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Updated: Jul 22, 2022

It was a Wednesday night and I was in the lobby of the Krishna temple preparing to enjoy ecstatic dance. I was proudly wearing my week-old Mala crafted with tiger’s eye, black obsidian, hematite, and natural wood. It felt kingly. Then, the unthinkable happened. I felt the beads cascade from my neck, roll off my shoulders and chest, and scatter across the tile floor. I imagine this is the closest I’ll get to having my water break. I was stunned into paralysis for five seconds, maybe longer.

This was not the first, nor would it be the last significant experience with breaking for me over the past few months.

My relationship with a woman I hold more sacred than anything I’ve ever experienced has been breaking before my eyes for months. My passion for teaching and my willingness to stay has been breaking for even longer. My relationship with my kids, especially my son, has undergone similar effects. Even a Lumarian crystal given to me by a dear soul inexplicably fell out of a pair of pants I was wearing underneath another pair of pants. I wouldn’t say I’ve become numb to it, but the experience of breaking has become familiar.

When my reconstructed mala broke again last week after being reinforced with a steel thread meant to withstand hundred of pounds of force, I actually started to laugh. This time the tiny beads felt like rain rolling off my shoulders and onto the climbing mat. I had learned to recognize the concept of breaking as something more than scary or insecure.

Seeds reside within a protective shell. When a seed has met with aligned conditions, that seed must crack open, in order for the precious plant-in-waiting to have space for growth.

I’m reminded of the Anais Nin quote: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Breaking has become synonymous with the impetus of growth.

My cracked relationship has spurred a realignment with love, both of self and others.

My dissolving career has ignited an alignment with my passion and my finances.

The mala’s first splitting broke silence with someone I didn’t know if I’d ever speak to again.

The crystal breaking cracked my rigidity and allowed me to surrender to play and flow in a Sacred Sons wrestling match.

The mala’s second break is signaling a vaulting into an unknown destination that is beset with fog and requires complete trust.

I’m witnessing the durability of my ego crack everyday. Asking trusted friends to tell me where my rough edges are, surrendering to the uncomftabiity of loneliness, and even changing how I get to work are pushing my edges.

Make no mistake, breaking is painful. I don’t know that there’s any way around that. But the growth and expanded capacity on the other side is what I believe we are here to experience as often as we are brave enough to embrace cracking ourselves and our lives open and see what it gives way to.

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