Discover more from You Think Too Much
A gentle conversation with Satya Robyn
And some questions that really made me think
This week, in a particular, well, moment, I changed the wallpaper on my phone to text that reads, “Nothing on here makes you happy.” It was one of those days.
Even as I wrote the words, I knew they weren’t 100% true. Looking at my photo albums on my phone makes me happy. Getting texts from my daughter brings me joy. And meeting people on the internet like the lovelywho writes the Substack, , makes me happy.
Satya is a psychotherapist who uses Internal Family Systems in her practice (definitely check out her posts breaking down this therapeutic approach), a writer, and a Buddhist who runs the Bright Earth Temple along with her spouse, Kaspa.
Satya’s posts are that difficult combination of honest and gentle. I think we often associate honest with ‘brutal’ or ‘painful,’ but Satay shows us it doesn’t have to be that way. I particularly love her post about her inner capitalist, who she hilariously names Eddie, and how to love even the most troublesome parts of ourselves.
In our conversation, we talk about the intersections of gender and community, role models, and the lessons that take a long time to absorb. Like many good conversations, it was a slow one. It is true that I think a lot (maybe too much), but I had to sit with Satya’s questions for a long time. They were those good kind of questions that led me in unexpected directions.
One of the things you’ll read about in our conversation are those lessons that seem to take a lifetime to learn. How to be gentle with yourself. How to set boundaries. That those boundaries are often beneficial to you as well as to the other person.
One of the lessons I’m very slowly absorbing is what it means to come home to the present moment. For years, I’ve had a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh in my head.
I have arrived, I am home
in the here, in the now
I am solid, I am free
In the ultimate I dwell.
I’ve said this poem in my head many times over the years. Sometimes when I’m walking. Sometimes when I’m doing sitting meditation. Sometimes when I’m in full freak-out just to try and calm myself down.
I certainly understand the importance of being in the present moment in Buddhist practice. That’s the here and the now part. But it was only recently that I really absorbed at a deeper level what it means to come home to the present. Like many things, it has to do with repetition. I came across the same wisdom in a book I was reading—The Good Life—a collection of all the wisdom gained through the Harvard Study of Adult Development. We always only live in the present. If it’s not our home, what the hell is?
When I pull myself back into the present, when I’m able to, I’m pulling myself back into a space that is safe. I’m arriving at a place where I belong. I’m coming home. Like a snail, I carry that home with me everywhere I go.
Does this mean I always manage to do this? Nope. But I have a better understanding of what it means than I did before. Now I just have to figure out what it means to dwell in the ultimate.
Please check out my conversation withand consider subscribing to her newsletter. It’s a little breath of fresh air in your inbox, one of the things on your phone that might actually make you happy.