I’ve experienced a lot of loss this year. Most of the loss has come as my own choice, which in some ways makes it even harder. I can’t even fall back on feelings of victimhood because I’ve brought all this loss upon myself, not because I’m a masochist, but because I’m being called to align with the integrity of my Inner Pilot Light in radical ways. It’s hard and scary and wildly uncomfortable. And it hurts. My heart feels heavy as big changes have uprooted me. I’ve had to really lean into my spiritual practice to stay grounded, avoid the downward spiral into fear, find peace with uncertainty, and allow loss to grow my soul, rather than shrink it.

Eckhart Tolle says that if you’re enlightened, there are three responses to what happens in life—acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. In other words, even when you’re facing the worst life throws at you, peaceful acceptance can be your baseline. Clearly, I’m not enlightened, because today, a yard full of roots thrust me into despair. The house where I live just changed owners, and the new owner, very well intentioned I’m sure, just sent over gardeners who ripped up every plant in my entire yard, including my beloved rosemary and artichoke plants. I’ve experienced a great deal of loss this year, and I keep saying that all of my roots are getting pulled up so I’m free to flow to whatever is most aligned for me. But as I came home from dropping my daughter off at camp and looked at the piles of literal roots and the barren, vulnerable nakedness of my front yard, I burst into tears. It’s all so . . . empty and ugly and dirty and lonely. I’m sure the new landscaping will be beautiful, but right now, I’m feeling a little tender. Not quite up to peaceful acceptance, much less enjoyment or enthusiasm.

The Fear Cure

It’s all very ironic, I must say. I just finished writing my next book The Fear Cure: Cultivating Courage As Medicine For The Body, Mind & Soul. The book comes out February 2105 with Hay House, and my National Public Television special about the book will air March 2015. I have to laugh because I’m literally in the fire of experiencing everything I’m writing about. It’s as if the Universe said, “You’re going to be arrogant enough to try to write a book about fear? Here! Take this!” In January of this year, I was so blocked after two years of being unable to write this book that I was ready to give my advance back and throw in the towel. But everything that has happened since January has given me the material I needed in order to allow this book to flow through me. And a big part of it has been about loss. . . .

Loss As Initiation

If we’re unconscious, loss can destroy us, but if we’re willing to wake up and let loss break us wide open, cracking the shell of the ego and liberating the spirit, loss can be an initiation. We hate to face this painful truth, but life is impermanent. Everything we cherish we will one day lose. And life most often teaches us our greatest lessons through the vehicle of loss. Loss, if we let it, can initiate us into maturing into a soul-driven life. Loss can lead to a sort of rebirth that matures us, grows the wisdom within us, and opens a door to the next phase of our growth.

In her book Broken Open, Elizabeth Lesser writes, “Adversity is a natural part of being human. It is the height of arrogance to prescribe a moral code or health regime or spiritual practice as an amulet to keep things from falling apart. Things do fall apart. It is in their nature to do so. When we try to protect ourselves from the inevitability of change, we are not listening to the soul. We are listening to our fear of life and death, our lack of faith, our smaller ego’s will to prevail. To listen to your soul is to stop fighting with life–to stop fighting when things fall apart; when they don’t go our way, when we get sick, when we are betrayed or mistreated or misunderstood. To listen to the soul is to slow down, to feel deeply, to see ourselves clearly, to surrender to discomfort and uncertainty and to wait.”

Whether the adversity we fear or have already faced is the death of a loved one, a divorce, the loss of a job, the dissolution of a romance, the loss of good health, or a financial loss, when we lose what we cherish, we have a choice. We can break down or we can break open.  A breakdown in the wake of loss can lead to fear, depression, anxiety, isolation, addiction, or cynicism, make us emotionally unavailable or unable to cope. It may even lead to illness or suicide. But there’s another way to respond to loss. Loss can lead to an unexpected blossoming. Through it, we can become more of who we really are than we ever thought possible.

Blossoming In The Face Of Loss

Many of us walk around surrounded by a shell that protects us from the outside world. Whether we like it or not, loss offers the opportunity to crack the shell. Having your shell cracked in the wake of loss can feel unbearably painful; you may feel like a raw neuron, unprotected from everything that threatens to prick you, and want to put on even stronger armor. But this isn’t the only way to deal with loss. You can choose to let it break you open and leave you that way, available for living a richer, deeper life with your heart wide open.

With this perspective in mind, I am looking out at my empty garden. I am giving myself permission to feel the loss—to cry, to lean into the emotion, to seek comfort through my favorite sweatshirt, a cup of tea, the peacefulness of nature, and the soothing words of my best friend. But I am also wondering what will grow here next. What flowers will bloom? What herbs will replace my rosemary? What vegetables will flourish where my artichoke once struggled? What possibilities will fill in the holes of all my losses? If I’m willing to let go of my attachment to how I wish things could be, I can open myself to the mystery of what is aligned and what will come next, and so can you.

Will Loss Initiate You?

Are you willing to be open to the mystery and find peace with the loamy soil of possibility? Can you shift your perspective on loss so you can lean into it with an open heart and eyes open to potential? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Broken open,

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  1. Trix Bradley

    “When we try to protect ourselves from the inevitability of change, we
    are not listening to the soul. We are listening to our fear of life and
    death, our lack of faith, our smaller ego’s will to prevail.” I am resonating with this and thinking I need your new book NOW! Thanks for your vulnerability and courage Lissa.

  2. Jen

    Thank you Lissa. I’ve just been feeling so much loss, and change, lately that I feel lost myself. You have given me a new perspective on what is happening. Yes, I’ve been feeling broken down, and I need to be broken open. Fear and depression have been the weight on my soul. thank you for sharing your brokeness, for if you hadn’t, I wouldn’t have heard your wisdom today! You’ve been like the hand of a friend to pull me up.

  3. Katy

    Very important words. Along with my sadness is my ever present question of “why”. I want to understand but most of the time I don’t. After an accident ended my career, my loss was overwhelming. But now after 3 years I am loving my retirement. It took me a good 2 years of accepting to come thru the chaos.

  4. Sarah

    Somehow I feel like we’re walking along the same path. Your blog posts and Inner Pilot Light emails always seem to hit me right in the heart chakra at just the right time. I lost my father in March and now stand to lose my mother who’s currently fighting cancer in the ICU. The loss is complicated by difficult relationships with both parents and I’m left with the choice of reacting the way my family expects or standing in my true authenticity.
    Thank you for sharing your journey and your thoughts. It has given me what I needed at just the right time. 🙂

  5. Angie Mattson

    Lissa, I am so touched by this blog post. In the past six months, I purposefully uprooted my life – made a move to the mountains (yay!), got married (yay!) and my husband and I both moved our businesses. His business is flourishing! My business…it’s struggling. I ran out of energy, attention, and enthusiasm. I find myself trying to force something to happen because I really, really need money right now. What I know, though, is everything is okay. It’s happening in its own time. Things are shifting radically and my whole purpose is to allow it, to accept it, and to do what my Soul tells me is next. It’s not happening as fast as *I* want it to, but it IS happening. I can mourn the loss of what was and lean with enthusiasm into what is becoming. 🙂

  6. angie

    “I needed to read this timing was me Impeccable”

  7. frances sweeney

    Gosh Lisa. Im on the floor with change and challenges in my life this year and can really understand where youre coming from.I am in transition from mainstream teaching to teaching spiritual wworkshops as part pf my complimentary therapy practice.Having a constant struggle with letting go of financial fear and posssibly my owm sacred space that is my house and garden .Both have been a labour of love for the past 12 years. The key to eliminating fear for me is focusing and thanking the Universe for the abundance in my life that money cannot buy.

  8. kim

    You continue to amaze me with every blog I read. You are so right on about loss. Every loss I have ever had has been followed by a blossoming but not until I realized that’s how life works.

  9. Dawn

    Lissa, I get that it’s not all about the plants, but… if there are still roots around, on the ground or in the waste bin – can you collect a few and replant them in pots? Plants are resilient and will probably do just fine in a new container.

  10. Margarita Jimenez McLaughlin

    Thank you for sharing your words of struggle. Welcome to the “Losers Club,” doesn’t seem like such a bad thing. I have been reading, Thomas Moore’s “Dark Nights of the Soul,” and it has been very enlightening. I can’t wait to read your book. Thank you for your strength in vulnerability, you inspire we to write. Blessings to you!

  11. Valerie

    I am willing to be broken open. Thank you Lissa.

  12. Laurie Pessemier

    go tell the Palestinians. Some things are just wrong. You can accept but not like. Islam teaches surrender, but sometimes it sucks

  13. Gretchen Kwatra

    Thank you, Lissa, for this much-needed post. I myself have faced what I feel to be a big loss in that I was laid off from my job on July 7. While I had been praying for more challenging opportunities than this job was giving me, the answer that came was a little more than I had bargained for. Now I am dealing with the anxiety and depression of what happens next. And yes there are moments when I do see the opportunities to break open. I know amazing doors are opening just around the corner. If I am patient and calm, many amazing things will happen which will be much bigger than I have ever dreamed. Thank you.

  14. Kris

    Lissa thank you for your authentically beautiful and open posts. I connect to nearly every post. In reading today’s post, it occurred to me that this process of awakening is happening to us all more than I really understood. Too often I feel alone as I navigate what seems like cycles of newly found strength and freedom, followed by the necessity to purge of what feels like life times of “stuff”. Knowing others are experiencing similar challenges provides comfort that I am not necessarily going insane, and underscores how connected we really are. Its so challenging to learn how to let go and trust – particularly when it means releasing all those things we thought were important Feels a bit like parachuting – hoping that shoot opens :-).

  15. Brenda James

    This is so soothing for the soul. You are making look at loss from a totally different angle, how amazing to turn loss into such a positive way to grow and open up to new possibilities…. Wow, I’m amazed by you Lissa Rankin. You often touch my Inner Pilot Light and seem to walk the same grounds at time.

  16. Michelle214

    Thank you Lissa. While already dealing with the self-imposed losses of ending my engagement & then moving across the country from my family, my beloved pet unexpectedly died & it’s just knocked me off my feet. Thank for the perspective and solidarity in your experience.

  17. Donnett Dosdall

    Lissa, How broken can you be before you just fall apart? I am scheduled for divorce court on July 30th. It has only taken 2 years to get this far. I met a wonderful kind man a year and a half ago. He told me that he loved me then was tragically killed 2 days later. I don’t know if I can make it, or if I even want to. At this point the only thing keeping me together is my animals. I have a son and grandchildren but they are so far away that they are not able to give me support. They should not have to support me. I am the mom, I am suppose to support them.

  18. mlradtke27

    Hi Lissa,
    2012 was my year of loss-I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and almost lost everything; my life, business, home. Medical bills swamped me-it was not pretty. Radical Surrender to the Divine saved me. Now I turn to the Divine first, instead of trying to be in control. (Did that EVER work??) Sad to hear about your garden; maybe you could connect with the Nature Spirits and co-create an even more magical space. Thank you for your inspiration.

  19. Sue Wilson

    I lost my 30 year old son to a distracted driver 5 months ago, as times passes, people mean well, but they just don’t get the emptiness of such a loss. Sometimes their words are so hurtful. But I don’t want to be paralyzed with this loss like this for the rest of my life. I want to show my 2 daughter and grandchildren that we must grow and continue to enjoy life but it is so hard right now. I feel myself closing my heart down and after reading this, I realize its not what I need to do I need to “break open” not apart or break down. Thank you Lissa.

  20. Sally

    One Tuesday evening last September I laid in bed reading Broken Open and came to the part where a family described their experience of being broken open after the loss of their child…how the experience had changed each of them in such profound ways. As I lay their sobbing I thought to myself how does anyone come back from being that ‘broken open’. Two days later at 3:30 in the afternoon I received a phone call from a hospital in Illinois, I live in Georgia; the nurse, who was calling on behalf of my son, advised that he wanted me to come to the hospital straight away.
    My son had flown to Colorado 2 days before so that he could accompany my daughter on the drive back to Georgia as she was moving home. After driving for 16 hours straight, just after the sunrise, he fell asleep at the wheel; the vehicle left the roadway. The car struck the first tree at an estimated speed of 75 MPH and from there went air born and wrapped a second tree on the passenger side. My daughter, who was asleep in the passenger seat was killed instantly. The second tree caused massive internal injuries, however the first tree struck the fatal blow. My son eventually survived his physical injuries.
    The loss is unimaginable…still to this day. I know she’s gone, but I still can’t wrap my thinking mind around the whole thing. The thinking mind is not our friend when we are in the process of being broken open…because there is no making logical sense of such things. Losing my daughter forced me into a new level of understanding of the impermanence of life…not that I had never experienced loss, but it was always happening ‘out there’ in someone else’s world. I had the choice to build another layer of armor…I doubt anyone would blame me if I did. I have chosen to remain open because what I know for sure is when I get wrapped up in my thinking mind, I get angry, I am afraid, I feel helpless, overwhelmed…like I am going into a dark room where the door will lock, and there is no key; the grief becomes primal, I want to lash out…I become helpless and sad, so very sad. Not building the wall or the new layer of armor has allowed the grief to flow through me…it does not come at me; yes it comes when it wants and often times there is no warning, but I let it have it’s way. Like Lissa, I do what brings me the greatest comfort…whether that’s to kick and scream, cry, laugh, take a bath, take a walk, or just be. For me, not resisting has allowed me to not miss my daughter in the sunrise, in a flower, a butterfly…I hear her giggle, see her smile; I feel her presence…it doesn’t make it hurt any less and I miss her more and more each day as reality sets in, but I can’t imagine being so angry and closed off emotionally that I am numb to the oft missed beauty of grief.
    I hope this firsthand experience will serve to help another…I have long thought we all go through experiences so that we can help another along the way who may be following in our footsteps. I too am Broken Open.

    • Sue Wilson

      So sorry for your loss as one Loss mother to another. May you find some peace and comfort in each of your days, even in small amounts.

      • Sally

        You as well Sue

  21. Adrian Ciubotariu

    Dear Lissa,
    Did you agree beforehand with the new owner to have the garden flowers removed? If so, maybe you should have protected your beloved ones.

    Seneca thought and wrote much about loss and adversity and one can find many relevant quotes, one of which is :

    A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.

    A life without loss is not a common one and then Nietzsche says :
    What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (like in the recent song)

    We should consciously control our expectations and include in them the worse possible (but only in the back of our minds, we shouldn’t obsess about them).

    Most of the people writing here had gone through loss and I am also one of them (I went through more than one depression, been in hospital and so on).

    I can confirm that after several years I am happy about that!
    I am (I think) enlightened but this is not idling, I always look to learn more.
    I look at each day as a gift, an opportunity to give and to improve even in the slightest others’ and my own life.

    Best wishes to you and keep sharing your excellent talent!

  22. Deborah

    I thank you beyond measure for your message today. Synchronicity most definitely had its Voice and it knocked on my door. I am grateful I heard the “Knock and Opened the Door.” Your memo was a great message associated with altering my lens toward “Loss.” It struck a chord deep within, something I just remembered from childhood. Much Gratitude for your message. Blessings….to All.

  23. Mary Jane Heppe

    I had been writing poetry about loss for many years. Then we lost our company, then we lost our home. Soulful awareness bolstered courage. Then I lost my health to Lyme disease. I was dying in 2005. Most of our family was diagnosed with Lyme. During moments of lucidity with neuroborreliosis, I would capture the thought that my loving allies were going to help pull me out of the dark hell. After long-term antibiotic therapy, our quality of life has improved. Graced by loss, graced by Lyme, graced by fear: All of this has gifted me with vulnerability and the capacity to be far more compassionate toward others.

  24. Kelly Cleveland

    Lissa you rock out! I love reading your blogs and hearing you touches my heart! I have been there with you and are now facing the time when I need to break that shell. I need to move out of my house and start over. But I am so scared! What if it doesn’t work out? What if I make a mistake and regret it? What if? We let that ego mind tell us all kind of stories don’t we? So how about this? What if not?
    What if I never take the chance to dance in the rain and sing out loud? What if I never experience living at the beach and writing my book. How sad will that be! sometimes in life you just have to say Fuck it! That’s right… FUCK IT! I know for one thing… I didn’t live twice through cancer and fatal blood clots for nothing! I am going for it and not looking back. FUCK IT! My word of the year was Perspective! So let’s just take a deep breath in and find another way… there’s ALWAYS another way… and it just might be better! OXOXOXO

  25. musicupliftsmysoul .

    As this email came through, I was trying to get more info on the book ‘Second Firsts’, by Christina Rasmussen, listed on Amazon, & from her website, in order to get an idea of the content, before I buy it. She writes about rebuilding her life after the life shattering loss of her husband. I really don’t know if the message of the book aligns with yours, Lissa, and the wisdom you share. I mentioned the book because many people, in response to your sharing, have so bravely commented here, on being Broken Open, by severe losses experienced, and have commented with amazing courage and willingness to change the lense through which they and we, view loss. Wow, the bravery has been incredible and has inspired me to change my own view of loss. By Grace.

    I’m so sorry for your garden, Lissa, and all that it represents – that barren picture speaks volumes, and the unfairness. (I also love rosemary…but am aware it’s primarily about far more than that).

    I’ve wanted to make my own garden into a sacred garden where people could visit. Last year images or visions kept coming to me. Perhaps it’s another garden, that I ‘see’, as this year, due to many circumstances, I’ve practically lost this beautiful established garden, which I’ve known my entire life, to BE BEAUTIFUL and well cared for. I’ve sweated and sacrificed to oversee and care for it for 9 very lonely years. Presently I keep getting recurring images of fields of lavender. I’ve used the image for all the healing properties of what I consider to be embodied by lavender (& bought some lavender essential oil) – the lavender bushes in the garden were always so bountiful and healing. This image may have another meaning of something calling me, I don’t know.
    I don’t know if this long comment will be of any use ! to anyone, but I felt if I don’t comment, then it definitely won’t be!!!
    with love sent

    • ATimeOfGrace

      Your comment is absolutely beautiful! Thank you! I recently learned (subversively) that I am being laid off today. While I find my institution’s lack of grace in this situation stunning in its depth and breadth of cruelty, I also decided last week that this would be ok. For maybe one of the first times, I absolutely let go. It actually feels unfamiliar, this calm. I won’t belabor my newfound peace of heart bc I’m not even sure from whence it comes (years of therapy? an unconscious understanding of divine timing?), but I will be carrying your words with me today at my unfortunate meeting, so thank you for this, Music Uplifts My Soul. <3

      • musicupliftsmysoul .

        Dear friend, A Time Of Grace, I have been absolutely honored to have received your beautiful words and comment. I can tangibly feel the energetic love and calm of your words, as your message has truly ‘sunk in’. Together with the implication of that which you have mentioned. I am so sorry about such a meeting, to have had to endure today. I have wondered how it went. But have a sense that along with the harsh betrayal and loss, has come a love, almost that is beyond the understanding thereof, as you mention.

        I do so wish you well. It’s beautiful to have met on this forum. I feel very honored, AND I love your pic – I have ‘walked’ closely with cats for so many years !!! In fact the flowers in my profile or avatar pic, are of flowers I bought when my beautiful cat Skye, passed, last year.
        I am so inspired by your shift and the letting go ! Look after yourself – a sentence which I’m not sure is needed ! <3
        With love and gratitude,

    • Michele Madrigal

      Christina’s book is amazing! I’ve read it twice and done most of the exercises as well. I can’t recommend it enough. I have lost my job, my health, my husband, my home, and my sanity over the past 5 years. I’m tired of being in the Waiting Room as Christina calls it. I’m slowly but surely making my way to a life I love. And I’m doing it on my terms and in my own time. As she shows in her book, it can be done. Good luck:)!

      • musicupliftsmysoul .

        Thanks Michele, I’ll order it today. 🙂 Through our version of Amazon, called Kalahari. (The Kalahari is a pristine desert in southern Africa). The book kept almost pushing itself to me! I’ve had similar levels of loss to yours, and have been in the Waiting Room for years more than I’d like to admit. I did send a friendly email to her, but got no reply. The book is the way to start. Appreciate your comment! 🙂

  26. Issy Morris

    My heart goes out to you Lissa ~ I recommend reading “outwitting the Devil” by Napoleon Hill ! Everyone should read this amazing book….much love to you and happier times ahead….

  27. Jennifer

    Having suffered several major losses in different spheres of life not too long ago, I resonate with a lot of what you said. At the height of the storm, which also coincided with the middle of a coaching training program (which I experienced alternately as “thank anyone who’s listening I’m doing this” and “holy sh*t, why does the world seem to be imploding”) I found that Susan Piver’s book “The Wisdom of a Broken Heart” became my ‘bible.’ It speaks similarly of the value of being ‘broken open.’ After a friend sent me this article (,
    I committed myself to being broken open and took Akhilanda as my patron saint. She’s one beautiful, kick-ass goddess: riding her reptilian fears through the tumultuous waves of life, all the while being powerfully ‘never not broken.’ For me, it was one long, dark winter – yet the cracks, so they say, are where the light shines through. May your light continue to shine. Thanks for your work and your openness.

    [PS – one evening in the early spring, my father came by to pick me up. As he approached the front door, he bent to pull a couple weeds from an otherwise spotless bed. Those weeds were the tender green shoots in March that were intended to yield magnificent dahlias come June – little did he know he yanked out of the ground the only bulbs I planted that fall, hoping against hope for beauty in the spring. I TOTALLY feel for ya!!]

  28. Lila Osborne

    I prayed for years to be out from under everything that was holding me down from happiness, it was literally everything. Right now I’m working on a plan to travel on $1200 a month. The past 5 years I’ve “lost” my house, car, 35 year marriage to a narcissist, friends, family. I don’t even feel like I belong anywhere so I might as well travel. kind of scary but feel like I’m being led to something beyond my wildest dreams. My loss has been a blessing.

    • Euni33

      Lila, I feel like you wrote about what happened to me within the last 4 years (for me). Just recent I let a relationship go because it was so toxic to me and my self worth. It still hurts but what hurt more was being taken for granted and ignored. I, too, prefer to travel and I will eventually. But for now, my plans are to just go and start over in a new state, of mind and being, and away from where I am at the moment. It’s a long road but I know I can do it. And I know you can do it too. Sometimes the only faith we can have is in ourselves. Have a little faith. 🙂

  29. Linda McCarthy

    Thank you Lissa, I resonated with your post. I have had a lot of loss in my life but more so over the past 2 years or so. I have been working on this, I will now focus on ‘Blossoming in the face of Loss”. As usual this article came when I needed to read it most. Again thank you 🙂

  30. faith wolfe

    Article arrived at the perfect time, as I have been overwhemed with a recent medical complication. Thanks for reminding me I have a choice in facing this ad a setback or simplya life experience.

  31. kristine

    This came at the right time for me. I’m on vacation with my dear husband who survived a stroke almost two years ago that turned our lives upside down. Through the grace of God he is doing well. But with other personal losses I’ve had I thought the worst was over when I received a phone call telling me that I have osteoporosis. I’m was at my happiest walking, riding my bike and just enjoying being physical when I received the news.I was so sad thinking about my mother going through the same thing. Then I read your message. I will not allow this new slam to define who I am. My sprit is bigger than all life can throw at me. Today I return to living my life without a diagnosis. Thank you so much!

  32. Kurt Wilkens

    The only function of pain (loss) is to awaken, to become conscious. There is an abject pain so raw and poignant, that, we, the “mentally ill”, if we survive, then thrive, accept and expect Respect.

  33. Kim

    Lissa, this is such a powerful post and so timely. I was thinking of the ripping out of your entire front lawn…all of it and just the coincidence of one of my favorite priest’s explanation of the parable of the The Weeds and Wheat this past Sunday. He indicated that we go through life often making binary distinctions…us/them, it’s either black or white, a flaw we see in another that we don’t see in ourselves, etc. Sometimes, when you go to pull out the weeds, you take out the good wheat too. The point he says is that the weeds and wheat exist in all of us, all of humanity, including us. There is always infinite patience for us to come back home, return to who we are, experience redemption, change our heart. The invitation is open to all. With every ending, there is new beginning. Hope is contagious….congratulations on your courage and love.

  34. Amy Johnson

    Lissa your post was like a gift from heaven. I have experienced an inordinate number of losses in my lifetime, most currently the end of a relationship I thought would be for life. As i read your words i could step outside myself and see two versions of myself. An expanded version with arms uplifted, ready to transform into new beginnings. Or a hardened, constricted, dark and angry person. I like the first person better! My awakening and renewal continues. Blessings to you LIssa for this wisdom.

  35. maxresonance

    Thank you, Lissa. Very helpful. I approach a sense of loss through dissolving body tensions via various somatic resonance exercises. If my body is blissful, then my emotions and mind trot along after it like happy puppies. Recently i posted a new demo and article about this approach: “Resonating to Nirvana”
    and a companion article: May All Beings Be Peaceful and Happy!

  36. Audrey at

    Such a true and aligned way to look at how loss can prepare us for something greater. It took me forever to recognize the loss of my alignment with a current job and it caused me to break-down, to become depressed, upset, moody, and completely unhappy. But I couldn’t see how this could bring me a possibility of something greater. I broke down instead of allowing myself to break open.
    Until I asked for help. A year later I am in a different career, more fully aligned with who-I-really-am, and, even though I had to go through quite a few tears, the gutwrenching feeling of letting someone else down, the fears of moving away from a secure job, I am totally blooming now.
    It may not be the same kind of loss, some losses come suddenly, some very slowly sneak in. Bit it is a grand feeling to allow yourself to break open, to be almost reborn, and blossom all over again.
    Thank you for this post!

  37. Tara Rose

    Omg Lissa!! Soul Sistah! I want you to know that I’ve been watching and listening to since I’ve arrived in Florida…about 18 months ago. I am soooo proud of you that I almost don’t have words to express my feelings. Your post really touched my heart because I have had more loss than any person I’ve ever known and the clock is ticking! Still, I have am amazing Spirit and I am not giving up! Like Gandhi said: “fight the good fight”! Ironically, I recently read “Broken Open” as well and then I passed it on to my niece in NY, who doesn’t speak to me because her father (my bro) is holding a grudge against me for something that he thinks I did to him when in reality it’s becuz of something he tried to do to me, which he feels guilty about and cannot face or deal with. I have experienced loses such as: not feeling loved by my family, being kicked in my yoni by a boy twice my size at school when I was only 4 or 5!!, being the girl with a constant stomach ache due ti food intolerances which I was aware of since age 7 but no one would listen to me, being in a horrific car accident right after graduating college which caused horrific headaches and permanent neck injury, almost cutting off my left index finger and requiring major hand surgery, not having my dream of my acting career take off, having 3 complex life-threatening illnesses all at the same time while living in NYC back in ’94 (I healed myself) and being forced to give up my apt, being sexually assaulted and harrased numerous times including 3 date rape situations and when I finally got fed up and took a stand against a chiropractor in Sedona who was also incesting his own biological daughter he created a smokescreen and sued ME for character defamation and got a million dollar judgment against me which left me homeless and penniless overnite and the horrific ripple effects of that one incident changed many people’s lives forever, the pain of still not finding my soulmate (I’mm 55)! or ever getting married or having even one child, relapses and illness requiring major healing and inability to work, having a near amputation of my right index finger after having been exposed to METH (chemical poisoning for 2nd time) when a member of the mexican drug cartel moved in (Illegally of course) next door and starting cooking it!, being forced out of my home as a result and suffering for 2 years from adrenal exhaustion, crohn’s colitis, losing my Dad and the pain of that loss coupled by his resistance to embrace any holistic healing (which is what I do and who I am), giving up 90% of my petsinal belongings and driving from NM to FL with a sprained ankle and a dog (not to mention that I’ve suffered broken ribs, broken arm, broken foot, toes… different times) only to discover that my Mom had Alzheimer’s and that she and my family were in a total state of denial (about lots of other stuff as well)! Then I took her to an internist who advertised herself as being holistic and into preventative medicine actually gave my mother prescriptions for drugs two times, did nothing to support her health holistically and had the audacity to bill her 1,200!!! for doing nothing but talking to her and listening. I also almost lost my best friend (shih poo dog Stellabella) soon after arriving in FL as she had large and overlapoing stones in her teeny tiny bladder but I applied my wisdom of holistic healing and she amazingly recovered 100% and I have the before and after xrays to prove this. I am finally coming out as an animal communicator/healer now and I’m being guided to create a program to teach healing and many other life skills to people in crisis who need encouragement and inspiration!! I had a rafio show in NM called Voice Of Spirit for over a year amd also was in an improv group (which I formed) and did some theatre after a long hiatus. I’m an interfaith minister, reiki master, yoga teacher, kripalu trained holistic teacher, disciple of Susun Weed, hypnotherapist, poet, nlp practitoner, actress, singer, dancer, drummer, jewelry maker, mystic, medium, transformational change agent, painter, voracious reader, t-shirt designer, and astral traveler. I’ve been struggling to crack the egg and gain some kind of platform but all these challenges have made it virtually impossible. I was going to write a novel about my experiences and how it made me become an amazing Golden Galactic Goddess so I read about 25 books on writing non-fiction and just as I was getting ready to start I found out about a writing contest that was being sponsored by Glamour magazine (not so glamourous afterall)! , which is owned by Conde Nast. It was a full page as in the Sept. ’08 issue that said: Got a great real life story? Etc….and it turned out to be a major fraud on the public. No winner or even finalists were ever announced! I learned my lesson about phony contests much like credit card fraud artists and identity thiefs and even produced raduo shows on these topics to inform and enlighten and protect my brothers and sisters frim having to go thru what I’ve had to go thru. They say when “life gives you lemon make lemonade”??? Well then, I say when life gives you the pits of a lemon plant them and grow trees!! I had no idea that there were people just like me on the internet doung what I do and teaching it until my life fell apart again and your voice and presence was one of them thst gave me hope and kept me sane so thank you…thank you….rhank you for being you Lissa and if I manage ti get my internet show produced it wiuld be my deepest honor to have you on as a guest anytime!!! It really is a “wonderful life” and it’s alk going to work out because We Be The Bridge!!! Lots of Love and Light, Tara

  38. Diane

    In his book The Shack, William Young points out our need, or rather compulsion, to categorize each event in our lives as either good or bad, when in reality we cannot possibly know the benefits, challenges and lessons that spin out of each event. I got married when I was 19 and was married for 27 years. We have 3 amazing children, and I turned our family upside down and hurt others deeply when I left 7 years ago, but my soul was drowning and needed air. Yesterday I ended a 6 year relationship with my beautiful, young, Mexican boyfriend and broke his heart, too. Loss, I’ve learned, is more acute when it’s at your hand that others experience it. Yet, I believe, I know, that these choices came from the depths of my soul, and in the final analysis will be good for all concerned.

  39. Lori Jean Wiseman

    Very good, not sure how to cope with all the broken open I have had to endure, but I do know that the only way to stay is open and loving, because if your not then what was all the suffering for?


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