Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

“Riding Grace: A Triumph of the Soul,” by Alissa Lukara—Evocative Memoir Brings Voice to Silent Survivors

“Reading Riding Grace is like watching a lotus emerge out of murky waters. It emerges, not in one dramatic gesture, but in stages; a stem, a leaf, a petal. This book is an inspiration to anyone seeking deep healing.” Jacqueline Kramer, Author of Buddha Mom:The Path of Mindful Mothering, 10 Spiritual Practices for Busy Parents

Riding Grace by Allisa Lukara
Riding Grace by Alisa Lukara

I met Alissa Lukara through our mutual participation in Eric Maisel's blog book tour for "The Van Gough Blues." You can meet Alissa Lukarra, too, and hear her deep voice speaking about the process of WRITING GRACE by clicking here.

Grace is my middle name and a guiding quality in my life. When I traveled to Southern California last week to give my Memento Mori: Life and Death Moment by Moment Service for the Riverside Unitarian Church, I took Allissa's book with me as my travel book:

"Riding Grace: A Triumph of the Soul," (Silver Light Publications, Trade Paper, 181 pages, $14.95)

Curiously, grace was a theme on this journey as I attended a birthday party for 100 year old Mabel Harris and read my poem "Grace" followed by the signing and singing of "Amazing Grace."

Curiously, the locations Alissa wrote about were the locations I navigated through as I wound around Los Angeles and the outskirts of Hollywood.

"Riding Grace." What a beautiful, evocative phrase. How do you ride grace? This is as good a question for an Easter morning as any I can summon.

Alissa Lukara rides grace through recovery from chronic illness linked to paternal incest by accepting that "true healing, the true miracle I seek, comes from opening to and heeding the deepest callling of my soul" (p.91).

Out of the grace and truth she finds in the powerful 12-year healing journey with a pen in her hand for at least half that time, Alissa becomes a wounded healer.

"Wounded healers...learn compassion for their own suffering and the suffering of others...and has a ripple effect" in healing individuals and the society as a whole (p. 141).

Alissa finds a circle of support in intimate realtionships, friendships, and invisible beings. Her writing sustains her, done in the 15 minute chunks that her attention span can handle. One guide suggests that Alissa "do at least one things daily that is larger than my human limitations. If I can't write, I can sing or speak words out loud instead. I can paint or dance naked in the moonlight...something that's not controlled or protected or limited" p. 162.

She learns to ride the fire within. "The fire and I build a ring of divine protection from which the light in me can safely shine forth---in healing and transmutation. As I ride this grace, I see that the power of the fire burns with the essence of love and divine co-creation...I can trust that now. I can trust myself" p. 169.

Writing a book such as "Riding Grace" is triumph enough. Her own healing is triumph enough. But Alissa Lukara went on to found and head of, a nonprofit Web site dedicated to help people overcome adversity. It has more than 500 pages and gets a half-million hits a month. She also hosts the Southern Oregon community television program, "Transcending Life Challenges."

In this heroine’s journey for the 21st century, Lukara recounts the darkness of childhood, challenges in speaking that truth to her family, friends and the world and her 12 year quest to heal. She explores uncharted frontiers of healing with forgiveness, compassion and poetic vision. Alissa embraces the larger meaning and purpose of her journey and finds grace.

“In Riding Grace, I raised my voice, no longer silent, and told the story I’d been afraid to tell all my life,” says Lukara, who has been completely healthy for nine years.

'So many people who’ve been abused or seriously ill don’t speak out because of fear, shame and societal stigma and denial. It is my hope Riding Grace inspires people who’ve had their voices silenced to reclaim them. I want readers to know and trust the power that their own words and stories have to heal themselves and others.”

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3 Responses »

  1. Enjoyed the post today. 15 minute chunks sounds like me as well. FInding grace can probably only happen through such a process of intense focus and vision for moments of 15 minutes. Bearing to face a past such as the one Lukara was charged to face and overcome. Challenges keep life moving and the process of overcoming challenges is what can stop us at times and cause struggle, denial or pure and complete pain. However in a moment of challenge is a moment of calm - maybe two. To speak of these moments takes not only a confident voice but a clear not mug voice. The power of word after word is stronger than silence. Words linger at the edge of all our tongues but only a few can find the motion to trust their power. You said it well, Janet. Thanks for a good, thoughtful and moving post. Just the right dose of words to end my day. Peace. Ken

  2. Thanks, Ken, for your usual eloquence.

    Alisa is winging her way to Italy for a well-deservered rest in the land of slow...slow food and slow-go. I really like your phrase "charged to face and overcome." I, too, feel as if we are often faced with life missions...sometimes they seem like mission impossibles, but how good to find out they can indeed become possible. --Janet

  3. My lights out is 8-9 tonight!!! yes......Of course, I bumped it up a notch, went days without TV!! Really got me closer to nature, it's such a distraction........I started by not using lights alot...
    Have a Green Day.....Bonnie Pelton

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