Books You Gotta Read

Where Buddha Meets Business

Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser

If you are grieving and having a difficult time with loss, an ending of a relationship, or an illness, this book will be monumental in guiding you through it.

Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser is an inspiring book that will make you laugh and cry and one you will definitely be able to relate to.

What I loved about this book is how she takes a spiritual AND psychological point of view to help you deal with illness, grief, divorce, loss of a job, or other challenges you might be suffering from. 

She’s an inspiring writer and tells these stories that will give you terrific insights and steps you can take to pick yourself up off the floor.

My most important nugget was that I had a choice in my grief. I could keep lying there on the floor suffering, or I could choose to grow and be “broken open” by the end of my 13-year relationship.

What was also interesting is Lesser was one of the Omega Institute co-founders. If you haven’t heard of the Omega Institute, it’s in Rhine Beck, NY, one of the largest spiritual retreat centers on the east coast. I LOVE that place. It’s where I attended Marianne Williamson’s retreat and meditated with her one-on-one.

I truly enjoyed discovering more about Lesser. That made it even sweeter when I attended an event where she was one of the speakers. I found a seat, and the one next to me was empty with a coat on it. A few minutes later, a woman came to sit there. That’s when I surreptitiously found myself sitting beside her.

Later, when we had a break, I got the courage to ask her if she would sign my tattered and torn copy of her book. And shared with her how much her words meant the world to me and helped me heal during a very difficult time.

She graciously signed my book, and it meant the world to me. Her book was a gift and definitely arrived at the right time for me to pick it up, read it and learn and grow as a result of her inspiring stories and her sharing the stories of many others.

A Summary to Inspire You To Read this Book!

Quick Summary: This book is filled to the brim with Lesser’s experience, knowledge, and storytelling. She shares her insights and practical guidance and offers tools to help you choose whether to be defeated by your grief or be transformed and broken open.

This book is filled with several inspiring stories and humorous antidotes about real people who’ve risen from their struggles of illness, grief, divorce, loss of a loved one, or job.

WHO Ought to Read this Book: If you are suffering from a loss, grief, illness, or whatever you’re struggling with, Lesser shares how you have a choice to suffer or move through this experience and let it transform your life. As the Dali Lama once said – “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” In this book, Lesser shares ways to move through your pain and stop your suffering. If you’re longing for another way to move through your pain, then please pick up this book today. It will leave you with so many insights and inspiring and funny stories to guide you to transformation.

Why Read this Book? Lesser shares how we are all on this journey of life together. We are all worthy, blessed, and incredibly unique. Yet, we all suffer, judge, worry, compare, have fears, make mistakes, and more. If you believe that everyone’s life looks and feels like it does on Instagram or Facebook, you will want to pick up this book today. It will give you insights and help you realize you are not alone in your fears, lessons, mistakes, and blunders. We are more alike than different. This book will show you the way with its humor, stories, and honesty.

A Couple of Things You Will Discover: In Part I, there’s a chapter – Bozo’s On The Bus that when Lesser put out an updated version of in 2020, this book, she mentioned this very short story was one that readers mentioned the most. It generated thousands of emails, letters, and comments. At the story’s heart is that we are more alike and different. No one’s perfect. We all make mistakes, lose our wallets, and suffer from loss, grief, wounds, confusion, and even insecurities. There is no other bus filled with perfectly normal, healthy, well-dressed people who have loads of money and never make mistakes or suffer. All the buses are filled with bozos like us, and it’s time to embrace our vulnerabilities, share them and be grateful for being on this ride together.

It’s your choice to either let your fears, loss, and frustrations devastate you or choose to be broken up and transformed by them.


It’s Not About Right And Wrong:
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing… There’s a field. I’ll meet you there. ~ Rumi”

It’s Your Choice:
“This place of hopelessness and fear is real, not a cute allegory. Some people never leave that place and are broken on the rocks. Some people stop fighting and slip into the depths. We came to understand that although we don’t have control. We do have a choice… We can choose darkness, fear, addiction, and despair. We can choose light, hope, meaning, and joy.” ~ Glen – Before and After section

No One Can Take This Away From You:
“… you have what Victor Frankl had in Auschwitz… You have your soul — what Frankl called the last of the human freedoms, the freedom to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances… When you choose to learn and to grow from the weight of the world – you are putting your soul in charge of your life.”

When There’s Nothing Left to Lose:
“When we descend all the way down to the bottom of a loss and dwell patiently with an open heart, in the darkness and pain, we can bring back up with us the sweetness of life and the exhilaration of inner growth. When there’s nothing left to lose, we find the true self – the self that is whole, the self that is enough… ”

What Lesson Is Your Soul Pointing to?:
“What lesson did my soul want to learn? I liked that question. It was new. Right then and there, I felt it pointing me in a different direction. I felt it leading me up toward the light.”

Grief Can Be Transformational:
“If we are not willing to confront the truth about ourselves that a loss unearths, we squander a rare and precious opportunity for transformation. Our grief, while deeply felt, runs the risk of becoming a sentimental escape from the most meaningful part of the journey.”

A Crooked Heart:
“A heart made crooked through loss and change is a heart that can love the world and its less than perfect people.”

Open Our Circles Wider:
“We need wider circles and titles that relate us to each other, rather than those that divide us into smaller and smaller groups – family groups, political groups, religious groups, racial groups, tribal groups. I think this may be the only way to save the world from the meagerness of our own hearts.”

About the Author – Elizabeth Lesser:

Elizabeth Lesser is the author of several bestselling books, including Cassandra Speaks: When Women are the Storytellers, The Seekers Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure, and Marrow: A Love Story. She is the cofounder of Omega Institute, recognized internationally for its workshops and conferences in wellness, spirituality, creativity, and social change, and is one of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul 100, a collection of a hundred leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity.

Where I Would Recommend Getting Your Copy:
Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser

If you’re interested in this book, I’d recommend:

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron

The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron

Start Where You Are: How to Accept Yourself and Others by Pema Chodron 

When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions by Sue Monk Kidd

Soulfully Yours,

Shannon McCaffery

Shannon McCaffery

Strategic Marketing Coach & Consultant

Previous Book Review

Elizabeth Lesser

Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser


Hey there, I'm Shannon! Being a voracious reader and passionate about learning, I started this site in the hopes of sharing my thoughts and my love of inspiring nonfiction books that can help you. It's kind of like Buddha meets business. I truly hope you enjoy!

Book Themes

Subscribe to New Posts

© 2023 /
Powered by McCaffery Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved.