I have a friend who’s got that thing.
She’s one of those people who, while walking down the street, sipping a drink, or chit-chatting at a party, people will turn and gaze at. Not because she’s all done up, though she does have a fun sense of style. But because she has a striking kind of beauty that exudes sensuality with her every move that is, in the truest sense of the word, attractive.
We’ve been friends for nearly twenty years. When we met in college, I had just come back from spending the summer in NYC landing a great modeling agent (a pix from that moment of my life above), and then letting that go so I could return to school and have a normal life.
Despite how I appeared, and the opportunities this opened for me, I was in a deeply insecure place.
Because of the less-than way I felt about myself, I unknowingly viewed my life, and certainly my friend, through my filter of insecurity. Slowly but steadily, through one interaction after another, I created a story that she was more approachable, more sensual, more open, more desirable.
Now she reports feeling the same way about me at the time. But since we didn’t speak about it until years later, all I knew was my view – which was that she was tapped into some deep feminine magic that made her life, and especially her sex and love life, much more fun and enjoyable than mine.
Fast forward ten years from our initial meeting, which is about ten years ago, and we’re both living in West LA.
One Sunday morning we go to a Spiritweaves dance in an indoor fencing studio with at least a hundred other people and sure enough, within moments, I notice she’s surrounded by men wanting to dance with her.
I stand across the room, staring. I feel annoyed. Deflated. Baffled by the attraction-factor that is simply her nature. What do I need to do to tap into that sort of energy? Why her and not me? Will I ever figure it out?
I stew in caldron of my own less-than-ness
I come back to myself, pull myself out of my head, look up to see what’s happening around me, and am genuinely surprised to see there are several people, both men and women, dancing nearby all trying to interact with me.
I break out laughing at the comedy of this moment.
Were they there this whole time? I think so. Wow, what a WAKE UP CALL!
I drop my preoccupation with enviously watching my friend and bring my attention to my own experience which is social, fun, interactive, and full of the flirty playfulness I’d been wanting all along.
If you’re not watering your garden, who is?
What are you paying attention to? WHO are you paying attention to? What stories do you make up about what (you think) you see? What do your stories tell you about the filters you’re looking through? How much of your overall attention is on others versus paying attention to and watering your own garden?
If you feel envious,
If you feel less than,
If you feel your life is missing something,
If you feel like others have it better than you,
If you feel a part of your life is stagnating and you’re waiting for someone else to make it better for you…
This is a WAKE UP CALL that you’re giving your power away through focusing on others and it’s time to bring yourself back to center and genuinely pay attention to and invest your energy in YOUR OWN LIFE.
Inside you is the same magic that’s in every person you admire, look up to, and yes – envy.
They have nothing you don’t have.
The only possible difference – if there is one – is that you’re putting your energy into focusing on them while they’re watering their own grass.
You can feel bummed about this. You can use it to reinforce your feeling of less-than ness. Or you can, as I finally did, bring yourself back, see that your life is actually pretty fabulous, and engage with the beautiful opportunities that are available to you and only you in your own garden.
Bobby McFerrin tells a story (in some YouTube video – if you know it, post it below) that although he grew up around music and musicians, he’d been considering becoming a priest. Then he had a life-before-and-after-this-moment experience when he saw Miles Davis perform and he realized he wanted to not only be a musician, but he wanted to be a highly skilled musician with a unique, artistic voice. So he put himself on a daily routine of training and opening his voice.
But, being a highly impressionable person, he also decided to stop listening to anyone else’s music so that he could find his voice, instead of becoming an amalgam of everyone else’s expression. After something crazy like three years he felt grounded enough in his own expression to start performing… and blew people away with his truly unique and amazing voice.
Can you imagine doing this — closing the door to distractions, even inspiring distractions, so that you can bring all of your energy to what you want to create?
The point is this:
Everyone else is doing whatever everyone else is doing. And really, truly – it’s none of your business.
If you find other people’s lives inspiring, great. But even seeking inspiration can be a way of keeping your attention focused outward instead of engaged in what you need to be doing, living, opening to, etc. to further your own life’s purpose and calling.
It’s all about balance, of course, but if you find yourself feeling envious, like something’s missing, or like the things you’ve been wanting in life somehow keep not happening – guess what?
It’s time to bring your focus back to home base and water your own grass.
No one can do this for you but you.