The other day I read about an acquaintance, another author, I know who was featured in The New York Times. As I came upon the story, try as I might to fill my mind with the bird songs and daisies of good will, I felt sandpaper scrape my soul. Immediately, her shiny success became my failure.

Jealousy stung me like tear gas, laced with longing and sadness. Yes, of course, I’d much prefer you think I’m someone who levitates on my good desires for everyone else. And, really, I am sometimes. But other times, I’m tiny-hearted, insecure and ratty with psychic holes that leak out precious energy.

But finally, I’m no longer interested in making myself wrong for these falls from grace. I’m interested in restoring my natural light. I’m devoted to using everything I have, at every moment, to take me into the life of my purpose, my peace, my freedom and my own true success.

Since everybody’s “going green” these days, and proud of it, I thought I’d like to turn “green with envy” into an alternative power source as well. Lord knows, many of us have warehouses of this fuel. Besides, our emotions are never wrong. They are simply the yellow check engine lights, telling us that something needs our attention and care.

Jealousy is an emotion that many creative, intelligent, ambitious people feel. It’s the darkened cousin of the wholesome desire to reach your own dazzling potential. Unfortunately, it’s the wounded one that feels powerless or as though life is unfair or that somehow you will be forever deprived of what you need and deserve. It’s a misguided focus. It happens. But the good news is that you can use this activated energy to get even more focused, loving, and graceful in your own life.

Here’s three different approaches I’ve found helpful to turn jealousy into strength:

Put Your Focus Where It Belongs
I imagine drawing a circle around myself and staying inside my circle. It’s my reminder to focus on my own good life, and the purity and power right in front of me. I choose to bless my life, just as it is, for all that I have and all that I do not have. I choose not to reject my own life, but to embrace it with the ultimate tenderness and reverence.

I remind myself that Spirit is the source of my good. I am never deprived of what is truly mine. My job is to tend my own garden. When I’m jealous, I’m so busy watching my neighbor’s garden grow, that I allow my own fruits and flowers to wither with neglect. Jealousy reminds me to water my own plants, stand on my own soil, take important and timely actions, and focus on tending the bounty I have and the harvest yet to come. If I look outside my circle to see what someone else has, it drains energy from my sphere, my budding wonder, and my responsibility.

Turn Jealousy into Clarity
Your jealousy is a powerful flashlight. It shines a beam on your true desires. Take the focus off what the other person has, and begin to notice and name what you truly want. Jerry and Esther Hicks, in “The Law of Attraction,” write that it’s the contrast of what we don’t yet have that causes us to “launch rockets of desire.” When you see something that stings you, it helps you to stir up passionate energy about your desire. Take a moment to imagine having that desire come true for you. Stay in the good feeling place, of “yes, this is exactly the kind of thing I want in my life,” perhaps as though you found something in a catalog you’d like to order. Pretend you’re ordering it now. Avoid the negative backlash of “but I don’t have that in my life and I probably never will.” Bring your attention back to your clarity. Is there an action you’d like to take now that you have this clarity? Would you like to take this moment and commit to this desire? Or pray for this desire, ask for help in seeing what thoughts or attitudes you might want to shift? Real clarity often inspires commitment, movement, and right action.

Bless the Ones Whose Turn It Is
I find it helpful to celebrate the success of others. Of course the first time someone suggested this to me, it sounded as though I was supposed to swallow arsenic and call it pepperoni. But it works. Instead of standing in the shadows, and seeing myself as different, (read in inadequate), I cross the finish line with them and enjoy the ribbons. I imagine the dreamer in them that hoped for a triumph such as this, and I’m grateful they got it. I’m grateful dreams come true. I don’t see us as different. We’re all going to win and we’re all going to lose. I choose to bless the ones whose turn it is now to stand in the sun for a moment. I also know I don’t know their whole story. Even if I think “they just lucked out,” I don’t know the road they walk on, what struggles they have faced or yet will face. I know that no one is where they are by accident and that we’re all the favored children of a loving, generous Universe. I also know I can block my good, by resisting their good. It’s hard to be in the flow, when you’re grinding your teeth.

A friend of mine, a speaker, once told me that she loved seeing other speakers who spoke on her topic get better speaking engagements than her. I must have looked as though I’d seen a ghost, because she quickly explained. “We’re on the same team. They’re teaching the same message. And the more people they reach, the more people are now available for my message.”

So next time you hit some healthy jealousy in your life, don’t allow that hot stone to sit upon your heart. Go green. Recycle. Use that disagreeable fire. And burn your way back into grace.

Copyright 2008 Tama J. Kieves. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Tama J. Kieves is the best-selling author of THIS TIME I DANCE! Creating the Work You Love/How One Harvard Lawyer Left It All to Have It All! She is also a sought-after speaker and career coach who has helped thousands world-wide to discover and live their creative dreams. Learn more about Tama’s workshops and coaching or sign up to receive FREE monthly inspiration and tools for your creative life journey at Download her free report on “Finding Your Calling Now” at