry

Women for women.  But first, check out these photos from my walk today.
There is this incredible portion of the Jordan River where you walk through a grove of giant cottonwood trees that make you feel small (in a good way).  They have the most incredibly perfect heart-shaped leaves.  In the fall it is like walking through a forest of golden hearts.  Above is a snow-print of one that jumped out at me today.
Look at how the sunlight glitters on the water! I love to take a walk with my camera.  This year I'll be looking for sparkle.
This reminds me of the quote: do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
This brings me to my opening statement.  Women for women.  I can feel it.  It's going to be powerful for us.  Its the direction we need to go.  More on that later.
I have noticed a tendency towards jealousy throughout my life.  I think it has to do with a fear of missing out, my own insecurities, and my ambition.  I've worked hard to eliminate my jealousy.  It's been good.  I've learned to be genuinely happy for the successes of others.  I've learned to appreciate my life as it is.  Over and over again.  I've learned that you can't tell everything about a person just by looking at them or reading Facebook.  Your coworker who just lost ten pounds may be exiting a rocky relationship.  Your friend who was born rich may be imprisoned by her debilitating anxiety.  I realized that jealousy wasn't serving me and I made a genuine effort to weed it out of my life.  That's why I was surprised recently when a friend I admire very much (I'll call her Elle) asked me (with a twinkle in her eye), "who are you jealous of?"  I wanted to answer, "Who, me?  I'm above jealousy.  I've transcended all that."  But instead I told the truth.  I told her the name of a mutual friend.  "Why are you jealous of her?" she asked (again, eyes twinkling).  "Because she gets to work for herself.  She names her price.  She chooses her hours.  I could never do that."  Elle looked me right in the eyes and smiled.  I got her point.  Why can't I do that?  Who says?  And, if I can't be my own boss, could I still pursue greater freedom in my working life?  Is it possible?  Yes.
Elle was suggesting that looking at who we are jealous of and why can be an extremely useful inquiry.  It's like breadcrumbs leading us to the ventures and experiences we want to be having.  Typical jealousy may go something like this. " I am so envious of X because they get to Y.  I'm unable to do what X is doing.  Life is unfair."  But when you turn your jealousy into a question, and allow the mind of possibility to step in, you gain very valuable insight.  Instead of looking at others with an overlay of fear and lack, we can look at ourselves and see what we truly yearn for.
"What in your life is calling you?  When all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned, the lists laid aside ... what still pulls on your soul?" -Terma Collective, "The Box"
I think we are often jealous of others who are living a life they love.  That's fine.  In a way jealousy is showing us what is possible.  Is it possible to spend more of your time doing the things you love?  Is it possible to follow what "pulls on your soul" even if you have a long list of convincing reasons why you can't?  I've told myself for a long time that I'm not a creative person.  Then I turn around and watch my artistic friends with a hungry, even starving envy.  Who decided I wasn't artistic?  Do I really have to be jealous or can I roll up my sleeves and start creating?  I want it bad enough to get messy.  And that's saying something.
All of this brings me back to my opening sentence.  Women for women.  When a person decides to show up for their life, to be joyful, to be visible, to be creative, to unapologetically craft a life they love, they are on some level encouraging others to do the same.  If nothing else, they are indicating that it is possible.  They are challenging the limits and the limiting beliefs that made them.  The world needs women who are authentic and powerful.  It needs more people who are actively doing what they love.  Do what you love.  Follow your bliss.  Who knows where it may lead or who might be getting jealous. *Wink.* 


  1. Oh, Celeste. I love the way you think. Thank you for sharing it with me and others. This blog is a great idea! I'm positive right now that I will gain strength from it now and in the future. :)

    1. Andrea, you are awesome! Thank you so much. And thank you for the amazing reminder you gave me to laugh. Being able to laugh at myself and let go of the need to be perfect allows me to share what I'm thinking. I adore you.