Welcome to our Happiness Today, Not Tomorrow fortnightly offering for people who are brave and bold and ready to take skilful action each day to break free from “the trance of busy” so that they can enjoy this one precious life.
Yes, that’s you.
You are reading this because you are ready to be more than simply busy.
This offering includes
- 1 new guided meditation (17 mins)
- 1 simple mindfulness practice (2 minute)
- 1 everyday jewel - a simple idea to transform an ordinary moment into a moment for happiness, fulfillment and wellbeing (1 minute)
These offerings act like a mini-retreat from your busy day, a way to quieten the external noise so you can see yourself and your life more clearly.
From here, you will feel inspired to take skilful and wise action towards happiness and fulfilment and away from busyness and overwhelm.
Today’s Topic - The remedy for “comparisonitis” - it’s super weird and wonderful!
If you are like most of us, I’m guessing that you spend some time each day comparing yourself, or your life, to others. Perhaps as you scroll through social media you think other people’s lives look more fun, interesting or exciting than yours.
Maybe at family events you think that your brother, sister or cousin have their lives more together than you do.
Perhaps you see other people with their happy families, meaningful careers, exotic holidays or stress free lives and you wish you had what they have.
Whichever comparison trap you fall into, it’s having a negative effect on how you see yourself and your life. When we compare ourselves and our lives to others, we are setting ourselves up for feelings of inadequacy, feelings of not being enough, or not having enough.
Over time these experiences lead to unease, dissatisfaction, anxiety and stress. These comparisons detract from what we do have and what we have already achieved. They leave us wanting more, needing more. They also take us out of the pleasure, ease, peace and joy of the present moment.
Have you heard the expression “don’t compare your inner world with the outer world of another.” This simply means that it’s unhelpful to derive your sense of self-worth and happiness from what someone else’s life looks like on this outside.
I also love the expression, everyone is normal until you get to know them. This is really just a humorous way to acknowledge that we all have struggles and challenges. Even the person who you compare yourself to, the person who in your mind has it all, even they live with uncertainty, with feelings of not being enough, of needing to achieve more. This is part of the human experience, it connects us all.
So today let’s learn how to break free from the comparison trap with a sense of connection and compassion and a deep knowing that we are all in this crazy precious life together.
Today’s meditation - Breaking Free from the comparison trap
A powerful meditation to help you break free from all the comparisons that are making you feel bad about yourself and your life. This meditation will show you how to respond more skilfully when you notice yourself “comparing”. This is a really special meditation that will leave you feeling open, relaxed, compassionate and connected, even to those people who you think “have it all”.
Today’s Mindful Moment - Getting to know your “comparison habits” and learning to turn them into moments of connection
Everytime you compare yourself to another, it is an opportunity to experience connection (as opposed to feelings of separateness)
Step One: develop an awareness about which parts of your life you suffer most from “comparisonitis”. Is it at work, at home, on social media, when out with friends, at the gym? Does it relate to money, happiness, possessions, lifestyle or success?
Step Two: next time you notice you are comparing yourself or your life to someone else, be curious. Ask yourself these questions
How does this act of comparison make me feel in my body (tense, tired, contracted, open, relaxed?)
How does it make me feel about myself and my life? (satisfied, unsatisfied, content, fully, empty, hungry).
What exactly is it about this person that I want / need / desire?
Take a few deep breaths.
Repeat this phrase in your mind a few times.
“There is enough for all of us. Right here right now I am exactly where I am meant to be.”
Notice if your body feels any different. (Hint: you may feel more relaxed, less contracted than before, shoulders might drop, tummy may soften also)
For me, I suffer from comparisonitis when I scroll through other people’s professional accounts who are in a similar profession to me. I notice that they have more followers, that they have been in the industry longer than me, maybe they have published a book. So I pause, take a deep breath and say to myself “There is enough room for all of us. Right now I am where I am meant to be”. Immediately I notice a softening within me, a sense of connection rather than competition.
Give it a try, it’s amazing how quickly it works.
Today’s ordinary jewel - From comparison to compassion - remembering that we are all in this crazy precious life together
Today’s ordinary jewel is really quite beautiful, it takes this practice to a new level. Next time you notice yourself comparing, pause, take a few deep breaths and simply wish this person well. Repeating a few times in your mind “I wish you well”. This immediately softens our body and relaxes our mind and the “I’m not good enough / I want what they have” thoughts.
You may even close your eyes and imagine their face smiling at you and you smiling back (this really works!). Here in this shared experience of a smile you notice that this person is actually human just like you. You can see in their eyes that their life is not perfect, that they also have challenges and struggles. Take a deep breath in, and notice a sense of shared connection, and a sense of compassion rather than competition.
Amazingly, these practices will calm down your nervous system, reduce stress, anxiety and really strengthen your neural pathways for presence, peace and compassion.
Try these practices, you will be amazed at how immediate the feeling of relaxation is. Write and let me know how you go. I love hearing from you.
If you have a friend who suffers from “comparisonitis” and could benefit from these practices, send them this BLOG post.
They can sign up here.
Time is precious, and I am grateful that you chose to spend this time with me.
With gratitude and warmth,