Hey, Jealousy.


It’s been a sort of a down week. Nothing huge happened, but I can usually deal with the huge things more gracefully, anyway. No, this week was about facing the many small disappointments in life, and feeling the weight of many small heartbreaks.

Anyway, I don’t want to write about the really heavy stuff I’ve been thinking about, not right now. I’m still processing. (And yes, using my yoga! )

So here’s something a little more superficial. A little more than a week ago, one of the instructors at my gym sent out a request for a substitute. This isn’t unusual, but then she added – casually? – that she was going to spend 10 days assisting her instructor, Shiva Rea.

Oh, I can’t tell you the pang of envy that brought out in me! I so love Shiva Rea. I’ve borrowed many of her videos from NetFlix and Yoga Journal, and I think she’s just wonderful. She teaches with an inspiring, open-hearted energy.  She’s also the closest teacher I’ve found in yoga to embody all I have come to love in BodyFlow – challenge mixed with tradition, tradition mixed with a sense of lightheartedness and experimentation.

I’ve actually considered training with her myself. I had researched her training programs, and had vivid moments where I’d convinced myself my daydream would be reality. I would find someone to house sit my apartment, and go off and train with her for a few weeks, and my whole life would change! I would be an amazing teacher, just by being around her and letting her impart her wisdom upon me. I would absorb the wonderful energy she shares and take it out into the world to share with others.

If you’re thinking maybe I am sounding a little too gushy, too much like a fan talking about a celebrity’s amazing talent… well, yes, I’ve been thinking that, too.

After my wide-eyed reaction of envy (and, yes, jealousy) to the sub e-mail, I asked myself some tough questions. The most annoying one being, Am I really that much of a sucker for fame?

This is not to say that Shiva Rea hasn’t earned her renowned status through lots of hard work and talent. I just find my own reaction a little strange. If she were a teacher in Richmond, with everything the same but that she had DVDs I’d happened to watch, what are the chances I would have even taken her class, much less become a devotee?

Pretty small.

In the end, this isn’t really about Shiva Rea at all. It’s about jealousy and envy, and the desire to have what someone else has. I believe envy is always a signpost, guiding you toward something your creative spirit cries out for. Here, when I look past the glamour and illusion of my desire, I see very clearly what it is I truly want: a joy of life and creativity in my yoga practice; a spirit that is open and trusting; and to share in the energy of everyday life with my fellow human beings.

Now that’s not too much too ask, right?

No, it really isn’t. Just … finding the way there can be a little tricky sometimes.


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