Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

AUDIO BOOK
Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

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Written By: Elizabeth Lesser       
Narrated By: Susan Denaker
Date: 29 December 2008
Duration: 13:04:00

| Genres

Selfhelp Health Mind Body & Soul

| Summary

If we can stay awake when our lives are changing, secrets will be revealed to us—secrets about ourselves, about the nature of life, and about the eternal source of happiness and peace that is always available, always renewable, already within us.
—ELIZABETH LESSER

During times of transition, amid everyday stress, and even when we face seemingly insurmountable adversity, life offers us a choice: to turn away from change or to embrace it; to shut down or to be broken open and transformed. In the more than twenty-five years since she cofounded the Omega Institute—now the world's largest personal-growth and spiritual retreat center—Elizabeth Lesser has been an intimate witness to the ways in which human beings deal with change, loss, and difficulty. She herself has struggled to submit to what she calls the Phoenix Process— allowing herself to be broken open in order to rise like the mythical bird from the ashes of past mistakes and suffering.

In this beautifully written, often funny, and always inspiring book, Lesser has gathered together true stories about ordinary people who by design or disaster decided to step boldly into a fuller life. Here are profoundly moving narratives of fears overcome and risks taken; of hard times and difficult passages; of betrayal, divorce, sickness, and death; and of the day-to-day challenges of raising children, earning a living, and growing older. By sharing her own most human traits, Lesser helps us feel less lonely in our own struggles, and more optimistic about the possibility of transformation. Broken Open also introduces us to some of the world's greatest spiritual teachers—both ancient and living—and imparts the wisdom of various traditions, from Buddhist meditation to Sufi dance, and from Christian prayer to contemporary psychotherapy. Eminently practical, Lesser provides tools to support us in our quest for a clearer sense of purpose and a new passion for life.

Broken Open is not only a testament to the inner richness and potential of every life but also a deeply trustworthy guide to the dynamics of healing and growth—how we resist and how we surrender, how we stay stuck and how we grow, and how we can turn misfortune into insight, and grief into joy. It helps us to discover within ourselves a fearless heart, a clear mind, and a shining soul.

| Author

Elizabeth Lesser

Elizabeth Lesser is the co-founder and senior adviser of Omega Institute, the largest adult education center in the United States focusing on health, wellness, spirituality and creativity. She is the author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow and A Seeker's Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure.

For more than 30 years, Elizabeth has studied and worked with leading figures in the fields of healing, spiritual development and cultural change. Her work at Omega has included co-directing the organization, curriculum research, conference weaving, teaching and writing the yearly Omega catalog, a reference book that describes the work of some of the most eminent thinkers and practitioners of our times. She has shared her work and teachings at TED (conference) and on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday.

Elizabeth attended Barnard College and San Francisco State University. Prior to her work at Omega, she was a midwife and birth educator. She has been active in local environmental issues for many years in New York's Hudson Valley, where she lives with her husband. She is the mother of three sons.

| Books by Elizabeth Lesser