Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea.

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The Goddess of never not broken.

You know that feeling when you have just gone through a breakup, or lost your job, and everything is terrible and terrifying and you don’t know what to do, and you find yourself crying in a pile on your bedroom floor, barely able to remember how to use the phone, desperately looking for some sign of God in old letters, or your Facebook newsfeed or on Glee, finding nothing there to comfort you?

Come on, yes you do. We all do.

And there is a goddess from Hindu mythology that teaches us that, in this moment, in this pile on the floor, you are more powerful than you’ve ever been.

This past week, I have been deeply inspired by a talk I heard on the Yoga Teacher Telesummit by Eric Stoneberg on this relatively unknown Goddess from Hindu mythology: Akhilandeshvari.

This figure has snuck up inside me and settled into my bones. She keeps coming out of my mouth every time I teach, and she’s given me so much strength and possibility during a time of change and uncertainty in my own life. I wanted to unpack a little bit about who she is for those that might be, like me, struggling a little bit in that pile on the floor and wondering how the hell to get up again.

The answer, it turns out, is this: in pieces, warrior-style, on the back of a crocodile. Yee ha.


“Ishvari” in Sanskrit means “goddess” or “female power,” and the “Akhilanda” means essentially “never not broken.” In other words, The Always Broken Goddess. Sanskrit is a tricky and amazing language, and I love that the double negative here means that she is broken right down to her name.

But this isn’t the kind of broken that indicates weakness and terror.

It’s the kind of broken that tears apart all the stuff that gets us stuck in toxic routines, repeating the same relationships and habits over and over, rather than diving into the scary process of trying something new and unfathomable.

Akhilanda derives her power from being broken: in flux, pulling herself apart, living in different, constant selves at the same time, from never becoming a whole that has limitations.

The thing about going through sudden or scary or sad transitions (like a breakup) is that one of the things you lose is your future: your expectations of what the story of your life so far was going to become. When you lose that partner or that job or that person, your future dissolves in front of you.

And of course, this is terrifying.

But look, Akhilanda says, now you get to make a choice. In pieces, in a pile on the floor, with no idea how to go forward, your expectations of the future are meaningless. Your stories about the past do not apply. You are in flux, you are changing, you are flowing in a new way, and this is an incredibly powerful opportunity to become new again: to choose how you want to put yourself back together. Confusion can be an incredible teacher—how could you ever learn if you already had it all figured out?

This goddess has another interesting attribute, which is, of course, her ride: a crocodile.

Crocodiles are interesting in two ways: Firstly, Stoneberg explains that the crocodile represents our reptilian brain, which is where we feel fear. Secondly, the predatory power of a crocodile is not located in their huge jaws, but rather that they pluck their prey from the banks of the river, take it into the water, and spin it until it is disoriented. They whirl that prey like a dervish seeking God, they use the power of spin rather than brute force to feed themselves.

By riding on this spinning, predatory, fearsome creature, Akhilanda refuses to reject her fear, nor does she let it control her. She rides on it. She gets on this animal that lives inside the river, inside the flow. She takes her fear down to the river and uses its power to navigate the waves, and spins in the never not broken water. Akhilanda shows us that this is beautiful. Stoneberg writes:

Akhilanda is also sometimes described in our lineage like a spinning, multi-faceted prism. Imagine the Hope Diamond twirling in a bright, clear light. The light pouring through the beveled cuts of the diamond would create a whirling rainbow of color. The diamond is whole and complete and BECAUSE it’s fractured, it creates more diverse beauty. Its form is a spectrum of whirling color.

Photo: Justin Graham

That means that this feeling of confusion and brokenness that every human has felt at some time or another in our lives is a source of beauty and colour and new reflections and possibilities.

If everything remained the same, if we walked along the same path down to the river every day until there was a groove there (as we do; in Sanskrit this is called Samskara, habits or even “some scars”), this routine would become so limited, so toxic to us that, well, the crocs would catch on, and we’d get plucked from the banks, spun and eaten.

So now is the time, this time of confusion and brokenness and fear and sadness, to get up on that fear, ride it down to the river, dip into the waves, and let yourself break. Become a prism.

All the places where you’ve shattered can now reflect light and colour where there was none. Now is the time to become something new, to choose a new whole.

But remember Akhilanda’s lesson: even that new whole, that new, colourful, amazing groove that we create is an illusion. It means nothing unless we can keep on breaking apart and putting ourselves together again as many times as we need to.

We are already “never not broken.” We were never a consistent, limited whole. In our brokenness, we are unlimited.

And that means we are amazing.


Bonus: 10 Basic Salves for Burn-Out & Everyday Depression. 

Image: Allef Vinicius/Unsplash

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Julie JC Peters

Julie (JC) Peters has been practicing yoga on and off from the tender age of 12, and it has gotten her through everything from the horrors of teenagedom to a Master’s degree in Canadian Poetry. She is a yoga teacher, spoken word poet, and writer, and teaches workshops on yoga and writing called Creative Flow. Julie also owns East Side Yoga in Vancouver with her mom, Jane.

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anonymous Apr 10, 2016 9:55am

Beautifully written. Thanks.

anonymous Apr 4, 2016 12:35pm

of the mantra. I had no idea how to spell "Akhilandeshvari" and I had no idea what it meant. Thank You for your post!

anonymous Jan 2, 2016 9:01pm

Beautiful article! Thank you so much!

anonymous Oct 10, 2015 12:56am

thank you, this article is right on time for me.

anonymous Oct 7, 2015 11:59pm

thank you, this article is right on time for me.
i do the collapse thing at least twice weekly

anonymous Sep 17, 2015 9:18am

I'm interested in your article on tourism.
It really inspired me about the beauty of nature.
I also have the same article about the learning process that you can visit at

anonymous Aug 20, 2015 9:09pm

Love this! Beautifully written.

anonymous Jul 22, 2015 1:17pm

Deeply helpful, and although this goddess is Hindu she is reflected in the Chod practices of Tibetan Buddhism, in the offering up of the ego, expectations, desires, flaws, and physical well being, offering up to satisfy all of the different kinds of beings, and also offered to the Wisdom beings and Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It's so okay to be wounded and tender and vulnerable — and don't let the "Positive Poilce" tell you any different.

anonymous Jul 20, 2015 9:37pm

I love the thought that we are strongest when broken! I have come home from my job a few times & just wept uncontrollably on my carpet. Spot on about the ‘…with no idea of how to go forward, your expectations of the future are meaningless’! And that’s where the ‘aha!’ moment comes around for me….often after the nap that I take to refresh from the catharsis of weeping. Thank you!

anonymous Jul 8, 2015 1:16am

Oooh my god

anonymous Jun 23, 2015 9:23am

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this. So amazing.

anonymous May 7, 2015 10:47am

Are you kidding me.. Perfection in timing.. Going to print and hang on mirror until the breakdown breakthrough has commenced.

anonymous Apr 11, 2015 2:40pm

After reading this article 2 years ago I searched and searched Akhilandeshvari and discovered the western understanding of her is completely wrong. At any rate the article was wonderful and helpful to me in a time of need. Not to mention her story as told to me is as healing as the erroneous story. Here is a link that explains it well. http://www.michellemyhre.com/2012/03/transformed-

anonymous Dec 16, 2014 8:13pm

Riding those waves of fear .. terrifying indeed ~ but also exhilarating, and the more you do it, the better you get at it.

anonymous Dec 16, 2014 6:26pm

amazing article with such depth and clarity. Shares what most people are afraid to share and admit, and it encourages us that it is a process that we can and will find a way through. Good job!

anonymous Oct 31, 2014 5:50pm

I am agreed! thank you, this article is right on time for me.

anonymous Sep 4, 2014 1:33am

I have come back to this page so many times. Thank you. I am an atheist, but I have felt an affinity with this Godess ever since coming across this piece.

I am planning on getting a tattoo. I found a website that provides english – sanskrit translations, however I would be very grateful if someone could verify it / give a second opinion before I go ahead. I am told it translates to ‘alhilandeshwari is within me’. I wanted the tattoo to appear in Sanskrit because that’s how the name should appear – the english translations can vary sometimes.

Please can you point me in the right direction? I have provided me email address. Thanks in advance, Angela

anonymous Jun 28, 2014 6:47am

Perfect, perfect, perfect piece. Thank you!

anonymous Jun 21, 2014 10:06pm

This has just come up on my news feed some 3 years after it was published and it is just what I needed to read. Truly beautiful and impeccably magical timing.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Big love,

anonymous Jun 4, 2014 7:17am

"I AM" that hope diamond

anonymous May 21, 2014 8:20am

I am grateful and strengthen and feeling connected to so many that have gone this road before and are on it with me now.

anonymous May 15, 2014 6:58am

I love this!

anonymous May 11, 2014 5:23pm

utterly beautiful and insightful article, thank you for this, im hoping to read much more from you.

anonymous Apr 20, 2014 9:59am

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anonymous Apr 15, 2014 7:33pm

This article is extremely beautiful. I shall never forget it.

anonymous Mar 25, 2014 8:29am

Good day! I simply want to give you a big thumbs up for the excellent info you’ve got right here
on this post. I am returning to your blog for more soon.

anonymous Mar 20, 2014 11:44pm

My favorite article. I've shared this with countless friends. All have been deeply inspired. I have a question though…is her name spelled Akhilandeshvari or Akhilandeshwari??? This has been driving me bananas…anyone?!

anonymous Mar 8, 2014 3:20pm

Seriously fighting the crocodile, I mean I understand that things can be interpreted how people want but First the short story of this goddess pictures above with her six sisters and one brother is a lovely one. In short though her name Is in Gujarathi Khodiyar Maa meaning (KHODI-injured foot) and MAA(mother) This name was given to her-real name Janbai. She went to the bottom of the sea to get an elixir to save her brother from a snake bite and she injured her foot whilst down there, she was escorted back to surface and land where she hobbled back with fierce determination to save her brother. So it was after this and her foot injury she was given the name KHODIYAR MAA!! Please check out her story…she never battled a crocodile or any other animal that’s why she is seen sitting on it surrounded by her siblings!!

anonymous Feb 2, 2014 7:57pm

Fascinating article, beautiful on a myriad of levels. A myriad like the Goddess herself. One thing I did observe: My perception & resonance with Never Not Goddess offered a completely different tone to Always Broken Goddess. Sometimes we just don’t have the capacity in the words of our own language to convey the true meaning of the original.

anonymous Jan 29, 2014 2:43pm

Thank you so much for your beautifully written and inspiring Goddess post, darling Julie! I absolutely adore the wisdom you have shared. {{deep bow}} namaste

anonymous Jan 28, 2014 11:30am

Thank you so much for this post! I know Her so intimately and ridden Her crocodile so many times… Now I know her name. I am on the cusp of launching my work offering support to women facing challenging life changes and have been struggling somewhat to clarify my message and then this post arrives by divine intervention, She arrived to show me the way yet again. I use feminine archetypes in my work so this is a gift. Thank you, deep bow to you and Eric x Kamini

anonymous Nov 25, 2013 8:37am

Wow- I needed this for strength, and to remind myself that no one can empower me but me .Thank you Julie.

anonymous Nov 13, 2013 4:55pm

"Living in different, constant selves at the same time.." I love this, because I very often feel like only a part of me is showing and I wonder how people can see that part and not see the other parts that are also there. But all of those constant selves are always there, they just take turns showing up in various situations. And it's wonderful to know that I'm more whole when I embrace these different selves, it doesn't mean my self is broken.

anonymous Oct 27, 2013 12:54pm

This will work better for you if you stop saying “mythology.”

anonymous Oct 20, 2013 7:33am

Bus Ride

keep on paving your jeweled road
make love to every brick
dive into every pothole
work best when streets are slick

shelter not from every rain
practice how to swim
embrace the mud upon your shoes
keep soul and body trim

the shovel's made for digging
it feeds when you desire
plunge the blade into earth
you have yourself to hire

when the surface shines like gold
find another way
the sheen is just illusion
that glistens for a day

only one won't get you there
the system is too vast
to speed in one direction
won't make the journey last

Theo J. van Joolen©2012

anonymous Oct 18, 2013 4:34am

Thank you. I needed to read this today. <3

anonymous Oct 8, 2013 3:14am

this is awesome:) For someone who seems to allways be 'breaking' in order to find new treasures, new gifts, new beauty,…someone like me, right now, in this moment infact,..this gives me affirmation that what i know in my heart is true,..to break can be a blessing, to break can be a creative awakening, ..and to rebuild again is allways possible.

I have struggled with the fact that others see 'broken' as a negative, in my own life…that when i have been my most shattered many close to me became blind to the beauty and instead became distant,..missing the true deep gifts i found in myself to get through.
and here i am, broken again, bathing in pink light , on the floor,..with the stars outside..thanks for this 🙂

anonymous Oct 3, 2013 1:57am

This was beautifully written and helpful to me at a time when I am old and broken, figuratively and literally. I guess I will always be broken and breakable, and healing too, into something else and into a time when the pain, literally and figuratively, is gone just as the past joy and love is gone. It is so hard to accept either loss as reality, the loss of love and joy or the future loss of anguish.

anonymous Sep 28, 2013 11:17am

this story couldn't have appeared on my facebook feed at a more opportune time.
i'm in my second year of college, and every decision i make seems so heavy, especially with how much school costs. it feels like if i make the wrong decision, i'll be stuck unhappy and in debt. it's so stressful.
this was a good read. it makes me feel better, haha
thanks for the article.

anonymous Sep 14, 2013 12:40am

Brilliant, insightful, eloquent, profound, beautiful, inspiring and couldn't have arrived at a more perfect time in my life. A reminder that there are limitless possibilities in even our seemingly darkest moments. Thank you. Namaste. <3

anonymous Sep 9, 2013 8:26pm

I have just been introduced to her and she is already my new mascot. Amazing article. Thanks for making her so easy to understand.

anonymous Aug 9, 2013 10:13pm

This is more than inspiring content Julie. I believe that there are a point in our life, when we go through this situation. It is important that we should be strong in those times and take such a move like this only.

anonymous Jul 17, 2013 6:35pm

Loved the broken crocodile goddess very much……….

anonymous Jun 22, 2013 9:32am

This is absolutely beautiful!

anonymous Jun 10, 2013 12:44am

Thank you, I really needed this.

anonymous May 23, 2013 2:20pm

Absolutly inspiring read! Thanks

anonymous May 15, 2013 5:29pm

Just amazing.

anonymous May 14, 2013 5:16am

That isnt a picture of Akhilandeshwari Maa. That is a picture of the Gujarati goddess, Khodiyar Maa

anonymous May 14, 2013 4:22am

lovely insights on things… really love the fresh perspective on this blog post. hope to follow more beautiful reads in here.

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anonymous Apr 18, 2013 8:33pm

Great reminder of the inevitability of transitions, challenges, and disappointments, as well as the possibility of new and wonderful beginnings sometimes created from chaos.

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anonymous Mar 30, 2013 2:22pm

When someone writes an piece of writing he/she maintains
the plan of a user in his/her brain that how a user can be
aware of it. Thus that’s why this piece of writing is amazing. Thanks!

anonymous Mar 30, 2013 1:09pm

This article is so amazingly moving. A few months back, I saw a great graffiti sign saying 'Broken.' I told my friend that I wanted this image as a tattoo. She critically asked, 'why?' Reading this article is exactly why. The beauty in the construction, destruction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the Self is such an amazing experience. Devastating, at times, yes. But in the moments of devastation, the glimmer of hope in the change that might be created through the rebuilding, beauty shines unexpectedly. Thank you for sharing this goddess and your thoughts.

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[…] […]

anonymous Mar 27, 2013 2:15am

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anonymous Feb 15, 2013 4:30pm

[…] needed anyone to guide my way. I am working with the concept of never being not broken (thank you Elephant Journal.) I try to remain open to the flow of change and growth from my experiences without remaining […]

anonymous Feb 12, 2013 7:55pm

I am so grateful for synchronistic everything, bringing me to this beautiful article. So completely related. Love this. Thank you.

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I am on a heap on sitting room floor at present when my friend sent me this & I totally get it after being here before in a different guise…….however…………I am in the space where I cannot just grasp this but thank you for it. Blessings. xx

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anonymous Jan 29, 2013 12:31pm

Always thought of myself as a prism of light … This solidifies my belief! Here's to the breaking and unbreaking of goddesses across the globe <3

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anonymous Dec 21, 2012 7:46pm

Thank you so dearly for this. I cannot tell you how much I needed to read this right now as I lay broken in a pile doing my best to breath into it.

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anonymous Dec 11, 2012 9:14pm

It feels right in my heart to move out of the toxic patterns and away from the relationship that I thought I wanted. It is hard and sometimes I feel broken and confused and scattered. But deep down that I know that it is OK, that something new and wonderful will come if I am bold in this brokenness. Thank you for reminding me that it is a beautiful thing.

anonymous Dec 10, 2012 6:28pm


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Julie, your hot. I dont mean that in the physical sense… well.. anyway. Thank you.

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anonymous Nov 19, 2012 7:23am

Hello Julie. Very interesting post. it makes me wonder about starting practice 🙂 Regards

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[…] read a beautiful article last week through elephant journal: “Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea.” The author explores […]

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Having just gotten off my floor where I was lying in a heap next to my laundry after realizing I need to quit my job for my health even though I have no plan for a safe place to land…. this was remarkable to read.

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It's scary how precise your description of that feeling is articulated. That "feeling" was the hardest part of my life, but it also is the reason that I met the woman of my dreams.

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I am gonna give it a try…see if that works!!!!

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anonymous Sep 21, 2012 12:08am

This is a new perspective for me. I like the powerful emotional stability that it brings on such troubled times. Perhaps we can substitute the comfy padded bedheads with the pile stuff.

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anonymous Sep 2, 2012 8:42am

Excellent article. And, who can't relate with this today??? Love it. Thank you for sharing it.

anonymous Sep 2, 2012 8:00am

Julie – This just posted to my facebook feed (via elephant journal). The timing is so perfect it gives me chills: it is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Thank you so much.

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[…] […]

anonymous Aug 25, 2012 3:11am

[…] rather sad. And in this pity party for one, self-confidence is the killjoy. I just finished reading why being broken is a good thing and while the concept is novel enough to almost inspire tears, it’s painfully brutal to […]

anonymous Aug 23, 2012 9:59pm

[…] […]

anonymous Aug 23, 2012 10:11am

[…] […]

anonymous Aug 22, 2012 3:50pm

i thought this article was very cool and here is another cool thing i foundtech support pro

anonymous Aug 3, 2012 3:15pm

[…] foundation cracks, it won’t be long before the walls tumble down. When life is in ruins and you’re at the very bottom of the rubble…anything becomes […]

anonymous Jul 31, 2012 7:59am

[…] we all. Poet and yogi, Julie Peters, describes this human melt down in her terrific article, “Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea.” If you’re going through some shish and sorting through some bad in your life, read it and know […]

anonymous Jul 30, 2012 8:48pm

Julie, you are amazing at expressing feelings and sharing such an amazing story that gives us permission to be human, hurt, flawed, amazing, limitless, and ever renewing. Thank you for this piece.

anonymous Jul 30, 2012 11:14am

[…] gardenya. Demek ölümden kaçmaya gerek yokmuş, nasılsa yeşerirmiş toprak. Unutmuşum, adı Akilandeshvari. Bütün bu düşüp kalkmaların, binlerce parçaya ayrıştıktan sonra yeniden yeni olmaların […]

anonymous Jul 28, 2012 4:14pm

[…] […]

anonymous Jul 28, 2012 7:18am

[…] Peters, author of Why Lying Broken in a Pile on your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea, is a yoga teacher, studio owner, writer and spoken word […]

anonymous Jul 10, 2012 9:26pm

[…] Our most cherished glass is already broken. It’s inevitable. […]

anonymous Jul 7, 2012 7:36am

[…] […]

anonymous Jul 3, 2012 11:58pm

This is one of my favorite blogs of all time 🙂 So, so helpful

anonymous Jun 29, 2012 7:01am

[…] morning, I read this article in Elephant Journal about the power of being emotionally broken open. When we experience loss, we […]

anonymous Jun 19, 2012 2:15pm

[…] to my dear KK for opening my eyes to Akhilandeshvari, The Always Broken Goddess, who represents the strength and possibility available in times of change and uncertainty. Riding […]

anonymous Jun 17, 2012 8:23am

gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! I love the bit about riding your fear…. not letting it overtake you but take you where you need to go. Thank you for this. Namaste.

anonymous Jun 6, 2012 4:13pm

[…] diagnosed with an aggressive, advanced breast cancer last September. She arrived in the form of a story posted on my Facebook page. A most ancient animal, crocodiles have thrived on Earth since the […]

anonymous Jun 6, 2012 1:42am

Amazing article. I am a bit spooked because I just went through a hellish/rapid-fire breakup (got dumped) and envisioned even starting a family within this year. The other morning, having not eaten or slept in days (beyond exhausted passout sessions and bits of banana and water) I went into the studio to work on second series (I am relatively new at it so it's not a small task to go in and give the whole thing a try). I didn't know if I could even drive there, i was so exhausted. But something inside of me felt, well unbreakable (or perhaps so broken that nothing mattered?). In the end, it was one of the best practices I'd ever known. As I laid down on my back at the end, I felt a depth in my being so I went into it and found the hope diamond at the floor of the ocean … as visualized in my mind's eye. I realized this was inside of me, this hope diamond. And it wasn't just any diamond I thought, it was the hope diamond. So reading your story, days later, is especially poignant for me. Thank you SOOOO much for this. I feel connected to the flow, so connected. Loads of Love.

anonymous Jun 5, 2012 6:48pm

[…] memories and feelings that are still raw. However, in the past week, what I did revisit often is this essay that struck a chord with me months ago. At the time, it helped me through new-found unemployment […]

anonymous Jun 5, 2012 3:03pm

Wonderful article to read on such a poignant day of the Venus full moon! I have often wondered why my own life seems to be segmented realities, each left shattered and then the next a recreation of self, of reality, and of an older and wiser woman. To know that there is a mythic warrior Goddess inside of my journey riding the waves of time makes the experience much more bearable and almost exciting!!

anonymous Jun 1, 2012 4:26am

[…] Walking away from everything I had known about love and relating made me Feel like a total failure, a selfish, sick little girl with no stable ground to stand on. Even though through it all, I knew I was making the right choice, I was shaking with fear behind […]

anonymous May 27, 2012 11:28am

[…] “Alright. I’m game.” <After breaking down the night before, sobbing for two hours on the couch in the fetal position writhing over some […]

anonymous May 20, 2012 9:09pm

So perfect! Thank you…from a happily shattered diamond

anonymous May 19, 2012 5:46pm

Thank you for your honest and beautiful sharing. It is a pity that the name Akhilandeśvarī does not having the mean that Eric Stoneberg attributes to it, having learnt this incorrect translation from his own teacher. "akhila" means "whole, unbroken" and "anda" means "universe" (literally, the "cosmic egg") so Akhilandeśvarī simply means "goddess of the whole universe" or "goddess of the unbroken egg (of reality)". It's a name of Pārvatī. It would be nice if Eric's teacher could convey these nice concepts without distortions of the tradition, and the Sanskrit language.

anonymous May 19, 2012 4:17am

I’m sick with back problems and aching joints for 3 years, thanks God recently I have discovered a proven systematic set of techniques that will allow us to enjoy the richest whole body benefits of yoga… from the top of our head to the bottom of our toes.

anonymous Apr 23, 2012 7:58am

[…] Magic happens at rock bottom […]

anonymous Apr 18, 2012 7:26am

[…] what feels most real (whatever that looks like for you, for me, and it may look very different) are Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea by Julie Peters at Elephant Journal (June 2011) and How To Drop Out by Ran […]

anonymous Apr 16, 2012 2:55pm

[…] a particularly tough time dealing with many different life issues. My roommate then came to me with an article that she reads when she is feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Upon reading this article, I began to […]

anonymous Apr 14, 2012 6:52pm

Outstanding! This brought tears to my eyes! Thank you!

anonymous Apr 11, 2012 3:04pm

Boy, did I need to hear that. I just had a cancer diagnosis, surgery, and now I face a future never knowing if I'll ever feel safe again (health-wise). Reading this made me cry. Thanks.

anonymous Apr 11, 2012 9:30am

[…] […]

anonymous Apr 11, 2012 9:20am

[…] […]

anonymous Apr 8, 2012 11:28am

[…] Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea … Jun 1, 2011 … Akhilandeshvari: “Ishvari” in Sanskrit means “goddess” […]

anonymous Apr 8, 2012 9:15am

[…] […]

anonymous Mar 29, 2012 9:40am

[…] want to be broken. I want to be the strong, shiny happy me. And that’s there, of course. But the broken part is just as important. The places where we’re ripped up are the places where compassion grows. Do I wish some asshole […]

anonymous Mar 26, 2012 6:34am

[…] goddess Akhilanda, The Always Broken Goddess of Hindu mythology, teaches that we are never stronger than when we are […]

anonymous Mar 23, 2012 8:57pm

Lol. Talk to me when being "never not broken" can pay the rent or make me well enough not to lose my job and health insurance! None of this crap can help with any real problems, it seems. Just the shallow ones.

anonymous Mar 23, 2012 7:55pm

[…] first. Take a look inside and get that sorted out. We’re all broken—that’s a given. That isn’t the problem at all! And giving love…giving is easy. It’s easy to love. I think one reason we fall for […]

anonymous Mar 20, 2012 11:17am

Wonderful article. Though I do wish your editors had chosen a photo that looked less like a murder victim.

anonymous Mar 18, 2012 7:07pm

[…] Akhilandeshvari who gains power from being that broken, sobbing heap on the floor. Read the article here, it’s pretty incredible. I read that article and my jaw dropped to the floor. It was […]

anonymous Mar 17, 2012 2:20pm

It’s the second time when i’ve seen your site. I can see lots of hard work has gone in to it. It’s actually wonderful.

anonymous Mar 16, 2012 4:35pm

Hi, I stumbled upon your article and felt to compelled to reply. I think this article is wonderfully written and obviously (based on the number of positive comments) it is helping many people deal with difficult situations. That is wonderful.

What is not so wonderful is that your article gets many facets of the Goddess and Hinduism wrong – as a devout Hindu this bothers me greatly. First, "feminine power" is defined by the word Shakti in sanskirt and has come to be associated with the various forms of the divine Goddess, and the earthly manifestations of the Goddess. Second, the root word "akhil" does not mean "never not broken" it means "complete with boundaries" or "entirety." Third, and most importantly it is abhorrent to me as a Hindu for you to co-opt my religious figures, twist the teachings around, get the meanings wrong, and use them to reach some higher form of understanding.

Please understand that I am not saying that you shouldn't reach some high form or understanding; nor am I saying that you shouldn't read, understand, internalize, and appreciate Hindu spirituality and mythology – what I am saying is that you shouldn't get all those things wrong, and then publish those wrong understandings on a website – particularly when you are getting a religion wrong.

If you think lying on the floor is going to help you, then by all means go ahead – far be it for to prescribe the proper course of action to get over a difficult, but please do not do it because you've misunderstood Hinduism.

anonymous Mar 13, 2012 6:21pm

[…] If you asked me “How can I pick myself up off of the floor?” […]

anonymous Mar 10, 2012 1:39pm

[…] a yoga teacherand a writer. What I do all day involves other people: I want to teach, I want to share, I want to learn. This […]

anonymous Feb 28, 2012 7:05pm

[…] an online friend posted a link to an article by Julie JC Peters, in Elephant Journal, “Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea.” Posted last June, it is one of the most popular articles on the […]

anonymous Feb 28, 2012 4:22pm

[…] together. Sometimes we come to yoga because we need to fall apart. When we are willing to be broken in a pile, we have a choice in how we are going to put our pieces pack together again. We can become […]

anonymous Feb 25, 2012 11:42am

[…] “Why being broken on your bathroom floor is a good idea” – from elephant journal […]

anonymous Feb 22, 2012 6:15am

[…] […]

anonymous Feb 20, 2012 9:43pm

[…] bitter and sweet in all art and living things. So it continues until the current must change and I don’t fear the sadness that I know will come when we must go our separate […]

anonymous Feb 15, 2012 6:33am

Amazing and enlightening post! Thank you!

anonymous Feb 12, 2012 7:34pm

[…] Eric introduced me to Akhilandeshvari, the “never not broken” goddess who inspired this article about the hidden possibilities of lying broken in a pile on your bedroom floor, and became one of […]

anonymous Feb 11, 2012 1:59am

[…] […]

anonymous Jan 31, 2012 4:44pm

[…] is shaken again. A little shock this time, not the kind of devastation that is described in this beautiful piece on The Goddess of Never Not Broken, but the kind of unsettling that leaves you shaken for days and thoughtful for weeks, that rewrites […]

anonymous Jan 26, 2012 2:48pm

[…] Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea–Julie (JC) Peters […]

anonymous Jan 23, 2012 1:47pm

I am broken. I’m hurting. I’m scared. But I still have hope. Because the universe is answering me. More than once this week, something that my heart has called out for has fallen into my lap. Just a moment ago, on the verge of a emotional and physical breakdown, I log on to Facebook. Looking for some comfort. For someone to make me laugh. And I come across this article posted by Ele. Thank you for helping me.

anonymous Jan 20, 2012 10:22am

[…] was enlightened by an article a while back, basically saying that you are never more powerful than when you are crying and broken […]

anonymous Jan 17, 2012 11:55am

[…] If there’s one thing we all have in common, it’s grief. Or loss, or heartbreak, or feeling broken, however you want to put it. Every human knows this feeling. Most humans don’t talk about it. […]

anonymous Jan 16, 2012 1:31am

[…] reading Ensler’s book I also came across this provocative article. The author, Julie (JC) Peters, writes about a little-known Hindu goddess, Akhilandeshvari, whose […]

anonymous Jan 15, 2012 7:12am

[…] […]

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 5:33pm

This article was beautiful and inspiring and all that is "yes". I came across it at just the right moment of comprehension — thank you.

anonymous Jan 14, 2012 2:35am

[…] is from a writer and yoga teacher called Julie Peters writing on Elephant Journal. The part about your future dissolving in front of you after a failure, or a breakup, or a […]

anonymous Jan 13, 2012 11:04am

This is brilliant and perfectly timed to share with so many people I know, right now. Thank you for being unlimited and amazing in your brokeness!

anonymous Jan 13, 2012 7:57am

[…] any rate, for those of you who have the time and the inclination, you can read the full article at http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/why-being-broken-in-a-pile-on-your-bedroom-floor-is-a-good-id…. (One day, I will figure out how to insert links into my blog posts in infinitely more attractive […]

anonymous Jan 12, 2012 1:00pm

[…] http://www.marksdailyapple.com/saturated-fat-healthy/#axzz1jGy3fF6E Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a comment […]

anonymous Jan 8, 2012 8:52am

[…] […]

anonymous Jan 8, 2012 3:13am

Thank you for this perspective on the "power being broken" – and I love the riding of one's fear – and spinning (apparently, one of the gifts of spinning – in the way of a Whirling Dervish is to get out of the mind and into being – with that speed, there is no thought). You may have heard of the Japanese / Buddhist concept of wabi sabi too – slightly related to this – celebration of imperfections. Thanks again.

anonymous Jan 3, 2012 4:47pm

Amazing. Thank you for introducing this goddess to us!

anonymous Dec 31, 2011 5:29am

[…] […]

anonymous Dec 27, 2011 1:01am

Picture is of GODDESS KHODIYAR — and not GODDESS Akhilandeshvari. Both are different as per Indian Mythology. This is for your knowledge. Don't give wrong information. Please….

for more detail contact me : [email protected]

Dr Jayesh Shah

anonymous Dec 24, 2011 10:09am

[…] elephant journal: Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is A Good Idea ~ When this post was first published, I had been spending quite a bit of time lying broken in a pile and it really helped me put things in perspective. I think it’s also emblematic of the rise of EJ over the past year. While not without its problems (penchant for cheap controversy, overuse of sex and nudity, inconsistent editorial vision), elephant has stepped up and harnessed some talented writers, improving the whole experience. This is EJ at its best – there’s a reason why it’s one of the all-time most popular posts on the site. […]

anonymous Dec 23, 2011 9:20am

This is perfect for where I am in my life right now, so it was incredibly inspiring. It reminds me of the Tarot card The Tower, where all your ideas of what the world is are revealed as illusions and shattered. I think people are most interesting and beautiful when they are allowing their brokenness to show, even while stitching themselves back together again, letting the scars show like silvery lines of truth on their bodies.

anonymous Dec 21, 2011 5:02am

I am from India and though not a Hindu, I am quite familiar and fond of the Major, Well Known Indian Gods and Goddesses. I had never heard of Goddess Akhilandeshvari though I remember seeing this picture of her with her Vahana (vehicle), the crocodile. Reading this article, I have new respect and admiration for Her. There are 33 Crores (or 330 MILLION) Gods and Goddesses in Hindu Mythology and thus not are all well known. They are finally all forms of the Same Shiva and Shakti or Yang and Yin states. Thank you for this article. Jai Ma Akhilandeshvari (Victory to Mother Akhilandeshvari)

anonymous Dec 19, 2011 8:14pm

Thank you thats exactly what i needed to hear right now 🙂

anonymous Dec 19, 2011 12:00pm

WOW, do not even know how I got here…….at "the perfect time|…when I felt like I was losing everything important to me…thank you for this….

anonymous Dec 18, 2011 2:10pm

Thanks for this, recently I have lost a job and a boyfriend within two weeks and still am rather "broken" I am going to do more research on this subject and if you have anything other tips on how to help me that would be amazing. Thanks!

anonymous Dec 17, 2011 5:51am

Crocodile has been on my mind since a 2009 waking vision I had during meditation and this blogpost about Akhiladenshwari is important to me! In my meditations, a white mother crocodile told me to step on her and ride her! And i know that the vision meant to conquer my fears and ride forth with purpose. So thank you, Julie, for posting your insights on this goddess, brokenness, fear and courage. here is my blogpost on crocodile symbolism: http://baybayinalive.blogspot.com/2011/11/buwaya-

anonymous Dec 14, 2011 6:40am

[…] “Akhilanda’s lesson: even that new whole, that new, colourful, amazing groove that we create, is an illusion. It means nothing unless we can keep on breaking apart and putting ourselves together again as many times as we need to. We are already “never not broken.” We were never a consistent, limited whole. In our brokenness, we are unlimited. And that means we are amazing.” (Source) […]

anonymous Dec 14, 2011 6:40am

[…] “Akhilanda’s lesson: even that new whole, that new, colourful, amazing groove that we create, is an illusion. It means nothing unless we can keep on breaking apart and putting ourselves together again as many times as we need to. We are already “never not broken.” We were never a consistent, limited whole. In our brokenness, we are unlimited. And that means we are amazing.” (Source) […]

anonymous Dec 13, 2011 10:37pm

Thank you for sharing this. Before I read from you about Akhilanda, I had already felt connected to the power of another godess, Kali, who embodies destruction and the beginning of new life. Though Kali crystalizes all the fears of people before their death, Akhilanda seems to be more focused on the light side (–> idea of the prism, etc), which seems to make her a good companion for the future. In times when everything seems to fall apart, we sometimes stumble over writings that cheer us up and help us overcome inner obsticles as everything happens around us is closely connect with the within. Thank you or Tashakkor as we’d say here. Regards from Kabul.

anonymous Nov 16, 2011 6:27am

Hello there, I found your blog by means of Google at the same time as looking for a similar subject, your site came up, it appears to be like great. I have bookmarked to favourites|added to bookmarks.

anonymous Nov 11, 2011 9:55pm

[…] Don’t wait until everything is perfect. […]

anonymous Nov 11, 2011 7:49am

[…] few years later, I moved across the country, went through the epic breakup of my life and I lost my raw milk connection. I was dealing with more change than I had bargained […]

anonymous Oct 19, 2011 8:19am

[…] Julie (JC) Peters (via Elephant Journal) GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

anonymous Oct 13, 2011 6:54pm

Julie, thank you for this amazing article. It touched me deeply. Wishing you much success with all GOOD.

anonymous Oct 7, 2011 2:55am

[…] saw this article on The Elephant Journal and just had to reprint it […]

anonymous Sep 18, 2011 3:27pm

I felt very down today. I’m now sitting back in bed (it’s 10.20pm GMT) and while reading a few articles on my phone, I closed one of the pages and what did I see in the background of my screen? This article, I’d opened to read a few days ago but didn’t have time. So I took the time while sitting here in bed. I’m glad I did. Thanks for writing/posting it, I felt some weight ease from me 🙂

anonymous Sep 17, 2011 8:40pm

thanks! this seems to always repost right when i need it.

anonymous Sep 10, 2011 2:33pm

It's all impermanent, even us. And we keep thinking it isn't, how silly we are……

anonymous Sep 9, 2011 9:25pm

You may want to know that your article has been pirated and reposted without attribution here: http://bileratha.blogspot.com/2011/07/akhilandesh

anonymous Aug 29, 2011 4:07am

[…] So, my dad’s dear friend Willow posted this article about Akhilandeshvari, and being broken. […]

anonymous Aug 26, 2011 11:31pm

Julie is an angel sent from heaven. An angel of healing.

All love back to her for all the love she gives to us.

anonymous Aug 24, 2011 11:59am

[…] gift your vision, voice, wisdom, and hashtags. You’ve shared your infidelities, pity parties, broken bits, and gratuitous porn. We love you like the family members we want to sit next to at Thanksgiving […]

anonymous Aug 23, 2011 8:26am

[…] gift your vision, voice, wisdom, and hashtags. You’ve shared your infidelities, pity parties, broken bits, and gratuitous porn. We love you like the family members we want to sit next to at Thanksgiving […]

anonymous Aug 18, 2011 12:23pm

You know I just out of curiosity took a chance to browse through, but i found this article inspiring. i have translated the brokenness to mean the same thing as total surrender for a believer- it is that point where you feel that, “God I have handed over everything to you. You take me where you want me and besudes you I can do nothing.”
I have found myself in tha same posture in my room befoer, and guess what ? tha is when God takes charge and he actually speaks to you. He tell you that now you have gone your own way and faiil,. turn to me and Go my way- the God way. Ask a lot of believers, true believers it is after such an experience that they come up with fantastic testimonies!

anonymous Aug 8, 2011 10:13pm

[…] I just read about her here. […]

anonymous Jul 29, 2011 6:24pm

We demonstrate to anyone whose soul has fallen to pieces that he can
rearrange these pieces of a previous self in what order he pleases, and so
attain to an endless multiplicity of moves in the game of life. As the
playwrite shapes a drama from a handful of charaters, so do we from the
pieces of the disintegrated self build up ever new groups, with ever new
interplay and suspense, and new situations that are enternally
inexhaustible. . . . This is the art of life, you may yourself as an
artist devolop the game of your life and lend it animation. You may
complicate and enrich it as you please. It lies in your hands."
–from "Steppenwolf," by Hermann Hesse

anonymous Jul 25, 2011 8:57am

I adore this thread. As I write this I have been studying the text The Gaslight Effect so I can practice its lessons and share them with my clients. I am highly recommending it. It too deals with these same lessons shared in this post. Thanks Julie.

anonymous Jul 23, 2011 1:19pm

[…] spiritual quest was a bit of a show and called the poetry overly effusive. To others, he was one touched by God in a way few are. To his neighbors, he was an odd man with long dirty fingernails and no driver’s […]

anonymous Jul 22, 2011 5:33pm

[…] breakdown, all of us need it and go through it. And that’s what this article is about: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/why-being-broken-in-a-pile-on-your-bedroom-floor-is-a-good-id… Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed Why It's a Bad Idea to […]

anonymous Jul 22, 2011 8:02am

[…] When Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Floor is a Good Idea: By riding on this spinning, predatory, fearsome creature, Akhilanda refuses to reject her fear, nor does she let it control her. She rides on it. She gets on this animal that lives inside the river, inside the flow. She takes her fear down to the river and uses its power to navigate the waves, and spins in the never not broken water. […]

anonymous Jul 21, 2011 6:33am

Everytime I read this, I am inspired all over again. I have shared it with my readers at my blog: My 52 Weeks of Worship: http://www.my52wow.com. Thank you for writing this.

anonymous Jul 20, 2011 11:52pm

[…] […]

anonymous Jul 17, 2011 1:23am

If ever there was such a thing as stumble upon fate, it is in this moment right here. I could not have read this article at a better time in my life. thank you.

anonymous Jul 15, 2011 5:58pm

[…] The Always-Broken Goddess […]

anonymous Jul 13, 2011 5:50pm

Just can't stop reading this. Up to 5x I think. I just keep coming back. Thanks!

anonymous Jul 13, 2011 9:04am

My dear friend is definitely Akhilandeshvari. Please read about her here on elephant journal and thank you for your beautiful post. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/07/the-childr

anonymous Jul 11, 2011 8:38am

THIS IS JUST WHAT I NEEDED TODAY…and to think I cleaned the pile up off the floor this morning…

anonymous Jul 10, 2011 9:18pm

Last Saturday was a beautiful day. We went to the beach, watched a sunset, ended the day in peace. Sunday morning they took my mother to University of Penn hospital where she was diagnosed with a brain and lung mass. It’s a week later and she has had the brain mass removed, is in the midst of severe steroid psychosis, and probably has less than a year to live. We’ve had a very rocky mom daughter relationship, I am very peaceful and free spirited, and she is not. Now she is herself times a thousand and I am finding myself feeling like the waves are crashing over me.I’ve lost my father, many friends, ended many a relationship and thought I had been tested enough. Nothing could have prepared me for this.
I’ve been studying Eastern theology for years but it has been with more passion in the recent months. I am now a kirtan singer, and a Kundalini practioner. Now the journey makes sense. Even more now that I have read your article.
I still feel as if I am drowning, but I also know that struggling against the current and waves will hasten my death for sure. I need to breathe and relax through the waves, let them carry me to shore gently, like the crocodile.
Thank you for bringing me some much needed peace tonight. Om shanti.

anonymous Jul 6, 2011 7:28pm

Really beautifully written and inspiring.

anonymous Jul 6, 2011 6:56pm

Brilliant. Resonates so much with what I recently wrote about here: http://theawakenedlife.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/a

..in relation to my reference to the Tower Card, the moment where everything in your life collapses down and falls apart, so that you can be purified down to your true Essence in order to build your life anew, from a clean slate.

Your essay was powerfully familiar for me. Thank you so much for sharing.

anonymous Jul 5, 2011 8:06am

[…] *Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea* […]

anonymous Jul 4, 2011 11:41pm

[…] rather sad. And in this pity party for one, self-confidence is the killjoy. I just finished reading why being broken is a good thing and while the concept is novel enough to almost inspire tears, it’s painfully brutal to […]

anonymous Jul 4, 2011 5:02pm

this is fucking brilliant. across the seas to the core rock my world brilliant. thank you for breaking it down….

anonymous Jul 2, 2011 10:46pm

[…] Strangely, in the sadness and weight and tears, even in the complicated legacy that is the 60s and the Kennedy clan, I find solace and renewed hope in our political process. For out of all this pain came the Great Society, LBJ’s consumately skilled, successful push of what otherwise would likely have been JFK’s failed agenda that had stalled on the Hill. And Civil Rights, and the activist movement, and the feminist awakening: the 60s remind us that in breaking what is old and stagnant, we find renewed strength. […]

anonymous Jul 2, 2011 11:12am

Just what I needed to hear..

anonymous Jul 1, 2011 11:59am

Absolutely exactly what I needed to read. Thank you.

anonymous Jun 28, 2011 8:37am

Thank you Julie for this beautiful, beautiful post. As a kind of reciprocal gift, here's a poem I wrote several years ago, which I now see could have been written to Akhilandeshvari.

Night flower

Past the stream,
down where the woods grow dark
a tree fallen long upon the earth
has gone to humus.

It offers up three solitary stems,
whiter than communion bread
tentative as flesh.
They are Indian Pipe,
living where things have died..

They are too slender
for a mushroom,
and lack the flower’s color,
too still to be a newborn,
how do they belong
in these green woods ?

And I, who sleep
in the cool hollow of memory,
can I ever dream their truth ?

Thus: the desire
of life to nourish,
that causes strange tendrils
to rise, luminous;

beyond the sight of eyes
deep in the blackness of soil,
the womb of falling-apart
conceives life.

    anonymous Jul 25, 2011 1:21am

    I love "tentative as flesh"….and i love nurse logs–that death can bring the most life. Thank you so much for posting this.

anonymous Jun 27, 2011 6:21am

I had this experience. I had moved to a new town, just signed a lease on a new place, and thought I had met the man I would marry. But then, he suddenly broke up with me. Here I was, in a city I knew no one, carrying a huge expense, not even a bed in my place yet. I crumbled to the ground with fear, pain, and loss. Something I wanted so badly – to be in love and be happy. I hit the bottom, as this journey of love was so on-going. I was 31 at the time, and had been in and out of relationships for a long time, always trying to get closer to the one I would marry. I was devastated, as this man told me he loved me, and was everything I wanted in someone. In that devastation, I called on the Goddess of my core. I had already been on the path for the past 12 years, a practicing Dakini for 5 of those years. This was partly the issue – weaving the world of the free flowing Dakini and the committed relationship was difficult. I knew things needed to change – I needed to change.
I scurryed into the mirror. On my floor, and just looked at myself. I cried deep, horrible sobs, that to this day make me want to cry for my own pain. I prayed. I held ritual. And I began to heal. I met someone soon after, but I knew he was another "grower" in th journey towards the one. I continued through this, still deeply desiring the man I had lost, but allowing myself to learn the lessons I thought I had already learned. Apparently, there was more. I went through almost a whole year of dating – In may of that year, I used the sun and the heat to begin the process of manifestation. I went to church everyday and prayed. Not because I am a church goer, but because I needed the energy of the the worship space, and the safety of a sacred space to pray, regardless of the religion. I lit candles, and called upon my ancestors, as well as the Magdeline, the Christ, and Mother Mary. I did mediation in and used crystal singing bowls to clear my energy. I visualized the words I wanted to hear from the man I love, and I repeated them every day in ritual. I designed him, but left certain details to the Creator. I focused more on what I wanted to feel when I was with him, and how I wanted to be loved by him.
On August 26th, 2007 , I met him. At my front door, literally. He literally came to my door. I knew within 5 minutes of meeting him that he was the one. I married him on June 11, 2010. He is beyond my dreams. I am a Queen in his eyes, but most importantly, in my own.
I transformed. I believe in the power of transformation. I AM the power. And I will never doubt this power. have faith. Do the Work. Fall to your knees if you most – but just know – the universe is ALWAYS on your side.

    anonymous Jul 25, 2011 1:19am

    wow, that is an amazing story! Thank you for sharing that!

anonymous Jun 25, 2011 8:03pm

just simply thank you.

anonymous Jun 23, 2011 12:38pm

Thank you from the depths of my own brokenness. This is exactly what I needed to see today. I come to understandings through metaphor and this article has helped me on my journey. So thank you!

anonymous Jun 22, 2011 10:01pm

[…] (The quotes come from an article which can be read in its entirety here.) […]

anonymous Jun 22, 2011 9:19pm

Awsome…….I needed it …….

anonymous Jun 22, 2011 5:00pm


anonymous Jun 21, 2011 8:50am


anonymous Jun 19, 2011 11:42pm

fantastic! thank you!

anonymous Jun 18, 2011 12:36pm

Yes, very nice, especially in these crazy times!

anonymous Jun 17, 2011 7:26am

Love this blog post! Thank you! … Makes so much sense to me right now 🙂

anonymous Jun 17, 2011 5:46am

This spoke directly to me. (many tears) Thank ou for posting this. I really needed to read that. Namaste

anonymous Jun 16, 2011 3:54pm

[…] recently read a beautiful piece on ele by Julie (JC) Peters about never not being broken. Until several years ago, I’d thought I […]

anonymous Jun 15, 2011 12:12pm

I appreciate the theory, it makes sense. Some of us stay on the floor at least figuratively for quite a while and for good reason. And finding out why and dealing with it is where the work comes in.

anonymous Jun 14, 2011 3:40pm

I just lost my brother less than 6 weeks ago and have honestly being hanging on by a thread every moment of every day. The pain I am in over this loss is indescribable. I find my self in constant panic over how I will ever get through this and become the wife, daughter and sister ( to my two remaining brothers) that I use to be. I don't feel like I am in a pile on the bedroom floor, most days I feel like I am under the carpet gasping for air. I understand what this article is trying to say about being able to chose how to put your self back together and about that being almost like a gift but, when we feel like so many vital pieces are missing (like I do) how can we find strength and power in such a horrifying crises? How do I live without my heart, how do I breath without oxygen. My brother Gordie like everyone in my family meant the world to me and trying to recover from such an enormous loss is something that even Doctors and Ministers say will never happen entirely. You never get over something like this, you don't want to get over it. Trying to put myself together again in a positive way right now feels like I am trying to build a house without nails.

anonymous Jun 14, 2011 8:10am

I love this. I love this idea and that you found a perfect way of explaining it. There is so much power in a moment where everything has broken down and you are forced to come up with new ways of living. Beautiful.

anonymous Jun 13, 2011 11:27pm

[…] I am not defeated. I now know how to lie on the floor and cry/fight like a warrior (thank you Akhilanda – Indian Goddess). I know that I am supported by friends and family from all four […]

anonymous Jun 13, 2011 5:27pm

[…] friend recently send me a link to a post about Akhilandeshvari, the Hindi goddess of “brokenness”. Rather she is the goddess of “never not […]

anonymous Jun 13, 2011 2:05pm

[…] has blown us out of the water with her last few articles here on elephant journal. So I finally followed her on twitter and […]

anonymous Jun 12, 2011 4:03am

This article link was gifted to me by a friend, and what a WONDERFUL gift it was! I, in turn, have passed this along to many people, all of whom have been similarly delighted.
My one disappointment is that there does not seem to be a way to format the page for easy and efficient printing. Unless I've missed an existing such option, my recommendation would be a button which lays out the page for optimum printing. As a bonus, perhaps the option could be given, when printing, to include comments with the article or not. (Sometimes they are just as valuable, and sometimes they just take up too much paper.)
THANK YOU and Namaste!

anonymous Jun 11, 2011 7:26am

Thank you for this. It is powerful, beautiful, and its message much-needed — by me, at least.

anonymous Jun 11, 2011 6:41am

I loved the concept that each piece is a prism that can reflect so much more light. This is indeed true. Out of chaos comes order. The Universal Law of Cycles claims that This Too Shall Pass. Something for all of us to keep in mind when we are in this place.

anonymous Jun 10, 2011 2:44pm

Beautiful, Julie–and very encouraging. "My power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

anonymous Jun 10, 2011 1:10pm

great posting. i’d say more, but it would pale in comparison to the actual article.

anonymous Jun 10, 2011 12:14pm

Great article. Though in stating that the crococdile uses, "the power of spin, rather than brute force to feed themselves", I don't find entirely accurate. I don't think it's an either/or thing, it's really a combination of both. Or break it down further and it's a combination of many factors, one of which you mentioned which is the factor of surprise, based in part on its unbelievable speed and its ability to surprise. Next is its bite. A Nile crocodile's bite for example, has over 5000 lbs per square inch, compare that to the great white shark at 400 lbs per square inch. Next is the tools with which it bites which aside from the jaw muscles are their amazing teeth, of which each one at any one time has another 3 or 4 coming in behind it, shedding over 200 teeth per year like used up bullet shells. And then there's that deadly spin. Spinning as you mentioned is not just for disorienting. It primarily breaks or tears off whatever limb happens to be in its jaws with just a few turns. The disorienting is just an added perk. My points may seem petty, and they certainly don't take away from the validity of the article, I just believe in using analogies more accurately, and understanding, in this case, that the crocodile's power is not either/or, but rather both/and, that is, a combination of many factors, evolved over millions of years of infinite evolutionary (fractal) feedback.

anonymous Jun 10, 2011 11:30am

awesome!!!! LOVE IT!

anonymous Jun 10, 2011 9:20am

[…] is the time, this time of confusion and brokenness and fear and sadness, to get up on that fear, ride it down to the river, dip into the waves, and let yourself break. Become a […]

anonymous Jun 9, 2011 8:18pm

I'm always amazed by the fact when I start thinking about a new concept, in this case – brokenness, the Universe somehow presents me with more and more good information to help things mesh more. This is a great article to stumble across. It makes brokenness seem less frightening and more inviting. Thank you for your words.

anonymous Jun 9, 2011 5:37pm

[…] […]

anonymous Jun 9, 2011 11:36am

[…] The Goddess of Never Not Broken <– (Click here) […]

anonymous Jun 8, 2011 10:35pm

[…] you cry. 9. Embrace the fact that the brokenness is what saves you. Revel in the fact that you are never not broken. 10. Go to bed early. Sleep as late as you can. 11. Drink water. A lot of water. 12. Hold a warrior […]

anonymous Jun 8, 2011 7:04pm

Thankyou for posting. My Dad died last year and Ive spent so much time on that floor. Learning to listen to myself. after 36 years of silencing my small self, I am finally learning to listen. IT takes much courage to re-create oneself. For me, all the things ive thought so sad about the world, i find ive done to myself – abuse, betrayal, neglect. So Thank you broken-on-the-floor, I am humbled, I am empowered. Here I have finally found my devotional love. Here I am finding that I am indeed Loveable – for no reason. Just am.

BTW, i have had very regular dreams of crocodiles for 10 years. For years they were horrific. Now i ride them. !

anonymous Jun 8, 2011 4:30pm

I think you just introduced me to the Goddess I have been searching for.

anonymous Jun 8, 2011 12:29pm

I wish I could express how timely this piece is….it reached me in a way I can't put into words. I am in a pile on the floor and I've never felt so hopeful about that in my life…thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

anonymous Jun 8, 2011 11:51am

Thanks for introducing me to this goddess. Especially since becoming a mother a year ago I have been very interested in "meeting" female deities. I'm also moving to Northern India next month, and have been living a sort of nomadic life since mid-May, visiting family and friends before we go. This is a really good reminder of the power of not knowing what to expect (I've never been to India or that part of the world) and of why I decided to take this journey just when motherhood was starting to be "easy" and a little predictable. I have started to feel that I can't appreciate my life as much now that it is becoming more routine (even during all our traveling) as I did when my son was very young and I was just keeping my head above water learning how to live as a mother. This is a timely inspiration to remain open and vulnerable, embracing everything because it is real. Thanks.

anonymous Jun 7, 2011 9:47pm

This concept is revolutionary. We must never under-estimate our capacity to not only overcome, but to create new ways of being. We are by nature creative beings. It makes perfect sense we should embrace this creation process, even if it twists and turns most unexpectedly or painfully, and even if we are gasping for breath. We must not only embrace it, but as you beautifully illustrated – get up and boldly STAND on it. That kind of flexible balance and gutsy aplomb is what dreams come true are made of. It is life-altering.

Thank you very, very much from one who has been likewise shattered. I am not finished becoming. I am definitely not finished just because HE says I am.

anonymous Jun 7, 2011 12:08pm

This article is a blessing and a blessed reminder… There is irony in the always broken state and the union of Self we seek through yoga… Somehow even in the most honest state of brokenness we find the highest level of integration…union…yoga

anonymous Jun 7, 2011 3:22am

[…] Not Broken" Goddess Just came across this article, Why Being Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea – referring to a Hindu goddess whose name translates as "never not broken". […]

anonymous Jun 7, 2011 1:11am

Wow, thank you for sharing this beautiful insight. I have never heard of her, and this is a powerful explanation of something we could all learn. Thank you. Namaste!

anonymous Jun 6, 2011 11:53pm

yea, just stop pretending to be a victim and make better choices.

anonymous Jun 6, 2011 1:57pm

Now this feels TRUE! Thank you for shattering the stories we tell ourselves!! xoxo

anonymous Jun 6, 2011 12:28pm

[…] Why Lying Broken in a Pile on Your Bedroom Floor is a Good Idea. ~ Julie (JC) Peters […]

anonymous Jun 6, 2011 9:01am

Thank you so much. I feel so validated upon reading this. Blessings.

anonymous Jun 6, 2011 8:05am

Can I re-post this to my blog?

    anonymous Jun 6, 2011 10:55am

    Please do repost! <3

      anonymous Jun 7, 2011 11:31pm

      We prefer excerpts, with links back…not just xeroxing…but love working together. ~ Way

anonymous Jun 6, 2011 7:50am

Thanks for this. This is exactly how I felt early last year, after the 1-2 punch of a devastating breakup and checking in to rehab less than a month later. Ultimately, best thing that ever happened to me. Pema Chödrön has similar ideas in some of her writings. A favorite quote of mine: "Sometimes, however, we are cornered; everything falls apart, and we run out of options for escape. At times like that, the most profound spiritual truths seem pretty straightforward and ordinary."

anonymous Jun 6, 2011 2:14am

It dissolves your future..this is good because if you know your future then this forges your present and your thinking &
thus you will never become 'new' again but remain the same old self that caused you to break in the first place.

This forces a change for a newer better self.

anonymous Jun 5, 2011 10:18pm

I have read and heard that when our hearts break open, it is through such opening that "light" gets in. The world penetrates through the fissures of broken heartedness, and as we experience pain directly, without judgement, without needing anything to change (just as "itssimple" wrote in a post above), compassion naturally arises, for ourselves and for the pain of "others". This has been my experience … especially when I don't try to change anything, when I genuinely approach experiences with non-aggression. Most definitely an aspiration practice, not to be perfected, but to keep open this possibility again and again. Woof.

JC, thank you for your personable, direct, eloquent writing, and for sharing this image and story of Akhilanda, a goddess figure willing to face her confusion and fears directly, and to ride them … perhaps just to do it, not because it leads anywhere in particular. There is certainly brilliance and strength in directly experiencing pain — and joy — without trying to get ahold of it so that it will stay, or chase it off so we don't have to feel it any longer. And, this "never not-broken" aspect: stunning.

anonymous Jun 5, 2011 8:00pm

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! Thanks for introducing me to this amazing Goddess.

anonymous Jun 5, 2011 1:30pm

mmmmm. Yeah. This is the stuff – indeed. Thanks for the post. It served as a deep reminder and a place to relate – no matter what.

anonymous Jun 5, 2011 1:17pm

First off, thank you Mandy!! This was EXACTLY what I needed to hear/read today. It came at the perfect time and brought much needed tears.
I am feeling very sick (physically), broken, and confused today especially as I am (have been) in the process of breaking old outmoded patterns that do nothing but bring me pain. This is far more difficult than I could have ever imagined. The mind has a very strong grip on the old and is VERY stubborn to let go at all. I keep asking "what am I doing here? what am I supposed to be doing?" and I had a dream last night that I was acting very mean and angry to several friends of mine. they were getting tired of my attitude. finally, i broke down and started crying uncontrollably… it felt so real, I told them " I have a broken heart… I am broken." This article is amazingly timely, as I needed to hear exactly what it is saying… you might want to read it too. XO, Mir

anonymous Jun 5, 2011 12:04pm

Thanks for sharing about this little known Indian Goddess. I like that she acknowledges that sometimes we are just too broken to be fixed and that we can still let go and go into the flow of the Universe where you just let go of all of it and find strength instead of weakness, healing instead of disaster.

anonymous Jun 5, 2011 9:40am

Nice one Julie – thanks!

anonymous Jun 5, 2011 5:49am

Delightful read!!!

anonymous Jun 4, 2011 7:54pm

I am speechless and inspired.

Thank you.

http://[email protected]

    anonymous Apr 8, 2013 6:29pm

    Thanks so much. Good timing for me. Keep up the good work!

anonymous Jun 4, 2011 1:40pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this. So amazing. This not only spoke right to my heart and my soul – it reached in and grabbed them and squeezed them in such a tight hug, that it broke them! Thank you!!!!

anonymous Jun 4, 2011 12:51pm

Ok, let me throw in this question for a moment, hope you can relate to it. Does the 'pretense' of 'acceptance' such as 'breaking down on the floor' actually a ruse to ultimately control our destiny? Because this is exactly what we (as in our ego) want right? We are hoping that by doing so, we can actually escape some of the challenges of pain and suffering … so that we can live long enough to enjoy the real fruits that our ego crave. Is this is just a higher order emotional manipulation except that its target is not another person but oneself? Don't get me wrong, if we are really about truth … why so much mental contortions … what is wrong with just accepting? why accepting IN ORDER to? Why not just chanting/celebrating truth? but chanting and celebrating truth … in order to …. The bhakti movement is good only in a purely devotional mode, when it starts to be use as a tool for a specific purpose then perhaps that's not bhakti anymore, it's like praying to some fire breathing dragon so that it protects us (our darn little ego who cannot accept anything other than what it wants …)

    anonymous Jan 27, 2012 4:46pm

    agreed, and you said it well. I was musing along the same lines. This is better than that, man, I am getting someplace now….
    "So now is the time, this time of confusion and brokenness and fear and sadness, to get up on that fear, ride it down to the river, dip into the waves, and let yourself break."
    Or not. It all is what it is. good tools and ideas, and, are we really in control? Is it "better" to be "successful" or "powerful" or "together," than to be other ways? How do we just "be," with whatever is, regardless of how or what we choose to do about any of it?

anonymous Jun 4, 2011 8:48am

This article has helped me so much, I am thrilled. I have been avoiding the obvious steps to take for a longtime, instead giving in and going back, and refusing to GO THRU the pain in order to grow and learn from my past unhealthy circumstances. But there has been a difference this time in not being AFRAID of the outcome, and just letting go. Its truly a bitter sweet opportunity . A million thanks for this most delightful Goddess

anonymous Jun 4, 2011 5:21am

I love Eric Stoneberg; I love Akhilandeshvari, and I love this article. Well done.

anonymous Jun 4, 2011 2:29am

Great post 🙂

anonymous Jun 4, 2011 1:35am

I'm there right now feeling this, nice to read about it too. Thank you for sharing!

anonymous Jun 4, 2011 1:14am

Beautiful JC.

anonymous Jun 3, 2011 2:55pm

O.M.G. Thank you for this post!! I had a tape (yes…a tape) called J'ai Ma Kirtan with a song on it called "Akhilandeshvari". The mantra was "amba parameshwari akhilandshvari…adi parashakti pala ya man…sri buhvaneshwari raja mahesh shwrari…sachi da nanda mahi ma pala ya man" (I know I butchered it, but that's my phonetic interpretation). My son was 3 at the time (now 10) and I was having a very hard time with him and my life in general. I played this mantra and he LOVED it. I would catch him chanting it while playing with his legos. It was "his" mantra. He would flip out and instead of reacting, I would chant this mantra. I've lost the tape and have since tried to find a recording of the mantra. I had no idea how to spell "Akhilandeshvari" and I had no idea what it meant. Thank You for your post!!! It makes SO MUCH sense! He broke me! I had no idea what to do in those moments, but chant! and it worked!!! It makes total sense now, knowing what Akhilandeshvari represents.

    anonymous Jun 4, 2011 8:40am

    WOW, I find this totally amazing. Good for you to trust your instinct and being so wonderfully rewarded.

    anonymous Jun 5, 2011 4:57pm

    That's a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing that. As for the song… Hmm, have you checked sites like Pandora?

    anonymous Jun 8, 2011 7:05pm

    Well done mumma. They are good teachers these children.

    anonymous Jun 13, 2011 9:55pm

    I think I may have found your cassette! http://www.bookmasters.com/srirama/page6.htm
    As a parent of a 3 year old this story is particularly touching to me.

anonymous Jun 3, 2011 1:27pm

In my dreams last night I had 3 Alligators captive in my closet.

Bob Weisenberg Jun 2, 2011 11:08pm

Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

Bob W. Yoga Editor
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anonymous Jun 2, 2011 9:19pm

thank you, this article is right on time for me.
i do the collapse thing at least twice weekly
(although my bed is a yoga mat on a wood floor, so that makes it pretty easy).
feeling better already since i started singing Akhilandeshvari

anonymous Jun 2, 2011 4:15pm

Julie, your article came to me in the perfect moment… and the sign did appear on my facebook feed!
I was feeling broken and you made me realize I am because there's a kaleidoscope in me!
Thank you! 🙂

    anonymous Nov 12, 2013 12:24am

    it came at a perfect time for me as well. It was on my fb feed and guess what? My cover photo is a kaleidoscope of me, broken me. 🙂 love

anonymous Jun 2, 2011 1:27pm

Love the image of the broken goddess riding a crocodile, the two of them bent on spinning their prey into confusion. What a wonderful tale. And you told it well. I had not heard that one and thank you for sharing it. It makes perfect sense to me. One who is constantly broken knows what it takes to shake things up and knows what a good thing that is. Hilary

anonymous Jun 2, 2011 3:51am


anonymous Jun 2, 2011 12:22am

Great article!

anonymous Jun 1, 2011 11:11pm

thank you! this is just what i needed to hear. i feel so newly inspired!

Bob Weisenberg Jun 1, 2011 11:01pm

Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

Bob W. Yoga Editor
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anonymous Jun 1, 2011 8:45pm

Thank you!!! This was amazing! I can't wait to share this with my class.

anonymous Jun 1, 2011 6:31pm

Truly a refreshing read…well written, insightful, informative and inspiring…thank you

anonymous Jun 1, 2011 4:56pm

You are courageous in admitting that there is a grace to being broken, and that being broken and feeling weak and shattered and bereft and unable to imagine how to get out of it is even a possibility. Jai Akhilandeshvari!

anonymous Jun 1, 2011 4:25pm

thanks for this…it was amazing

anonymous Jun 1, 2011 3:42pm

Wow, stunning.

Bob Weisenberg Jun 1, 2011 3:23pm

Amazing article, Julie. Well done.

Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

Bob W. Yoga Editor
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anonymous Jun 1, 2011 2:05pm

Wow, funny that this posted just after my piece, in which I describe exactly this moment in my life: "And that moment, when I had lost any inkling of an identity and sat in a heap on my living room floor, turned out to be the most important moment of my life." So thanks for this, Julie. It totally confirms what I learned from my own experience. From the lowest point, we find the deepest strength. http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/there-are-

    anonymous Jun 2, 2011 12:24am

    Thanks Lauren, this is a beautiful article! So true–merging never truly happens, and can never really save you–you can. Or being in a heap on your floor can, maybe! <3

    anonymous Aug 30, 2014 1:12am

    It's about going into your brokenness and feeling it. Western culture is pathalogically afraid of this.

anonymous Feb 19, 2012 11:39am

Hi…just wanted to share my own insight here on the subject of suffering in particular. The runes offer a perspective that states the original meaning of the word 'suffer' was to 'undergo'…and to make sure that you are not suffering over your suffering. To know and understand instead that you are 'undergoing' a passage.