It’s okay to be broken

    —
June 22, 2013

It is okay to be broken, to allow yourself to fall apart
You need not hold it together any longer for you were never together to begin with
Fall apart and resist the temptation to put yourself back together again
See what is forever untouched by the concepts “together” and “apart”
It is okay to be broken, for it is through the cracks in you that light can pour through

cracks

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Also By Author

Six Summer Reads You Won’t Want to Miss!

After the stillness of winter and the slow waking of spring, summer is a time for getting up, getting out, and getting our hands on what inspires us the most. Here are some recent Sounds True releases for tapping into a life well lived.

1. The Biophilia Effect – Clemens G. Arvay 

Summer Super Sale - The Biophilia Effect

This is a book that celebrates our interconnection with nature and shows how to deeply engage the natural world wherever you live to dramatically improve your health. Clemens G. Arvay presents fascinating research, practical tools and activities,

inspiring stories, and more in this accessible guide to the remarkable benefits of being in nature.

Get it here: https://www.soundstrue.com/store/the-biophilia-effect.html

 

 

 

 

2. The Healing Code of Nature – Clemens G. Arvay

The Healing Code of Nature - Clemens G. Arvay

Human beings are inseparable from the natural world, coevolving with all of life. In order to thrive, we need to nourish this bond. In his latest book, biologist Clemens G. Arvay illuminates the miraculous ways that the human body interprets the living “code” of plants, animals, and our larger natural habitat for healing and sustenance.

Get it here: https://www.soundstrue.com/store/the-healing-code-of-nature.html

 

 

 

 

 

3. Book of Beasties – Sarah Seidelman

Summer Super Sale - Book of Beasties

From an ancient perspective, everything—including all natural things, like rocks, flowers, trees, insects, birds, and mammals

—is alive and infused with conscious energy or spirit,” writes Sarah Seidelmann. If you’re one of the many people looking to reconnect with the creativity, wisdom, and vital energy of the natural world, here is a fantastic guide for tapping into the power of animal totems, or “beasties.”

Get it here: https://www.soundstrue.com/store/book-of-beasties.html

 

 

 

4. No Recipe – Edward Espe Brown

Summer Super Sale - No RecipeMaking your love manifest, transforming your spirit, good heart, and able hands into food is a great undertaking,” writes renowned chef and Zen priest Edward Espe Brown, “one that will nourish you in the doing, in the offering, and in the eating.” With No Recipe: Cooking as Spiritual Practice, Brown beautifully blends expert cooking advice with thoughtful reflections on meaning, joy, and life itself.

Get it here: https://www.soundstrue.com/store/no-recipe.html

 

 

 

 

5. Yoga Friends – Mariam Gates & Rolf Gates 

Summer Super Sale - Yoga FriendsFrom the creators of Good Night Yoga and Good Morning Yoga comes a beautifully illustrated city adventure that introduces children to the delights and benefits of partner yoga.

Perfect for teaming up with a friend, sibling, parent, or caregiver, each easy practice shows how cooperation helps us to imagine, move, and have fun in a whole new way.

Includes a back-page guide for parents and caregivers, showing how to do each pose and how to connect them into an easy-to-follow flow.

Get it here: https://www.soundstrue.com/store/yoga-friends.html

 

6. Happier Now – Nataly Kogan

Summer Super Sale - Happier Now

What if you could be happier, right now, without radically changing your life? As nationally recognized happiness expert Nataly Kogan teaches, happiness is not a nice feeling or a frivolous extra. It’s a critical, non-negotiable ingredient for living a fulfilling, meaningful, and healthy life—and it’s a skill that we can all learn and improve through practice. In Happier Now, Nataly shares an illuminating, inspiring, and science-based guide to help you build your happier skills and live with more joy, starting now.

Get it here: https://www.soundstrue.com/store/happier-now.html

 

 

 

 

 

Have other books you’ve read by the poolside or under a shade tree ended up changing the way you see the world? Tell us about those summer reads that ended up being more than you expected!

 

Singing Bowl Meditation Sounds True Spotify Playlist

Sounds True is on Spotify!

Need some tunes for rest and relaxation? Check out our Singing Bowl Meditation Playlist! A variety of artists who make a soothing mix of infinite rhythms using Tibetan singing bowls. Perfect throughout a meditative practice.

 

November New Releases and Giveaway

NOVEMBER NEW RELEASES

 

 

The Integrity Advantage by Kelly Kosow

Are you ready to open up to new levels of self-trust and self-love, to get where you want to go?

You vowed to speak up at work, and then sat silent in the meeting yet again.

You told yourself “this time the diet is going to stick,” only to watch the scale inching up.

You felt that something just wasn’t right about someone that—until you learned the hard way that your instincts were right.

“Every time you bite your tongue,” teaches Kelley Kosow, “you swallow your integrity.”

Before Kelley Kosow was a renowned life coach and CEO, she constantly second-guessed herself, let her “to-do” lists and others steer her dreams and passions, and played it “small and safe.”

Inspired by the groundbreaking principles of her renowned mentor Debbie Ford, who hand-picked Kelley to be her successor, The Integrity Advantage is Kelley’s step-by-step guide for facing the fear, shame, and false beliefs that cause us to lose our way.

Through life-changing insights, true stories, and proven strategies, this book will show you how to live on your own terms—according to you—from the inside out.

 

Daring to Rest by Karen Brody

As modern women, we’re taught that we can do it all, have it all, and be it all. While this freedom is beautiful, it’s also exhausting. Being a “worn-out woman” is now so common that we think feeling tired all the time is normal. According to Karen Brody, feeling this exhausted is not normal—and it’s holding us back. In Daring to Rest, Brody comes to the rescue with a 40-day program to help you reclaim rest and access your most powerful, authentic self through yoga nidra, a meditative practice that guides you into one of the deepest states of relaxation imaginable.

It’s time to lie down and begin the journey to waking up

 

 

 

 

Breathe and Be by Anna Emilia Laitinen and Kate Coombs

Teaching mindfulness helps kids learn to stay calm, regulate their emotions, and appreciate the world around them. With Breathe and Be, author Kate Coombs and illustrator Anna Emilia Laitinen team up to present a book of poetry and art for young readers to make mindfulness easy, natural, and beautiful. Here is a book sure to delight parents and kids alike, blending lovingly illustrated nature imagery with elegant verse about living with awareness and inner peace.

 

 

 

 

Leopard Warrior by John Lockley

A Teaching Memoir That Crosses the Barriers Between Worlds

A shaman is one who has learned to move between two worlds: our physical reality and the realm of spirits. For John Lockley, shamanic training also meant learning to cross the immense divide of race and culture in South Africa.

As a medic drafted into the South African military in 1990, John Lockley had a powerful dream. “Even though I am a white man of Irish and English descent, I knew in my bones that I had received my calling to become a sangoma, a traditional South African shaman,” John writes. “I felt blessed by the ancient spirit of Africa, and I knew that I had started on a journey filled with magic and danger.” His path took him from the hills of South Korea, where he trained as a student under Zen Master Su Bong, to the rural African landscape of the Eastern Cape and the world of the sangoma mystic healers, where he found his teacher in the medicine woman called MaMngwev

 

 

Things That Join the Sea and the Sky by Mark Nepo

A Reader for Navigating the Depths of Our Lives

The Universe holds us and tosses us about, only to hold us again. With Things That Join the Sea and the Sky, Mark Nepo brings us a compelling treasury of short prose reflections to turn to when struggling to keep our heads above water, and to breathe into all of our sorrows and joys.

Inspired by his own journal writing across 15 years, this book shares with us some of Mark’s most personal work. Many passages arise from accounts of his own life events—moments of “sinking and being lifted”—and the insights they yielded. Through these passages, we’re encouraged to navigate our own currents of sea and sky, and to discover something fundamental yet elusive: How, simply, to be here.

To be enjoyed in many ways—individually, by topic, or as an unfolding sequence—Things That Join the Sea and the Sky presents 145 contemplations gathered into 17 themes, each intended to illuminate specific situations.

 

 

                NOVEMBER GIVEAWAY

 

WIN OUR NEW RELEASE BUNDLE:The Integrity Advantage, Daring to Rest, Breathe and Be, Leopard Warrior, and Things That Join the Sea and the Sky

TO ENTER: Simply reply in the comments with why you’d like to win!

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Ep 10 Bonus: The Shambala Warrior Prophecy

In Episode 10, “We Are the Great Turning,” Joanna shares a story called the “Shambala Warrior Prophecy,” which was told to her by her friend, Tibetan Monk Chogyal Rinpoche. Joanna was tasked with teaching this prophecy in the West, and it’s one of her most famous teachings. 

We wanted to separate the story from Episode 10 so that you can come back to the story again and again, whenever you need the inspiration and wisdom it offers. Here is Joanna telling the Shambhala Warrior Prophecy. 

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

Ep 10: We Are the Great Turning

As this journey around the spiral comes to a close, Jess brings us back to the table with Joanna for one last profound conversation. Joanna shares an ancient Tibetan prophecy, “The Coming of the Kingdom of Shambhala,” which shows us that the way we build the Great Turning is through compassion and insight into the radical interdependence of all things.

Jess reflects on the transformative experience of making this podcast, and Joanna expresses deep love and belief in Jess and her generation, urging us to draw upon ancestral wisdom and “the web of connections” to sustain them through the challenges ahead.

In this episode:

  • The Shambhala Prophecy tells us to act with compassion and insight into the radical interdependence of all things
  • Joanna’s teachings, love, and mentorship will remain an enduring source of strength and guidance for Jess and so many others
  • As the spiral of the Work That Reconnects comes to a close, the greater work of the Great Turning continues, carried forward by each person who has been touched by these conversations
  • Bonus Exercise: The Shambala Warrior Prophecy
  • Bonus Exercise: Callings and Resources

We recommend starting a podcast club with friends or family to do these practices together. Links and assets to help prompt reflection and build community can be found with every episode on WeAreTheGreatTurning.com.

How to Mental Stack Your Way to a New Chapter in Life

Most people feel trapped in a thousand ways. But more often than not, this sense of entrapment us into putting our heads down and getting the things we are expected to get done, done. We can’t often see the entrapment, especially if it looks like the result of our own choices in life. But were they truly our own choices? What if some of the choices we made in life have never really been ours to begin with? 

I want to take us back a little. Back to when we were younger. When we had to rely on the wisdom of our elders, and those who have been in this life much longer than us. In my upcoming book Invisible Loss, I write about that time in our lives when we were at our most rebellious:

Disobedience—as a child, as a teen, as an adult in the world of work and home—is an act that creates invisible suffering. We learn to survive that repeated pattern of being commanded by our elders to be “good.” In order to be good and obey, we may create a life closer to that command but further away from our Original Self. We may work hard trying to be good, trying to please and fit into the mold created for us, but that only helps to build our Waiting Room life.

But time in the Waiting Room doesn’t need to last forever. And you don’t have to die inside it. There are parts within you that can bring forth a life worthy of your human existence. Places within yourself that have no shame.

As long as we have been alive, creating a life that aligns closest to the wishes of our caregivers and protectors blinds us to the life that we could choose for ourselves. That life is completely hidden even if we think we know our wishes. Often, only when we go through tragic or invisible losses, do we start to question those choices. Dare I say, these moments are opportunities to exit the loop of being “good.”

It is time to interrupt our regular transmission. It is time to be clear when it comes to what it is we are trying to communicate to the people in our lives. It starts from no longer trying so hard to fit into the mold that was created for us.  No matter how old we are, we can always break outside this mold and align our choices with our true values and desires.

This is not an easy task. I understand that. At the core of my book, Invisible Loss, I’ve created tjos easy practice to help set you on the right path to your Original Self. I call it Mental Stacking:

What Is Mental Stacking?

Mental Stacking is the ability to intentionally layer your thoughts to replace unconscious, Survivor-based

thinking with Wisdom-based thinking. In doing so, these Wisdom-based thoughts can more easily be converted into real-life action. This Stacking practice allows you to access your true and authentic self (your Original Self) and entrust it with the controls of your life. Here is what a basic Stack looks like:

  • The Cleanse: Transcribing the automatic, routine-based, unconscious thoughts. Write them down. Don’t stop writing until you feel you are done. 
  • The Pattern: Subtracting from that first layer the thoughts of fear and doubt. Once you write everything you are feeling and thinking down, read it back to yourself and find a sentence or two that comes from a place of fear or doubt. For example, somewhere in your long cleanse you may find yourself saying: “I feel trapped in my marriage and I don’t dare tell anyone about it because he is the nicest guy. All of my friends always tell me how lucky I am to be married to someone who takes such good care of me.”
  • The Reframe: Writing the consciously reframed thought layer in the Stack. Take that sentence and reframe it. For example: “I feel trapped in my marriage and feel ashamed for feeling this way because my partner is such a good guy,” to, “even though I may feel shame about how I feel, I need to share these feelings with my partner even though it may not be expected or understood. This is my life, after all.” 
  • The Plug-In: Translating the reframed thought into action. Once you have that reframed thought, think of a low-risk action you can take that can stem from that newly scripted thought. For example, you can suggest to your partner to go for dinner at a brand new place where you can bring up what is on your mind in a new environment. You can act on your right to express yourself regardless of what the response might be or how others view your situation. 

Your Mental Stack leads you to a specific next step that may not always be easy to see without the power of each previous layer in the Stack. 

Here’s to a great new chapter ahead,

Christina Ramussen

Invisible Loss


Invisible Loss
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Sounds True

Christina Rasmussen is an acclaimed grief educator and the author of Second Firsts and Where Did You Go? She is the founder of the Life Reentry Institute and has helped countless people break out of what she coined the “waiting room” of grief to rebuild their lives through her Life Reentry® Model, a new paradigm of grief, based on the science of neuroplasticity. She lives in Austin, Texas. For more, visit christinarasmussen.com.

Author photo © Marc Olivier Le Blanc

  • larry french says:

    We at unity church of tustin have been considering the phenomena “spiritual bypass” as we call it for years. we have added shadow work as a core component of our spiritual practiceas a community.We would love to see your work as it progresses and possibly participate. the main ph # is714-730-3444. address 14402 so prospect tustin ca. 92780 best of success LARRY

    • Matt Licata says:

      Thank you for your kind note, Larry. I’d be happy to stay in touch with you regarding the research on spiritual bypassing. The interviews are completed and that portion of the study is now finished. I will make a note to be back in touch when the project is finalized. I’m really happy to hear you are exploring this as a community, and am inspired to hear that you have added shadow work as a core component of your work together. I really wish you all the best… -Matt

  • Nicole says:

    Beautiful blog post, Matt!

  • Theresia Huebner says:

    I am like beside myself with delight when I see writings that encourage acknowledgment of the brokenness we must all eventually face. It’s either voluntary or not but we will end up broken, that light WILL come through one way or another. I had it happen. The agony of being broken only lasted until I realized the necessity of the 2×4. Finally I saw the light come through the cracks. Now, I could not be more ecstatic, knowing falling apart is the natural momentum which needs to occur before awareness (light) can enter.
    So, thanks Matt

    • Matt Licata says:

      Thank you, Theresia, for sharing a piece of your heart with all of us. In my experience, when we can come to see that we were never actually together to begin with, that love never actually asked this of us, that there is a natural freedom that emerges – and allows us to truly be there for life and for others. It sounds as if you know this in a very personal way. How beautiful. Lots of love, matt.

      • Theresia Huebner says:

        Yes, and I am more then grateful for it.
        And it always feels good being understood, some sort of verification I’m not nuts, so thanks for the response.

  • Hilde says:

    It seems to me that it is through the cracks in the ego that light can pour through. The soul and the ego need to walk side by side through life. As long as the ego closes its eyes and ears to the language and the rich content of the inner soul and spirit, this life-giving light cannot break through to pour out its clarity and warmth into the world.
    Images speak to us without the use of words. So many words are needed to explain one image.
    Heartwarming, Matt. Thank you.

    • Matt Licata says:

      Thank you, Hilde, for your beautiful words and sharing your experience here. In my experience, the deeper and wider we go – and are willing to be broken-open – the clearer it becomes, as you suggest, that there is no absolute difference or separation between the soul and the ego. These dimensions of our experience co-arise, interweave with one another, and make use of one another to show us the mystery of this sacred human world. Take care, my friend.

  • Eugenia says:

    “…You need not hold it together any longer, for you were never together to begin with…”
    Such powerful words and so comforting at the same time, I don’t have to exhaust myself to fix anything, I let me just be.What a great idea! In a world, where most people, including mental health professionals are breathlessly trying to fix or better, numb any unpleasant feelings the moment they become apparent, through the use of medications, alcohol, drugs, even food, it is refreshing , to see another way of looking at one’s pain and capacity to heal. Allowing for discomfort and being broken, makes room for patience, resilience and trust to develop and opens us up to the meaning of our true essence in this moment. It’s not easy being human but is always a wondrous feeling. Your photo vividly illustrates the story. I love it!Thank you. Eugenia

    • Matt Licata says:

      This is beautiful, Eugenia, it sounds like you speak from direct experience. In my experience, there is nothing inherently problematic in trying to heal or fix or improve our lives. However, as you suggest, this process often takes us away from our immediate, embodied experience. When we can learn to meet directly whatever challenging feelings and emotions that arise, we find ourselves on a direct pathway into the body, where all healing occurs (in my experience). There is an energy that is released when we stay with that which is uncomfortable; you could say it is a certain kind of grace which allows us finally to metabolize those difficult energies and experiences from the past. You are right, it is not easy, it demands everything (and more), to allow love to reveal to us the totality its qualities. Sometimes grace can be so sweet; other times it can be quite fierce. But always, still grace. Take care.

  • Catherine says:

    I am going through a period of my life where I feel broken….and it’s in the quest of acceptance of this brokenness that I know I can heal. It’s such a hard lesson and path to take – not for the faint of heart.
    Thank you for your post.

    • Matt Licata says:

      Thank you, Catherine, for sharing your heart here. In my experience, when we can find some way to turn toward the brokenness it will often reveal that part of ourselves that could never be anything less than whole. Brokenness, togetherness, confusion, clarity, sadness, joy – these all arise and dissolve, they all come and go in that totality that you are. It is never easy to touch these places in ourselves, however in my experience they are not always what they seem. They extend a very special sort of invitation, open a unique kind of portal, and offer to take you home. I really wish you the best on your journey, my friend; and thank you for your courage.

  • Virginia says:

    So appropriate to have read this today after working with a client in group terrified of “breaking down and falling apart” and trying her best to stop herself. I look forward to sharing this with her tomorrow. Thank you.

  • Hella says:

    Can you tell me the name of the artist?

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