Dan Furst, author of the acclaimed, Dance of the Moon: Celebrating the Sacred Cycles of the Earth (Llewellyn) tells us that this Full Moon is a complimentary balance of Earth and Water. It brings us a time of nourishment, following the Dog Days of summer. Now the harvest flourishes, and we make ceremony to renew the body of Mother Earth.
Additionally, astrologer Rhea Wolf suggests that this is a time to “Focus on building your sense of compassion, finding spiritual sustenance and direction, releasing victim-martyr conditioning in relationships and deepening your intuitive capabilities.”
Along those lines, we move from the artist’s block of perfectionism to its twin, jealousy. Why, we might ask ourselves, would we insist on being a superstar at everything we do, or else refuse to try? Fear, of course. And dovetailing with the fear of failure (or just being average) is the fear that somebody else is doing what we want to do, and maybe better than us (because we’re afraid we’re not perfect).
The common theme of both perfectionism and jealousy is comparison: comparing ourselves to some impossibly perfect standard; or comparing ourselves to some irritating Somebody Else.
Jealousy, Julia warns us, rears its ugly head when we become frustrated that somebody else is getting what should have been ours, especially if we have been too afraid to actually go for it ourselves. She writes, “Jealousy is a map. Each of our jealousy maps differs. Each of us will probably be surprised by some of the things we discover…
“I, for example, have never been eaten alive with resentment over the success of women novelists. But I took an unhealthy interest in the fortunes and misfortunes of women playwrights. I was their harshest critic, until I wrote my first play.
“With that action,” she continues, “my jealousy vanished, replaced by a feeling of camaraderie. My jealousy had actually been a mask for my fear of doing something I really wanted to do but was not yet brave enough to take action toward.”
She assures us that jealousy is based in our fear of lack – the fear that there is not enough inspiration, fame, money, work, or success to go around. The fact is, as we’ve already seen, the Universe is lush, diverse, and simply overflowing with abundance. There is room for everyone, vast stretches of space where your ideas and creations can thrive.
Once we take positive action, which is the antidote to jealousy, and we being moving towards our big dreams, we forget to compare. And then the truth will be revealed to us: that there is plentifulness for all – all voices, all stories, all creations.
Julia explains, “Jealousy produces tunnel vision. It narrows our ability to see things in perspective. It strips us of our ability to see other options. The biggest lie that jealousy tells us that we have no choice but to be jealous. Perversely, jealousy strips us of our will to act, when action holds the key to freedom.
So over the weekend, we can work with an exercise she calls The Jealousy Map.
Make three columns. In the first column, name those artists you are jealous of. Okay, maybe you don’t like to think of yourself as “jealous.” (Who does?) Well then, how about the people in your area of creative endeavors that inexplicably irritate the hell out of you. Or they give you a negative vibe. Or they’re the people that, in your opinion, don’t deserve the attention they’re getting. You know.
Next to each name, in the second column, write down what, precisely, bugs you about them. Be as specific and accurate as you can. In the third column, list one action you can take to move towards your own creative risk. This move, I guarantee you, will move you away from your negative feelings.
My sister Esmerelda…..Has her own studio…..Fix up the spare bedroom
Anne Sexton…………..Famous poet………….Publish my poems
Do you dare share some of your own envious feelings with us? I hope you will.
Meantime, may this Full Moon illuminate those dark, stuck, shadow places, bringing healing to them for you, and for me, too.