You’re an athlete competing for a spot on the provincial/university/local team. You don’t see your name on the lineup and feel the pang of disappointment. Maybe you see another name of someone you thought you were more skilled then and you feel the venom of jealousy.
You’ve been working so hard in your office; showing your determination to exceed expectations and consistently showcasing your impeccable skills at your job. Suddenly you get word that your colleague, someone who maybe doesn’t work as hard as you or hasn’t been with your office as long as you, gets the promotion you have been determined to get. You feel the hit to your ego and the distaste of frustration.
You’re a new yoga teacher, fresh out of teacher training and so excited to take on the world, spreading goodness and your joy of yoga. You go to your first teach out or apply to teach at your favourite local studio and suddenly realize how many other teachers there are applying for the same classes. You are thrown into a pool of yoga competition to have the best voice, the most inspiring practice and the most unique teachings. After just being taught all about compassion, reducing ego and supporting all beings, how do you react to a world full of jealousy, competition and ego?
The first two examples happened to me many times. The success of my athletics and my career were always at the forefront of my mind. But my ego and competitive spirit fuelled my drive to be the best and due to many failures I did make the BC Provincial Volleyball Team and win Canadian Western Nationals, I did make the Acadia University Varsity Volleyball team and become a starter and rookie of the year in my first year, and I did get hired for the marketing career I desired the day after I graduated university with my BBA degree. But was I truly happy on the inside? Not at all. Because I always wanted MORE. As soon as I achieved one goal, I moved onto the next best objective, not even celebrating what I had already achieved. I continued to compete, sometimes competing so hard with my friends that I forgot to support them. I would get jealous of praise they received because I wasn’t receiving it. It was incredibly unhealthy and it left me feeling empty.
That was why when I found yoga it was so nourishing for me. It was the first environment that I had been in that didn’t encourage ego or competition; infact, it discouraged it. Yoga was truly a breath of fresh air.
So after I received my first 200hour yoga teacher training certificate and was a fresh little yogi fish in the big yoga world sea, I was surprised to see the competitive environment of yoga teachers lobbying for classes. Fortunately this time I was prepared with my tool kit of teachings and awareness and was able to recognize the environment and my nature before I succumbed to it. I applied and got classes, celebrating this achievement and feeling humbled for the opportunity. I watched as new teacher friends also got classes, some at the same studios I applied for, and this time instead of brooding with jealousy, I celebrated their success with them!! I was shocked that this even came naturally to me, that it wasn’t an effort to release my competitive nature. It was actually easier on my mind and my health to find love as my first reaction.
So while I still catch myself in life getting caught up in ego, as all humans will, I am grateful for the teachings and humility I have received through yoga and the love it has filled my emptiness with. I have moved leaps and bounds closer to daily Santosha (contentment) and I could not be happier. 🙂
My wish for humanity is that everyone may find this release of ego and competition. At the moment our world is full of jealousy, anger and hatred due to the egos of one another fuelling competition and disconnection. If we learn to support and uplift each other instead of fighting each other, we will find our world full of love and happiness. This movement starts with each of us. It starts with me, it starts with you. Please be kind and inspire a more loving and supportive world.
Namaste my friends.