Irshya: Notes on Jealousy

On my very first post on my new Instagram I shared my WHY for creating the page. I spoke to how I want to use this platform to share my voice & share my spiritual journey of growth and progress. In lieu of that intention I want to continue to stay transparent which includes some things that aren't easy to talk about but are VERY real.

So about two weeks ago I shared a post about jealousy and ever since then its opened my eyes to when that shows up for me - which I'm finding happens more often than I was aware of. (wtf)

It's not a pretty trait and I know if unchecked it can fester into something ugly, so I'm just gonna write about it to aid the process of this habit dissolving. I also received some powerful feedback and I know I’m not the only one who goes through experiencing jealousy.

So I've been feeling jealousy creep up here and there from Instagram. Im sure if you're reading this, you have felt jealously of others on here too. We all do. It's a human reaction.

Here I am trying to grow my page, find inspiration and creatively express myself - meanwhile this voice of 'not enough' growls at me. I'll be having a grand day. Feeling lit up. Inspired. I'll come on here to post or scroll and I'll see something that is awesome! Someone's unique artwork, someone's vacation, someone's dope feed, someone's beautiful words.

And before you know it I'm ending up feeling worse than I was before I got on social media. And then I feel torn. This is why I never used to scroll. This very feeling!! And I question why I'm continuing to do it.

But I'll tell you what - I am not ready to put Instagram down. I'm just getting started. I've decided to do some work around jealousy and it is WORKING! Slowly the feelings of inadequacy are diminishing, some days more than others, and I've uncovered powerful ways to still manifest my vision of growing this page & sharing my voice without making myself feel so low.

It doesn't require me to quit social media, but it has taken something. It has required of me that I shift my perspective. And I'm excited to share that shift with you.

I've been reflecting, journaling, questioning and self-inquiring-ing myself lately. What are some ways I can move through this new pattern? Cause I don't wanna feel it & perhaps you don't either. I like things in 7's so I organized mine as such.

Earth 🌎 - Getting grounded in what's actually happening is my first step. You've probably heard it a million times, but gratitude is my very first practice. If I am operating from a space of scarcity, then lack will only follow. If one thing made me feel insecure or less than, then I will remind myself of 3 to 10 things I am grateful for in that very moment. List 3 things that I want that I already have. I am reminded to never underestimate the power of gratitude.

Water 💧 - Accepting that perhaps some things need to change. When we are working with change, we are working also with boundaries. I am not gonna lie, there are some pages on here that make me feel inadequate more so than others. Perhaps its their language, perhaps its unrealistic poses that my body may never be able to do, but either way, unfollowing may be a positive change & movement in the right direction.

Fire 🔥 - Everyone has their fair share of fire. Fire can show up as motivation, drive & inspiration OR it can show up as insecurity that is eating away at someone. Fire could be a sensitive time in someone's life where everything they thought they once knew starts to crumble to make space for something new. I find that seeing someone else's fire on social media in the second sense of the way is rare. People don't often post about their suffering, when they feel lonely, or feel insecure, or feel fearful but it is there. We're only receiving a partial picture.

Air 🌀 - Air is related to the heart, which reminds me of compassion. It's taken me a while to grow to love my story, but I do now. It is a part of me. I am comfortable with my past, my hurt, my story. But someone else's I am most certainly not comfortable with. If you are jealous you can't ask for their good without their bad. It can't be possible to want their good - their lengthy ballerina bodies, their crazy Adobe Illustrator skills, their poetic poise - without their bad - aka their hurt, their story, their past. I've worked so hard to be where I am. So frankly, I'm good with my 'bad'. I don't want yours.

Space 🚀 - Ether, aka space, has to do with the Throat Chakra & truthfulness and expression. If there is anything I have been figuring out lately is that using my voice to express vulnerability has been wildly therapeutic. I went from keeping everything up in my head to sort of word vomiting all over the internet. But nonetheless, already on these 30 or so posts on my page I have shared some vulnerable pieces of me. I have opened up and hit the post button quick enough before I changed my mind. But after I got the words on the screen I felt lighter, and even writing this I feel it. It is a leap of faith to put yourself out there & be unsure how it will be received, but it isn't about perception - it is about healing. Open up. Talk to someone. Find a tribe. Its out there waiting for you.

Light 👁️ - The eyes need light to see. And to see things is an entirely subjective experience. I am not inherently lacking anything and I have to SEE that this is the case through viewing the whole thing differently. What is cool about jealousy is that it shows you what you want more of in your life AND it shows you what is POSSIBLE. If they can do it, I can too. Instead of viewing this other person as someone to idolize or envy, they help me fine tune what my vision for my future is. If I see a dope artist on Instagram and their paintings, it is a reminder that with practice I could create that dopeness too. I once had an art teacher that said less than 10% of her greatest students had natural born talent. The others had to be OK with being really shitty first before they got anywhere. Most great things will take grit but truly anything is possible with practice. Shifting my vision has been powerful & allows me to see someone else's progress as possibility for me.

Thought 💭 - Ultimately, jealously provides me with information. This one is the hardest one to embody (in my opinion) but perhaps this information, this thinking, is all an illusion, only to arrive at the conclusion that I am full and whole HOW I AM. I don't need fixing. I am not less than. I am ENOUGH. Sure, I am not a paid artist. Sure, I am not a paid writer. Sure, I am not a gymnast or able to contort by body how I admire how others can. But at my core, at the very depths of my being, I am complete. I am divine. I am sacred. I am. I am. I am. Enough thinking and it all starts to melt away. Into nothingness. I am. I am. I am.

{if you made it reading this far - from my heart - thank you, thank you, thank you 🙏🏽 Feel free to comment below about your experiences lately with social media, jealousy, or whatever you feel compelled to share! If you prefer this be done in private, shoot me an email }

How The Astronaut Brought Me Presence

It was a sunny November afternoon in Nazca, Peru. We were freshly in love and ambitious as hell, eager to quite literally go to new heights. He was terrified yet he hid it well and I wasn’t sure if we made the right decision, but hey, fuck it - we’re here, right?

Don’t get me wrong…this whole crazy idea was mine. I volunteered for this shit. I always think these things are a good idea right up until the moment they happen. Fears flooded in as we climbed aboard this plane, which I probably would have thought was adorable had I not thought of all the statistics I knew of tiny airplane crashes. Thinking, thinking, thinking.

Jon and I squeezed in the back of this 4 person plane with us and two pilots and no room to spare. The engine whirred, the propellers spun, and to my surprise this plane took off without the necessary speeds I thought were required to leave land.

Unbeknownst to me, Jon was quite literally terrified of heights (he didn’t tell me until a year later when we were in a Ropes Course in the Poconos 😂). His eyes wide, me trying to keep my cool, we rose higher and higher.

And then it happened. I remember there being almost like a mental breakaway, where all my thoughts ceased and I became fully immersed in this experience. I saw the varicolored sky shift between hues of blues. The sharp mountains rising around us like a protective natural barrier. I could hear and most predominately FEEL the vibration of the plane’s engine. I could smell the exhaust swirl around us as the sweat under my thighs slipped on the vinyl seats.

We were flying over the Nazca desert, headed towards the Nazca lines: ancient structures created over 2,500 years ago with stones upturned to reveal their different colored undersides. These stones were mathematical works of art, depictions of nature with some designs spanning over 1,200 feet long. They created various shapes that could only be seen from the sky in this vast, sun-scorched desert: the monkey, the spider, the condor.

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My mental breakaway was a breakaway from my usual thinking mind. I became suspended in between a world of thinking and a world much simpler - a world of thoughts. I wasn’t thinking about the chance of the plane crashing. I wasn’t thinking about how much training the pilots had. I was experiencing the moment - fully enveloped. The thoughts were much simpler: ‘wow’ just felt enough. It was a memorable experience. It was like I was free - free from fear, free from my day job, free from my legs needing to walk on land. 360° of gorgeous views effortlessly imprinted in my memory for a lifetime. And this right here folks is presence.

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This suspended feeling of witnessing and spontaneous bursts of singular thoughts, without the need for an inner monologue was put on pause when the pilot invited us to look down and east. It was there that we could see the first art structure, la ballena, the Whale. I had to strain my eyes, cock my head and look real hard, and bam - it popped into my conscious view!

I floated in between conscious worlds - one where I was thinking, analyzing, scanning, questioning: how the hell did they even do this?! - and one where I was observing, sensing, feeling, and absorbing. I was fully aware of my body, my adrenaline, my five senses heightened unlike my daily life. I felt so alive it was like I’d burst through my skin….

…And then it happened. The plane dropped from the sky! Well, it would drop about a meter or so from wind or turbulence or whatever and suddenly my analytical brain was right there to take the reins. OMG we’re dying…this is it…I KNEW IT!….And then the plane would catch itself and we’d level out and back I was in the world of thoughts, saved from the world of thinking. This happened over and over again, enough to keep my blood right up to the surface of my skin and the sweat free flowing.

It was a spiritual experience of presence which enveloped my entire being; but let me tell you - it was not permanent. I was drifting in between these streams of consciousness, flip flopping between presence, elatedness, wholeness, fear and astonishment. And this is how life can be: paradoxically awesome!

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I remember rounding a mountain cluster and was encouraged to look down and west to the sloped rock face. And there I saw it - La Astronauta, The Astronaut. My first experience was visceral: tingling in my hands, tears welling up in my eyes, the experience of my heart beating inside my chest. I don’t remember exactly, but I could almost guarantee that my jaw touched the floor. The memorable part about this was my brain had no story about what I was seeing just yet - I was just there with it, taking it all in.

And then the millions of bits of information my subconscious brain took in per second began creeping into my consciousness. And pop, pop, pop - thoughts arose! Wait….if these art installations, or messages to the gods were created over 2,000 years ago…who were the astronauts? Who were the intended audiences of these images? Gods? Aliens? Were they visited?

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And blah, blah, blah, the thinking continued, then ceased, then continued. Because isn’t that just life? When I am presented with newness I find it effortless to drift into the world of presence, which is probably why I love travel so much. It’s a gift to tap into your true nature and to take in the world like a sponge without creating a story or analyzing why, how, when all the damn time.

But here in my real life presence can be a much harder place to touch, although its becoming easier with my meditation practice.

Now I am not saying you need to get in a goddamn tiny plane and fly over a desert in a foreign country to be all in with your inner vibration, although that helps 😏 But you have the ability to do this anywhere - really! It comes with practice because nothing this good comes without discipline, but trust me - it’s worth it. To feel life viscerally, to be IN LIFE is a priceless experience.

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Yielding vs. Letting Go

“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” - Lao Tzu

Let me start this off with a question. Pay attention to any triggers the question may spark for you - feel the question in your entire being.

How do you feel when you're wrapped up in your emotions, whether it be from a traumatic experience or from a day to day irritation and someone suggests to just "....let it go." How do you feel when you tell yourself, "You should just let it go.."

For me - its icky. All jumbled up in tightness. And that shit sucks..

It insinuates that there is something to fix. Something that needs changing. Something is wrong with me. This idea that we can completely let go of a thought that is bothering us completely disregards the fact that we are human - wholly analytical and emotional beings whose minds operate like waves in the ocean; thoughts rolling in & thoughts rolling out.

What if I told you that in our lives we never actually have to fix anything? That things are unfolding in the precise moment that they should, with lessons embedded throughout all of it?

If you aspire to be great advice givers, for yourself first, and secondly for others, you must consider your language when doling it out. I fell in love with this idea when I first heard it, and feel compelled to share:

Yielding vs. Letting Go

Lets start with Letting Go. Letting go of a thought that haunts us or a habit that perpetuates within our actions assumes that we are capable of releasing an emotional experience and it is never coming back. 

How about an example. Remember that cringe-worthy thing that you did back in 7th grade? You know it - that thing that just as you were about to drift comfortably off to sleep pops into your mind to keep you awake for the next 12 hours? Yeah - thats it. Well, here's the trick: just let it go.

Ahhhhhh...if only life were this easy!

That the moment a disturbing thought jumps into our mind we could eradicate it all with those three little words. Here is a hard truth for us all: stating you will let it go does not make it go away

That horrifying thought reappears primarily because you desire to wish it away, but also because there is a message or experience still to be had around it. Hyper-focusing on letting it go does not uncover truth. It does not heal the wound of the ego. It does not divulge the experience's deeper meaning.

Now forget about that weird 7th grade memory. Think of some experience in your life that is a part of your spiritual path, a lesson you may be struggling with or a memory that is wrought with emotion. Those three little words, let it go, just don't seem to be doing the trick.

Letting go is active - it requires work, struggle & internal debate. It requires you to do something about it. You should just let it go. This implies you shouldn't be experiencing 'it'. Which implies you are broken, strange, weird. Which implies you need to be fixed. Phew - that is exhausting just typing about it...

Instead, lets consider the practice of yielding.

Yielding is the passive practice of allowing things to occur as they are - just as you'd patiently wait your turn in line, yield to oncoming traffic, or be the last dog in the pack that enters the house calmly. 

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Yielding is allowing your cup to overflow. Letting the soft water caress your hands, cool your body, & experience the vulnerable experience of it, all while trusting that the water is not so strong it will sweep you away.

Yielding does not require you to do anything about your cosmic entanglements. Yielding quietly asks you to sit with what is, to experience 'it' as 'it' is - as simply an experience.

Yielding does not require you to delete your so-called disturbed 7th grade memory out of your head, because in fact it is not cringe-worthy. It does not have the inherent qualities of embarrassment or shame. It is simply an occurrence that happened at a specific point of time.

It is our perception, or saṃjñā, of the event that creates the story: that it needs to be let go. Our Saṃjñā, among the other 5 skandhas, attaches emotions like shame and guilt to an experience. These skandhas, or aggregates, falsely disillusion us during the process of consciousness, without any true meaning or substance.

All that is to be learned, all that is true, reveals itself through yielding. Many do not enjoy meditation for this very fact. Sitting, standing, lying or walking; it is all the same to the individual who does not wish to yield. It can feel anxiety-ridden, or overwhelming, to allow these thoughts to bubble up to the surface. But if this is where the thoughts so desire to be, let them happen, not let it go! 

So, how does one practice yielding?

It is simple really. When your mind drifts to that nagging thought, the one that keeps you up at night, listen to all the facets of that experience. Allow it to happen.

Check into your physical body. Where do you feel this experience you so desperately wish to annihilate? Is it in your heart? Does it live in your throat? How about your belly? Sit with the physical sensations. Do you feel tightness there? Knotted-ness? (Hey, its my blog...I can make up words if I want to!)

The first step of healing is yielding to the physical sensations. Allow them to show themselves for a time that you are comfortable with. Maybe 30 seconds. Maybe 1 minute. It isn't a contest, but an experience. Yielding means to stay; to wait your turn, just like that patient and kind person merging onto 295.

Then, what? Well, that is a story for another day. For now, I am practicing yielding. To allow things to be as they are - without my incessent need to tinker with, or to consume my entire being. To be OK with things not being OK.

“As the soft yield of water cleaves obstinate stone, to yield with life solves the insoluble.  To yield I have learned is to come back again...." - Lao Tzu
    I'd like to thank Shambhavi Sarasvati for her inspirational podcasts which led to this blog post.

 

I'd like to thank Shambhavi Sarasvati for her inspirational podcasts which led to this blog post.