When I was in college, I danced my way through the wee hours of the night as a raver. It was on that dance floor that I found God. With trance music moving my feet, I connected to something greater than myself for the first time since I was a child staring onto the ocean. Form there, I began to unravel years, maybe lifetimes of pain. Every action since that moment has contributed to my healing. 

That music, the dancing, the love filling my being allowed glimpses of joy to peak through the darker clouds that I'd been shroud in for years. It was moments of joy, so euphoric and real that I almost forgot the overbearing OCD that ran my life. 

One such moment came on a random afternoon on top of the Lone Mountain campus, the highest point of the USF campus. Per usual I had my headphones on and they were blaring trance music. I walked into my classroom; I was several minutes early and looked out the floor to ceiling sun-drenched window onto the campus and the world below. As the sun shone in and the trance music played my heart lifted and expanded with the connectivity of everything, the beautiful oneness of the people below, the sky above, and the music I had so completely fallen in love with. Tears formed in my eyes as the world thrived and beat below, above, and within me. It was one of my most memorable moments of joy.

On Sunday, at this month's "Alchemizing Pain Into Light" session we discussed JOY and how to uncover the joy that dwells within all of us. 

Joy is an interesting word for most of us. We feel it, in moments, but we are less likely to express it or to talk about it. And, when asked about it, it's more difficult to talk about than is heartbreak and pain. I understand why. The painful emotions torture us while the joyful ones leave us feeling infinite and connected.

But, why is it that we want to dwell on the pain instead of allowing life to expand and become joyful?

The truth is, we have to uncover the pain and release it in order to become joyful, but we avoid doing the work to get to that place. The work to get there is hard. It's easier, or seems easier, to hide and attach onto our bad habits rather than allowing our lessons to be unearthed and learned. 

Lessons repeat as needed. It's up to us to get quiet and still so that we understand what they are. Not only that, but we have to shift our thinking. And that is the hardest part, the shifting of our thinking. 

We become habitual and neurotic in our thoughts, spinning ourselves into crazy lands that we sell as reality. It's not our fault, it's merely that learning to control our mind takes mindfulness and we aren't taught that way of being. We have to learn it, which means we must create new ways of existing and that takes time.

But, it's only by dedicating ourselves to this new way of existing that we are able to use our minds instead of letting our minds use us.

And when that happens we are free and joy flows freely though us. And then we are alive...

Get to know the pain, feel it, surrender to it, and then inject it with light. Let light fill all sides of it until it transforms into love, until you alchemize it into light. That is the beauty of pain it is a vessel leading you to the light. All you have to do is learn how to use it, learn how to move to the other side, break on through until all of that pain becomes joy, real true flowing joy.

Peace and Love...xoxoxo