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    Dear Anita:

    Wow that sounds amazing. I love long walks by the ocean, the breeze, the salty air, it brings you back to life. I am glad you have the opportunity to do those walks. I was thinking of going to the desert one of these days. It’s always been one of my favorite sceneries… there is something about the silence in the desert, the sand, the plants, the rocks, the dry air, and the isolation, that has always made me feel at peace. It could be a nice place to do some meditation in a moment like this.

    I’ll get back to you soon!

    Enjoy your evening


    Dear Anita:

    That makes sense, and it is an effective way, I can feel it.

    I am going to take today, and maybe tomorrow, to meditate about it before we continue with the journey. I want to be mentally ready. I’ll write here when I am and thank you so much for introducing me to this method.

    And by the way, I hope you are also doing well, and that your mind is in a nice place. You are helping me and a lot of people in this community everyday, so I also wanted to ask how are you doing. Let me know, I care.

    Have a great day!


    Dear Anita:

    That is really interesting so thank you for this new point of view… I feel like I need to say that I remember she did the best she “thought” she could to make me have a nice time in kindergarten, she always waited outside… and a lot of days she let me stay at home instead of going… but sometimes I just had to go because it was normal for any kid to go to kindergarten and it just felt like the right thing to do. As an adult now, I think avoiding kindergarten completely would’ve created even a major shock between me and the outside world, especially when the first day of elementary school would’ve come. Therefore I can’t see her as an enemy that forced me to cry in pain and without listening to my cry, she was listening, but I guess she was also trying to do the right thing, or as you said, what other people might have told her the right thing was…

    With that being said, I absolutely am ready to also invest energy to consider a point of view of a mother that didn’t do the right thing… and of a mother that could’ve done better.

    What is the first step of an emotional learning journey?


    Dear Anita:

    Wow thank you for all the information. This is a lot to process but I’m doing my best… It makes sense and now I am just going over that time of my life in my head in a more focused way.

    Maybe that is also why my elementary school years were way better… because I felt like my teachers were literally “new moms” and therefore I felt in a similar and safe place at school (plus my school was literally walking distance from my house).

    My relationship with my mom has always been very “full”. She really loves me a lot and she has always protected me since I was a child… sometimes maybe too much… leaving me this sense of anxiety as soon as I would have to go outside and walk through the door.. and this connects to the SAD.

    Understanding all of this is and going over that time of my life now was unexpected, and I don’t quite know what to say… What do you think I should do now that we have gathered this new information?

    Hope you’re having a great day Anita!



    That sounds wonderful.

    Sounds good, have a nice evening and talk to you later.


    Dear Anita:

    Wow that sounds beautiful… I love forests. Are there any waterfalls around there? I find the sound of waterfalls so calming and beautiful, especially for meditation.

    I am trying to think about it, but I don’t recall having any tic, disturbed sleeping, or headaches. I remember when I was very little, I never wanted to leave my house to go to kindergarten (in Italy we go there from the age of 4 to the age of 6), and I remember crying a lot because I didn’t want to go… I didn’t like my kindergarten teachers either (or maybe I was convincing myself I didn’t like them because I didn’t want to stay), and I remember wanting my mom to wait outside the whole time, because I didn’t want to feel by myself.

    The first day of elementary school I also didn’t want to go, I was scared and I remember crying there as well… but that time I had to stay, and there was no mom outside the door. Now I have amazing memories of my elementary school years… my teachers were amazing (like mothers) and my classmates were also very good people, and we all have amazing memories about each other. My only not so good memories about it was the stuttering part… because of course sometimes some students would make fun of me… but my teachers were always ready to defend me and say the right thing… I remember vividly one time when the teacher stood up for me after a student was laughing about what I just said and how I stuttered. It was beautiful.

    These are some of the things I remember.


    Thank you Anita!!

    I had a great day. I received some beautiful balloons from my family, a few gifts from friends, had a very nice walk on the beach (with face mask and gloves) and I had some tasty tacos for dinner. It was better than what I expected!

    Back to our conversation, I have confusing memories regarding when I started stuttering. I was little, around the age of 4 or 5, and  I don’t remember much about it but one day I had an accident in our garden when I was that age. I got stung by a huge type of black bee that is common in Italy where I grew up, and my family had to rush me to the hospital immediately. I remember that they had to take out all the venom from behind my ear (where the bee had stung me) and it had to be done quickly and without anesthesia. My mom always said that that was a huge shock for me, and she remembers that I started stuttering from that moment… but I don’t remember anything about it, I have a foggy memory of a scene in the hospital, but nothing really vivid at all.

    So I don’t know if that was the cause… or maybe part of it… maybe it caused me to have severe anxiety at that age, when a young kid starts to articulate words and to speak better, and therefore this anxiety feeling started attacking my fear of speaking in public. But I’m not really sure about it… What do you think?

    Regarding the time before that moment… I wouldn’t know what to say… I was very little and I have mixed memories, I can’t visualize what age I was in these memories, if prior or after the bee accident. I remember being a happy kid though, even from pictures and videos you could tell that I was (and still am) very loved from my family.

    Hope you had an amazing day today and that this evening will bring even better vibrations.



    Dear Mike and Dear Anita:

    Thank you for your responses, they are really appreciated.

    I have read and registered in my mind everything you have said and I am going to meditate on it… Today is my birthday and I am going to spend it offline and doing other things to distract me 🙂 but I am going to come back here tomorrow to continue our conversation. Also I’d like to reiterate my gratitude for you, you gave me an amazing gift that I won’t forget… a new perspective. And help. Thank you. Talk to you very soon!

    Hope you have an amazing day.


    Dear Anita…

    I just wanted to start by sharing with you the beauty of this evening, I’m currently sitting at the table in my garden and I’m meditating on your answer. The air is so fresh and clean and it has a little summer breeze… it is the perfect temperature as well, and I just wanted to take a little bit of time to stay in this present moment and acknowledge it.

    Back to the topic of conversation, Contentment is definitely the word I was thinking of. And thank you for clarifying what happiness really represents.

    You said “the more congruent your thoughts and beliefs are with reality, the less you suffer, the more mentally healthy and content you are.” I really like this perspective and I can visualize it as the best way of living a life. But to go into detail, what is an example of congruent thought with reality? Let’s say for example my situation… I have a problem with staying in the present moment because most of the time I am worried about where to escape next, where to seek for the better next dimension, so what would be a congruent thought that I would have to start thinking of?

    I also just had a realization.

    There is something that I haven’t shared with you yet, a part of myself that has always defined me.

    It is something really private, and something that I just recently started to feel more comfortable in sharing, but that has always been buried underground in the deep caves of my mind… hidden. And I am proud of myself to have found the courage to share it, to bring it to the light..

    Since I was a little kid, I have always had issues with a speech disorder I have. Stuttering.

    I don’t remember the exact moment I started stuttering, but when I was a little kid I remember that it was a huge weight I always carried on my shoulders… I still do, but now it’s different.

    I remember being bullied by some students at school, but luckily I always had people around me who would protect me (from amazing teachers, parents and friends) But still some words penetrated my brain and took place in my memory.

    The biggest bully was myself though. Me against myself. I never liked this side of me at all, I mean, would you blame me? I wouldn’t say I had the worst case of stuttering, sometimes, on a good day you couldn’t even notice… but it is what happens inside of a person who stutters that is the real problem… the real frustration… that sense of “I can’t do it… I can’t say it” and also… that sense of… “let me find another way to say it”… “let me escape this sense of fear and humiliation”.

    That is why I’m saying realization… because… This feeling of “If I say this word I’m going to stutter so let me escape from that word and find a better and similar one” goes hand in hand with the “I was born in a small town that doesn’t represent me so I need to find another one”… don’t you think?

    Growing up you learn how to manage this disorder (unless it’s  associated with other disorders that could cause a more serious condition), you learn which words are easier for you to say… how to relax more, or to manage your anxiety. I have worked so much like a surgeon in order to meticulously find the best words to say in every situation… And I’d say I am pretty content of my achievements. Meditation and breath control are also an incredible help for a person with this disorder, since the control of your breath is a key point in order to not stutter. (and to speak better in general even for non stuttering people).

    But do you think that stuttering is also another key point, another little trauma, to add to this conversation? To escape and find better words to say to not stutter has always been more than a habit… but more like a way to survive a situation… but do you think that this sense of “escape” is really rooted in my mind more than I thought?

    Let me know what you think… And good morning, hope this day is an amazing one for you.

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by Al.

    Dear Anita,

    It brings me joy to read that and I appreciate it a lot.

    Before we dive deeper into this emotional learning journey I actually have a question for you. I am reading a lot about the Zen philosophy these days, and I am currently studying the Noble Eightfold Path in detail. I have read a lot about happiness… and how it’s something that is right here within myself and not an external feeling. That it’s a mean to get somewhere and not the final destination. And that does not depend on external accomplishments. And I understand this, my brain registered this information and my mind agrees with it. But how do I actually apply it to my everyday life? How do I feel the happiness that apparently is inside of me everyday.. Is the Noble Eightfold Path the way to do so? I read that its the path within myself to help me end the suffering, therefore is it the key to happiness? I’m trying to understand the “How”. And that would probably help to start breaking this habit of being unsatisfied.

    What do you think?


    Dear Anita:

    Yes I live in Los Angeles, and thank you for the recommendation. Tai Chi sounds really interesting, and I would love to try it (once the world returns to normal). Meanwhile I’ll start reading about it and getting informed.

    Also, I saw a beautiful post in the category “Emotional Mastery” titled “Emotional Learning Journey”, and I found some similarities in what we have discussed. Do you think I should go more in details within myself or have we already discovered 100% the root of my discomfort?

    I don’t know how to thank you enough, you are really helping me a lot in this phase I am going through and I feel like thank you is not enough. I appreciate you.


    Dear Anita:

    This rings a bell and reminds me that I have quite an addictive personality. Like the smoking cigarettes, or the habit that we just discussed, and I usually have times where I get addicted to something for a period of time until I get bored and I pass to something else (which ties perfectly to the habit to look for emotional intensity elsewhere).

    Yes I have experience in meditation (not guided) but I’m not doing it constantly, I should really work on my consistency.

    I don’t have experience with yoga or tai-chi though, and they sound really interesting. Do you recommend one of these practices specifically or a combination of all of them?

    Thank you again Anita.


    Dear Anita:

    Yes… I can definitely relate to what you said… I feel like “not being satisfied” is a parasite that has always lived inside of my body without even realizing it. And that is insane because if someone would’ve told me where I’d be now when I was a teenager I would’ve said that you’re joking, because where I am right now (living in the USA, working in the entertainment industry) is actually more than what I could’ve dreamed of… and yet… I’m here not feeling satisfied.

    I feel like there is some weird energy around this birthday as well… I’m starting to feel the unnecessary feeling of the clock ticking and its another thing that causes me dissatisfaction. But am I really worried about turning 28 or is this parasite having fun and playing tricks on my mind making me think I’m dissatisfied?

    Sometimes parts of you take over, and you can become their puppet if you don’t react, and I really want to react.

    You opened my eyes on a chapter in my life that I wasn’t even considering… I was so focused on what happened from my “Australia phase” and never really paid attention on the “Small town phase”. You gave me a great birthday gift Anita, you gave me a new perspective!

    What should I do now to dive deeper? What would be the next step to feel better? And how do we attack this parasite in my mind?

    Hope you’re having a great day, and thank you.


    Thank you for your words and your time Anita..

    You really gave me some interesting points to go over in my head today, in fact, I went out for a walk around my neighborhood this afternoon and meditated about what you just said.

    The things that come to my mind when I think about my childhood in the small town I grew up in… are…

    1) The feeling of being a fish out of water.. about everything: from the way I wanted to express my creativity, my passion for music that wasn’t shared by anybody around me, the way I wanted to dream big, the isolation due to my different sexuality (at that time around 2006 up until 2010 it was still a taboo in my town) and even the passion for the English language (English isn’t my first language) that also wasn’t shared by anybody around me. The environment was just feeling not “meant” for me… Therefore I remember spending many many days in my room all day and until late at night, in front of the computer, where the world I really wanted was easily accessible by early social media, videos and chat.

    2) The weird feeling of being connected to something I wasn’t even close to… I’ll explain this in details: I am very lucky to have a wonderful family that has always supported me in my decisions, and even financially when I needed it. But when I was a teenager I remember that I just couldn’t find my happiness in anything that was surrounding me. I would find a negative aspect anywhere I’d go because the reality that I knew was meant for me was so incredibly far that I wouldn’t even try to be happy with the little things… plus you know, when you are a teenager sometimes you tend to face things in a different and more immature way. But I always had this vision that if I moved far away, somewhere like the USA or Australia, I’d be happy. And that’s why I was connected to something that was technically so far away… My happiness belonged to a fantasy.

    3) The pressure of being in a family of hard workers. The people in my family are really strong, and they built a successful company out of nothing… they are role models and their work ethic is impeccable. But being born in a family of hard workers has always made me feel very under pressure… even now sometimes (now even more with the uncertainties that this pandemic is bringing). Being born in a family of manual workers, that use sweat and manual work in everything they do, and then me… with a more creative passion, and now in the entertainment industry… having these 2 completely different worlds so close to each other and trying to find a balance has always been a challenge… Or maybe I’m the one who thinks it is a challenge because I feel the pressure, while my family just genuinely wishes the best for me, since they never stopped me and have always supported me.

    Maybe sometimes I am just too hard on myself. I think too much. I focus on aspects and situations that don’t bring me anything that I could benefit of… just more thoughts… but I’ll tell you something Anita.. when I finally got out of that small town for the first time, when I was 19 and moved to Sydney, Australia for 7 months to study English and try my first work experience abroad, I felt something that I can’t even fully describe in words… pure soul liberation, like I was born again, but better this time. The feeling of being so far away from everything, alone on these new bright streets of this new big city, so young and full of youth and hunger for adventures and new experiences… that hunger for life is a memory that won’t ever leave my heart.

    Nothing, not even being on television or getting a Bachelor degree will ever compare to the joyful feeling of being alone on the other side of the world, so young and free… I don’t even know how my parents managed to let me do such a thing, I can’t even imagine how hard it should’ve been to see your 19 years old son fly away and not knowing where he’d be sleeping at night… but they knew how much it was important for me… they saw the tears and the sadness I grew up with, and they gave me that experience as a present, a bridge to my happiness. And I won’t ever forget that.

    Sorry if this message is a little long but I wanted to share with you this beautiful part of my life. The most beautiful up to date.

    Hope you have an amazing day, and I’m interested to know what you think.


    Dear Anita:

    Great point! Wow!

    It’s like the “small town” became an internal feeling more than something external.

    I can feel it… The constant desire to escape a situation, never compromising. But this could end up being an eternal run for some kind of Utopia. It’s like I keep running and escape small towns but maybe… what I need to do is to slowly destroy that small town I have inside of me, and build a paradise that could stay with me no matter where I am in life…

    Maybe was that small town I grew up in a sort of trauma?

    Was the feeling and the fear of being misunderstood and out of place the reason why my soul can’t just settle? Always remembering the past… or focused on a future that hasn’t even manifested yet… hardly ever living the present, because maybe there is a chapter in my past that I haven’t fully closed yet?

    What do you think Anita?

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