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Elizabeth is the author of Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow. "For those of you who are interested in discovering not only your spiritual path but allowing life to have a greater sense of meaning for you every day, Broken Open is the book," Oprah says.

Broken Open's title came from Elizabeth's image of how people awaken to their spirituality, she says. "[It is] the image of a rose tightly wound around itself, the bud, like we all feel every day—tightly wound, anxious, shut down. In order for that bud to open and blossom into the flower we love so much, it has to break its shell. It has to break open," Elizabeth says. "It's an irony of this human life. Strangely enough, it is in our most difficult broken times—loss of a job, loss of a marriage, illness, loss of a child— that we are brought to our knees and we open. … When we open into our brokenness, that's when we blossom."

Spirituality is often simply accepting where life takes you, Elizabeth says. "We all can relate to the feeling that life is happening to us," she says. "We're in this stream of life, and instead of relaxing into it, we're swimming as hard as we can against the current. That's sort of the opposite of the spiritual instinct. The spiritual instinct is to relax into the mystery of life as it's happening."
FROM: When Life Breaks You Open
Published on January 14, 2009