Today I want to talk about being less green.
No, not less environmentally friendly, just less affected by the green-eyed monster! Yes that old chestnut; the painful feeling that someone is taking something that we value, away from us.
Green as a colour gets some pretty bad press. It’s not just associated with jealousy (also known as the green-eyed monster), it’s also associated with envy; that horrible feeling that others have something we wish we had.
In this context, lots of green in our lives can cause two types of suffering;
- To the person experiencing the envy or jealousy.
- To the people who are on the receiving end of the reaction or response to either of those.
Envy and jealousy in any relationship are like a rotting apple in a fruit bowl. If you remove the rot quickly the impact is contained; leave the rot in the bowl with other fruit and it all goes to rot. At its worst, jealousy can be a motive for murder, (not recommended) so it’s worth understanding it and learning how to reduce and manage it in our own lives. If you’re practising People Voodoo you’ll also be able to help others with it.
So, what is the 4 step People Voodoo approach to being less green?
Step 1 – Learn to recognise it
Jealousy and envy are feelings that can be recognised by sensations in the body. We all feel it differently. I feel a weight in my heart and at the same time a kind of intense heat in my chest and in my arms. My chest feels tight and constricted and it’s hard to breathe.
Learn what it feels like to you, so that you can recognise it and look the monster right in its green eyes!
Step 2 – Accept that you can’t fight nature
The reaction you are having is normal!
It’s a survival reaction to the fear of losing something. Babies cry when the person who feeds them and keeps them warm leaves. In nature, loss of a caregiver means certain death, so our response needs to be big enough to take action. It’s the fight, flight or freeze instinct and when the danger is fire, you’ll be glad you’ve got it!
Step 3 – Breathe
Whilst your body is gearing up to react to danger, you don’t think straight. Your body has no need to debate complex issues and solve problems when you are running for your life.
Deep breathing is one of the ways to reset the balance. Deep breathing is about breathing deep in the body. Not to be confused with breathing in hard. Imagine a balloon in your stomach. Breathing in deeply is about inflating the balloon in your stomach as big as possible and then pushing all the air back out again. (In through the nose and out through the mouth) Try it a few times! If you can learn to do it well when you are not feeling green, then it’s easier to switch it on when you are.
Step 4 – Think Voodoo
When you are calm enough to think straight, consider what is really going on. Are you really losing something? Are you really being threatened? What’s the evidence? Do you have all the facts?
When you’ve had time to work through it properly, free of emotion, you can decide what to do next.
Whether you decide to let it go, or speak to someone about your feelings depends on the situation of course. Just make sure that you consider being humane to yourself and others in whatever you decide to do.