Over the last couple years, or ever since I became a mom, I have been obsessed with the idea of change, living up to my "full potential" and achieving my goals (despite my circumstances).

I did not know how I wanted that ‚end result‘ of change to look or feel like. I just knew it had to be something else than what I was living and feeling at the moment. So over the past 5 years, I have read, learned and implemented a lot.

A LOT!

Being proactive is one of those attributes I identify in my personality most with. I will not bore you (this time) with the extensive list of trial & errors that I went through. Just let me sum it up like this: I misinterpreted proactiveness and change with being busy - at all times and at all cost.

So I came to the conclusion: the first step is to know what I want to be before I can make a plan on how I will accomplish that change. Sounds logic and straight forward, but is not easy to come by, because...
...that means mostly listening inwards to what your soul/core/gut feeling - name it what you like - desires most. And boooy am terrible at being quietly patient.

I know from conversations with others that that comes hard to so many of us. A fact that makes me feel less alone, but is no real comfort for a loud, extroverted, German efficiency freak like myself.

... standing in the cold waiting for that bus to pick you up and bring you to that famous AHA-Moment.

Or like standing in a very slow moving elevator with that obnoxious ‚I-will-keep-you calm-music‘ playing and waiting for that ding sound that indicates that you have arrived on your desired level of illumination.

Just imagining that makes me hear the painfully simple Glockenspiel-elevator version of „The girl from Ipanema“ in the background.

Please tell me that I am not alone with that association.

Wait, let me get back on track here. Where were we?
Listening to the quiet voices and the desires of the soul - though task, right?!

Do you know how to listen to them? Can you sit quietly enough to hear what yours are telling you? If you are struggling with that, let me show you a way to identify them.

Do you know how 'your inner voice' speaks to you?

look out for: the things that are worth imitating until they are truly a part of us.

 

When talking to kids we often speak of role models. Of how to try to imitate them („Think about what XYZ would do and try to act in his/her image.“) or how to be a role model to others („Remember that you are a big brother/sister and your sibling looks up to you) and I never liked that very much. It is just too much of other people's expectations and too much interpretation of other people's behavior for my taste.

Because that‘s the point of behavior and why we adopt it, right?! - To achieve/ get/ become what we think we want to be or have in life.

 

Just imagining that makes me hear the painfully simple Glockenspiel-elevator version of „The girl from Ipanema“ in the background.

Please tell me that I am not alone with that association.

I want to tell you about a more intuitive and self-centered approach. And when I say ‚self-centered‘ I do not mean arrogant, or selfish in the negative sense of the words, but rather an approach that grows from inside you and manifests into a physical feeling.

 

And there is the way we experience wanting on a physical level.

Having moved and changed schools a lot as a child, my antennas grew very sensitive to the nature of the curiosity of the other kids. Being the novelty in class and being ‘inspected’ closely, I learned to observe and interpret the reactions of my new classmates very quickly. After having answered the main questions (who are you? And where are you from? And: why are you here now?) there were mostly two kind of reactions: either open and interested -  as if they thought “Oh OK, interesting. Let’s see where this can go and what kind of person you are.” Or that slight squint of the eyes, followed by the slight tilt of the head and then the crossed arms followed by a ‘pfft!’ - and I knew: yep, I don’t have a chance with that one.

 

I understood from a very young age on that there is a massive difference between envy and jealousy and later I learned to use the difference to become clear on what I like and want in life vs. what triggers a fear of mine. One of them is bad and something you want to ban from your life, whilst the other is good and a clear indicator of „your soul's desire“.

 

Your subconscious sends you physical signals.

See, there is a fundamental flaw on how the word envy (German = Neid) is used in the English language. Envy should not be used as a verb. You shouldn't BE envious.

The word comes from the French avoir envie and is something that you have.

 

 

Avoir envie

means to have a desire, a feel of lust and realizing that there is a craving inside you. There is no sexual connotation or any weird connection to food. But it is something very sensual.

 

Envie triggers a motivation inside you, that makes you want to step into action to get or achieve what you desire.

 

Or to become jealous (and act accordingly) because you can‘t have what someone else has. But honestly, jealousy is a choice. An ugly one though!

 

So if we see it like that:

being envious is nothing bad but just our bodies reaction to seeing, or realizing that your soul or gut wants something. It‘s nothing more than your subconsciousness knocking and saying: „Uh friend!!! Did you see that? I like that very much. I can see us doing/having that and feeling oh so good!“

 

And it works with everything. May that be physical possessions like your sister-in-laws' new sofas that make you go „Oh wow!“, or your colleagues' impressive language skills, or smooth voice when talking to the big boss and you just thinking "Damn!".

 

all I want to say is:

Embrace envy!

And then what?

The critical phase comes after: what to do with envy?

 

If we say envy is just an impulse, then it is logically something rather raw and unreflected. You can run with your impulses and it can lead to something great like...

 

...me daring to write this post in English instead of German and facing massive insecurity that my level might not be up to par.

 

Or it could lead to something less positive because it‘s the 934877th impulse you run with and it results in an overflowing closet full of nice, but underused cloths and you end up with a messy flat and empty bank account, crying for Marie Kondo.

 

You need to evaluate that craving.

Is it another luxury that you want on top of what you already have? That is not to say that that is bad thing - if you can afford it, why not?!

But if it costs you more than the value of that joy it brings: you might just want to acknowledge it and put it aside - for good, or for later.

 

Or is it a real heartfelt desire that shows you a lack and acquiring it will bring you massive joy and maybe even some other kind of benefit?

 

It is fairly straightforward with physical possessions: check your moral compass and make an adult decision.

Can you financially afford it? Do you need it? Does it make sense? Does it fit? Do you have the space to give it a new home in your home? Does the thing bring you joy, or just the act of purchasing it? Do you even like it, or are you trying to impress someone else?

Is it something that enriches your home worth having? Yes? GO!

 

It is way more complicated when a relationship to others is involved. Just because it is always also a mirror of the relationship you have with yourself.

And what I meant to say by this: don‘t fall into jealousy.

No seriously.
being jealous is so childish.

Kids are constantly jealous. Because they have not learned to evaluate the desire and have a hard time dealing with their emotions and all those things triggering them. And adults simply look ridiculous being jealous.

 

Think about it: we said envy is triggering you to get into action and if that action manifests in jealousy it only means you realized you can‘t have what you crave and thus are throwing a tantrum. Jealous people can not accept the (perceived) lack and become nasty…. talking bad about others… hurting others…. hurting themselves…..

 

 

 

the point is:

You have choices!

Evaluate and make a decision how much that fulfillment of desire is worth to you. Are you willing to search and practice speech training on YouTube, pay a coach to train you or take foreign language classes at community college?

 

Yes?

Off you go.

You will feel great when you accomplish your goal.

 

No?

OK.

GREAT in fact.

You can say with a piece of mind that this is not for you, or at least not right now. And you can let that feeling of envy grow into admiration for that colleague, the effort he made and how far she already got. Well done her!

 

If you embrace envy you will get to know yourself better. Envy is a sign that something is dear to you. But it is not more than instinct, a notion of desire and an emotional trigger.

What you do with it can make you grow - just don‘t regress into behavior that you have outgrown already.