Here's a practice for dealing with envy. Spend one day with one pocket of change and one empty pocket. Each time you find yourself envious of someone, put a coin in the empty pocket and ask yourself, "What is there that I am noticing in the other person that I want to find in myself?" (Because you wouldn't notice it if it weren't already in you.) If it's money, is it the freedom? The chance to play that money buys? A sense of security? Whatever it is — more play, a sense of security, free time — you can work on getting more of it in your life, no matter what the circumstances.

I can choose to spend my time envying Bill Gates, the housewife who doesn't have to work because her wealthy lawyer husband provides for all her needs, and the person down the street who just inherited a large estate from her mother, or I can begin to understand what I am really longing for in myself.

I use envy as a trigger to remember that I want to do a better job giving myself away, so that I will experience a true sense of richness, no matter what my material resources. I can't keep the green-eyed monster from rearing its ugly head from time to time, but I can use its appearance to rededicate myself to using myself fully on behalf of the world as a whole. The feeling of abundance — great fullness — that doing the work our soul is here to do is better than any old million dollars.

M. J. Ryan in Giving Thanks