Hi friends, welcome to October! Some of you may have noted on the last newsletter that Yogaleena is now part of/co-hosting a book club (if you missed it, get the deets to join HERE!)
So far, we’ve read and discussed two books: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and Imperfect Courage by Jessica Honegger. Both are autobiography-meets-self-help books written by strong, badass “mamapreneurs” who share their personal and career wisdom in an honest, raw, and approachable way. This is exactly the kind of book I tend to devour and quote the heck out of, so I should have been eating up all their witty insights with a spoon and licking my fingers! However, as I read each one, my eyes kept rolling so far back into my head that I had to stop for fear they’d get stuck there. I wasn’t inspired, I was annoyed.
From an objective perspective, both were truly great reads and they DID make a lot of wonderful points, so what was my problem? Why did I feel like I needed to either dismiss their accomplishments or find something wrong with them personally as I listened to the other women in our group talk about how enlightened they were by these stories?
I have one ugly word for what was driving my behavior – jealousy. I didn’t like reading these books because in some twisted way, I felt like it should have been me writing them. I started a business, I believe I have an empowering message to share, and honest/ raw/ witty is MY writing style! If Rachel and Jessica had already written books about entrepreneurship and motherhood and life…what was left for me to write about?
I promise you I am fully aware that a) Rachel and Jessica are playing on a completely different level than I am, and b) jealousy is a pretty embarrassing emotion to admit to, especially as a yoga teacher hoping to write an inspirational book!
But we don’t choose who we’re jealous of, and jealousy isn’t always such a bad thing. This dreaded feeling can actually be a helpful indicator of what in our lives might need a bit more attention, nurturing, and compassionate exploration. Jealousy, I have found, is often the manifestation of frustrated potential. It offers us a glimpse into what we desire and what we perceive is lacking, and serves as a gentle warning that we may be operating from a scarcity mindset.
The scarcity model in economics refers to the assumption that we have unlimited human needs and wants in a world of limited resources. In terms of human behavior, it is the belief that someone else getting a seat at the table means that you won’t. Through this lens, there is no room for two successful witty books about entrepreneurship, two badass and inspiring moms, or two of anything. There is tremendous pressure to stand out and stand taller than our peers, so there’s also no room for collaboration or connection.
I’m not sure if it started when I was picked last every single time for teams in elementary school because I was the uncool ESL student, or when I chose to follow a career in an industry with few women at the top, but somewhere along the line I concluded that life was a zero-sum-game where I had to compete to be seen, respected, and valued. Unfortunately, I think I’m in good company, especially among women. Just the other week I was talking to a friend studying to be a doula and she told me it was proving very difficult for her to find a mentor because practicing doulas saw her as competition. I’ve personally been on both sides of the table, feeling pretty lonely as an entrepreneur without anyone to openly share my business plans and struggles with, and feeling a pang of fear, anxiety, and protectiveness over my hard-earned knowledge when a new studio has announced it will open near me. Instead of feeling empowered by the moms who seem to have it all together, I feel defeated, and any time someone compliments one of my (amazing!) teachers, I feel a burst of pride…. followed by insecurity. If they like someone else’s class, then they must not really like mine, right?
Y’all, this is a limiting point of view! What if we could shift away from that zero-sum-game mentality and operate within an abundance model where we collectively make the pie bigger so that everyone gets a bigger slice? What if we had enough faith in each other to believe one’s success could propel another’s? What if we invested all the energy we use up judging, comparing, and building ourselves back up after feeling like we missed the mark in actually making our dreams come true? What if we shared our wisdom freely, collaborated without our guards up, and admired each others’ strengths without the need to prove our own?
Yeah, that’s more like the tribe I want to be a part of, and it’s definitely the kind I want to create at Yogaleena.
This month, I invite you to pause and observe under which model you are operating in your life – abundance or scarcity. If it’s the latter, reflect on its effect on your relationships, choices, and goals – has this mindset limited your ability to find joy in your days and go after your dreams?
Yoga and meditation can be incredibly effective tools in shifting our perspective to an abundance mindset. Only when we feel whole on the inside can we appreciate all that we already have on the outside. Through mindfulness of movement, stillness of thought, and connection to breath, we slowly start shedding the layers of expectation and fear that keep our self-worth bound to somebody else’s body, attitude, possessions, accomplishments, etc. And when you feel the tentacles of jealousy start enveloping you, take advice from Jessica Honegger and repeat to yourself: “Her success is not a threat”. What can I say, little miss perfect, stealer of my story did have some quotable quotes afterall:)