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Giveaway and Interview: Turning Dead Ends into Doorways by Staci Boden

Editor's Note:

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Especially when we’re going through challenging times, it can feel tempting to try to control the future—but this doesn’t change that much lies beyond our control. Try as we may to avoid the unknown, the future remains uncertain.

How do we navigate change knowing that nothing is guaranteed? How can we develop inner strength to grow, heal, and evolve?

Healer practitioner Staci Boden answers these questions in her new book, Turning Dead Ends into Doorways: How to Grow Through Whatever Life Throws Your Way.

From the book flap:

“With compassionate honesty and a practical sense of humor, healing practitioner Staci Boden shows her readers how to navigate change without clinging to false notions that if they just do this or think that they can determine what happens next. How to let go of false expectations and still make excellent choices. How to grow and heal no matter what life throws their way.”

I’m grateful that Staci has offered two free copies of Turning Dead Ends into Doorways for Tiny Buddha readers!

The Giveaway

To enter to win one of two free copies of Turning Dead Ends into Doorways by Staci Boden:

  • Leave a comment on this post. (If you’re reading in your inbox, click here to do that.)
  • Tweet: RT @tinybuddha GIVEAWAY: Turning Dead Ends into Doorways http://bit.ly/SBYrFX comment and RT to enter!

You can enter until midnight PST on Monday, November 5th. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still participate by completing only the first step.

The Interview

1. What inspired you to write Turning Dead Ends into Doorways?

Someone once told me that writing a book is an opportunity to participate in a larger conversation about something that matters to you.

For a while, I’ve noticed how some spiritual beliefs equate healing with achieving a positive outcome. I’m all for positive outcomes. At the same time, I’ve seen people hurt by the message that learning a lesson or thinking a positive thought can create a specific reality.

I grew up with a legally blind mom, family living with chronic illness, and friends who survived sexual abuse. As a healing practitioner, many clients have arrived feeling stuck or overwhelmed regarding health, work, and relationships.

When we’re doing everything we can to heal and we don’t achieve a certain outcome, we feel like we’re doing something wrong. We feel like we’re wrong.

I wrote this book because the blame and shame and exhaustion that comes from trying to make life look a certain way only further cements pain. I wrote this book because even though we don’t always get what we want, healing belongs to everyone.

Healing can be a positive outcome andan inner quality we cultivate along the way, like strength or patience. My book explores how we might all grow through life so we feel more whole and capable inside, no matter what reality appears on our doorstep.

2. You refer to your healing work as Practical Spirituality. What does Practical Spirituality mean to you?

My training is in earth-based and women’s spirituality ways. I’m an energy worker. Practical Spirituality grew as a bridge for learning how to navigate the unknown in daily life for people unfamiliar with that world.

Practical Spirituality embraces the mystical with pragmatic arms. If we can’t embody peace while negotiating traffic, then we’re truly stuck. Through connecting with eight inner teachers and synchronicity, Practical Spirituality helps us develop our own unique healing ways.

3. What does it mean to grow a conscious relationship with the unknown in daily life?

The reality is, we can never predict what’s around the next corner. We may not know small things, like what’s for dinner, or big things, like if we will meet a soul mate or remain healthy. The unknown is a tangible yet mysterious force that permeates daily life.

Yet relying on control to deal with the unknown doesn’t always work, and often, control ends up controlling us.

If instead, we start developing a more conscious relationship within ourselves and with whatever part of everyday living is calling for our attention—health, finances, trust, relationships, strength, fertility—we can learn how to navigate the unknown of daily life in a more empowered way. 

4. Your book introduces eight teachers for navigating the unknown in daily life—fear, awareness, choice, body, intuition, energy, intention, and surrender. Why eight, and how are these teachers?

Over the years, I noticed individuals and groups grappling with core issues around fear, awareness, body, intuition etc. As I sat with how a reader might learn to navigate the unknown in a book, core issues coalesced into eight areas of focus.

Each of these eight areas is a realm of wisdom. After awhile, I realized these eight areas are universal relationships we can connect with constantly. They teach us. Anything can be a teacher in our lives, and certainly, these eight aren’t meant to be definitive. They are relationships that I felt called to write about first.

5. You talk about the idea of “co-commitment” as a way to relate to people without competing for power in Chapter 5 about choice. Can you tell us a little about this?

Sure. We’ve been raised in an either/or view of the world where winner takes all. This forces us into prescribed roles of victim, persecutor, and rescuer. Check out a reality show, and you’ll see victims and persecutors everywhere!

If we can resist the temptation to make each other wrong and recognize that many realities exist at once, we create room for more authenticity. We can speak up and get creative about meeting needs. We shift out of victimhood and into empowerment.

For example, as a mother of two teenagers, I wash a lot of dishes. I can get resentful thinking I’m the only one doing dishes, my kids don’t appreciate me, and really, I do everything (hello, victim)!

Alternatively, I can tell my family that I’m feeling tired and I need some help with dishes. As we discuss options, I might even realize the kids have been contributing in other ways, like by taking out the trash and walking the dog. Recognizing multiple realities facilitates win-win resolution in relationships. 

6. In Chapter 7, you explore intuition and offers suggestions to help us access it. Why do you think this is such a struggle, and what’s one thing we can do to overcome it?

We live in a fear-based culture where we’ve been taught to overdevelop our minds. Fear and mental chatter create static that interferes with accessing intuition.

One approach to accessing intuition would be to explore fear. As you start to identify different kinds of fear, you can sort through them. This will help relax mental chatter for intuition to emerge.

Another way to access intuition is to identify one strong sense (hear, see, smell, taste) and start noticing what it may be communicating throughout your day.

7. What does it mean to navigate and follow energy?

Learning how to consciously hold, follow, and navigate energy is a way of life. For me, it’s a wild, faith-restoring ride where I get to partner with the mystery and explore meaning every day.

By definition, following energy means staying behind it. This is easier said than done because being in control by getting ahead is our cultural ideal.

Learning to pull your attention back in order to follow something—a relationship, a project or even a wish—cannot be done through the mind alone. You learn to navigate energy by practicing navigating energy. That’s why I ask readers to focus on an intention throughout the book, as a beginning place. 

8. You’ve written that intention is the “root and the tip of a choice to love fiercely.” What do you mean by this?

An intention is a word or sentence that represents a heartfelt wish or meaningful inner quality. Contemplating an intention includes recognizing the root of something important in our lives. As if we’re having a conversation with our soul. An example might be “world peace” or “thrive.”

It’s not enough to just think about an intention. Fueling an intention with action is what awakens it as a guiding force in our lives. How will you support world peace or learn to thrive?

And so committing to an intention by relating with something deep inside that also feels bigger than yourself becomes a way to grow self-worth. Embodying the root and tip of an intention represents a choice, and an opportunity, to practice fierce love.

9. You wrote Turning Dead Ends Into Doorways in real time, sharing how the eight teachers informed the book through daily life happenings. Why? How was that? 

Synchronicity helps me navigate life, and since I ask readers to let go and engage the unknown, it also seemed only fair to join them there through book writing.

Within that, I was unprepared for what arrived with each chapter teacher in beautiful and shattering ways. An earthquake punctuated a point, birth made a surprise re-entrance into my life and in the last month of writing, my teenage daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of adolescent cancer.

I don’t know if noticing synchronicity while writing the book helped my daughter’s cancer come to light, but if so, I’m very grateful. Thankfully, my daughter has been in remission for over a year and a half now.

10. What’s the main message you hope readers take away from this book?

Personally, I’m ready for a (r)evolution where we take the blame and shame out of healing so we can all access it more freely. I hope people find the book to be a strong and loving guide for consciously navigating life.

But ultimately, it’s not about me. My intention is to get behind each reader’s intention. And so I’m really enjoying hearing from readers directly about what the book means to them.

Thank you, Tiny Buddha and Lori Deschene, for how you foster community and inspire us to grow in so many ways!

Learn more about Turning Dead Ends into Doorways on Amazon.


FTC Disclosure: I receive complimentary books for reviews and interviews on tinybuddha.com, but I am not compensated for writing or obligated to write anything specific. I am an Amazon affiliate, meaning I earn a percentage of all books purchased through the links I provide on this site. 

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest book, Tiny Buddha's Worry Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

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