You might have seen at some point Instagram posts about creating community over competition. That idea has been stewing in my mind for about a year. I’ve been trying to dive deeper on that topic, and interestingly enough I’ve had situations come up that challenge how I view this. First off let me start by saying I find this topic to be 1) super important because Shanti Collective wouldn’t be here today if I didn’t have the support of the Victoria community as a whole 2) to be something not everyone seems to find as important as I do. Lastly 3) to be a little misleading as I actually think competition is good in a small way… let me explain.
6 years ago I started like anyone new to a craft, by looking to others who were exceeding in their field. I followed people and accounts who inspired me. That sparked a bit of competition which pushed me to make something unique and that would inspire people too. I feel like we sometimes look down on the idea of competition, I do believe it can be helpful. It’s something that has propelled our society to evolve and to grow. It’s important to take the fire of competition as inspiration and to know that when we compete with someone there doesn’t always have to be a winner or a loser. We can complete to push ourselves to do better, while also not to intertwining competition and greed.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed certain competitors block me on social media or start unnecessary drama. None of these things sit very well with me- naturally. Of course, there is the obvious notion of taking it personally, when someone blocks you or unfriends you, it doesn’t feel good. Especially when I see that other company as someone doing something great. I can’t begin to know what someone else is going through but I think the obvious thing that creeps in, is fear. Fear of failure, fear of someone taking something you have worked really hard to make and fear of feeling like your not doing enough, trust me I’ve been there.
I started to sit with it. Why do we get into a place of scarcity and feel the need to disassociate someone or a company- that isn’t actually hurting you or your business directly. It wasn’t until I was sitting with this idea in a meditation that it hit me.
We constantly live in this notion that there aren’t enough people to go around. We have to hoard our people because if we lose them, then we will make less money and not be successful in business. I find this exceptionally ironic when working in the yoga world because we learn about this as Aparigraha (non-possessiveness, non-grasping) which is part of the 5 yamas of the Eight-Limbed path of yoga. I know yoga has become a million dollar business so it’s also subject to the same issues that any business has… I digress.
So, what if we looked at this idea of lack differently? There are billions of people in our world - literally billions. For me, I make jewelry in hopes people find a more mindful daily practice and possibly venture into mediation. So If I look at this world, the people who have yet to find meditation and who don't know about Shanti Collective as new possible people of my collective, well then, there is abundance all around me.
We all have triggers, it’s important to notice and bring our intentions to how we react to those. My reaction to something that triggers me is to express it out loud (to those close to me). That’s how I cope with things that make me uncomfortable and it’s my way to get reassurance from others that I didn’t do anything a wrong. However, I see that as gossiping, which doesn’t actually serve me, it just allows me to justify the gossip and in turn get sucked up into the web of negative energy. I want to stop that. I want to spread love and positivity out into the world like we all talk about, so how do we do that?
Like any practice, it requires doing instead of mostly talking about it. This is my Sankalpa or resolve; I will talk less about what others are doing and do the work. What’s the work? Well, it’s meditation & visualization of course. It’s spreading the light and love that we talk about directly to the people that challenge us the most. When I feel uneasy or hurt by what is going on, I need to sit with it and visualize the opposite. What that often looks like is visualizing these people’s success, sending love, support and only good thoughts out to them. I want them to succeed just as much as I want my own business to succeed. There is so much space for us all to flourish and I believe that we all can.
Let’s all succeed and cultivate the feeling of abundance. Below I have created a little mediation to help start this shift.