Awake in the World

When I visited India, Sai Baba said, “Your true nature is Bliss.” This is really hard to keep sight of and understand when the heart is broken and filled with emotional pain and suffering. It seems like sometimes in periods of grief or loss that no joy is anywhere in sight. The pain can seem so all encompassing. I’ve reflected on this a lot in an attempt to understand the deeper spiritual truths. I suspect that Bliss or Joy, with a capital “J” is always with us, around us and supporting us. But when we get tossed into the turbulence and trials, we lose sight of the joy that is the backdrop of all existence.

Joy, I’ve decided is with me even in the pain, and when I dive deep enough during those moments of darkness it’s possible to perceive it. Joy is the ocean and the suffering is a temporary storm that will pass as quickly as clouds evaporate and transform into rain. That which was once pain will soon be transformed into peace, contentment and yes, joy. Unlike happiness, Joy is not transitory. It’s constant, permanent. It can’t be taken away from you. I have a wonderful Nia dance teacher, Bill Stewart, who encourages us to pay attention and make a choice. Choose the sensation of joy. Dance, for me is a way to shimmy and move past the sadness and pain to find the bliss.

In several interviews recently I’ve spoken about the difficulties of losing a mate and the challenges of the past year. My comment is accompanied with laughter on my part which confuses people. I laugh because the alternative is tears. I’ve cried a lot too, but it’s time to laugh now and clear the air. Laughter breaks up the heaviness and allows me to breathe.

The question is will you embrace the joy that’s all around or hang on to your pain? We have a choice. It depends on where you place your focus and what you aim to hold sacred in your life. Will you join me in the Joy? It’s the exuberant option and allows us to laugh at the pain. Whatever pain you experience can become an opportunity to break you open to a greater, more loving and vibrant experience of life. Which path will you choose?

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at


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