Guided By Biet

Meditation teacher Biet Simkin answers Purist readers’ questions.
Partnership needs to begin within. Photography: Jonas Nordberg

Dear Biet,

I am trying sobriety but it feels heavy and impossible. How do you do it? How do you make it look so effortless?

Remi, Manhattan

Remi,

The truth is sobriety can make things worse before it makes things better. While you may feel physically better immediately, psychologically and emotionally, you just lost your favorite tool! This is why there are steps in a 12-step recovery program. You may look into such a program if you feel you may have a problem that doesn’t seem to be easily kicked. Alternately, get a spiritual teacher, get a coach, begin meditation and some kind of prayer work so you have alternate juice coming in! You will need support. No one really gets sober alone and no one really gets sober without forming new habits. The new habits create a new container for this journey you are embarking on. Hope this helps and good luck!

Love, Biet

Dear Biet,

My boyfriend and I just broke up and I keep thinking there is something wrong with me. How do I get over this and stop choosing the wrong guy?

Marilyn, Santa Monica, California

Marilyn,

Hmm, been there. I somehow think we live in a matrix where until we get it, we just don’t. We choose partners out of a wound we have and then we wonder why it doesn’t work out. The yearning you have for the right partner is fair! However, the partnership needs to begin within. If we can partner with something invisible first—i.e., your soul—then you can find a reflection of that out in the world. Until I had a primary relationship with my soul, I used men to be my soul mate. What does that mean? I used them to light up, I used them to give life meaning, I used them as evidence of God, I used them as evidence of my worth, I used them as evidence of my beauty, I used them to see myself in all my glory, I used them to champion my work! Sound familiar? Until you start using your soul for those things, a man will always fall short, because honestly, who wants to do all that work for you? Ironically, once I made my soul my soul mate I immediately found my life partner and have since been with him for 12 years. Does he light me up? Sure does! Does he cheer me on? For sure! However, I didn’t need him to and I didn’t ask. We just find out there, whatever we are in here. Capisce?

Love, Biet & her soul

Dear Biet,

I feel like an ass but I want to leave my work in corporate law and do wellness work. Is there any advice you have for someone wanting to make this transition?

Bobby, Brooklyn, New York

Dear Bobby,

You’re not alone in changing your mind midlife! Sometimes we gotta make a change. It’s hard, because we can feel stuck because of security and routines—but think how stuck you’ll feel on your deathbed knowing you never tried. Essentially, anyone can do anything. No one says you won’t have to make some changes along the way to get there, lose some friends, lose some habits, lose some sleep…etc.! At the end of the day you’re already a freaking lawyer so clearly you’re capable! I am sure law will be waiting for you if for some reason the tides guide you back to it one day. In the meantime, can you be brave enough to try something totally new right now? Can you be wild enough to just feel into the call you’re getting? I highly recommend speaking to some people who have done what you want to do and did it successfully. You want it all? Find someone who has what you want and do what they did! Step by step! I am here cheering you on!

Love, Biet

Dear Biet,

I keep skipping meditation, but when I do, I get depressed. What do you do to stick to it?

Robert, Miami

Robert,

Whenever I stray from my practice I watch…like a bird-watcher, and I start to see little pieces falling. First, my satisfaction with life wilts, then my brain gets overwrought with thoughts, then my gratitude dismantles, then my mood fails me, then I start to notice life doesn’t treat me right. All the luck and serendipity: Boom. Somehow magically missing! Next time you waiver on your practice use this tool to watch like a bird. Let your watching be your meditation. You will see soon enough that your irritation will be the perfect rub to get you right back into your practice!

Love, Biet