Recently I interviewed world-renowned meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg. During this ‘mindfulness masterclass’ (video below) we explore what it means to find ‘real happiness’ and Sharon describes the obstacles that most people get caught in that keep them from this kind of happiness.
Sharon is a New York Times bestselling author and co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She’s been teaching meditation retreats since 1974, and has truly been a pioneer in bringing Eastern wisdom to the Western world.
In the video you’ll also discover tips on how to ease the voice of the inner critic, and draw on your innate capacity for courage, resilience, compassion and kindness when times get really tough.
Click on the video below to watch. I have also included the transcript of the interview below the video. May this video support you in your unfolding journey to mindful living. Enjoy!
Melli: G’day, it’s Melli O’Brien here from The Mindfulness Summit and I have to say I’m so pleased to have this opportunity to reconnect with you all at The Mindfulness Summit community because it’s been some time hasn’t it since The Mindfulness Summit? And we have a really strong intention to continue to support you and nourish you in your unfolding adventure into mindful living.
So this is another free masterclass with one of the world’s leading experts in mindfulness meditation. And I have to say, this one is so important for all people interested in conscious living and actually all people in this day and age. Why? Because what we’re exploring in this masterclass with Sharon Salzberg is what is real happiness.
Why do so few people seem to find real happiness even though we live in one of the most abundant times in human history. And what does mindfulness have to do with all of these?
I know that you will find some key insights that could create a seismic shift in the way that you live your life. And Sharon is an incredibly articulate person when it comes to this topic.
Sharon Salzberg is a world-renowned meditation teacher. She’s also a New York Times bestselling author and a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She’s been teaching meditation retreats since 1974 and has truly been a pioneer in bring Eastern wisdom to the Western world. She’s also, perhaps, the world’s leading authority on a particular kind of meditation practice called metta practice or lovingkindness meditation.
As well as learning about real happiness and how to cultivate it from the inside out, in this masterclass you’ll also learn how to ease the voice of the inner critic and how to draw on our innate capacities for courage, resilience, compassion and kindness when times get really tough. In other words, when we need it the most.
Enjoy this masterclass with Sharon Salzberg. May it nourish and support you on your journey into mindful living.
So Sharon, thank you so much for giving your time and your presence to be with us today, the Summit, the Mindfulness Summit community and myself. I really, really appreciate you giving the time. I know you’re a busy lady.
Sharon: Well thank you. It’s delightful to see you and to be here.
Melli: So if it’s okay with you, I am just going to dive right in. And there in your book, A Heart As Wide As The World, there’s an excerpt that you wrote that I would like to read. It says, “From my earliest days of Buddhist practice, I felt powerfully drawn to the possibility of finding a way of life that was characterized by peacefulness and authenticity. My own life at that time was characterized largely by fear and confusion. I felt separate from other people and from the world around me and even oddly disconnected from my own experience.”
When I read that, I can resonate with that and I think a lot of other people will too. So I’m curious if you could tell us a little bit about how your journey’s unfolded since that time of fear and confusion.
Sharon: Well it’s funny. Anytime someone reads something out loud that I’ve written, I don’t remember any of it. And I’m like wow, look at that, it’s interesting. But I would say yes, when I started my meditation practice which was in 1971, if I was going to choose one word to describe myself it would probably be ‘fragmented.’ I was really fragmented. I didn’t have a sense of who I was and what would make me happy. I had a little instinct and that that was enough because that was what brought me to India. And it had me find a teacher and find a method of practice, so that it was enough.
But once I began practice, and of course there’ve been layers and layers and layers of changes. I was 18 when I went to India. And I wouldn’t say that I had really done real introspection before then. So everything was kind of shocking. S.N. Goenk was my first teacher and somewhat famous amongst the group of people, many from us whom I was very close to that I met in my first retreat. For once having marched up to him and looking him in the eye and saying, “I never used to be an angry person before I started meditating.” That was exactly how I felt and I just threw it at him. But somehow I had been hugely angry and I hadn’t known it. And as I began to go within all of these came up. So I would say a huge part of my transformation has been to allow my experience more in the spirit of compassion than judgment. You know, everybody goes through difficult times and delightful times. It’s just the nature of life. But how we hold it and how we are with it is the whole point of the practice anyway. And so I can trace my sense of progress from that time that writing described to onwards would be moving from incredible self-judgment to a kind of rueful amusement, like ‘Oh you’re back. Okay.”
Melli: Right. That sounds even as you’re saying that I can sense a kind of easefulness in that. I mean that might sound like a small thing but that’s a huge thing. That’s kind of the whole tone of your inner world going through kind of a seismic shift.
Sharon: Yeah. Yeah.
Melli: Yeah. And that’s something that continues to develop over time?
Sharon: Oh, I think certainly and hopefully. And sometimes people express dismay about their own experience or someone else’s experience, but more in the light of, “I don’t see why this is still coming up. I shouldn’t still be having these thoughts. I shouldn’t be having these feelings.” But at this point I feel so much more knowledgeable and capable meaning, not at each moment because I’m not perfect, meaning many, many wide varieties of experience with that same kind of awareness and kindness.
Melli: So I just finished reading your book, Real Happiness, which I was magnetically attracted to actually because of the title. And the reason I was magnetically attracted to it was because in my own life, in my own childhood, what I noticed, at a very young age, for whatever reason, I realized that yes we had a lot. I mean I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family or anything. In fact, in Australia we’d probably call that a poor upbringing.But it’s a Western upbringing. So we didn’t want for anything really. And so there was a lot of cause for what we assume would give us happiness. But what I noticed was is that, I would probably change the language here a little bit and I would say, I was going to say there weren’t many people who had found happiness and that was really frightening to me. I thought actually when you’re a child, you’re okay. But I thought there was some kind of insanity that starts to creep in as people get older. And I was very vigilant. I was, okay I have to watch out for this because when you get older you become different. So we have to be vigilant. But what I noticed was, if I could sum it up was nobody I knew and nobody I could really see as a model around me had found what I would call a lasting fulfilment or sense of wholeness. They seemed restless, discontented and that kind of thing.
So I’m curious what would you say, what would you define now as real happiness, the kind of real happiness that you’re talking about in your book? And what does mindfulness got to do with finding it?
Sharon: Well, thank you for liking the title. I didn’t choose the title. The publisher chose the title.
Melli: Okay, it worked for me.
Sharon: But so did I. I had mixed feelings about it So many people define happiness as something superficial, such as endlessly seeking pleasure, which we do anyway. Or being kind of happy-go-lucky and conflict-avoiding and refusing to see pain or suffering. And so I was concerned about that. And sure enough when I went on the tour for the book, many people would say that to me. Like “How can you want be happy all of the time? It’s stupid.” or something like that. But when I was defining happiness, I would continue to define happiness as a sense of inner resource. And that’s where the real comes in to. It’s not that other forms of happiness are unreal but they’re unstable, right? So like the first interview I had after the book came out, the interviewer said to me, “Are you trying to say that the kind of happiness I feel when I have a lovely dinner with my wife isn’t real?” And I say, “Of course, I think it’s real.” But if that’s your deepest sense of happiness, then you’re in trouble because it comes and it goes. It’s impermanent. And what I said to him was, “What about the night that you don’t like you’re dinner all that much?” Right?
Melli: Right. Or your wife.
Sharon: And I didn’t say but of course it could mean you may not like your wife all that much, right?
Sharon: Life is changeable. It’s so mutable. And so I think if anything, we should enjoy those moments more – if we’re more present, more appreciative, more grateful. It would be wonderful. But it’s not the deepest happiness we can know. It’s just too unstable. And so I think about that night, you don’t like anything very much including yourself, but you can reach a kind of inner resource that is there for you – perspective, peace, presence, kindness – things like that. And those really do become like resources so that in wonderful times when great, great things happen we don’t have to hold on to them so fiercely. You know, I can’t let this go by because I’ll never be happy again. And when painful things happen, we can find that of strength to relate differently. So it’s a powerful, powerful message to think about where does our deepest happiness really abide.
Melli: Yeah, and this is what I find strange in a way is that we never question this from a young age. We’re never taught to, it’s like it’s kind of irrelevant. In schooling, it’s all about how can you be the most productive citizen possible. And I think that actually aggravates the how we can really can go on this endless, what is that term, endless wandering. This endless wandering, trying to find pleasure, trying to find pleasure. And we can busy ourselves with this constant self-pleasuring and it’s so easy not to see the fact that underneath it there’s a lack of just a simple feeling of easefulness in our being, a kind of wholeness in our being. We’re not even taught to question where happiness really comes from. What it really is.
But what is your direct experience? We can talk about your own personal experience here. I mean I have my own descriptive words for what I’m talking about. I just often say wholeness instead of – wholeness or easefulness. But what is your direct experience over time in finding some kind of lasting background of peace? How has that unfolded for you? And what does it look like on a daily basis? Like is it you don’t feel heartache anymore, you don’t feel angry anymore, or is there something that carries through? What does that look like on a daily basis for you now? That was a very long winded question.
Sharon: I would hesitate to describe some state where something is no longer ever arising, I think that is unrealistic and also I think defies reality which is always changing. And so many people say things at the end of a retreat, for example like, “How can I stay as concentrated as I am here at the retreat?” And I say, “It’s not going to happen.” Or “How can I keep mindfulness all day long?” And I say, “That’s not going to happen either.” You know words like maintain, keep, stay lies on too but I think it’s more that we renew and remember how to access different parts of ourselves, different layers and different levels. And it’s through mindfulness actually that it happens. Like maybe you have a disappointment, something didn’t go right and your first impulse is to pile on, “I never do anything right. It’s all my fault. Anyone else in this position would be just fine. It’s only me and this is going to last the rest of my life.” We need some mindfulness to say this is what actually happened. This happens in life right? We don’t always get what we want. Things are disappointing or we disappoint ourselves. But all that other stuff is just like a story that we’re adding on to it and makes us miserable. We take things personally is another example that it’s just the unfolding of life.
I was just in Ireland. I just got back from Ireland a few days ago. And last year when I taught in Ireland, this man walked in and told me, at the end of the course told this fantastic story about traveling in the States and some incredible airport delay and he ended up landing in a New York City airport after midnight and his luggage had been lost, he and his friends missed their connection. And this woman came out from some door to help them and he said she looked worst than we did. It was after midnight, everyone was miserable and angry. And he said she said if he happened to have a traveling banjo with him. And he saw her name tag said Irene. And so he said she looked like she hadn’t been serenaded in a while. So he started serenading her and started singing Goodnight Irene Goodnight. All these people started coming out of doors singing along. And then at the end the woman said, “I am the best person in this company at finding luggage. I’m going to find your luggage. I’m going to get you a great connection.” You know. So I saw him again this year. And I told him like four days after he told that story I was in France, and my luggage got lost. And I said, I didn’t have a banjo and I wasn’t about to start serenading anybody. But his example actually was in my mind because we can take things so personally. You know I had checked three times on that journey to make sure that my luggage wasn’t going to get lost. It got lost. Yeah so, the airline’s out to get me clearly, you know. And true that is just extra suffering that we don’t need. We can let go of that.
Melli: Yeah, so in any moment when, the idea of this saying something like you will get a lasting sense of ongoing peace and fulfilment that will stay with you day in and day out forever. It’s more realistic you’re saying to say you have things you call on deeper or more expansive or more resourceful parts of your being that you can call at any moment when things are going well, when things aren’t going well. So it opens up more choices for you.
Sharon: Yeah. Yeah.
Melli: I don’t think many people find, my observation is, and I think this is changing now because of the kind of mindfulness revolution that’s happening which is a really wonderful thing. But my observation is there’s not really that many people, I guess because we’re not taught, there’s not many people who find this deeper sense of that inner resource. We’re not taught to have it. It seems that human minds don’t go there without a little bit of training, without a little bit of support and maybe in our culture these days, maybe it’s a little bit more aggravated. You know, maybe some parts of our mind are more aggravated than others. What do you think are the main things that are really, what do you think are the things that are really blocking most people from having access to those resources that you’re talking about and finding that sense of real happiness? Are there mind patterns or…
Sharon: Well there are maybe many, many mind patterns. I think partly the idea that these qualities can be trained is a little bizarre for us. You know like you can train compassion. You can train love or lovingkindness. You can train gratitude. You can train those things doesn’t make a lot of sense. And I understand why not, it sounds a little strange. You know, like I did a weekend retreat and I came out compassionate. You know it sounds a little weird. But in Buddhist psychology, all those qualities I mentioned and many more are considered emergent properties of how we pay attention. So we know attention can be trained. That’s the whole purpose of meditation.
So if you’re in an elevator and somebody is talking to you and you’re not really listening, there’s not going to be much of a sense of connection. Right? You’re thinking about your email, something else. If you realize that and you actually just arrive and you listen, you’re fully there, that’s the ground out of which a genuine sense of connection, even a fleeting, can emerge. So how do we pay attention to one another and what do we pay attention to. You know, if we’re thinking about ourselves as an example, at the end of the day and we evaluate ourselves and pretty well all we think about are the mistakes we’ve made and what we’ve done wrong and what we should have done better, let’s just say. So much so that your sense of who you are, all you’ll ever be just collapses at the stupid thing you said over lunch. You know it’s almost like asking yourself if anything else happened today? Like any good within me? And some people don’t like that because it takes intentionality. It’s a stretch. It’s not totally comfortable for everybody. But it’s not as people fear. People fear that a true place, like seeing one’s problems, is moving to a phonier, hypocritical place. But it’s not. It’s moving from a true place to another true place that gives you very little airtime.
Melli: Yeah, you can just change your focus.
Sharon: Yeah, so what happens when we change our focus is that we feel a different like our spirits lift. We feel a sense of resource or possibility. We feel connected to somebody else if we’re focusing on them in that way. And there’s a very. Very large question of whom do we pay attention to and who do we ignore and who do we discount. Do we look right through? And so if we shift the way we pay attention, these qualities will come forth. And so I think people, we do sometimes stand aside thinking that’s just a pipe dream, that’s just a fairy tale. You can’t really live that way. But you can live that way and we need to train it.
Melli: So if I’m hearing you right too, this is something that’s so, I think, crucial to reiterate is that one thing you just said is that our common assumptions of where happiness comes from are often the very thing that keeps us from it. And happiness is a skill. Yeah, so important to know. And really so empowering. Especially for someone like myself. There was a time in my life where I never thought it would be possible to just have the amount of well-being that I have now. I just, I mean, I really just, if you hadn’t told me one day you won’t feel like you hate yourself, you know. You won’t feel this bad. Well I would’ve have just said that’s like, I don’t know, fairy tales are for TV. But I’m really so surprised, you know. I wish someone would’ve told me this when I was 17. It would’ve been so… I hope there are some 17 year olds watching this, who can hear this message because it’s a powerful message. Yeah. And it’s amazing when you practice this skill what can happen, truly amazing.
I’d like to talk a little bit about lovingkindness because you have really been a pioneer in bringing this consciousness of lovingkindness into the West. And the great thing that’s happening right now is because a little bit of research has come out about it. It’s starting to become sort of a buzzword. People are, because I think the problem with lovingkindness, Western minds we find a concept like that, it just sounds too sappy for us. So we got some good solid research for the Western mind now so we can all try it. But could you give your definition about what lovingkindness is and why you feel like it’s really important on the path of mindful living?
Sharon: Well you’re right, a lot of people think that it’s just so saccharine, gooey and sappy. But that’s not from within. That’s the thought. The assumption and the actual experience is something very different. The word lovingkindness is the common translation of a word from Pali, the language of the original Buddhist text, that word is metta. M-E-T-T-A and the literal translation is friendship. And so it’s about the art of friendship with ourselves and that means all aspects of ourselves. And ultimately with all of life. And so I usually define it as connection, a profound sense of connection. Because it actually doesn’t imply that you like everybody, it doesn’t even imply that you like anybody. But it’s deep knowing that our lives have something to do with one another. And the corollary understanding is that everybody counts, everybody matters. Not everybody is going to be my best friend, but everybody matters. And so our whole way of relating to ourselves and to others gets first challenged and then transformed.
Melli: And so I know that one part of the importance of lovingkindness on the path to mindful living is that sometimes we open up awareness. So we become more and more aware. More and more aware. And I think you alluded to this in the beginning of our chat. I think it’s really common on the path to more conscious living that we can actually get quite self-critical and quite judgy. In fact, I think that’s a really big challenge for spiritual practitioners, we can get quite judgy, you know. We have very strict ideas about how we should be and how others should be. Often we can see difficult challenging emotions or difficult challenging behaviors as a sign of absolute failure, unforgivable failure. And we can be so hard on ourselves and quite usually, I think, it ripples out as well when we’re that harsh with ourselves, we tend to get to be a bit harsh with others.
So I’m so glad that this conversation is coming up more and more about lovingkindness and easefulness and gentleness and taking it easy on this path to mindful living having to compassion. I think it’s so important. Yeah. So I’m glad.
Sharon: First of all I want to say how much I like the word ‘judgy’ which we don’t have.
Melli: Well I have to say as an Australian, what we like to do is we like to chop any long word in half and put an “o” or a “y” at the end of them. That’s why I’m not known as Mellissa. Everybody calls me Melli. But you’ve got to chop it in half and put a – so judgy, that’s my Australian translation.
Sharon: It was fantastic. We’re all judgy. Which we are.
Melli: Yes we can be very judgy. But the meeting of compassion with judgy just diffuses all the aggression and the tightness and the holding around it, doesn’t it? And my experience is it’s a profound relief to let it all go.
Sharon: Well you know it’s like bathing in sunlight.
Melli: Yeah. yeah.
Sharon: It’s really a profound part of the mindfulness path, even from the very very beginning. Like my first meditation instruction was sit down and feel your breath. You know I’d gone all the way from the States to India to find a teacher. I found a teacher. And the first instruction is sit down and feel your breath. As I often say the first reaction was great disappointment. I thought, feel my breath? I came all the way to India where’s a fantastic esoteric technique that’s going to change my whole life? And then I thought how hard can this be? And it was like woooh. You know I thought maybe what will it be like 800, 900 breaths before my mind wanders and to my absolute astonishment it was like one breath or maybe two or maybe half a breath and I’d be gone. I’d been way gone, so distracted. And then comes the magic moment when you realize you’ve been gone, you’ve strayed from whatever object you had set out to pay attention to. And that’s the moment really where we have the chance to be quite different. So instead of being all judgy, you know and getting down on ourselves and calling ourselves a failure, whatever we can practice letting go with some kindness towards ourselves, we can practice beginning again.
So the very art of the meditation is enriched by and interwoven with the skill of lovingkindness. Because without that you can’t actually let go and begin again. You just go on this rant about yourself. You know I’m the only one in the room that’s thinking. No one else in the room is thinking. I don’t have any of these distractions which first of all tends to add some quite considerable lengths to the time of the distraction. And it’s so exhausting. It’s so demoralizing. It’s not a way to go on. It’s not a way to learn. It’s not a way to get better at something, make progress with something. So I think that’s one the itty bitty moments of meditation that has a huge life lesson. That’s a skills training right there. And it goes right into work with us and every endeavor that we do because the truth I think of life is we always have to begin again. You know that nothing in life is a straight show, we’re always having to change course or adjust or be flexible or find another way or start over. Encourage ourselves and that’s what we’re always doing.
Melli: Yeah, I love that you brought that up. And also my experience in learning meditation in the beginning was that kind of instruction about friendliness or lovingkindness or self-compassion was a little absent. It was just very much come back to the breath, come back to the breath, come back to the breath. And what I noticed was when I started to introduce that critical instruction, I felt like my practice went from being about getting somewhere or being something more which had quite a, there was kind of there was a lot of jaw-grimacing and forehead grimacing and tension in the shoulders. I kind of get up sweating sometimes. And then all of a sudden when I got it, I got it. And my whole practice became this is a time for me, this is an oasis. This is a nourishing, like the favorite time of the day, not at all a chore. This is me becoming deeply in touch with life and deeply in touch with myself. And it’s a joy. That was how big a difference it was in my practice. So it became meditation is now a love affair with love.
Sharon: That’s right.
Melli: Big difference.
Sharon: Yeah. Yeah.
Melli: So I would love if we could, I would love in these chats if it’s not just all about us just talking about it but actually doing it. Would you care to maybe guide the whole community in a practice, a metta practice?
Sharon: Sure, sure. That would be delightful..
So, we can start. You can sit comfortably and close your eyes or not. How ever you feel most at ease. One way of doing lovingkindness practice, rather than resting your attention on the feeling of the breath, you rest your attention on the silent repetition of certain phrases. The phrases are the conduit for the heart’s energy. They are the vehicle that help us pay attention differently.
The feeling tone of the whole practice is generosity, it is gift-giving. It’s generosity of the spirit we’re offering through the phrases, the sense of connection and care and so on. And the first recipient is ourselves. We choose three or more phrases, common phrases or things like: May I be safe, be happy, be healthy, live with ease. May I be safe, be happy, be healthy, live with ease. Live with ease means things in our day-to-day life like our livelihood or family may not be such a struggle. May I live with ease. Choose these phrases or any other phrases that big enough, broad enough and that make sense to you that you can make that offering to yourself and ultimately the others. You just repeat the phrases over and over again with enough space, enough silence so it’s a rhythm that’s pleasing to you. This is like the song of the heart. Gather all your attention behind one phrase at a time. You don’t have to try to force or manufacture any special kind of feeling. The power of the practice is in that wholehearted gathering.
May I be safe, be happy, be healthy, live with ease. The skills that are really the same. Your mind will likely wander quite a lot, that’s okay. When you realize it, see if you can gently let go and return.
Let’s see if you can call to mind that benefactor, that someone who’s helped you. Maybe they helped you directly. Or maybe they helped pick you up when you;d fallen down. Or they mentored you. Or maybe you’ve never even met them, they’ve inspired you from afar. If someone like that comes to mind, you can bring them her in the image of them, say their name to yourself. Get a feeling for their presence and offer the phrases of lovingkindness to them. And even if the words aren’t perfect, they’re the vehicle for the heart’s energy. May you be safe, be happy, be healthy, live with ease.
And then a friend, let’s start with a friend who’s doing pretty well right now. They may not be perfectly happy but at least in some arena of life they’re enjoying success or good fortune. If someone like that comes to mind, bring them here. And get an image of them or say their name to yourself. See what happens as you offer the phrases of lovingkindness to them.
Do you have a friend who’s having a difficult time right now? Bring them here and offer the phrases of lovingkindness to them.
And then all beings everywhere, all people, all creatures, all those in existence – near and far, known and unknown. May all beings be safe, be happy, be healthy, live with ease.
And if you’re ready you can open your eyes, lift your gaze.
Melli: Thank you for that practice. I just have one last question and that is as you reflect on your journey into mindful living over the years and decades actually of the practice that you’ve had, what be one, be your greatest realization or discovery?
Sharon: Wow. That’s a big question. Well, since we’ve just been doing lovingkindness, I’ll talk about within that realm. And I think that actually happened when I went to Burma in 1985 to do an intensive period of lovingkindness practice. It was three months. And like may realizations, it sounds, maybe almost like nothing, like ‘oh yeah, that just makes sense. Didn’t you know that before?’ But you really, really deeply know it and the changes that it brings is something else. So it was something like that lovingkindness and compassionate love exists as a potential or capacity within me and that other people may awaken it or threaten it or whatever, but it’s actually within me. And I realize that before then I kind of almost thought of qualities like that like a package like the delivery person was bringing to my door and if they try to turn around right at the doorstep, I was out of luck. It’s gone, There would be no love in my life. But then I realized that’s totally untrue. That the ability or capacity is always mine. It’s within me. And that, it was a very empowering kind of realization.
Melli: Thank you for sharing that. And thank you so much. I just want to take this opportunity to really, from the bottom of my heart, to really thank you sincerely for the work that you do because it’s really touched my life and I know that it’s touching the life of so many people. So thank you so much. Is there anything else that you’d like to share before we close up?
Sharon: I don’t know. This interview makes me want to go back to Australia.
Melli: You’re welcome here anytime.
Melli: Alright. Thank you.
Sharon: I really enjoyed it. Thank you.
Melli: And to all of our viewers, i really, really highly recommend you check out Real Happiness. You know, I read a lot of books a lot of the time. I’m kind of a nerdy reader and it’s been awhile since I’ve come across a book that’s really, I found it a page-turner and I really loved it. So I highly recommend you check out the book. And Sharon, where can they find out more about your work if they want to touch in with more stuff?
Sharon: My website is simply sharonsalzberg.com. Your spellcheck will likely change the Salzberg to S-A-L-Z-B-U-R-G but it is S-A-L-Z-B-E-R-G.
Melli: I’ll provide a link to it right below this video to make it really easy.
Sharon: Okay. Thanks.
Melli: Okay Sharon, thanks again. Go well my friend and we’ll hopefully get to check in with you some other time soon.
Sharon: That would be lovely. Thank you.