The Thirty-Minute Exercise That Helped Me Forgive and Forget

There are people in this life who make me weary.

You know who I mean — the lover who discarded me; the boss who denigrated me. Even the kids who relentlessly bullied me in grade school. For many years, there was an entire cast of characters in my psyche I thought I was done with.

Except that I wasn’t.

They still chimed in from time to time, simply as disembodied voices in my head. And why? Because again and again, I invited them in.

The truth is I longed to let them go. Fie on those bully kids and that impossible-to-please boss. And what about the toxic lover? I longed to get rid of her, too!

How I craved some much-needed space in my head. Once I had it, then all kinds of kind, lovely, nourishing things could grow in my mind instead.

So I decided to set these angry rants free.

A book I was reading at the time suggested it would be as simple as writing a letter to each person I was still resentful with. I would never send the letter, of course, but instead simply write it. And that alone would free up space in my heart.

Okay. Fair enough. At this point, it was three years after the toxic relationship, 31 years after the obnoxious boss, and 46 years after the bully kids … so why not let it all go? I’d had those negative voices in my head far too long already.

I sat down to write each person a letter and a very surprising thing happened. I began with my former lover, a person I felt had done me wrong in many ways. I really let it all hang out as I wrote.

Spiritual bypass was not allowed — I scrawled every last one of my petty, crude, pissy thoughts. I gnashed my teeth on paper. I told her exactly what I thought of her … and then half way down the page, the tone suddenly shifted.

All of the sudden a small awareness of my role in the relationship became clearer. I found myself writing, “Of course, I invited you into this dynamic by being a vacant, pliable victim … so we acted out our little drama just like actors in a play.”

Whoa. Really?

Yes, really. The fact was I was being so nakedly honest gave me no recourse but to be honest about my own responsibility, too. Did she mistreat me? Did she use me? Did she manipulate and control me?

Absolutely! And did I manipulate her right back?

I certainly did.

Every time I was silent and let my former lover abuse or control me, I fed our off-kilter dynamic. Every choice I made that didn’t serve me merely cemented the unhappy lockstep we both found ourselves stuck in.

As I continued to write my letter to her, I discovered what a great thing our break up was. It was actually a great relief when she dumped me. Now I could actually see how critical this relationship was to my personal growth.

As a direct result of that break-up, I found my way into work that helped me become humble again. I learned to live in a far healthier way and found a new, far deeper connection to God.

Out of this work, I also found the truly happy, deeply loving marriage I am now in.

Our greatest teachers often show up as irritants in the path – the rock around which we must flow. The bully kids taught me to protect my most sensitive self, and let her only be seen in ways that are safe and whole.

The obnoxious boss taught me how low my standards were, and how to aim higher with the next job I got – and then the next, and the next after that.

Again and again, life conspires to bring the very best teachers our way, whether we like them or not. I say our souls demand it – for how else can we really grow?

By finally telling the truth, I owned the entire picture of what had happened. Here was my safe forum to truly express myself, and so discover the lessons buried behind the grief. Now I found I truly was ready to let go of the hurt, the pain and the anger.  

At the end of the letter, I was filled with compassion, empathy and even gratitude for this remarkable woman I had once loved. I knew that part of me would even love her for years to come, whether or not we ever spoke again.  

I had been reborn — simply because of one small, thirty-minute exercise.

If you are carrying resentment towards anyone in your life or your past, why not lay your burden down? All that you will lose is the artificial crutch of your resentment.

There is an innate joy that awaits all of us. It lives on the other side of humility, honesty and willingness.

I invite you to write a letter of your own – a letter you never send. For, if nothing else, it will be a supreme act of self care.  
As it turns out, all this letting go of resentments is part of becoming truly happy. If you’d like to find your own innate happiness, listen to our new podcast with happiness expert Andrew Matthews.

 

 

 

 

How to Get Along at Dysfunctional Family Get-Togethers (the Buddhist Version)

For many holiday seasons over the past 15 years I’ve published variations on this essay. This year, in honor of the wonderful Buddhist sangha I joined at the East Bay Meditation Center, I’ve crafted this variation.

jizosanta2-500x330Ah, family. We can’t live without them, yet sometimes we can’t really live with them, either. Especially at the holidays, when we are all just a little extra keyed up.

For every ounce of deep, family-bonded joy we feel on the holidays, there’s sure to be at least one moment when we want climb into Aunt Nanny’s coat closet and have a silent scream.

Trouble is, children are watching. Elderly people you see once a year are watching. You really do want to keep it together.

Ah, grasshopper … this is actually a teachable moment. It goes back to the original Buddhist belief that there will be suffering. Not only will there be suffering, you are entirely at choice in how you engage in it. Author and teacher Robert Thurman refers to this phenomenon as ‘changing the channel.”

Changing that channel, of course, can be damn near impossible. So this is when help must be evoked. A prayer can be handy.

Like this one, the Buddhist ‘Extended Compassion Practice’ from the Divine Abodes. It goes like this:

If I cannot be loving in this moment, may I be kind

If I cannot be kind, may I simply notice

If I cannot just notice, may I not cause harm

If I cannot not cause harm, may I cause the least amount of harm possible

May I strive to not exile anyone from my heart

I particularly love that last point. Because I really hate it when I exile someone from my heart. It feels just awful … and like all of us, I do exactly that from time to time.

When my mother was still alive, there was always one moment every holiday when she’d be a complete outcast as far as my heart is concerned. I’d be filled with my hurt feelings, or my righteous indignation, or my screaming anxiety that at any moment she might blow up.

It really didn’t matter what happened, or what kind of story I told myself, the pattern was always the same. Show up at home, be genuinely delighted, and fairly delightful as well. But by Day 3, things had shifted. You just knew the fur was going to fly once the drinks got flowing.

Back then the last thing on my mind was whether or not I exiled anyone from my heart. Instead, I was full of my hurt and angry inner monologue, my carefully written story of injustice.

And yet, here – exactly here – is where I needed to be careful. This is exactly where I actually could have asked for help, and so been able to keep my cool.

I could have taken myself away at the appropriate moment, closed the door and meditated for a while.

I could have pulled out a piece of paper and done a little remedial journaling.

I could have asked God for help as I repeated a prayer like the one above again and again.

And most of all, I would have known that exiling anyone from my heart hurts me most of all.

But, of course, I didn’t have access to such good wisdom back in those days. What I had was a pattern of dysfunctional family drama in which I played a key role. Today, however, it’s a different story.

Now I know what to do when I feel myself getting anxious. I take myself away, and figure out what’s causing me upset. I allow myself to have whatever dark feelings I’m having away alone, in a nice safe place. And I give myself some space to have those feelings.

Then I remember that we’re all full of awkwardness, upsets, and the swirl of emotions. And most of the time, we truly do regret our hasty, unskilled remarks. The fact is, we’re all in this leaky lifeboat together, and so we must learn to row it together.

If we can live in a place of self-compassion, and general compassion to all around us, that rowing is going to happen a whole lot more easily. But, of course, that’s what this holiday season is really all about, isn’t it?

When I keep mulling over my feelings, and basting in the juices of righteous indignation, I do nothing more than dull my heart. That helps no one, least of all me.

A companion prayer to the one above puts it this way:

May I strive to not cause myself suffering

May I strive to keep my heart open to the suffering of the world

May I learn to decrease suffering in my own life

May I learn to decrease the suffering of others

This holiday season,  if you are fortunate enough to be with family, may you honor yourself and them as the profound teachers that they are. And may you give them — and yourself — a great big break and a whole lot of love.

Most of all, here’s to your own fragile heart, my friend. May you tend it well.

Happy Holidays.

 

 

How to Stop Living in the Land of ‘Should’

Mute swan Cygnus olor gliding across a mist covered lake at dawnOne of the big illusions about life is that somewhere out there … it’s better. Someone other than me is working harder, delighting more readers, and generally looking a lot hotter.

And so, presumably, they are on track to be the so-called winner. Maybe they even get to take home a big stuffed bear.

A part of our brain often gets fixated on how our lives should be … as opposed to how perfectly satisfying and wonderful they are right here and right now.

My friend Jon calls this sad habit ‘shoulding on yourself’.

As in ‘I should be working 50 hours weeks building my empire,’ or ‘I should have a massive list by now’. And let’s not forget that perennial favorite, ‘I should be ten pounds thinner.’

If you’re like me, you slip into shoulding without even thinking about it. I notice I get particularly should-y when thinking about my work, no matter how much I’ve accomplished. And no matter what’s going on in my life.

For instance, in five days, I’m getting married. These are the days of wine and roses, right? Yet my mind has been squarely parked on how much work I could cram in before the guests start arriving … purely out of should-i-ness.

Have I been getting all that  work done? Not really. I’m too distracted! I want to take a champagne bath, and try on my wedding ring fifteen more times. I want to call all the family and friends who are showing up for the big day.

I want to hold my love and look dreamily in her eyes. I want to lie around and think about this big, gorgeous step I’m taking, savoring every minute of these pre-wedding days.

Which I would do … except for that old taskmaster, Should, in my head. Silently, she taps her stick against her hand and regards me with dismay.

Here’s the supreme irony of it all. We don’t actually get that much done when we are being ‘shouldy’. We’re much more likely to really rock the results when we let go completely and honor what’s happening here and now.

Jon, who is a very wise soul, reminds me that even a state of inertia can be God’s will for us. After all, God’s not standing around, impatiently waiting for results.

Instead, God, or the Universe, or Spirit (or whomever you recognize that great guiding Force to be), invites us all to let go and slide into the slipstream of love. Here we flow from one task to the next, effortlessly.

Here we let go and surrender and find our way to whatever would feel right next. So instead of a ‘To Do’ list we keep a ‘Why Not?’ list.

Why not take a walk and watch the clouds for as long as you want? Maybe inspiration will descend. And maybe it won’t …

Why not call someone you love and tell them so for no good reason. Then perhaps your heart will expand just a little more greatly. Or someone else’s will.

Or why not take a chance and submit a story to that hot media outlet you’ve been craving because suddenly … it just feels right?

That’s flow, baby. I highly recommend inviting it into your life.

When we get ball-and-chained to our To Do lists, there is no room to breathe and we forget the very core of our aliveness. This is how we get so very, very tired. We can’t keep up, and the strategies we’ve invested our time, our money, and our belief in begin to crumble.

This is when the ‘shoulds’ begin in earnest. And rightly so because (gasp!) we are behind. And we know in our hearts we will never catch up.

This is how we wind up soundly parked in self-doubt. Which is exactly where I was when I spoke to my friend Jon. I needed to hear him say that that there is no ‘there’ there. There really is nothing to push towards.

There is only the here and now, one beautiful day at a time.

May you join me in embracing what is true right now, for all of its warts, bumps and obvious gaps. This, too, is God’s will … just as you are.

You have been given a sacred job of simply being, my friend. So the question remains: is that good enough for you?

Me? I say yes!

Why not you, too?

How to Finally Decide You Are Enough … Just As You Are

f5529885d921ca3510d8e8d81e578fd8The image was frightening. Hannibal Lector’s face, complete with face mask, peered out from inside a small cage. The metal bars covering his mouth glinted in the sun.

No, this wasn’t Silence of the Lambs 2. It was my dream, and it annoyed the hell out of me.

 

Because for me, the message was clear:

Stop locking yourself in a cage of your own making, refusing to be heard.

The previous day I’d been in a slump, damning myself for not being more productive, more inspired, more ‘fire in the belly’.

Now in my fifth year of grief after the death of my daughter, now at the ripe old age of 57, I should be all better. Or so argues my mind.

I should be just like I was before her death — even though I am now a significantly different, older person. And even though my life has been profoundly changed.

Somehow it feels like my current level of productivity is not enough.

Enter Hannibal Lector.

When you suffer a shocking loss, you grow and evolve differently as a result. You can’t help but be changed by it, and perhaps that is the point. For what is life but a non-stop series of tumbles, splats, triumphs and recoveries?

This is how we learn.

Furthermore, we are designed to take big hits, so if we choose we can rise up again. Still we won’t ever be the way we once were. Nor should we be. We will be altered forever by our misfortune, and hopefully become wiser as a result.

For me, I am definitely humbler. I don’t need to wave flags and get all eyes in the room on me anymore. And my spirituality has grown deeper and far more connected. Part of me no longer cares about my prospects for success, either.

Yet at the same time I often feel like I just don’t quite measure up.

My mind wonders … is this softer, gentler me who lacks ambition really okay?

Is it alright, after years of grief, to not need to burn the world up anymore? My needs are met. I have everything I could possibly ask for.

So is this life I’m living actually enough, right here and right now?

Even in this driven world of striving and ambition?

At such times I always come back to an important set point. There are only two things that matter to me now. Self care, which includes the deep love I share with my partner, and my call to become a better person and share that path, step by step, with my readers.

But when I’m locked in my cage of self-doubt, I forget all of that. Then nothing I’ve done seems significant at all.

The Buddhists say I’m at choice here. I can give in to the voice of dukkha, or ‘unsatisfactoriness’, in my head and really milk it for all it’s worth. Or I can just observe it, acknowledge it and let it go.

It’s sort of like turning off the Trump-Clinton presidential debates, and deciding I don’t need all that negativity in my head.

So I am cultivating a practice of letting my feelings of weakness simply be. Because that’s all they are — just feelings and nothing more.

They are not a pronouncement about my worth in the world. They aren’t predictors of my future. And they certainly aren’t reliable signposts.

For this, too, will change. Today I might feel weak and indecisive. But tomorrow, I could get a whole new outlook on life. We are always in flux and that is an exciting thing. We never really know what could happen next.

What’s important today is to forgive myself for not being as ‘on’ as I once was. I need to give myself a compassionate pat on the back, and allow myself to do what I can comfortably do … expecting nothing more.

Then, magically, I am enough and the cage door swings slowly open. So I emerge once again, ready, willing and able to help.

Ironic, isn’t it?

But then isn’t this the sweet process of life as it unfolds, one day at a time, ever pushing us forth to become better, humbler, kinder … the embodiment of love.

 

 

How to Deal With Bad Reviews

anxious_woman

One of the things that happens when you publish a book is that you get reviews. Some of them are really positive. And others? Well … they’re terrible.

People misinterpret you. You misinterpret what they misinterpret. Then you lie awake at night, annoyed. Troubled. Scared.

You think … what if my book doesn’t sell?

As the great Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says, all conflict is a result of misunderstanding.

This is so true! When we hate the feedback we get, we think people have it in for us. Whether we’re artists in the public spotlight or employees showing up for a performance review, we forget something critical.

It’s nothing personal.

It’s the reviewer’s right to express an honest opinion. In fact, it’s their obligation.

After a lifetime of fleeing criticism, I finally get this. And I’m so relieved! When I was younger, I fought the specter of doing things imperfectly. I had to be brilliant at everything – or so my twenty-something brain thought.

When I published my first novel at 29, I was terrified to read my reviews. I told my editor to withhold them (yes, this was before the Internet.) I was convinced that one bad review would shut me down forever. I stuck my head in the sand and would not come out.

Twenty years later, I performed a one woman show on the Fringe Festival circuit. By now, at age 50, I figured I could take it … so I read my reviews. They loved me in Miami! They even appreciated me in Washington, D.C.

Then I got to Vancouver.

Here the reviewer tartly compared me to William Hung from American Idol, and went on to describe it as ‘painfully awkward’, ‘clued out’, ‘stale’. The list of negatives goes on and on.

As one of my fellow actors put it, ‘That review was so bad it doesn’t count.” The show flubbed in Vancouver … and so it goes.

Did it hurt? Yes.

Does it matter? No.

This experience taught me that a) my show wasn’t for everyone … and it probably needed more work and b) bad reviews won’t kill you.

Again, a review is one person’s opinion. And yes, if fifteen people say something needs work, then it probably does. That’s when reviews are truly useful.

But should we use reviews to define our worth or chart the path of our destiny?

That’s a really bad idea.

Recently I looked up the reviews for my first novel … the ones I refused to read back in 1990. Yes, some of the reviews were negative in very specific ways. And yes, their points were well taken.

But another review compared me to a ‘budding Nora Ephron’. That was a compliment I could have used back when I was young and terrified.

It was also proof that there’s no accounting for tastes.

Ultimately, there will always be people who love our work … just as there will always be people who don’t. Back when I published my first self help book, How Much Joy Can You Stand?, I literally got hate mail for writing a book about happiness.

So we all stumble through life with our corrective lenses on, trying to find our way. And we bash into each other, sometimes unapologetically.

This is life.

If we wish to express ourselves out in the maelstrom, we must expect whatever comes to come. And know, at the very same time, we are safe, we are whole and we are doing the best we can.

Then no review, good or bad, will make much of a difference at all.

(If you’d like to learn more about my books in print, please click here.)

Tapping Into the Joy of Life — A Word From Teal

Photo: Britt Nielsen

Photo: Britt Nielsen

This is the week each year when I celebrate, and grieve, the loss of my daughter, Teal. Four years ago she died from a medically unexplainable cardiac arrest … and since then she’s been anything but quiet.

So my entire perspective about both life and death have shifted radically. I no longer fear other people, or face the world with my tough-girl game face of intimidation. Instead, I’m far more interested in fun.

No longer must I know how everything will come out, or ‘work hard’ to micromanage and coerce results.Turns out I don’t have to grip and hold on to be safe.

Instead I’m learning to tap into the gorgeous flow that surrounds us, and ride the undulating waves of life with unexpected ease. And to accept what comes as necessary and important.

So I just surf – and when I fall off, and get sidetracked into some unpleasant emotional experience, I do my best to shake myself off, get back on the board and … ride! It’s a practice. And that’s the other thing — I don’t have to do it perfectly.

And so life has become fun again. Even death isn’t a particularly big deal any more.

When the worst thing that can possibly happen comes to pass, you discover an unexpected sweetness on the other side of that crisis. A transformation comes that makes your entire life far better.

If you allow it.

This morning I felt Teal around me, speaking into that small, still space between sleep and waking. It’s the very same space we heard a lecture about only a few hours before her collapse … the ethereal passageway that shamans travel in between the afterlife and our world.

And so I received a message from her that I am meant to share with you here.

Do not judge death with the same limited mind that barely learns or understands the potential in life.

You feel that potential sometimes in life’s magic – the touch of a lover’s hand, the triumph of a long-cherished dream. Or in the laughter of a child.

But you are afraid of that power and so you hang back.

Do not hang back. Instead, become quieter and quieter until you are fully suffused with the power and majesty of God who lives inside of you.

Then let go. Do what you want. Allow yourself to truly feel your own deep, soaring magnificence.

The full, God-given gift of life is available to those who do not fear death. For loss is only temporary, a fleeting stab of pain.

Namaste!

How I Finally Learned to Open My Heart

Some yestrawberry heartars ago a psychic in Key West, FL told me something I’m only just now beginning to understand.

As I sat there in front of her, in a darkened room all full of incense, she intoned: “You’ll have the success you want, Suzanne… but only when you open your heart.”

I wasn’t sure what this meant, exactly, but I did what any good self-help devotee would do. I set out to crack the code on what ‘opening your heart’ meant.

My first stop was the aromatherapy store, where I spent a good hour sniffing this and that until I’d whipped up my own little brew designed to split open a congested heart chakra. (Mind you, I had no idea what I was doing, but this did seem like the place to start.)

Then I headed over to my friend, Mary, the Oriental Medicine Woman. Mary listened to me quite seriously when I requested she set lots of needles that would open my heart. After the third treatment, she gingerly asked how it was going.

“I don’t know,” I replied.

“Well, what would ‘opening your heart’ be like?” she asked.

Again, I could not answer. Meanwhile, a nightly application of my heart chakra oil was giving me nothing but a greasy, rose-scented chest. Ultimately, I forgot about opening my heart as the whirlwind of life sucked me on toward the next endeavor.

Then one night I sat up in bed, suddenly aware of exactly what opening my heart really means. At the time it meant working extremely hard on my passion, and investing time, money, and energy in getting it out there. And it meant facing down fear, and being uncomfortable, and having the courage to truly share myself with others.

I thought I knew this already from leading my first workshop. During the weeks that I created it, I was racked with doubt; I had to keep making one uncomfortable phone call after another. Yet, when that first day was over, we all seemed to be floating a few feet above the ground.

For the first time I saw how I had really moved people. The feeling was one of deep, intimate connection with others. It was profound and unforgettable.

Now, decades later, ‘opening your heart’ has come to mean something else, yet again.

In the first few years after losing my daughter, it meant having the courage not to work incessantly, but instead to become to very still and focus on feeling. To let my own grief well up inside until it found its way out into the broad daylight. And to let myself have the luxury of many a good, long cry.

Then as my grief receded and I returned to the swing of life, I found opening my heart meant tuning in to the people around me. So I learned not do to my work not for the sake of success and ambition … but for the sake of love.

In this way I have found my way back to empathy, and true forgiveness – a deep, deep place of surrender, humility and grace. Over the last few years I learned, for instance, to really forgive my mother. To finally let that poor woman, as flawed as she was, off the hook.

I have also learned to cut myself a break as well. No longer do I have to do everything perfectly. Nor must I intimidate or impress people with my toughness, and my professional valor. I don’t even need to run from every person I fear or even disagree with.

Instead, these days I can be soft and gentle. I can listen to others, and I can comfort myself. I can tune into my needs and make requests. When I do this … it turns out the world is a pretty wonderful place.

In forgiving the world, I have learned to forgive myself, as well. And so I dissolve into love.

This is the love that waits, like a pool in our heart, for us to come swim in its bliss. And it is nothing more than our own shimmering, endless sea of bounty.

You have it and I have it.

Turns out this is the gold that awaits when we open our heart.

Go within to find your own place of letting go. What or who holds you fast in resentment, anger, chaos or confusion? What is the decision you made that you cannot forgive yourself for?

What is the loss you cannot face? What is the choice that will set you free?

Perhaps not today, but soon, you will find yourself releasing the bonds that hold you fast so you, too, may swim in the sea of bliss.

The water’s fine … I encourage you to dive in!

 

How I Learned to Relax and Stop Being a Perfectionist

nervous_0This just in: we are imperfect, every last one of us. Always and forever. And here’s the great news … within that imperfection actually lies our perfection. If this sounds like a koan or a word puzzle, it’s not. It’s just a bit of gristle the Universe has given us to work on.

I say this as a recovering perfectionist. And you may have to find your way through this truth to truly get it.

Over the last few years, I’ve seen how raggedly I’ve run myself throughout my life. All, of course, in the pursuit of that invisible ghost: perfection.

But when upheaval happens, suddenly you are forced to stop and let go, and then the truth dawns. There is no book of standards you must live up to. And the only person waving that whip is … you. It wasn’t until my daughter suddenly died that I stopped trying to be a heroic superwoman. Because frankly, there didn’t seem to be much point.

That was four years ago. Now I have a different perspective. I’m back to producing my writings and other creative work, and I have decided to give myself all the time in the world — and all the permission in the world to do so.

Now I can mess up, make mistakes and not get things right. Then I can ask for help, get feedback, course correct and improve. And I can do this again and again and again.

Recently I experienced this around a book I just finished writing. I asked my partner to read the first draft, knowing her analytical mind would pick up all kinds of loose ends in my complex plot.

She came up with a long list of fixes, all of which were feasible. After the list was delivered, what I felt was pure gratitude and some relief. I knew there were missing pieces but I wasn’t sure what they were. Hallelujah!

Hours later it suddenly occurred to me that my inner perfectionist hadn’t even flinched. The first draft wasn’t a glowing model of perfection — it needed work. And beautifully … that was okay! Bottom line is that the book will now be vastly improved, and so this is actually very good news.

In the old days, my perfectionist would have been appalled. It needed me to be impressive at everything I did the minute I did it. Lord, was that tedious! It was an ancient mindset locked in place when I was a child, by an encouraging father who frequently told me I’d be a star someday. So I was left with the massively huge job of delivering on that promise.

No one ever said to me, “Go ahead and be mediocre, honey. That’s just fine.” I was expected to be a star, and it was up to me to figure out how to do it.

When a therapist first delivered this news to me, I was appalled. My own father set me up for perfection-mania? I loved my dear dad, and couldn’t imagine that he meant any harm. Which, of course, he didn’t. But this is how perfectionists are born.

Somehow, somewhere in our pasts, our little survivor selves believe we must overachieve to get our basic needs met. Perhaps you know what I’m talking about.

Today I keep the following promises with myself:

  1. Good enough is just fine with me.
  2. Mistakes ultimately make things better.
  3. Ask for help the minute you need it.
  4. There’s all the time in the world to get things done.
  5. Creating is a process … so go with the flow.

I also make a practice of stopping and breathing. I allow things to unfold, and I dive into the mystery of what will happen next.

Most of all, I keep in mind that if I don’t get things perfect the first time, the sky will not fall. In fact, I know I will be just fine — as I have been through every step of the last four years.

Perfection is nothing more than the cry of a frightened soul trying to get our attention. When we stop to listen to it, and we reassure ourselves that we’re going to be okay, then we grow.

For it is our compassion towards ourselves that really unlocks our brilliance, one sweet, vulnerable step at a time.

All we have to do is be willing to see the truth.