On Saturday, November 7th a group of beautiful souls came to my first workshop called, "Alchemizing Pain Into Light," where we meditated, breathed, I told them my journey through emotional pain, and we riffed on theirs. Thank you all for your vulnerabilty, participation, and openness; it truly was an amazing experience.

We made music with our pain and it was the beginning of something beautiful. It was the first of many "Alchemizing Pain Into Light," sessions. It is by going through our pain, connecting its dots and uncovering its root that we can then use it to create us rather than let it destroy us.

I spent years suckling on my pain. I so badly wanted to latch onto it and make it a piece of me, but my spirit knew better. My spirit took me on a ride through it so that, ultimately, I could alchemize it into light.

In order to go through, my heart had to split open so that I could fall out and discover my own magic. It was in that discovery that I was able to use my pain. If we always dance the midline, never really letting our hearts break open, then we never uncover the beauty of who we are.

We all carry emotional pain, some of us carry greater depths of it than others. It is by facing it, releasing it, and getting to know it that we are free. When we anesthetize our pain through varying activities like drugs, alcohol, emotional addictions, yoga (yes you read that right, even yoga can act as a way to numb our pain. Everything is balance), exercise, eating etc. we avoid ourselves.

Brene Brown in her talk about vulnerability says we numb by having a beer and banana nut muffin. Both are seemingly harmless things to consume, but the truth is, if we drink enough beers and eat enough banana nut muffins we avoid our feelings. And when we avoid our feelings we never truly live the lives we are meant to live.

We live in a time filled with ways to avoid, and yet, people are waking up. Yoga and meditation are becoming more common. We are opening our eyes to the true purpose of living and we are giving that back to other people. We are spreading love and light.

On that journey to giving love and light, we must address the dark, the pain that lives inside our bodies. We must go through the pain, the insecurity, the jealousy, the guilt, the fear...so much fear. Society breeds fear. And it is by going through that we come to the other side and are able to peacefully give love. It is by going through and riffing on our pain that we make music with it.

And when we make music with our pain we can help others do the same. When we acknowledge our fear, our pain, we are able to use it to live artfully and beautifully; we are able to love gracefully. 

We live in a world filled with beauty and love, but we also live in a world filled with hurt and pain. What happened in Paris last week is violence that I cannot even comprehend. And, praying for Paris is not enough, but Paris is still in my prayers as are the terrorists. Hurt people hurt people. I pray that one day they heal their pain and their souls feel a love strong enough that they can no longer commit acts of violence. I pray that one day understanding flows strong enough between all humans that we no longer experience death in that way.

Prayer is not enough. We need to do more. But, we can't change other people. We can only change ourselves and by changing ourselves and being brave enough to address our own pain we give others permission to do the same. The way to help is by starting with ourselves, with our community, by keeping our eyes and our hearts open and our heads out of our phones long enough to look into the eyes of another. Human connection, keep the channels open, understand the heart of another and that understanding spreads.

I am an idealist and a pacifist. I don't believe in violence. I don't believe in war. I believe in forgiveness and understanding. I believe in love. 

Go inside. Everything you need is there. And let your light and your love spread over the world. Be a beacon, be an example, and give fully from your heart without expecting return.

I hope you will join me for the next "Alchemizing Pain Into Light" session on Saturday, December 12 from 1:15-4:15 at Earth Yoga NYC

Let us riff on our pain so that we can help others do the same, so that we can make music with it and give our love to the world.

Peace and Love..xo


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