In February my Teacher sent me an email saying I was not allowing to come back for one month. I was not allowed to respond to the email. I was not allowed to reach out. To meet your Teacher in this lifetime is one of the most treasured gifts. The bond is incomparable. They may feel nothing for you but you feel everything for them. Their job is to act like a hammer, chiseling away all of your insecurities, doubts, fears. It's by no means an easy process. I've left his office crying many times. I'm often so angry at him for reasons I can't even formulate and yet I have more respect for him than anyone on the planet. His approval is everything to me, which he knows, and thus he will not give it. He will challenge every insecurity of mine so I can conquer each one. While he can be hard, he has been there for me through some of the most challenging experiences in life, and helps me get through those that linger through the memories of traumas of childhood, long before we met. When I finally returned to his office, my directions were to take the trash out, clean, then go sit in the room and meditate. For two hours, I have to sit in this room. No mantra. No sound. No breath work. Just sit. I cried for two hours. I came out of the room red faced and puffy. "How was it?" He asked with a smirk. "Can't you tell I cried the whole time?" And for the first time in six years he gave me a high five. I learned how much we run away from ourselves. I learned it not in the way I read that in a book. I learned it by sitting with myself for two hours on that first day back and seeing what all the distractions have pushed down. The phone can distract me, food an distract me, meditations can distract me, mantras can distract me. But without going in and just feeling everything and letting ourselves process the pain, we don't let it ever settle. It's just a credit card bill that never gets paid. To be able to sit with ourselves is now my understanding of the first step of healing. Everything. It takes practice but with time, we can begin to demagnetize the imprints of memories that construct who we are and create a new layer, layer by layer, of who we want to be.