Singing Bird Holistic Health Coaching

Dealing with the Shadow of ENVY

Envy

Envy. Ah that little green monster. One of the shadow emotions of the human experience. Something we have all felt at one point or another and don’t want to own up to because it doesn’t feel good. We know it’s not our best self, but there it is anyhow, rearing its ugly head.

Envy is often the side of fries that comes with the social media burger that we ingest on a daily basis. We look at beautiful pictures of other people’s lives, the absolute highlights, because that is the image most of us want to portray to the world. Who wants to post when they are feeling doubtful or angry or having a little pity party for themselves? I would wager to say not most of us.

When we look at what other people have – their beautiful house, their booming business, their perfect family, their amazing trips around the world, you name it – we begin to feel envy.

We might pretend we are happy for them, but often there is a little voice inside that chirps, “she has everything, she’s so lucky, why can’t I have what she has?” Sometimes we ignore the little voice; sometimes we allow ourselves to get sucked into her spiral of negativity, but try as we might, we can’t seem to get rid of her all together.

Pretending the emotion doesn’t exist typically just makes it grow stronger. The further we shove it into the darkest corners of our psyche, the more it comes out in unhealthy ways. We project it onto other people, and see in others what we don’t wish to see in ourselves.

So what are we to do with this little green goblin? First, we own the feeling. I am feeling envious of X, Y, and Z because ______ (fill in the blank). It doesn’t make you a “bad” person; it makes you a gorgeously complex human being.

Then, we dig into the feeling. Envy is rooted in a lack of faith. We see what someone else has, or what he or she has accomplished, and believe that is not possible for us. That is because we either lack faith in ourselves and our abilities, or we lack faith in the universe (as if someone out there is actively trying to keep us from joy).

If you believe in your ability to create for yourself what someone else has, and believe that there is a force out there who at the very least isn’t trying to eff things up for you (and ideally has got your back), something amazing happens…

Envy will be transmuted.

It will become inspiration.

You will look at what someone else has accomplished, at their beautiful pictures of their beautiful life, and be genuinely happy for them because you know that the same, and better, is possible for you.

You will begin defining your own dreams and start moving towards them.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

One person’s joy and happiness has the power to ripple out to everyone they touch in their lives, if allow we it to. If we are open to receive it without closing down our hearts in fear or resentment. Someone else’s happiness does not steal our own. There isn’t a fixed amount of joy to go around; it is endlessly abundant.

So the next time that you feel envy, acknowledge it and what it is there to teach you. Where are you lacking faith? What do you believe to be true about yourself versus the person that you are envious of? And if you began to shift that belief, what would be possible for you?

 

Is your “life is short” philosophy bumming you out?

WomanSwingSet

“Most people overestimate what they can do in a year, and they underestimate what they can do in two or three decades.” – Tony Robbins

 This was the quote that really stuck with me from the new Tony Robbins documentary that was recently released on Netflix. It reminds me of something the founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition used to say quite often: “Life is a long time.”

This runs counter to what we regularly hear: Live it up. Seize the day. Life is short.

The most interesting part to me is that both of these seemingly opposing statements are equally as true. Life is both short and long, and we must hold both of these truths within us.

Now I totally understand the motivation behind the life is short motto and philosophy. It is basically saying don’t wait to follow your joy and live each moment fully.

I am all for both of those things, but the issue comes when following your joy leads you in multiple directions or seems to be nearly impossible in your present circumstances (which may simply be due to limiting beliefs, but that is a topic for another day), which can make us feel stressed out or bummed.

And following your joy really shouldn’t stress you out. Then it kind of defeats the purpose.

What is meant to be a lovely little kick in the ass and/or a friendly reminder to stay present to the joy and love that are occurring right now, wherever you may find yourself, instead becomes another way to measure how we are falling short in life.

If you are anything like me, you want to do it ALL. Soak up every last delicious drop of this beautiful journey called life.

I want a farm and I want to travel a lot and I want to have an airstream and drive around the country. I want a family and I want to grow my business and I want to publish a book, etc. etc. etc. Desires and ideas abound!!

Most of the time all of my dreams excite and inspire me, but sometimes they make me feel anxious or stressed. Because there is no way that I can do all of them right now. Or even this year. Or in the next five years.

And focusing on everything that I want to be doing and am not is a sure fire way to kill my joy, which is the very thing that I am seeking! Irony is a bitch, isn’t it?

For another example, occasionally I will come to my coach in a mild panic (or at the very least in a feeling of defeat), saying that my business is not growing fast enough or it’s not working or I am not doing it right.

To which she always says, “Linda, you are in this for the long haul. This is not just a quick-fix business; this is your calling.”

I need to hear this every. single. time. Because we live in a “life is short” society where everything needed to happen yesterday, and we end up putting these absurd expectations on ourselves. If we don’t hit our benchmarks, we feel as if we are somehow messing up at life.

AND when I let that thought creep in that my business isn’t where it is supposed to be, it strips the joy away from doing what I love to do, which is writing, coaching, and serving.

So how can we reconcile these two truths, that life is both short and long simultaneously?

We continue moving forward. We follow our hearts and create our vision boards. And we allow ourselves to savor the enjoyment that can be found in every step along the journey.

My Experience of Living and Working on a Farm!

A few weeks ago my husband and I went on a farm stay with his family. It was such an amazing and inspiring experience that I want to share a bit of it with you all. A farm stay is akin to a bed and breakfast, with the exception that you live on a working farm and spend part of your day doing various farm chores.

We stayed at a farm called Villa Barone in Northern California. The owners raise a plethora of animals (pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys, emus, chickens, ducks, rabbits, and turkeys), but much of the beautiful, rolling landscape is devoted to their olive orchard. The orchard features over 1,800 olive trees, and Villa Barone makes its own small-batch olive oil.

OliveOrchardView of the olive orchard as the sun is setting

Our days started with a hearty farm breakfast – omelets made with chicken and duck eggs that were collected the day before, and fresh herbs and vegetables picked straight from the garden. There was also fresh fruit, yogurt, and honey collected onsite from one of their bee boxes. (Collecting the honey was the only activity I opted to not participate in. I am still overcoming a fear of bees and stayed at a healthy distance with my zoom lens on!)

BeeBoxBee Boxes

EricBeesEric collecting honey as the bees swarm around him…eek!!

After fueling up for a long day spent outside in the sun, we would begin our chores. It started with feeding the rabbits, which along with their store-bought feed received delicious, organic leftovers from the garden. Then we would move on to feeding the baby turkeys that will be harvested for Thanksgiving. Part of me wanted to not think about that part…that the destiny for quite a few of these animals will be to end up on the dinner table. But I am not a vegan, or even a vegetarian, so crying over that seemed a little hypocritical. I also realized there is no way to ensure that the animal lives a better life or meets a more humane end then by sourcing your meat from small family farms like this.

EricBHoldingTurkeyEric and his mama with baby turkey

When the baby turkeys had their fill, it was time to move on to the sheep and goats, who get to munch on several sheets of dried alfalfa a couple of times per day. Now these guys LOVE to eat, and they will come up and knock the food right out of your hand (and potentially knock you over in the process). So the owner would walk in one door to get their attention, while we stealthily snuck in another way. That gave us a few precious seconds to get in and begin throwing some of the alfalfa on the ground before the animals got to us.

CuriousGoatSomeone who gets as excited about breakfast as I do!

I loved all animals, but the goats and the sheep stole my heart. We were also super lucky. Our first night one of the sheep gave birth to a little lamb, which was totally unexpected. This little dude was walking around slowly on shaky legs that first morning with his dried out umbilical cord hanging from his belly. It was such a beautiful thing to witness.

BabyLambFresh new baby lamb, his mama eyes me warily while eating her alfalfa

BabyLamb2Look at that face and those knobby knees!!

GoatSpotBaby Spot was my favorite!

MamaGoatSpot’s mama. I can’t remember her name, but she had a wicked beard!

RockyRoadThis girl is named Rocky Road.

While the goats and the sheep were busy munching away, we trekked up the dirt-covered hill to the chicken coops. We would let the chickens and the ducks out for a day of free-range wandering, and in the case of the ducks, swimming in the little onsite pond. When they had flown the coop we busied ourselves with collecting their eggs. There was also one rooster and one big old turkey named Tom. Tom is four years old (which is apparently ancient in turkey years) and has been given a stay of execution. The governor may have gotten involved, but I can’t say for certain…But Tom and the rooster don’t always see eye to eye, and often disagree about who is at the top of the pecking order. Therefore, they have to take turns spending their days out of the coop, because otherwise things might just get ugly.

TomTurkeyTom – Not excited about his day of confinement

It was about this time that the donkeys would start getting a little ticked off. These two ladies, Lexi and June, lived in the pasture next door and had to watch us feed all the other animals while their tummies rumbled. To ensure that we did not forget about their existence, or their hungry bellies, June would release the loudest baying noise I have ever heard. Lexi would then kick the food bin for good measure in case we were confused on what they wanted.

Unfortunately, they had to wait a little longer as next up were the pigs. These two were big and lazy, but very sweet. They were a male and female, and were also being kept as pets as opposed to food. They would occasionally come when something delicious like an apple or a pear was being offered up, but mostly they liked to lay in the shade. Both came up to say hi to me and I was surprised by the rough and wiry texture of their hair, and their kind and gentle nature. One even decided that I smelled really good and tried to munch on my tank top and jean shorts. They also loved to drink water and then roll in the mud, as pigs do. As I knelt down to take a photo of her, this little lady decided to tell me how she felt about that proposition…

IMG_5939She wanted to show me her good side…

LindaAndPigsMaking friends with the piggies

PigLook at that face!! Those wrinkles!!

Finally, it was on to the emus and the donkeys. The donkeys are both a little skittish, but are coming around to humans. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of those girls.

On our full day at the farm we not only got to feed the animals, we also got to do a goat spa day! This meant washing and trimming their hooves, a prospect that terrified me (I won’t even trim my dog’s nails!). Eric proved to be excellent at it. If you don’t trim the outside of the hooves down to the white quick, they end up growing inward on themselves, which is what I imagine might happen if I didn’t cut my toe nails for a really long time. We also brushed and bathed them. All of this had to occur in the span of a few of minutes: what it took the goat to finish a couple of ladles-worth of grain. Because once they were done eating, they were not as interested in participating in our spa day activities.

TrimmingHoofsWashing and trimming was a three-man job for us!

We also got to try our hand at milking a goat, which was quite the experience! I also learned that if you are milking goats they cannot have come in contact with the male goat. Apparently the male smells so intense that it affects the flavor of the milk. Who knew!

RedThe infamous stinky man on the left, and rebel Red on the right.

After our morning chores were done it was time to relax and eat lunch. The owners Deb and Rob made us such fantastic food for every meal! The first day it was delicious pasta with fresh tomato sauce and brie, and a salad with pears, nuts, and fresh peas. And no meal was complete without some local Lake County wine.

The mid-afternoon was our downtime, where we could simply relax. We decided that instead of pool time, we would try our hand at their archery course. It was so much fun! The course is built on the back half of their land, so there was no one else out there. It was quiet and peaceful and beautiful. I have to say, I felt like a total warrior goddess badass shooting that bow and arrow, and I did better than I expected!

ArcheryLindaWarrior goddess style!!

Before dinner, it was time to feed most of the animals a second meal and round up the chickens and ducks to put them back in their pens. There are coyotes and mountain lions and bobcats in the region, so it is important that all the smaller animals are safely locked away in the evening.

HoldingChickenRounding up chickens!

We ended the day with more feasting – pizza made in the outdoor pizza oven and a caprese salad -, more amazing local wine, and star-gazing from the hot tub. I can tell you, that after a day spent outside working in the sun, I slept like a rock. There is something satisfying about dropping into bed with a tired body, which is rare in our modern world where many of us spend the majority of the day sitting in front of a computer screen.

PizzaPizza oven has been added to the vision board officially.

CapreseSaladSeriously, how good does this look?!?

I knew this stay would either intensify my dreams of owning a farm or squash them all together. I can definitely say it swung in favor of the former. A future that involves land and animals and a larger garden feels gorgeous to me. Not to mention wildly feminine. I also kept walking around thinking, “This would be the perfect space for a retreat!”

This whole summer has been an amazing time for me where I have been able to learn and grow and enjoy through EXPERIENCE. There is such magic in that and I know that will shape some of my offerings moving forward. With that, for those of you who made it this far, thank you for reading and wishing you a beautiful week!