Howdy Ho, my puppies! First off, apologies for not posting last week. I wasn’t ignoring you, I’ve simply been swamped with setting up my new life here in the US. And, in the spirit of not becoming completely overwhelmed, I had to let some things go. But, you’ll be happy to hear that my house is now almost completely furnished (the basics are all in), and I’ve moved into my new office. I’m getting more organized and catching up more and more each day. So, things are about to get back to “normal”, whatever that means. Also, due to popular demand (which, honestly, totally surprised me; I had no idea you guys wanted to see how I live…) I plan on making a video showing you all my lovely house in the near future. Just give me another month or so to get some basic decorations up and make the place look more “me.”

This week, we’re getting back to our regular Q&A format: An awesome reader asks if just sitting with an emotion is really the answer. She tried doing just that, but it didn’t seem to work as expected. Did something go wrong? And if so, what is the answer?

In reviewing the video, I realized that this is a HUGE topic, and unless you’ve already read my book, I may still have left you confused. If so, please don’t hesitate to ask your questions in the comments below. I’ll either answer them there, or will make a follow up video.


Awesome Lisa’s Burning Question: “I’d like to ask about “being with an emotion without judgment.

When I was depressed, a lot of people gave me this advice: to let the sadness be, without judging it; and I followed it.  I noticed that the sadness seldom went away at all, no matter how long I sat with it, and on the occasions when it did go away, it would come back again in minutes.  The response I got from people was mostly, “Well, you must have done it wrong.  It works for other people, and everyone is the same, so it must work for you if you’ll only do it better.”

In my experience, I got much better and resolved the depression once I decided the sadness was NOT okay, and refused to sit with it any longer.  I judged it as bad and harmful and started distracting myself from it instead of letting it be.  This improved my life a lot and after a few months of this, I got much better and was no longer depressed.  I don’t remember being angry when I decided this, but it could be that it was a push to anger that you mention as a move up on the spectrum from other emotions.

My questions are: Do you think sitting with an emotion without judgment works for everyone all the time?  Do you think anger at an emotion (instead of accepting it as it is) could help a person move up the spectrum?  My life has changed for the better (vastly!) because of my judgmental choice :), but I was wondering what your take on this is.  Thanks, Melody!


Thank you Lisa, I really appreciate this question because it’s something I’ve talked about quite a bit.  It’s also something that I’ve mentioned in my book, in the section on the depression group of emotions.  I’m so glad that I get a chance to actually take this further and I get to explain it at a deeper level than I did in the book.  This question is awesome because I couldn’t make the entire book about depression.  I could only put a section in there and a few paragraphs, so this is going to allow me to take it further.

Sit with the emotion you are feeling

I’m one of those teachers who will tell you that sitting with an emotion is a good way to start.  The emotion is going to give you information if you listen to the messenger; however I’m never going to be that teacher who says “Well if it’s not working for you, then you must be doing it wrong!”

If you are sitting with the emotion, it won’t (usually) magically go away.  It can happen that way, but generally not with depression.  What happens with depression is that it creates a shift within you; it creates some kind of momentum, which is exactly what you experienced.

Moving out of depression into anger

All the people who said you were doing it wrong – they were wrong!  You weren’t doing it wrong.  But I am going to give you some tips on how you might have been able to speed the process up a little bit.  First, I want to tell you that nothing has really gone wrong here.  What happened is exactly what should have happened.  You got sick and tired of being depressed!  Although you becoming sick and tired of being depressed maybe took a little bit longer than you wanted it to take.

The shift that happens when you move out of depression and towards anger (you go into the shame group after depression and then into the anger group, and then into frustration and up) – you might be aware of the shift, or not, it doesn’t really matter, it happens as it happens.  What actually happens is the equivalent to this:  You are lying on the ground in the fetal position and you’re getting the crap beaten out of you.  Depression is when you don’t feel you deserve to be treated any better, where you don’t feel any kind of hope, or you don’t have any kind of belief that it could get any better, or that it’s even worth trying.  You feel completely powerless.  What happens when you start to shift out of that is you often start to experience the anger, whether or not you experience it as rage or something much softer.

What you are talking about here was an anger response where you stood up and said “NO MORE, I am not doing this anymore!”  That’s a beautiful response and that response is what pulled you out of your depression.  (Just as you realized it did).  Now, it doesn’t normally pull you out of depression in 30 minutes, there is a process that happens.  It’s something that you then choose to continue with because you don’t have a choice anymore.  You are done with the depression; you can’t take it anymore because it’s become too painful.

It doesn’t mean that it’s the easiest choice to make – it absolutely is not.  I don’t want to diminish that in any way, shape or form, but what I’m trying to tell you is that you followed the process that I actually outline in my book.  This is what stepping out of depression looks like in real life.

Don’t judge yourself or the situation

In terms of your question about judgement, here’s the thing: (This is how I teach it, and I don’t know what you were told by other people and I don’t want to disparage anything that they said). When I talk about not having any judgment, it’s without judgement of “self”, and without judgement of the “situation” in a way that might cause you to then go into self blame.  For example, you think you are horrible because you are depressed or you think something is wrong with you because you are depressed.  That’s the kind of judgement that you need to stay away from.  It does not mean that you don’t get to be sick and tired of being where you are – this is actually really helpful.

For many people that’s usually what happens, even if they don’t go into depression.  For example, they are in a job they hate and they finally have that cattle-prod moment where they feel they are being hit with the cattle-prod and they can’t help but turn around and run the other way.  They have that moment where it’s just enough, god damn it! It’s just enough, and they can’t take it anymore! That’s kind of the same moment that you had.

The judgement that I’m talking about with you (the judgment that’s ok to have) is that you got sick and tired of your situation. You decided you did not want to feel that way anymore and you went ahead and made a change.  The momentum in order for you to make that change was there for you.  That is often how we are motivated in the lower part of the spectrum.  There’s nothing wrong with that; it totally works.

What I do is pull people to the upper part of the spectrum, where their growth does not have to come in like that anymore.  If you read my book, you will notice there’s a big difference in how we are motivated in the lower part of the spectrum than in the upper part of the spectrum.  I’d never say that this is bad; it’s just how it is there.  You moving out of depression happened perfectly, and I want to explain this to you – By allowing the depression, it eventually led to you shifting out of it.

It doesn’t look the way people think it’s going to look.  It goes into the depths, and into the darkness, you get really sick of it (in many cases), or you get a glimpse of why you are depressed and then you can shift it.

Everybody’s on their own unique journey

Here’s the thing:  That journey is different for everybody and it looks different for everybody.  For example, someone may have been pulled towards a certain practitioner who they worked with, or they took some anti-depressants for a while.  This helped them to come out of it, and eventually they progressed out of that too and stopped taking them.  They could have had a life changing experience of some kind.  Everybody’s journey is their own journey.

What starts to move that energy is sitting with the emotion and allowing yourself to feel it and then going with whatever comes out of that.  For you it was a push to move out of the depression, but I think you will agree, there was a point in your depression when you could not have done that (gotten sick of it to the point where you were able to do something about it).  But, you somehow got to a point where you were able to do it.

I don’t want this to sound like the cure for depression is to just tell a whole bunch of depressed people to just get off their asses and make a different choice.  Everybody is in their own place and everybody is on their own path.

Bottom Line

Sit with the emotion, without judgement of self and without judgement of the situation. Thinking that this shouldn’t be happening, or god forbid thinking you are a bad person because this is happening –  that’s a judgement that you want to stay away from.

“Judgment” in terms of the situation where you don’t want this to be happening and you don’t want to put up with it anymore, I don’t consider that judgement.  That’s more of a boundary and boundaries are healthy.  Putting your foot down or standing up for yourself is absolutely healthy, absolutely ok.

I hope that I’ve answered your question and explained this subject a little bit better.  It is a touchy thing; it’s so unique to everybody, which is why I teach the process rather than individual techniques.  I do answer these questions in the hope that I can clarify this kind of process a little bit more so that people who are out there suffering do not feel they are doing it wrong.

That, by the way, is not a helpful thing to say to anybody, especially to somebody who has depression.  Thinking they are doing it “wrong” – there’s going to be a tendency for them to move into self blame and that’s not some place that you want them to be. Please don’t do that if you are a practitioner!

So again, thank you awesome Lisa for asking your question, I hope I’ve answered it and do pick up my book if you want some of these answers all in one tidy little place and you want this process explained in succession.

If you have anything to say on this subject – maybe you’ve come out of depression yourself, perhaps you’ve helped to bring somebody out of depression, or you are struggling with it right now, please leave a comment below and share your experience.  Leave me reaction of some kind,so that I know you are out there and we make this a two-way conversation.

This has been this week’s Q&A, until next week, bye!

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  • Hey Melody,
    Hope all is well & your new environment is working well for you ?
    Elevation means a lot these days ! Some vibes coming in lately
    singing not so good. What does this mean emotionally, fear or
    frustration ! Why do I feel this way, and can we change the way
    changes are occurring in this time we presently feeling and
    consciously believing in…

  • Hi Melody.

    I know you are settling in and all that; I would just like to ask that at some point, to help us out in navigating the prerecorded call section of the site, the calls be categorized in some way, perhaps by subject umbrella. This way, we one find the call that refers to, for example, “how best to use Plan B” and so on.

    I know you had it in the agenda and still do, so now would be a good time to look into it because the calls are more. Hooray!

    • Hey A.

      This is part of the new web design. My developer created a custom search function that will allow you to easily search for calls (also, blog posts…), by category, subject, tag, etc. This is all coming soon!!!



  • Great video Melody! Lisa’s question is very relatable for me. I have experienced the same and wondered why this is.

    Though I still waver in and out of depression, I find I’ve been in the void for a year at least. How long is the void supposed to last? I often panic because I have been inspired to do very little for the past few years, only doing what I need to to survive. I haven’t been feeling very passionate or enthusiastic, other than a for few moments here and there.

    Is there anyway to speed up the void? I feel like I’m wasting too much time not doing anything.

  • How awesome! Thank you Melody and Lisa.

    Anger is an emotion I know pretty well and have learned how to release it constructively. Depression is also something I experience pretty often lately and I’m now in the process of learning how to handle that emotion.

    I did the same thing as Lisa. Well at first I resisted like crazy, but I agree that you have to sit with it to some degree to figure out WHY you’re depressed. As Melody said, there was a point where I was unable to pull myself out of it, no matter hard I tried, but once I got down to the nitty gritty and figured out WHY I was depressed, I finally reached that moment where I’d had enough. I got up, brushed myself off, got angry and once I stopped being angry about the situation (and sometimes it feels like I skip anger too, but I guess simply saying ENOUGH is an anger response), I started getting ideas on what to do to fix it.

    Non-judgment is definitely most important. I still have a tendency to judge myself as “broken” when I get depressed, so that emotion has been showing up a lot lately. I’m getting better at it though. I used to judge myself when I got angry (and of course, I got angry a lot). I don’t do that anymore. I let it come up, I figure out WHY I’m angry, I release the anger and then solutions start flooding in. I don’t get angry anywhere near as often as I used to and I’m assuming that the same will happen with depression as I learn to stop judging myself for that.

    It is really amazing the shifts you can make (and how quickly you can make them) once you learn and get good at this system. It helps having a really amazing teacher too! 🙂

  • Hi Melody, I really like your most enlightening and enriching explanation here. A really feel good way to approach a situation that has been wreaking havoc on the emotional body and the mind. Thanks a bunch for this knowledge. ( ( HUGS ) )

  • I have had an experience of moving up through the emotions too. I’ll try to keep it brief. . .
    I work freelance and as such rely on other people to say yes or no to my projects and ideas. It’s gone well for me for the last thirty years or so, but lately I’ve had nothing but rejections. It’s bewildering. By the end of last year I was getting depressed about my situation because I know I’m good, experienced and professional etc but suddenly found that I was out of favour. I could’t work it out. Had I ‘lost it’?
    Then, a couple of months ago I had a revolutionary thought, rather than desperately and increasingly pathetically striving for any ideas that would get accepted, I asked myself the question “How would I feel if I didn’t have to do this any more?” (referring not so much to the work, but to the process of giving power over my life to others while I waited, unable to influence events. It felt like begging for crumbs from someone else’s table.)
    The answer I gave myself was, “It would be a relief. I would feel good!” So I acted on that feeling and stopped banging my head against that particular wall. It did, and still does feel good. 😉
    So that was going from depression about lack of worth, to shame about not being wanted anymore and maybe not being good enough anymore, to anger at having to give away so much power to others, and at their inability to see my worth. All leading to a decision to claim my power back.
    Luckily I have the means by now, to live without that income stream, although at a lower economic level so I will do that.

  • This was such a great answer! I really appreciate your taking the time to go into the subject more deeply. I always thought they were telling me, “Just accept and be okay with the sadness as long as it’s there and lose your desire for it to go away” (which really didn’t work for me 🙂 ). I thought I wasn’t supposed to judge the sadness in any way. But the distinction you make between different kinds of judging really clarified things for me. Thank you so much for the help! A thousand puppies are jumping up and down excitedly in my heart. 🙂

  • This seems to be a pretty timely for me, but what about a situation dealing with frustration and anger being triggered over and over again? My neighbors (who are actually pretty nice) keep smoking pot in their house and the smell comes over to my house where it sits for days and gets into everything I own. I’ve asked them four times to stop and they’ve always been contrite and nice about it. We agree they can smoke outside (I don’t have a problem with it), and then the smell starts again. I told the landlord and he spoke to them and it still keeps happening.

    I sit with the feelings of extreme frustration, anger, and disappointment (and resistance!), yet the feelings keep recurring for days until the smell dissipates from the house. When I feel better, I try to hold the thoughts and feelings that I am safe, secure, and in a fresh, rejuvenating environment, and that God/the Universe will orchestrate a harmonious resolution of this for our highest good (I don’t want to cause anyone grief). Then lo and behold, a few days later they do it again, and the cycle continues. I do want my own home and have been visualizing this, but this current situation is so frustrating and stressful.

    What’s your take?

    • Hey SMC,

      Have you expressed the anger, instead of just sitting with it? Have you had a proper anger release? I think that’s what’s missing here. You’re playing it safe, trying to be all zen and shit about this, when what you really want to do is rip someone’s head off. Do a constructive anger release (meaning, don’t actually rip someone’s head off, but you can fantasize about it). Scream, punch a pillow, be truly honest about your emotions. See if that doesn’t shift it.

      Huge hugs,


      • Thanks for the response, Melody … you’re right: I really was thinking that being all Zen and shit is what should be working to calm me down, instead of constructively fantasizing about how to infuse the smell of cat pee and burned popcorn into their house so they can experience how I feel. Next time my emotions come up, I’ll express them!

        Huge and heartfelt hugs back to you!!

        • Sorry to be disagreeable here, but I’m fairly sure you DO have to be all zen and shit.

          I had a similar situation with neighbours making noise. It went on and on and on… nothing I did behaviourally or psychologically was working. This included getting seriously angry and bashing a punching bag. Then I realized I wasn’t allowing the fear deeply enough – I was still resisting it. So during one of their noisy parties, I deeply relaxed my body and encouraged the fear to destroy me. If an emotion is very strong (as it was) it will feel like it’s going to kill you, and that’s what you have to do – let it destroy you. The next day they moved out. They’d been there for about 7 years.

          • Hey CJ, that sounds interesting. Was the fear about the neighbors never stopping with the noise, or that you don’t have control over the situation? Could you please write in more details about your experience? Like, how did you feel all the way up to going to sleep, and how did you feel the next day. When exactly did you feel the relief (the higher vibration), and if you have any other advices, I would deeply appreciate them.

          • The sensation was of feeling like I had no boundaries and that I was being totally disrespected/ignored. It created intense fears mainly because it triggered childhood fears, so the sensation was like electricity and tension through my whole body (intense fear). The last thing I felt like doing was relaxing, but in the end that’s what I decided to do. And yeh, the feeling is like I was going to be destroyed – it took a lot of work. At times I tried to make the fear more intense, just to prove I wasn’t resisting it.

            I’d say the anxiety reduced by about 1/2 (it certainly wasn’t complete, but that might just be because I didn’t have the strength to keep it up). The most noticeable thing was that they left the next day after being there for so many years. The ‘threat’ vanished.

            Be willing to really drop into the fear by relaxing deeply and encouraging the sensation. Hope it works for you too; let us know.

          • Thanks for clarifying this, CJ. The no boundaries and feeling ignored – like my concerns don’t matter – are part of how I feel when this happens. Very helpful …

          • CJ,

            Thank you very much for your input. I am experiencing the same exact situation with neighbors showing no boundaries after years of letting them know about certain things. They did listen about the dog pooping in our driveway and that stopped, but the kids still make a lot of noise and their dog still barks all day long.

            Anyway, I actually manifested an illness from all the anger. It was bad. How do you manage not to get ill from all the emotions you describe here? Any input is deeply appreciated.

          • Hi A.,

            Anger is a counteractive impulse, designed to push against the feeling of violation of your boundaries. Basically you’re forcing the fear to be squashed into submission by bolstering your ego. That’s what anger is – a powerful, short-term way to boost the ego. But it never gets rid of the fear.

            Most people go through life like this. They feel slightly unsafe in the world, (am I lovable? Am I ok? Will I make it?) …and spend their time aquiring moneys, status and relationships to try and squash that very basic and very common feeling. The real answer is to go into the discomfort and release it, but it’s hard work. Extremely hard.

            There’s two ways to go – run away from the fear (by bolstering your ego), or drop into the fear without tension, completely unguarded. The second option will feel wrong, because if you do it properly, you’ll find what you are actually doing is releasing your attachment to your ego. Very few ever choose this path.

          • If it is fear, then I guess, in my case, perhaps the fear would be of harming someone, because I will be the one to do time and all the things that go with it, like being with women and getting tattoos.

            What you mentioned above does not really apply to me, as I do not live my life that way, nor do I have any other fear on this topic. Even if I do not speak with my neighbors ever again, hallelujah, as we do not speak now anyway and they are not people I’d like to know anyway. I have ignored my other neighbor on the other side of me out of my reality, another problematic one, and now it is as if she does not exist.

            I just had to ask how to handle the neighbor situation, since others have it as well and it is one of the most common issues. I will tune in and read any updates when posted. Thank you!

          • I think you and Melody are actually in agreement… You’re both suggesting that SMC be aware of their emotions and allow them to come up without resisting them. The only difference is that Melody is suggesting that SMC is overlooking how angry they are, trying to remain all zen and shit :), and you’re suggesting that they are overlooking their fears in trying to hold onto thoughts that prevent them from acknowledging how they really feel. I don’t know which SMC will find more relief and success in… Allowing their anger to come up or allowing their fear to come up or both, I think it really depends on why they personally manifested the experience. Great advice overall though from both you and Melody, and I really like your story.

          • Yeh I see what you’re saying April (I thik your post is directed partly at me?).

            For me, anger is easy to do but it never really takes care of the fear properly. Nothing wrong with going into anger, but there’s always something underneath it. My experience is that it’s usually sadness, fear or grief. I’ve experienced severe depression an know that it’s very different to sadness. They intermingle and can happen together, but are not the same. Depression is a defense against feeling.

            People talk about holding on to negativity. It took me decades before I understood this experientially. The mind holds onto painful feelings by refusing to feel them. It’s amazing to know that painful emotions don’t last forever. They can seem to at first… maybe months. But with courage, this time can be reduced.

          • I completely agree CJ. I have always found that just allowing the emotions to process through us, without judgment or trying to control or stop them, is the best approach, no matter the emotion. It’s sometimes painful, but usually the fastest approach as well.

  • Lisa, if you work to accurately feel your feelings, you will discover that the depression is not actually an emotion. Depression is a deep dulling of the mind used to prevent you feeling feelings, like fear, sadness, frustration, anger etc.

    So the idea is NOT to sit with depression, but to reach underneath it and find the emotions, then accept THEM. Make sense?

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