Tara lives in New York City, so we meet at Inscape—a meditation center in Manhattan for our third session. Five minutes of meditation can profoundly alter the day’s direction.
Tara and I sit on cushions. A guide instructs us in movement, breathing and visualization exercises.
“How do you feel?” I ask Tara as the session ends.
“Amazing. Calm. Peaceful. Centered. The chatter in my brain has quieted,” she replies.
“Wonderful,” I reply. “How have you been feeling overall?”
“I’ve been struggling,” she answers. “My Facebook and Instagram feeds are filled with pictures of weddings, anniversaries and babies. I can’t but help think, ‘What’s wrong with me? I’m never going to get married.’”
“Tara, social media portrays an inaccurate picture of life. If it’s negatively impacting you, consider taking a time out.”
“I want delete my profile. But, I am afraid of how my friends will react,” she replies.
Through my business, School of Love NYC (www.schooloflovenyc.com), I teach clients to make their happiness their #1 priority. Putting their needs first isn’t “selfish,” it’s an act of self-love.
“Tara, your real friends will understand,” I reply. “If people judge you, they may not have your best interests at heart.”
“I still feel so uncomfortable,” Tara says.
“Second, a wedding is not a marriage. Focus less on the party and more on finding a partner who will do the work to sustain and grow a long-term relationship.”
“It’s important for you to notice and honor all your feelings. They will help you figure out what you need for greater happiness.”
“I have no idea what I need,” Tara replies forlornly. “I’ve been a people-pleaser my entire life. I put everyone else’s feelings ahead of mine.”
“Tara, what you’re experiencing is 100% natural. Women especially have been socialized—first in their family and then by society—to put themselves last. You’re undoing generations of social conditioning! For now, be gentle. Develop awareness. It’s time for you to step into a new era.”
1. What is the connection between feelings and thoughts?
2. Why is it important to make yourself happy?
3. Besides meditation and prayer, what other ways can you quiet your mind?