You know that feeling? When everything you were building burns down? The planks of a reasonable life you’ve laid crumble underneath you, and you find yourself free-falling like Alice down a hole that feels bottomless. You don’t know who you are. You’re clueless about whom you might become.
For me, after a fire literally burned down my dream house one July, I peeled a paperback edition of William James’s essays on psychology from the charred wall of my study. The book had been compressed into the wall from the pressure of the firefighters’ hose. I ripped from my burnt walnut desk a copy of Buddhist psychologist Mark Epstein’s book Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart.
It hadn’t been an easy summer, even before the fire. (more…)