When Things Fall Apart

As I was packing for my next move I found the book “When Things Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron. I read it years ago when things were falling apart and this time I gifted to someone else whose life is falling apart as mine is. Although I am falling apart and back together again, I know now how to put things back together for deep transformation and understand the process intimately.

The last few years have felt like absolute breakdown for so many people on a personal and collective level. I found myself stuck in Bali when the world shut down in March of 2020. After buying six flights on five different airlines I finally arrived stateside in April.

I quickly shifted my business from in-person to online. 2020 and 2021 were pretty fantastic years for me. I didn’t get caught up in the mood, although I was in the middle of a riot at one point where one of my kid’s friend was killed. I made new friends, had wonderful adventures, grew my business and I fell in love.

I visited Mexico, Peru, Jamaica, and Egypt.

I spent two months on a road trip through Utah and Colorado snowboarding. I spent months in Ohio with Mick. Their college experience had been interrupted and their rowing teammates were experiencing depression and isolation. I enjoyed being ‘mom’ to the stranded athletes.

Then something happened in late 2021 that started to shift my experience and things started to fall apart. I fell off a boat in September and speared my leg that ended my training for a half-marathon. In December I had surgery. As I was recovering I had to hop a plane back to Ohio when a family member died and I started to slip into depression. I ignored my business, my energy shifted and I just couldn’t get back to me. I rang in 2022 crying on my best friend of 22 years shoulder and returned back to California.

Then my father passed away. It was one of the most horrific experiences of my life.

The conditions of his death and the surrounding circumstances left me with insomnia. Every time I closed my eyes I had nightmares. So I just didn’t sleep.

While home trying to take care of arrangements for my father, my sister admitted to me she had tried to commit suicide just weeks prior and my other sister had landed herself in the hospital beaten up by an x-boyfriend. I left that experience completely out of alignment and returned home to California. I began to heal, dove deeper in my relationships and got to work fixing my business. Then the bottom dropped out. What happened next was so unexpected and challenging.

Before every breakthrough there is a breakdown.

You must break down old ideas, relationships, beliefs, and habits to break through to a new experience. Is it possible to have more than one Dark Night of the Soul in a lifetime? I began to fell like this was the deepest and darkest transformation I had yet to experience. Homelessness, rape, death had nothing on what I was going through now although to the critical mind it would seem any of those things would be much worse than this. Yet, when you have transcendent experiences things can never be the same. I had asked for this level of awakening and now my life would have to shift to allow me to embody it.

My world as I have known it and defined it is burning down around me.

My business, relationships, and home are all transitioning. I like the word transition because nothing ever ends, everything changes form and transitions. Within the last few months I have experienced bliss, joy, love,  pain, loss, and regret that has hit me so deeply that I asked myself what I was doing here on this planet. Was it worth going on? Did I really want to be this leader and light for others? Lighthouses give light in the dark. I was tired of being a lighthouse. I was so tired I considered what it would be like if I just wasn’t here, a feeling I had had when I was a child after losing my mother and being sexually abused but had never experienced again. Then I remembered my favorite movie of all time “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Supposedly a holiday movie it is really about the impact you have on people’s lives and what would happen if you had not been there to impact them.

The moment was fleeting and when things fall apart I know what is coming is always next level. Every time things have fallen apart they have come back together to form something more beautiful than before. The scars add beauty to us. I am reminded of the ancient art form, kintsukuroi (金繕い ), which literally means gold mending—emphasizes the beauty and utility of breaks and imperfections.

Like a favorite cup or plate, we sometimes crack. We may even break.

Instead of throwing ourselves away when this happens. We can relish the blemishes and learn to turn these scars into art—like kintsugi (金継ぎ), an ancient Japanese practice that beautifies broken pottery.

Kintsugi, or gold splicing, is a physical manifestation of resilience. Instead of discarding marred vessels, practitioners of the art repair broken items with a golden adhesive that enhances the break lines, making the pieces unique. They call attention to the lines made by time and rough use; these aren’t a source of shame.

Just as the Phoenix rises from the ashes, I have taken this lesson to start putting my life back together with gold. I am moving, leaving my home, my friends, my family. I am embarking on another journey of the soul and taking a year for transformation. AGAIN.

Next Level. Deeper Soul Work. Deeper Commitment. 

As this next chapter unfolds I will share the deep lessons I have learned about life and love in the last six months. My life is a piece of art that has been mended and reformed many times. Each time I step deeper into my inner work and each time I share the techniques I have learned and guide seekers around the world on their path to healing.

What is your next level? I am taking a small group of dedicated seekers on a journey to transformation with me. Next Level! I am ready. I have done all I can at this one. Burn it down and transcend to the next one! I am taking those with me that are ready to burn it down and experience the next one!

Will you join me? Contact me at melissa@intuitiveintelligenceacademy.com to have a conversation about how we can work together for your next level of transformation.

5 thoughts on “When Things Fall Apart”

  1. Hi Melissa, thank you for your sincere and heartfelt sharing. Yes, i have had….and continue to have them at my young age of 77. I have experienced transformation in Bali as well so glad you arw finding your way back to that land of heaven on earth. Looking forward to hearing of your adventures there! With love, Bonnie

  2. I love you to the moon and back. You’ve been beat down and you always get up, dust yourself off, and keep going. To me, there’s nothing more admirable that. For those lucky ones who haven’t experienced the dark night of the soul, they have no idea the strength it takes to get up and rediscover yourself. Keep going!! You’re such a great writer. I still have a calling to help people but that damn writing stuff gets in the way;)
    Love you. I’m here if you ever need anything (although I never reach out when I’m not doing well;). Mwah!

  3. through brash and hawthorn,
    on hands and knees,
    cuts deep so deep,
    yet this blood that flows,
    binds me to thee…

    *go Melissa, your next gown is waiting, it can only be worn by you, and I know it will fit perfectly, take my love with you and if you need a bit of it you got it *

  4. Hi Melissa
    Thanks for your incredible share it really meant a lot to me .I’m going g through it at the moment it is a very difficult time for me extremely difficult time I would say dark night of the soul yes I have read these books for sure.
    I have also read when things fall apart too by Pema Chosron I love her a lot
    Like yourself I’m trying g to start over its not easy I’m 69 but a young 69 .
    Still trying to push through I love Eckhart Tolle and Ruper Spira …I have read them all but still struggling.
    Loved your post

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