Jealousy Is A Thing

Jealousy.

Everyone denies they’re jealous.  Ever notice that?  “I’m not jealous. Me? No. I Frustrated 1could care less about her…”.  Or maybe it’s the shrugging of the shoulders in contempt or finding a way to belittle someone like, “…yeah, but I bet she can’t add 2 + 2…”.

When that feeling of jealously strikes us we tend to deny it’s even there.  Ever wonder why?

Somewhere along the line we learned that it was a bad thing to be jealous. That to be jealous, envious of another person’s advantages – whatever they may be – was a terrible thing.  It makes us look bad to ever be seen as being jealous.  So we deny it.

Here’s the thing: Being jealous is a natural part of who we are.  Like fear, it’s not something that we ever see coming, until we encounter it. When fear arrives, it’s because our inner selves detect something scary, something that we perceive might hurt us.  Our first reaction is to be afraid.  But denying we’re afraid, denying fear, doesn’t make the fear any less real or any less there.

Jealously works the same way.

When jealousy shows up, it’s never because we’re looking  for it, it just presents itself. And our first reaction is to try and deny it.  We try to push it away. Again, it doesn’t make the jealousy any less real or any less there, but it does throw most people into a strange place where their inability to deal with jealousy makes them lash out in ways that are counter-productive and most times, says more about who they are, than the people they’re hating on.

Let me share a recent example:

I was at a restaurant a couple of months ago at around lunch time. It was pretty empty patron-wise and the waitress was chit chatting with me about a movie she had just seen. About 10 minutes into my lunch, a couple walked in, early 30s maybe and absolutely stunning.  There was no doubt in my mind they were professional models  — and if they weren’t, they should have been! Now, to put this in perspective,  I live in a town where everyone is “beautiful” – that town being Hollywood – and these two stood out.  So  “drop-dead gorgeous”  is not a term I’m using loosely…  

The waitress, upon seeing them, said to me under her breath, “Great. Jerks.” I assumed she knew them and had some history with them. So I proceeded to eat my lunch but couldn’t help listening and watching what was happening… 

The waitress’s demeanor had completely changed. She wasn’t being kind to them. She was harsh and cold.  She seemed to throw down the water and plates of food in-front of them. She made no eye contact whatsoever  – she seemed annoyed to deal with them. I kept thinking, ‘wow, these people must have really pissed her off’ – and so, when she returned to the counter where I had been sitting I asked her, “How do you know them?” and she replied, “I don’t know them. I would never know people like that. Those are not my kind of people.”  She must have seen my confused expression because she proceeded and said, “You know the type:  they’re probably actors on some fucking show, or dumb models —  they don’t ever have to work for a living because mommy and daddy pay for everything. I mean, look at them, you can just tell they’re spoiled assholes.”  

Clearly, that experience told me more about the waitress than it did about the lovely people who had just come in for a bite to eat.  After that, I was no longer interested in talking to the waitress.  My impression of her had changed and the point is: when we don’t deal with jealousy, most times it makes US look ugly. It brings out the worst in who we are.  And without even knowing it, you turn people off.

So how do you learn not to be jealous?  You can’t.  And anyone who tells you they never get jealous is lying.  It’s just like fear.  You can’t stop being afraid, but you can learn to deal with fear when it shows itself.  And like anything else you work on, feeling afraid or being jealous becomes less of an obstacle over time.

Here’s how I overcame one aspect of fear:

I used to be afraid of heights and flying.  So much so, that it would take a lot for me to get on a plane. Even when I’d go hiking, I would stay away from looking at the scenery if we were too high up, because the knowledge that I had hiked that far away from “solid” ground would make me feel nauseous.  It became a problem – because, I do love to hike. So, although I had decided to deal with my fear of flying by avoiding planes all altogether, it was now keeping me from experiencing another part of life.  Now I wasn’t enjoying hiking as much – something had to change.  I decided that the way I was dealing with my fear – by denying it and avoiding it, was not working.  It was keeping me from being the best person I could be.  So, I talked to a few people and someone suggested I go skydiving.  I was completely fearful of the thought, but after some time passed, I knew in my gut I had to do it.  I decided to confront fear head on.  Here’s a quick clip of that fun life-changing event:

Going skydiving changed me.  I’m not saying all of my fear has completely gone away, but it doesn’t stop me from being my best self.   I handle all fear in my life differently now.  It’s the same with Jealousy.

How do you become your best self when you are confronted with Jealousy? Well, I don’t have a cool movie clip to show you that, but here’s how I deal with it on a regular basis and it works brilliantly for me.  Maybe, it can help you too.

First, you have to admit you get jealous.  It seems so simple, but if you don’t admit it, then you avoid tackling it and instead do things to avoid it.

Secondly, when confronted with a moment of jealousy, admit it out-loud.  I like to say, if you see something that makes you jealous, say something!  So, more often than not, when I see a beautiful woman working her magic in some fabulous dress, I’ll let her know, “Wow, that’s a great dress!” And I say it authentically and with sincerity  and EVERY time that person reacts with joy and appreciation.  And jealousy evaporates and becomes something else. I’ve made it into a compliment, instead of holding it inside.

Three, think about why you got jealous in that moment and use it as a tool to improve yourself.  More times than not, we’re jealous because we don’t have something the other person’s got.  Rarely, is it a dress I’m jealous of, generally it’s the woman’s self-confidence and the way she holds herself – and usually I’m thinking, I didn’t work out the past day or so.  Or, maybe know subconsciously that my eating habits had faltered that week and I wasn’t really working my own magic… see what I’m saying?

Here’s the thing:  there are enough moments in life when we get all frustrated and tied up in knots about things. Letting jealousy of another person’s advantages take up too much time in your head.  It makes you defensive when there is no need to be.  And it’s just a wasteful use of energy. The way I see it, jealousy can actually be a good thing,  if you use the moment to understand why you feel the way you do and then use that information to  improve upon who you are and who you can be!

Well, that’s how I do it anyways…

Happy sweet day!

xxoo.

Carm.

 

 

 

 

Can You List Ten Things You Like About Yourself?

Ten Things I LikeI was watching a show on CNN about addiction when one of the people being interviewed mentioned she had been struggling for days working on an exercise that could help her in her recovery.  The exercise she was struggling with was listing ten things she liked about herself.

I didn’t think much about it.  But later in the day, I wondered, can I do that? List ten things I like about myself?  And I added another caveat;  can I do it as quickly as I could write ten things I hate about myself? Because I’ll be honest, I could spit out 20 things in 20 seconds of all the things I hate about myself pretty easily…  sad but true!

So, I tried it.  I sat down, with the timer on my cell and listed ten things that I liked about myself. I stayed away from physical attributes (only list one if you must)  and then, when I was done, I went back and listed why I liked or loved these things about myself.

I have to tell you – a very interesting little learning moment for me.  And, it was…well, enlightening to say that least, and kind of fun.

Carmen’s List 

  • I love that I have great instincts. I’m hardly ever wrong when I go with my gut. This has to do with people or moments.  Most people I read within 30 seconds and I’m rarely wrong about them and although moments may surprise me or scare me, I’m never so thrown I can’t function.
  • I love that I’m extremely logical. I bring logic to a lot of things I do – whether it’s in explaining something, building something, creating something. I enjoy learning the order in the chaos of things. The patterns.  It intrigues me and really is the best way I function.
  • I love that I like to learn. With that comes the fact that once I learn something I don’t forget it if I care about it. Nine times out of ten, if I learned it, I care about it. But being a sponge for anything new is another great quality I love about myself.
  • I love that I don’t talk about what I don’t know. Rarely will anyone ever catch me discussing something I know nothing about. I love this about myself because I notice how many people constantly talk about something they don’t know.  It happens most often with movies.  People will trash a movie and if you ask them if they’d seen it, they’ll say “no”.  If it were just movies, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but people do it with politics, economics, worldly events, family issues, medical issues… hey, here’s a free bit of wisdom:  An easy way to seem like you’re really smart, is to admit when you don’t know something.  Seriously!  I’m not any smarter than anyone else, but I don’t talk about what I don’t know. Period. And when I don’t know something, I ask something.  Easy.
  • I love that I am able to sit with anyone of any race, age, color, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, celebrity, politician, Republican, Democrat, friend of foe… and fit right in. I am comfortable around people and have an innate ability to understand them, talk to them. There is something very “chameleon” about it. But not in a negative way. It’s not that I change who I am EVER.  But, that who I am is malleable to the circumstance.  I know myself so well, that I can find a way to connect with anyone.  It has to do with empathy. Finding a way to connect with another soul on the planet.
  • I love that I’m a very optimistic person. It’s not blind optimism, but it’s always being able to find the light in a dark circumstance. When things are bad, I find myself living in hope. Finding that source that will lead me to the next step.  Truly optimistic.
  • I love that I held onto my “Latina-ness” even though I lost my mom at such an early age and had to force myself to learn more of what it means to be Latina on my own. I know that’s a weird one, because I am Latina, but knowing my back story and how easily it would have been not to learn Spanish, not to understand and fit in with my mother’s culture, would have been an easy thing for this American to do.  And sadly, so many of us lose our culture along the way  – but what makes America so beautiful is the mix that everyone brings to the table. If I had been born to Scottish parents and lost them at a young age, I would have done the same thing.  Clearly it was my way of holding onto a piece of my past, my mom, but it also has other benefits as well.
  • Physically, without a doubt, I love my skin color. “..you were kissed by the sun…” my mother used to tell me.  And I remember that phrase after the all these years.  And even though my hands are older, I have some wrinkles showing, some cellulite here and there, some changes in tone and elasticity… I still see all the beauty that is my cinnamon colored skin.  Sometimes I do feel bad about it.  I mean, honestly, I was born with it, it’s not like I did anything to have it, but I have to acknowledge it just the same.  Loving who WE are, skin color and all, clearly is and was an important part of my strength growing up.
  • I love that I’m still a kid most days. This may seem strange or may seem like I’m in denial of some sort, but I’m not. I think one of the worst things I hear from people who are older than me is this “giving up” sentiment. Like somehow turning 40 was Hogwarts Teethe end of life as they knew it.  I’ve had people say to me, “We’re different now, we’re so much older now” and “It’s for the new generation.”  WTF?  Hello!  I’m in my 40’s, I’m not dead!  Jeez! I hope if I’m blessed to live till I’m 90+ that I’m still walking around workin’ my magic and still dreaming of all the new possibilities!  And I think that’s the essence of being like a kid most days. I don’t mean not keeping to your responsibilities, but I mean, keeping in a state of awe, freshness and aliveness. Again, it goes to being a very optimistic person.  Being kid-like really just means always living in the moment, in the right here and right now and having the energy to play in it!
  • I love that I love people. I do. Even when the worst of us seems to burst through more painfully than I feel need be, I still love that eventually the human spirit figures it out.  I love all types of humans — even the ones I don’t understand.  Individually, I may hate a few – and I do, and yes, I use the word “hate” purposely. But as a collective, as a species, I am fascinated by how we all function.  Wow, I’ve never admitted that out loud (or on paper), but it is true. I love that I love people and always look for the best in us, even when we are showing the worst of who we are.

Hmm… that was kinda fun.  And interesting.

Have a sweet day!

Carmen

 

 

 

Letter to Uni: I Was Here

March 14th, 2016

Monday 5:30am

Dear Uni,

It was a tough week. I didn’t recover as quickly as I wanted to from surgery – my doctor had told me as much, but, you know… somehow I thought my superhuman strength would prevail… Ha!

Later in the week I did finally step out into the world.  Unintentionally I met two women, maybe in their 20’s, who got into a conversation with me about LIFE.  Funny, when I think about it – they had no idea who they were talking to…  but I played along with what was before me and at one point the one named Carol said to me, “You’re problem is you’re an eternal optimist.”  Her meaning was somewhat negative, her tone was trite.  I, of course, took it as a compliment!  I mean, honestly what is an “eternal optimist” to do?

I do love the light.  I respect the darkness because without darkness there is no love of light. So, yes, even in the midst of any thing “bad” in my life, I always find my way through to where my breath finds hope… it’s how I made it here.  It’s how I’ve kept on my unwavering journey all these years.

The other woman, Jade, questioned me;  “What would you do if you died right now? What would be the point of it all?”  I smiled and without missing a beat, I replied, “Do you know that song: ‘I Was Here’ by Beyonce?  That’s kind of my anthem.  I wake up every morning feeling grateful to still be here, and just hoping I can be better, do better and maybe make a difference in someone else’s life. Because I am here now – and when I die, even if it’s just one persons life I touched and made just a tiny bit better – then, that will have all been worth it”.

They both looked at me like I had just told them some incredible secret.

Maybe, in a way, I did.

 

Loving today something fierce,

Carm.

Happy Birthday YOU!

I did some DNA testing a while back and got the results.  Fascinating.  Life changing.  Soul affirming, to say the least.   As many of you know, I’ve never had much information about my father.  None actually.  There have also, always been questions about the“biological-ness”  of my mother and well, now some questions have been answered. It’s a good thing.

Carm Bath

My Favorite Childhood Pic

There’s no doubt it’s amazing to find out where your ancestors are from.  But knowing WHO you are, and loving yourself anyways – flaws and brilliance alike – is not something you can find out on a DNA strand.

On this day, this precious day I call my personal holiday, I want to share the best thing I’ve learned during this process. What I’ve always known really:   I am who I am because of all of you.  Those who have touched my life, those that have walked into my world, helped me, hurt me or just those passing by — all of you have helped me be comfortable with the unknowing.  I’ve grown brilliantly regardless of the uncertainties.  My foundation, the building blocks of my life, have always been an incredible love that finds its way through anyways – no matter what.

So for my birthday, I wish for anyone reading this, for even those not reading this, to have a most perfect and beautiful day.  I’d also love World peace.  And while I’m at it, for chocolate cake to be as healthy as broccoli, for exercise to be as easy as watching TV, for belly fat to be the new sexy, and for Donald Trump to not be on any ticket or any TV anywhere — but since I know those are far-fetched and unlikely dreams, I’ll take hoping all my friends, family, loved ones, neighbors, acquaintances  and yes, even all my enemies to have the most brilliant and wonderful day.  That would make this the best birthday ever!

Happy Sweet day to all of you – Don’t mess up my gift now… have a beautiful and  brilliant day no matter what!

While you’re reading this I’m sleeping. It’s my Birthday!

My Baggage is Bigger Than Your Baggage

I’m not a big fan of recapping the prior year and making resolutions in the New Year. The analyzing of the prior year ends up making me reflect on things that went well, but also on things that went “not-so-well” and future resolutions always seems too dreamy to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to have goals, but I think on-going betterment of the self on a daily basis is a better strategy. At least for me.

With that said, I can’t help but share a few fascinating things that I’ve incorporated into my everyday life  that has really put me in a whole new frame of mind.  I’m on a different playing field now and things just feel better.  It didn’t happen overnight, but when I see where I am right now in my life and look back at where I started, I feel like some of these basic choices/tools might be similar to what others have done or are doing – and if you haven’t done them yet, maybe this might help get you started.

Life is Good

Eliminate the “wishy-washy people” out of your life.

This seems like a no brainer when talking about people who physically abuse you, or emotionally hurt you.  But even the subtle people are obvious to me now.  We all know the type: the big talker, the name dropper, the “let’s do lunch” cliché-ism that infests most of Hollywood and Wall Street.  But I’m also talking about the “I’m so busy” people.  The “I’m finding myself” people.  The overly “spiritual” “life coached” folks  — you know, the ones who call themselves “enlightened” but are actually just idiots?  I’ve said this before: truly enlightened people never say they’re enlightened.  People who brag about how Yoga or meditation have changed their “being” and yet, they still treat the waiter or the janitor like they’re below them?  Yeah, I’ve gotten rid of all of these people in my daily life.  Anyone who remotely annoys me on any level, I’ve just stopped. I don’t respond to them, I don’t initiate communication – I just let them be.  They have no effect on me whatsoever.

And here’s the great thing about walking away from people who do not add to your livelihood –when you eliminate people out of your life who cause you more harm than good, new people show up.  And you feel excited by the possibility of a new relationships and new moments.  Now, it may be that these folks don’t work out either, but it’s exciting and new – and for me, I made three great new friends this year.  Surprisingly, I would have never met them had I not walked away from “people” that were not adding to my life’s breath.

Do what feels right to you! 

I always ask people for their opinion. I do. I like to cover all my bases.  It makes me feel in control if I get as much information as possible and then make a decision. That’s not bad thing to do. And it’s why I’m good at my work – whether creatively or in my consulting business.  But, at the end of the day, going with my gut, always prevails.  Always. I don’t care if Stephen Hawking himself tells me I’m wrong about something, I’m going to go with my gut anyways.  Now, you should know the consequences of your actions and be willing to accept them, but when you do this, when you listen to – what I like to call – God’s whisper, some call it an inner voice, a gut feeling – you’re making a choice based on all your experiences, all your knowledge and all your inner knowing of things. There’s something powerful in that.

Now, that doesn’t mean at times it doesn’t work out.  But, the cool thing is, when you listen to your inner voice, your gut, you tend to have no regrets, even if it doesn’t work out.  But, if you went against the grain, went against what you believed, then it’s more likely that whatever choice you made would be regrettable.

Love and embrace your baggage!  

Lately I’ve been listening to people talk about “baggage”.  Life coaches, therapists and gurus tell you all the time that you need to get rid of your “baggage” or deal with your “baggage”.  It always seems so negative.  I’ve always seen my baggage as evidence of the journey I’ve been on.  I wouldn’t trust anyone who didn’t have baggage, because it would mean they hadn’t lived.  They haven’t travelled on this journey called life. The only people who shouldn’t have baggage of any real dimension, are children.  7 year olds.

Baggage, or, my past, is what has brought me to this point in time.  Getting rid of it would mean, getting rid of the good stuff too – and why would I do that?  This idea that our past is some horrible linkage to a time that we should forget in order to live in the present, is a falsehood. Just because people say it all the time doesn’t make it true.  First of all, getting rid of your baggage is impossible to do.  We all have memories.  We all have past experiences. And those memories, those experiences, good and bad, are what make up most of what we are in this moment. Embrace it.  Own it.  Love who you are because of it all.

Now being 30 years old and living like you’re a 12 year old because you’re stuck in the past and still want your mommy – that’s a whole other thing.  That’s not what I’m taking about – and that would most likely require a doctor’s help.  Someone dealing with trauma of any sort, should always get professional help.  But let’s be clear, this is not about baggage – now we’re talking about mental health.  Please when in doubt, consult a professional doctor and understand the difference.

Love yourself unconditionally! 

This is a hard one.  It sounds like an easy one, but truly loving yourself is hard because we’re not used to thinking this way.  We find it so easy to say to ourselves, “Uggh, you’re so stupid.” When we do something wrong.  Or “Oh, you look so fat!” – when we don’t like an outfit that we’ve tried on. We’re always so mean to ourselves.   When was the last time you looked in the mirror and told yourself that you loved yourself completely and without any reservations or conditions at all?  Could you even read that sentence without snickering a bit or giggling?     

This was the most transformative thing that I’ve done in the past year.  Really embracing my own brilliance and not feeling weird about it, bad about it, or giggling about it. Knowing that I have such gifts and talents and accepting that I have faults and make mistakes and that THAT is okay and part of the human journey has been freeing!  It has completely changed how I interact with others and more importantly, how I view my purpose on the planet.

So, those four things:  Eliminate wishy-washy people,  Do what feels right, Embrace your baggage,  Love yourself unconditionally – those  very specific four things have been life changing for me.  This past year has been an amazing revelation and unfolding of a very wonderful, very exciting life.  I can only imagine that a lot of it had to do with learning to incorporate each one of these aspects into my daily life fully.  It didn’t happen overnight and there were struggles along the way, but I have to say, I’m so glad I’m finally here!

And thank you to all of you, who helped walk me through.

Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, Happy Hanuka, Happy Kwanza – and Season Greetings to any others I may have missed.

Peace, love and all that good stuff!

Carm.