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And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom' Anais Nin. Elizabeth Lesser shows how it is possible to deal with fearful change or a painful loss and be reborn, like the Phoenix, to a more vibrant and enlightened self. In Broken Open she shares penetrating tales from her own life, the lives of those she has taught and counselled and the lives of friends and family, tales that explore the big challenges of death, illness and divorce, as well as the daily roller coaster rides of relationships, parenting and work. Woven into these stories are quotations from great poets and philosophers. And following them is a toolbox of valuable aids, including meditation, psychological enquiry and spiritual practice. The result is a book that runs the gamut of the human experience, and in a style that is genuine, funny, often heartbreaking, but always inspiring, she shows us how we, too, can allow the pain of adversity to break us open instead of breaking us down, making us bitter or closing our hearts.