What is Indestructible in Us

Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”

- Pema Chödrön

The art of surrender

Self-transcendence is the art of radical responsibility: assuming ultimate ownership of our experience regardless of what our external lives may hold.

This is no small feat. And most of us buckle at the slightest indication that our circumstances are not lining up how we hope.

Orienting ourselves to be endlessly preoccupied with how to get life to submit to our small-minded hopes is not only a fool’s errand, but also a recipe to create a kind of hell. 

Because even on the rare occasions when life cooperates with our vain wishes momentarily, it just as quickly wriggles away from our grasp the next moment. 


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Consumerism culture

There’s a mirage-like quality to the nature of external gratification: the moment we achieve what we desire, we are onto the next object of desire that offers us only fleeting (if any) respite. 

While most of us recognize the futility of this state of affairs intellectually, we seldom reflect on it deeply enough to actually change our approach.

Play is the practice of attuning to a kind of consciousness that comes from releasing the grip of our egos and our attempts to coercively control the circumstances of our lives.

As a culture, our default mode tends to be a reflection of consumeristic programming: getting, attaining, and achieving as a feeble proxy for internal peace. 

And while there’s nothing wrong with those things per se, the degree to which they are emphasized as the primary means to our wellbeing is deeply problematic and makes us sick.

In this orientation, we are always mortgaging our well-being to the future—the next purchase, the next job, or the next relationship that we foolishly believe holds the promise of our long-desired salvation. 

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Why do we choose to live this way?

It’s not dependent on the fate of changing circumstances.

Creating a reservoir of deep safety within naturally opens us up to more authenticity, joy, and laughter, connecting us to the childlike wonder and unashamed exuberance of our nascent selves.

Other than deeply ingrained cultural indoctrination and the fact that this is typically the only option modeled to us (which are far from trivial forces), the reason most of us choose this is because the alternative is really, really hard.

But you know what’s harder? Living this endlessly addictive and unsatisfying illusion.

Most of us will never give up this futile way of being, in part because we believe that if we just try a little harder and have enough willpower, consumerism will finally deliver on its promises.

Rather than recognizing its ultimate futility, we double down on our ineffectual strategies in a delusional attempt to change the nature of reality.

Something has to change

The long and short of it is, our lives will not be different until we are different. 

And changing ourselves in this way requires a paradigm shift and a fundamental reorientation of our approach to life, ourselves, and our circumstances. 

This shift is primarily an internal one, though it emanates through every dimension of our lives and being.

It is far from passive. In fact, surrender can provide the solid foundation of agency and empowered action (more on this in future blogs.)

And therefore this external shift reverberates externally, ultimately shifting our outer circumstances, the subsequent outcomes, and how we relate to them. 

Unconditional peace begins to develop the more we practice this new way of being because we recognize that what is indestructible in us cannot be threatened. 

This creates a deep reservoir of unshakable peace and resilience that becomes a sort of internal touchstone to buoy us through even the most difficult trials and tragedies that life throws our way. 

Realizing that every difficulty is a hidden invitation into deeper peace, liberation—and ultimately into our own greatness—is foundational to this aim.

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Each blow life hurls at us shatters the delusion that we can somehow inoculate ourselves to the slings and arrows of pain through coercively controlling what is outside us. 

Like most things, it is a dance and a dialogue that is honed as we tune in to life and develop an optimal tension between opposites: in this case, surrender and agency. 

And, if we accept the invitation and apprentice ourselves to the gifts of our struggles, we discover deep and lasting liberation.

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Author Bio
My LA Therapy - Brooke Sprowl (slider)

Brooke Sprowl is an industry-leading expert and author in psychology, spirituality, and self-transformation. Her insights have featured in dozens of media outlets such as Huffington Post, Business Insider, Cosmopolitan Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Spectrum One News, Mind Body Green, YourTango, and many more.

As the founder and CEO of My LA Therapy, she leads a team of 15 dedicated therapists and wellness professionals. Brooke has been a featured speaker at prominent universities and venues such as UCLA School of Public Affairs, USC, Loyola Marymount University, the Mark Taper Auditorium, and Highways Performance Gallery, to name a few. 

With a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Welfare with a Mental Health Specialization from UCLA, a Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from USC, and certifications in peak performance and flow science from the Flow Research Collective, Brooke has helped hundreds of prominent leaders and CEO’s overcome anxiety, relationship difficulties, and trauma and reclaim a sense of purpose, vitality, and spiritual connection. 

With 15 years of experience in personal development and self-transformation as a therapist and coach, she has pioneered dozens of original concepts and frameworks to guide people in overcoming mental health challenges and awakening spiritually.

Brooke is the host of the podcast, Waking Up with Brooke Sprowl. She is passionate about writing, neuroscience, philosophy, integrity, poetry, spirituality, creativity, effective altruism, personal and collective healing, and curating luxury, transformational retreat experiences for high-achievers seeking spiritual connection.

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