People always ask me what the biggest shift was during my time in Burma. Obviously, there were many shifts, and some I can’t even put into words.

But my knee jerk response is that I became my own best friend. In spending so much time with myself, in a demanding setting, with very difficult experiences arising, I was forced to befriend myself in order to get through it. I was forced to soften around my judgmental mind. I was forced to offer compassion to myself when things got painful and I didn’t think I could stay longer. I was forced to pay attention to my intuition and honor the voice that sometimes said: “Dude, chill out. You need a freaking nap.”

I can’t overemphasize the value this has had in my life and how much I wish this for other people.

This isn’t narcissim or self-centeredness. It’s healing your relationship with the one person you spend more time with than anyone else.

Take yourself out to dinner. Ask yourself what you need. Talk to yourself like you would a friend. The relationship will deepen in time.

Become your own best friend.