Kicking and Screaming into Healing Circles

–If I had my way, I'd never leave the house again

Can I tell you how I learned to meditate?

I was a sheepish groupie for a dude I enjoyed. He led a meditation every morning during COVID, and I would make myself go to it. Most mornings, I had to talk myself into it, usually prefaced by a long, explosive rant on my runs about how much I didn’t want to, and how much I didn’t like the people. This rant was audible to absolutely nobody in particular; just me screaming out loud as I ran by the river.

I remember telling a friend of mine about my resistance and anger toward meditation, and she said something along the lines of “Do you think you resist meditation because you know it’s good for you?”

That was when I had my first understanding that I resist surrender, and by “I”,” I mean “my little, lower self.”

Do you ever do that? Resist things that are good for you because of some underlying story. Maybe it’s a toughness story. Maybe it’s shame. Maybe it’s an insistence to let the world know you’ve “got this” when it’s something you do not, in fact, got?

I went into meditation kicking and screaming, because my ego, the protector who governs the Andee of Andrea, is absolutely convinced that surrender means imminent death. And yet, if I didn’t surrender to meditation, I couldn’t imagine my life today.

I had another experience this weekend where I went kicking and screaming to a healing circle in Chicago. Martin is a resident healer there, and he goes on the first Friday of every month. Andee and healers… you’d think by now, in the work I do and how I do it, I would jive there, but there was a missing ingredient in that space that isn’t missing in my life in New York City: anonymity.

In so many areas of my life, I hide in plain sight. Here I am, in all my glory, blasting this email to you, doing podcast interviews, talking and blabbing and performing… but am I here? Or is it just the performer?

I willingly choose to live in a place where if I walked topless down the street, not only would it be legal, but people would actively look away rather than look at me.

My hiding is so good that there have been times I have shown up to events with true vulnerability and people thought that was performative, because… where the hell has that been? Andee must be playing us. Not being able to hide in an event where I am to be for hours on end? That’s a personal hell for me. Because I knew Martin, all of a sudden I was a human with a name. I couldn’t just go see the different healers, sneaking in when the room was already crowded, receiving, and happily doing an Irish exit when I felt complete.

No… I was there early, with a face people could pick out. I was “seen.” I was all of a sudden somehow connected to someone. My anonymity was destroyed. Suddenly I am planning escapes, figuring out how long I can reasonably lock myself in a bathroom, and how long can I saunter around the area where they keep the tea without someone saying “hello” or asking me about my purpose there.

After all, this isn’t New York City. People say “hello” in the Midwest. Why would you say hello?

I could have stayed home, but there was a lesson in this for me and I knew it.

In my five years of recovering from the person I was before life started to get awful, I have learned that the way out is through.

There’s a distinct difference between the ego saying no, and the soul saying no. My soul didn’t want to hide any longer. It wanted healing. I have energy trapped in so many places in my body that my spine is rounding. I hold my hands in clenched fists. And yet, my ego kicks and screams: “get the f__k away from me.”

If it had its way, I’d never do anything new, eat anything new, meet anyone new, or experience absolutely anything ever again. My ego wants to sit in its protective righteousness in a city of nine million, where my own neighbor doesn’t yet know my first name after 13 years in the building.

For me, growth is constant work. Growth is constant hell. Having “new shit” means surrender of the old.

Last week, we learned about the “seeds” of all human problems.

One of the seeds is “this is not safe.”

That’s not to say everyone has that “seed.” Some people have “I’m not enough” or “Nobody cares.”

However, I have “this is not safe.” I think I’m enough most of the time. I don’t give a hoot if you care about my work. But dammit, that program of “this isn’t safe” goes deep.

Hiding has been my favorite, because when you hide, hide right there, right there like Waldo, people won’t find you.

There was not a bit about the healing that I received that I enjoyed, except for all of it. And when I say “enjoyed,” I don’t mean it felt good. It felt like someone was stabbing me with a million knives. It involved me saying what I truly meant, and not the things I thought people wanted to hear.

“What brings you here?”

I hate that question. And you know what other question I hate?

”Do you have any questions?”

No. I don’t have any questions, because I don’t care… not about your opinion or the requirements for this job, or how you feel about the concept you just explained. I don’t care, and I don’t have questions.

Healing is hard.

I cried a lot. I said that I hated people. I journaled four pages and received energy from many powerful humans with open hearts.

I don’t know how I got here. I certainly was not looking for here.

I fight the animal of “here” every second that “here” is.

And if I didn’t force myself through this pain, I wouldn’t know the great beauty of this world.

My friend, growth is f__king awful.

And sometimes, you’re gonna go kicking and screaming… But seriously, go.


Andee Scarantino
Andee Scarantino
Andee Scarantino is a Mindset and Transformational coach on a mission to make personal development digestible. She is the creator of, and host of The Get the F*ck Off Podcast, which deep dives into identity, limiting beliefs, and “getting the fuck off the shit that doesn’t serve you anymore.”  Andee earned her M.A. in Sociology from Columbia University in 2013. Her work incorporates how macro-level systems contribute to individual arrested development. Since a very young age, she has always had a fascination for knowing and understanding people. She spent 20 years working in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry; 11 of those years were at a restaurant in Times Square. Through that time, both while bartending and training staff members, she honed the incredible skill of active listening. Now, Andee uses her powerful voice to connect to the “greater story of us,” showing readers and listeners alike how so much of our human experience is dictated to us by things outside of our awareness. Andee is the creator and leader of a women’s coaching community, “Day 1.” The community is based on the concept that everything happens now. One of her members described it as a “beautifully powerful container full of trust, vulnerability, laughs, a few cuss words, and a whole lot of exploration.” Present moment awareness is a major component of Andee’s mindset and transformational coaching, and she’s diligent in having her clients examine their stories in between sessions. Day 1. is a reminder that every day, every moment, is an opportunity for a fresh start. Who you are today is not contingent on yesterday. A former 18-year cigarette smoker, Andee now is an avid runner and has run many full marathons since 2018. Quitting smoking was the fulcrum that shifted her understanding of how perceived identity contributes to people staying in what they believe are unmovable scenarios. Andee lives in New York City. In her free time, she enjoys running by the East River.

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