Hi Steph,

I've been wanting to write you ever since I saw your video of your experience with the Vision Quest. It was wonderful! It was so funny and so moving. It made me want to go on a Vision Quest! I watched it twice. And I am definitely interested in seeing future shows!

I've been using the practice and it's been going well, until my ex-boyfriend, who I'm friends with now accidentally hurt my feelings the other day and we had a misunderstanding. I was deeply hurt but I over-reacted. I sent him a scathing email.

Although we've talked it out and cried together and forgave eachother, I haven't forgiven myself. I've been trying to meditate about it, but I've been unsuccessful. Partly because I feel so bad about myself that I don't feel I deserve peace. I'm trying to be kind to myself, knowing that I'm very emotional lately but I feel so much shame about my actions that I can't even think. I was harsh and cruel and hurtful and I'm having a lot of trouble having anything close to equanimaty about that. It's so painful to know that I'm capable of wanting to hurt someone.

Have you ever had this experience and can you offer any suggestions because I'm feeling like I don't deserve to meditate. Thank you so much for any guidance you can offer. : )

A



Hi 'A',

It's by facing these thoughts, feelings & actions within us that we are ashamed of -- that helps us have compassion for others. It's about accepting our humanity. We all have these feelings -- and 99.99% of people simply act out on them and never even consider that a problem. You are doing deep work, and you're doing it for us all.

The reason this one has been particularly hard for you to release is probably connected to deep issues you may have (consciously or unconsciously) around that particular energy or judgment. (Which means there is a 'greater difficulty of the dive' so to speak.) Thus, don't feel you have to instantly have total equanimity with everything..... The first step is to have any mindfulness & equanimity at all -- and with that bigger weight -- you'll be purifying consciousness & seeing benefits from that in your life. Keep at it.

Ok, that's something like what my teacher would have said. On a more practical moment to moment level, I would say -- connect to your love. Connect to your love for your boyfriend and others in your life. I first learned to give myself a break, by having compassion & forgiveness for others. I would even find someone who had or did the very thing I couldn't forgive myself for -- and I'd forgive them. And that began the process of it all becoming 'lighter'. (And becoming free.)

Also, just know that I still get my buttons pushed and don't always behave in ways I'm proud of, but the most important thing is that when you notice it -- you rectify it -- which you did. After that, it's simply about the process of letting --of thoughts & feelings -- which aren't really solid anyway. Let them flow like weather.

So look at the places in your body that don't feel good with these feelings. Where your emotions are twisted in your chest or stomach or throat, and really watch & investigate those sensations. LOVE THEM. They are your guide - literally - to higher states of being. Thank God for them -- and watch any movement -- even if it's pressure -- and allow it to move however it wants. As you release the 'holding' on these feelings in the body, the mind will release it's holding on a stuck thought pattern.

It kind of sounds simple, and actually it is, it's just not what we're used to doing.
No one deserves to meditate more than you. WHenever any says they don't 'deserve' something, (or feel low-self-worth) I always show them their open heart & true beauty as best I can.
We are lovely creatures, doing the best we can, and as long as we proceed through our lives, tuning into each moment, and always respecting & appreciating ourselves & others -- we will feel more and more empowered & fulfilled -- and it will emanate from us into others and thus the planet is healed. One little step like this at a time.

Love,
Steph