I meditated for one hour a day for a week!

The title really does speak for itself, huh? If you a long time reader of this blog, or have talked to me in general, you probably know I’m a practitioner of meditation. My inability to shut up about this topic to close friends and strangers alike has probably bored not a small amount of people, but I’d risk being a bore as long as I get the words out there.

But that’s beside the point. The point is that I have been trying to practise meditation for the past few years, but never really got into it intensively. That is until I watched this amazing YouTube video from Nathaniel Drew. Besides looking like a hottie, he also does pretty interesting self-development experiments. In one of them, he records the process of one-hour-long meditation, and his thoughts about the changes it induced. 

So my little bean was like, hey, if this younger handsome guy can do it? Then why don’t I try it out? And thus, the one-hour-per-day of meditation challenge began. 

You know, this blog post is actually quite easy because I filmed, yes filmed myself doing the challenge as well as my after thoughts day after day.

an example of the many vids i’ve taken in that one week

By the end of day six, I changed my mind and scraped the whole vlogging thing out of the window, because I do not want a stranger mortal soul to see me just fresh out of bed at 5AM in the morning, sitting in a corner of my room, IN VIDEO FORM! 

But again, that’s besides the point. The point is that I’ve learned quite a lot from the meditation. Was it hard? Yes. Before this challenge, the most I meditated was 15 minutes. Throughout the week, I realized there were moments where the minute seemed to drag on and on and on. Like who knew time could be so slow? But you know what? I was fine with slow ticking. I’ve been missing the idle, slow life of childhood. Life passes by so fast these days, it was refreshing to see a slow-ticking time where I just sat there and did nothing but looked at the face of a clock! 

But what I also noticed is that no matter how shitty my mood was before the meditation, I always ALWAYS ended up happier after. I mean, I was grumpily stretching my wake-up time from 5:30AM to 5AM. It was a hard week. It was crazy to think that struggling to keep my attention on something for one hour can produce such an effect, but the reality corresponds and it did indeed made me happier. 

What I also noticed is that, there is a pattern in my meditation. The first 5-15 minutes were usually very chaotic, very mindless as I tried to be aware of all the thoughts and feelings inside. Then there is about 20-30 minutes of mindful exercises. I liked to do either the pebble meditation, breath-counting or calm-smile exercise. What is marvelous is that the last 5-15 minutes or so are pure joy! It’s like I’ve made the journey, and arrived at a place of relaxation and mindfulness. I won’t say it was 100%, but it was certainly close, something I never enjoyed. That state of mind is just light, free and joyful. No wonder why I was always smiling happily after every session. 

On day six, I had to travel to a Banteay Meanchey to join Barcamp. Good bye, privacy. Good bye, routine. Because I couldn’t find a good meditation spot in the morning at our hotel, I noticed a drop in my mood the whole day. Not a drop, but I was not as happy as I could be. I’m an old bird. When I travel, it shakes up my routine and my peace and needs at least 1-2 days for the dirt to sit back in. 

Previous days of meditation have boosted my mood and relaxation through the roof, and day-six Cheng was yearning for the same boost. So at about 2PM, I sneaked away from the team, and meditated on the bank of a lake inside the university for one hour. It was amazing! Meditating in nature is surely something else. Even one of the volunteers, Piseth, noticed my mood change immediately when I rejoined them. 

I keep asking myself, am I becoming too dependent on the practise? Without the practise, would I be a grumpy old man forever? Then I realize. It’s not that the lack of practice makes me grumpy. It’s that at any given day, my default mood is already low-grumpy, and meditation helps to elevate that to joy! And among the choices of drugs, alcohol or risking your neck for “some adventures” for some mood elevation, I have to say meditation is the most low-cost, healthiest and most efficient of all! 

Final thoughts? Unlike Nathaniel Drew, who after the experiment concluded that while it was good, it was impractical to practise it everyday, this week has shown me I MUST take the time to do so, or else I’d be a huge fucking fool! It’s like stumbling on a piece of land with treasures in it, but because you think you can find something better, you choose to you just ignore the land, and waste the rest of your life digging at other places instead. Doesn’t that sound like a fool to you? It does to me! I’ve found my treasure plot, and here, I’ll be diggin’ for the rest of my life!

*header image credit: weheartit. I have to say though that this image is quite misleading. You can meditate anywhere, on your unmade bed, on a dirty old bench in a park, or on the toilet seat of a night club because you feel a panic attack coming. You really don’t need to have fancy meditation pants, or aesthetic instagram-worthy views of nature to do so! I just chose this image because the colors are prettyyyyyy~~~~

My Mindful Week- Day 7: Dealing with Materialism

It’s a lazy Sunday evening and you’ve just finished a great movie with your friends. You intend to go home but something sparkling caught your attention from the shop window on your left. You turned around and there it was, lying so gracefully, a wristwatch you’ve been drooling all over ever since it was out.

Why are we so attracted to things, especially if they are expensive? It’s one thing to want to own something because it’s practical, but it’s another thing altogether to hoard 2 closets full of brand clothes that you don’t even have the occasion to wear.

Why are you slaving your days away just to get yet another new iPhone just for internet and calling like your last iPhone?

Why should you spend 8 hours a day sitting in front of a computer like a zombie just to afford a brand new hybrid car in 8 years?

The thing is that we chase these things because we think they might give us happiness. While I do agree material comfort does give us happiness to a certain level (I mean, you can’t be exactly happy without food in your mouth and a roof over your head), but materialism is just way too much.

You know in the deepest crevices of your brain that it’s not the right thing to spend 2,000 bucks on a bike, but your heart gives a flutter when you see it.  When there’s a conflict between the mind and heart, that’s when mindfulness comes into play. Here’s how I’ve learned to deal with the urge to splash my paycheck for things I don’t even need using mindfulness:

  • Spend some time just sit and breathe.
  • While breathing, think of how everything is subjected to impermanence and change. Your house might be blown away by a hurricane or bombed to dust in an air strike. Your beloved car might just be stolen tomorrow, and your clothes may all be consumed by a house fire. If these things are very unlikely, just think about once you’re dead, they are not yours anymore.
  • While meditating on the changing nature of ownership, continue to keep tap of your breathing. It is essential to not lose sight of yourself among all these imaginings. If you’ve strayed, don’t blame yourself. Gently nudge your attention back to breathing and imagining.
  • Realize that the only thing that you will always own in your life is your body, and subsequently your mind. That’s it. You don’t need a lot to be happy. Having many things actually generate more anxieties as you fret over ways you might lost them in the future. You just need to be a friend to yourself to be happier. Materialism is all about showing your worth and status to other people.
    Why so?
    You want validation from them.
    You want them to think you’re worthy. In a previous post, social validation has been promptly dealt with, so I will just tell you what I’ve learned here. It’s this: when you seek validation from people, you’re handing a key to them while locking yourself up in a cage. When you stop seeking acceptance from them, and be content with what you have? That’s when you break the cage and boy is it a sweet feeling.
  • Look back into all the stuff that you own. Which ones do you really need and which ones you wanted just to appear in a better light in the eyes of others? Maybe it’s about time to get rid of them.
  • Every time you are about to buy something, ask yourself the same thing. Do you really need it to fulfill your basic needs, or are you doing it to get accepted?

Well, that’s about it. I’m proud of you for making it this far! Again, you are going to struggle being mindful and it’s natural to feel frustrated (and yell about at yourself for being such a loser, or was it just me?), but please, realize that mindfulness is a life change! Be patient with yourself. When you’ve strayed, just gently come back. My posts will always be here for you.

My Mindful Week- Day 6: Listening in Relationships

I’m not sure about the past (since I was not around to witness it), but many people today listen just so they can retort. If they are not subtle about their self-centered tendencies, they would just reply back with most of the times irrelevant information about themselves.

  • “Hey, so my dog just died.”
  • “Oh? My pet lizard died ten years ago and till this day, I’m still hurt. I actually had her skin preserved. Do you want to see the pictures? I can even bring her the next time we meet.”

Maybe not this exaggerated, but you know the drill.

Even the most selfless among us have the habit of listening to give advice, console or comfort.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that, but some situations require not a wise pair of lips, but an understanding pair of ears. I’m sure you have had this experience, the feeling of a burden being practically moved from your chest just by ranting to another person even if that person did not give you any advice.

We all know the old adage of how communication is the key to relationships, but listening is the key to communication. Mindful listening aims to extend our non-judgmental listening of our own thoughts and feelings, to another living being.

The goal is to just listen, not to reply, to correct, or to give advice, but just simply listen. It’s extremely handy especially when one or both ends of the conversation happen to be emotionally charged. Rational approach of the situation can come later, but currently emotionally aggravated cases call for compassionate ears (pun intended).

Here is how to inject a bit of mindfulness into your conversations:

  1. Breathe in and out. This is the most important part. Keep tap of breathing even and especially when you are listening.
  2. Maintain a half-smile will help too (especially when the other party is sorta mad at us).
  3. Listen to the other person. Don’t try to come up with a reply. Just simply listen and imagine the things they are describing.
  4. Keep tap of your breathing the whole way through.
  5. Viola, you’re done.

I know it sounds very simple, but it works like magic. I remember being very mad at my students who decided to plagiarize in my writing class when the only rule I enforced was to not cheat their souls in writing. When I found out, I felt incredibly affronted as if they deliberately intended to hurt me! Thankfully, I could not express my anger right away because classes wouldn’t start until that evening which gave me half a day to cool down, so I decided to take a mindfulness approach in questioning them instead of ugly sobbing and yelling about artist integrity.

During the whole conversation, I kept my feelings to myself and sought to solely listen to their sides of the story. One was too stressed with exams; the other with homework. Just sitting there, listening to their stories have curiously made me happier. I can still recall the feeling; it was like having a flower bloom in your heart; you just feel so much compassion for the people in front of you, you know (God knows I’ve had enough stress with exams and homework too). Before the conversation, I only expected mindful listening to prevent me from lashing out; by the end of the talk, I was not only calm, but even a little happy.

It’s such a curious turn of events, and if you don’t buy it, try it out for yourself! In your next conversation, pretend to have lost your voice for a change and listen for the sake of listening only. You might just end up with an expected golden rose in your chest!

My Mindful Week- Day 5: Dealing with Anxiety

Most of the times, if our heads aren’t full of past regrets and embarrassment then it’s filled with anxiety for the future.
What if it rains when I’m out (even if it’s summer and there’s not a lick of cloud visible for miles in the sky)?
What if I can’t find a job upon graduation and will have to resort to be a solo goat farmer in the rural southeastern part of the country?
What if my significant other cheats and breaks my heart in two months?
What if I fail this semester? (legit fear though)
What if, what if, what if?

We like to think that we’re being rational and preparing the best for the future, but think about it. Have you ever been able to be a hundred percent prepared for the future?

*cricket sounds*

I thought so.
It’s very unlikely you are going to be able to foresee the future and its surrounding situation and make plans to perfectly resolve those issues successfully.
Apart from these general life anxieties, we are also anxious about our death and ill-health from time to time. While of course, thinking and planning for the future is obviously a good thing, if you just spend your time unproductively wallowing in the negative emotions such as fear and anxiety that your predictions generate, then you might need to change because those doomsdays? They are not happening right at this moment.
Since right here right now is the only reality, your fear and anxiety in the projected future are just that, a projection. Why waste perfectly good minutes of a real life over some fantasy apocalypse in the future that might not even happen? What will your life be if you spend every single minute of it worrying about the next minute? Probably not a lot, I dare say.

While the silliness of being anxious of the future is easily grasped by the head, it’s harder for us to feel and realize it in our hearts of hearts. It took me years to finally curb my worries a little and I’m pretty sure this is far from the last level of not-giving-a-shit, but I hope these methods of mindfulness will help you lessen your fear for the future, too:

  1. Think of yourself as a team, made up of millions of selves, each one designed to deal with just one second of your life as a whole. If the issue is not happening right in this second, then it’s not your present-self’s business to fret over it. Just take care of the moment handed to you. If and when the issue is going to happen, your future selves will deal with it. Have faith in your future self. I mean, your past selves have survived 100% of their conquest; you are surviving right now; and you will survive in the future.
  2. As always, when anxiety comes up, please do not judge yourself. Just acknowledge to yourself, “I am feeling anxious right now.” Remember that you are not your feelings. You are your actions. When you are aware of your feelings as they bubble up, you have a greater power in choosing to act on them or not.
    When negative feelings come up, just acknowledge them and let them pass. You’re a sky and negative emotions are just clouds passing by. Some days, the clouds are so thick and numerous that you think you might never see the blue sky again, but it’s still there, underneath all the clouds, you’re still there.
  3. When dealing with the fear of ill-health or death, it’s best to just accept the reality. No matter how scared you are of them, they will come; oh, they will come. Spend some time just breathing in and out and imagine your body slowly becoming weaker. Your knees can no longer support your fragile frame and they buckle under the weight of your own waste. One day, your arms will not be strong as they are now, and you will also have difficulty recalling your pet’s names. And then, all the lights will go out and you will cease to exist in this world, at least not as the you right now. It’s best to just get comfortable with the image of your body, dead cold, laying beneath the earth, rotting for eternity because that’s definitely going to happen (unless you, like me, have plans to get your cremated ash launched into space. No? Just me?). Running away from it will only generate more fear. You have to accept it’s a given reality and instead of fretting that it will come (which it will), focus on making everyday of your life counts because it’s counting, oh, it’s counting. After you die, only the effects you have on the world remains: how soft you loved the people and things around you, and how gently you treaded the earth. Your physical body will be gone, but you can make sure you have a positive impact on the world long after you’re dead by being kind, and doing stuff that matters. It’s comforting (to me, at least), to realize that in the long run, nothing that I’m doing will matter except for how much I’ve loved. It helps to practice saying Thich Nhat Hanh’s mantras about death while breathing in and out to accept the reality of death:
    1. Breathing in, say “I am of the nature to grow old.” Breathing out, repeat, “I cannot escape growing old.”
    2. Breathing in, say, “I am of the nature to have ill health.” Breathing out, “I cannot escape ill health.”
    3. Breathing in, say, “I am of the nature of die.” Breathing out, “I cannot escape death.”
    4. Breathing in, repeat, “All that is dear to me, and everyone I love, are of the nature to change.” Breathing out, “There is no way to escape being separated from them.”
    5. Breathing in, say, “I inherit the results of my acts of body, speech and mind.” Breathing out, say, “My actions are my continuation.”

These mantras sound extremely simple, I know, but once you let it sip into your subconscious and really know them, you can let go of pretty much any fear that you can think of.


My Mindful Week- Day 4: Dealing with Technology Overload

Ping! “You’ve got a message from Dalin.”

Ping! “Ik_39483 just liked your Instagram post.”

Ping! “A: hey, I have something to talk to you.”
Ping! “Your boss just sent you yet another email.”


Living in this world of constant notifications, one can feel very overwhelmed from time to time. It seems as if these apps are always watching your every move, tempting you to record your moments and share them to the world. You don’t have enough time to simply just “be”- just sit and enjoy your sunbathing, or just have a nice chat with friends without having the urge to post a selfie with them with the hashtag #frienshipgoal.

Not only that, sometimes you feel like you don’t have enough time to be with yourself. It seems like there are hundred of urgent issues waiting for you to act and God forbid something very bad might happen during that 10 minutes you don’t check your newsfeed!

This technology is supposed to make you stay connected, but you feel further and further apart from yourself. There’s just simply no time to reflect before the next email arrives.

If you feel like life is slipping by so fast on your screen and you’re just there, a passive fish in the grand river of life, I would suggest you to do these (as it worked for me):

  1. Live slower: yup. Take a deep breathe in right now and look around you. Notice the lights, and objects and even people around you. You might be in bed, cozying it up in your blankets, then just notice how the night air feels this particular day; or how the streetlight hits your glassy bedroom window. When you eat, try to really taste each morsel of the food instead of hurrying to fork it down your throat just to get it over with. You clean your dish very fast because you want to drink a cup of tea afterwards. But when you get to your cup of tea, you don’t drink it peacefully, no, you gulp it down just so you can get out of the house after. But when you’re on your motorbike, making your way among the streets, you don’t do it slowly and enjoy life. Instead, you go full speed with constant honking to get to your destination. I don’t really need to go on because this is a cycle. You are always hurrying this moment for the next moment thinking that you’ll enjoy it more. But when you arrive at that next moment, you will hurry it to get to the next next moment, thinking you will finally enjoy it more. This goes on and on and on until one day, death comes, the final of all moments and you realize you have wasted your entire life chasing death.
  2. Have a no-technology period: you can start by allotting certain times of the day to turn off all your notifications. Truth be told, most of the things you think need you urgently don’t really need you that urgently. If you can’t do the job, others can. For the sake of your own peace, turn the damn notifications off. If people could live by waiting for three months to get a notification (by the form of mails) before, then so can you! You can maybe make sure you turn off your devices by dinner time, or you can go a step further and organize a iSabbath day. On that day (maybe a Saturday or Sunday), you just turn your phone and wifi off. No internet, no device, just you and your life. You can stay at home, read a book, or lounge around, or you can grab your backpack and explore the city for the whole day, spend the afternoon in a random coffee shop where you can’t check in. OR you can go another step further and not having a smartphone altogether. I took that leap of faith and it was one of the best decisions I’ve done (read it here). It’s made my life more peaceful and less demanding, but of course, it depends on your life and what you need internet for. The bottom-line is you should have some regular off-line time for yourself and your own damn life.
  3. Go back to your island: it’s very tempting when the sun is out, you’re on your good hair day to snap a selfie and show yourself off. That’s fine, but when you constantly bombard your feed with 10 selfies a day and snapchatting every single activity you do in any given day, you might need to take a step back and ask yourself why the heck are you doing this? You know the need to share pieces of our lives on the internet is a very simple manifestation of the needs for social validation in the age of technology. (read the previous post of this series for how to deal with the need for social approval here). Breathe in and out. Imagine yourself as an island. You’re going back to your island, and honestly, the only validation you need is from yourself. I like spending an exuberant amount of time just imagining that island of self-contentment and honestly? It’s a much better way to spend time than it may seem.



My Mindful Week- Day 3: Dealing with Social Validation

You don’t want to be doing this, really, you don’t, but your finger itches and you’ve gotta snap that yummy home-made lunch of yours and post it to Instagram before it’s ruined. It’s great day, gathering up with your close mates, and you feel like you’ve gotta show everyone how great your hang out has been.

Where does this need for social validation come from? The need for others to perceive us as cool, hip, or simply good? These attempts don’t just happen in social media (although God knows it’s compounded in this platform), but it happens in our social life as well.

We fret over our outfit before going to a social event.

We spend hours putting together a cool outfit just to change our minds at the last second for fear of being judged.

Sometimes, we overshare too much of our achievements and accomplishments in a first meeting out of insecurity.

We buy that 5-thousand-dollar bike to impress our biking group members even though we’re pretty sure our old bike did just fine to our liking.

You know, the fear of being judged, the need to impress, to boast, these all stem from our need to be socially validated, to be patted on the head for conforming to a certain norm in a certain group.

And before you get all toasty and claim you’re a hipster who follows no rules, let me make it clear. It doesn’t have to be a norm that the majority follows. Whether you admit it or not, we all do this, but maybe with different groups. Even the hipsters who claim to follow no rules actually follow the rules of hipsters. (flashback to all the hipster mustache, glasses and boots).

Yup. I do it. You do it. We all do it. It’s just in our nature to want to belong to a certain group of people, and it’s useless to claim otherwise. However, it’s helpful to be aware of just which of our activities are being influenced by this need and whether we really truly want to do it or not.

Mindfulness can come in handy and here’s how I’ve used it to weed out the activities I truly enjoy and those that I do to just seem as cool:

  1. Look deep into the nature of the need for social validation. The thing is when you look deep enough into any negative emotions, it usually comes from fear. And when you zoom in enough into your fears, it all comes down to two major fears that every mortal have: a/ the fear of dying and b/ the fear of being alone. Actually, the second major fear, I think, also stems from the first major fear. When you are alone with no one to help you, your chance of surviving is likely diminished, so that’s why humans have this need to fit in, to belong to a group. As you look deep into that fear, continue to breathe in and out and just acknowledge that fear inside you.
  2. Look deep into each action and the group you’re trying to seek validation from. Don’t judge yourself for this. Just look. For example, I, myself had doubts about my enjoyment of painting. I was not sure if whether I did it to appear cool, or I was genuinely enjoying it for the sake of creating. Turns out, most of my works up to that point had been done for the sake of getting them likes on my social media, and that i only wanted validation from my social media followers.
  3. It’s very important to not judge yourself as an attention seeking whore. You have to remember being mindful is all about non-judgmental awareness. If your thoughts are caught up in judgment, don’t judge yourself for that either. Gently nudge your thoughts back to the base of your breathing and continue to acknowledge your emotions and the reasons behind.
  4. Now it’s time for action: you should at this point, find out how needing validation from certain groups (family, friends, neighbours, classmates, strangers on the internet) have driven you to commit certain actions. It’s time for you to decide if that validation is worth having, and to decide whether you want to continue that action or not. With regard to the above painting example, after finding out that I was doing it mostly for the likes, I took a break. Instagram likes were simply not worth the frustration and hair loss from all the hair-pulling of producing each piece of work and the likes would always become meaningless after a few days anyway.
    But something strange happened, after a few months of not painting, I found myself drawn back to the freshness of paint, to the softness of brushes. But this time? This time, as I pick my brush and dab it into the swirling green palette, I know I’m doing it out of pure enjoyment, out of the pure need to record my thoughts in brush strokes instead of a few hollas from internet strangers and painting has never been more liberating. I know it’s hard, especially if you grow up in Cambodia where you’re taught from day-one to seek for social validation. To be honest, I’m still in the process of weeding out the validation-motivated actions and the love-motivated ones. It’s a long and excruciating process and one worth your time because if not, whose life are you going to lead? If you want it to be yours, it makes sense to do what you really enjoy!

This is part of the My Mindful Week series. Read why it’s important here, day 1 here, and day 2 here.

My Mindful Week- Day 2: Dealing with Jealousy


It’s a Tuesday morning and you just got back from the gym. Beads of perspiration are racing one another across your forehead and you think, “eh, this is a good time to check up on my Facebook feed while letting my pumping body cool off.” So you did. And boy, was that a big mistake because instead of appreciating your own efforts in finally getting your lazy bum to the gym early on a Tuesday morning, you’re reminded of that one hot friend you have who’s training for a national marathon and just posted a picture of her track.

You envy her dedication and abs of steel.

You check out the news and found that your favorite band is doing yet another European tour and the green monster strikes yet again. Why can’t you be cool and make your band work (never mind the fact that you have zero musical training)? Why aren’t you packed and on board, on your way to a year of crazy world adventure?

Then you proceed to hear from your dear mother that a distant cousin is accepted into a master program in the United States. Like damn! Why can’t you be accepted into a master programs too even if you don’t know for sure you want to suffer two additional years for yet another paper?

The green monster becomes all the more hurtful when you really intend on getting something, yet somebody else gets it! The jealousy you feel for that straight A student in class, or the envy for your friend who finally made it big in the science field.

Rationally, you know. Oh, you know you shouldn’t feel jealous of these people who have theoretically done you no harm, yet, the monster crops up every time you are reminded of what should be.

Being mindful can help you a lot in dealing with this unwanted distracting feeling of envy:

  1. Acknowledge it: I’m serious. Most of us, with our conscience and our sensibility tend to push these uncomfortable feelings away, thinking that to feel envy means we are bad people. Well, feeling envy doesn’t make us bad people. It just makes us, well, people. Don’t push the feeling away. Turn around and take a look at that thing you call “green monster” so vehemently. Don’t judge the feeling, nor yourself. Just acknowledge that you are indeed feeling envious right now.
  2. Breathe in and out: try to look at the creature of envy and just breathe. Again, be mindful of your breathing all the way. If you stray, get carried away by what “should” be yet again, it’s alright. Accept that, and gently nudge your attention back to your breathing and your internal feelings.
  3. Look deep into your history: take a look at the series of events that led to this one single jealous moment. Say, you’re jealous of others being able to be out and proud with their sexuality while you’re here, buried neck deep in your cheap closet. Look into the events that led you here. Your parents are homophobic. You’re living in a society where homosexuality is treated as a joke, a faraway fairytale that shouldn’t exist in the real life. You are far too scared to face the consequences of being disowned and shunned if you ever come out to your family. That’s alright. Just look at the series of events that led you here.
  4. Look deep into the history of the target of your envy: after looking at what led you there, look at the person you’re jealous of. That person who’s so out and proud? They used to be scared too when they’re sixteen and realized they liked girls. But their parents were quite accepting when they came out. Try to find the reasons that take them there and I assure you it’s never 100% smooth sailing for anyone, no matter how fine they appear to be now.
  5. Understand that you have your path and they have their paths. It’s fortunate that they have received what you craved most, but that’s their lives. That’s their path. It’s unfortunate that you didn’t have it, but this is your life, your path. And these paths are what make them and you unique individuals. Also, you might think they are “successful” in this particular area, but try to look at other areas where they are struggling. It’s a universal thing, this struggling. Once you’ve accepted that you and their lives are full of suffering, just in different hells, you’ll feel more compassion towards both yourself and them.
  6. Plan your actions: I believe there can be a healthy balance between acceptance and striving, so after accepting your past histories and everything that has led you to feel this jealousy, ask yourself, do you still want that? If you’re okay with not having it, simply acknowledge that it’s not a path you’d like to choose and move on with your life. However, if you still very much want it, make schemes, create an action plan to make it a reality. Say, you want to feel secured enough to come out to your family. Well, get a job. Invest your money. Save it. And bake a gay cake as a means of coming out!

One note though: after you’ve done this, the green creature is bound to creep up on you later on, most of the times, on the same freaking issue that you’ve dealt with. Don’t get frustrated; that’s part and package of being human. You just have to repeat this same process, acknowledge, understand and plan over and over and over. It sounds tiring, but it’s so much better than seething in envy on your own or worst, hating people out of spite.