I had a panic attack in a gigantic, brightly lit Target store on the outskirts of Las Vegas. My first one in four years. I’m not the mellow monk I thought I was. I was dehydrated and overwhelmed after helping my son move into his apartment in 106 degree heat. I was also very scared. But I managed to get into my car and drive back to my hotel, talking kindly to myself, trying to calm down. Sylvia Boorstein, one of my favorite teachers, often recounts stories where she talks to herself. “Sweetheart,” she’ll say…as she teaches herself a gentle lesson of some kind.

Now that I’m back home in New York, I’ve taken to calling myself “sweetheart.” I’m also trying not to judge myself too harshly, or worry about whether I’ll have another panic attack.

I miss my son very much. But I don’t miss Las Vegas.