Picture this: It’s 1:32am and I am on a red-eye flight from San Diego to Philadelphia. Many passengers on the flight are sleeping, but others are looking at their electronic devices for work or entertainment. I am sitting in my seat writing this post while simultaneously dancing with great joy and gusto as the rhythmic sounds of dance music pour into my ears through the earbuds plugged into my computer.
The airplane seat does restrict my movement some, but that doesn’t deter me much, and I am not the least bit concerned about what the nearby passengers might think of me having a solo mid-flight dance party in my seat. I’m flying East to visit my family and attend my 20th college reunion. I’m excited and feeling great about life.
A friend I’ll be staying with during my trip texted me a few days prior asking what my plan was. The reply that immediately popped into my head was, “My plan is to have fun…what’s your plan?” And with that, my intention for the trip was set, so here I am sitting in a plane, dancing as I listen to my favorite mixes. “Roar” by Katy Perry is playing presently, and I definitely feel like a champion ready to roar!
If you had told me in my earlier years that I would experience such high, real and lasting levels of joy, I would have thought you had me confused with someone else—someone who was born naturally happy because that was so not me! Especially in my younger days, it was way too easy for me to take life too seriously and get stuck in dark, sorrow-filled funks. So, if I wasn’t born with a natural disposition toward happiness, how did this now very normal state of experiencing great levels of joy come about?
The short answer is that I don’t give up and always do my best to follow my heart. Some part of me always has know that something better was possible. I’ve had this deep drive to feel, do, be better since as far back as I can remember. I remember combing the self-help, personal development, and spirituality sections of the library while in high school looking for clues to how I could improve myself and my life.
That search for clues to greater levels of life satisfaction and success has been a constant in my life. It is a journey of healing, empowerment and inspiration that has taken me to far off places like the jungles of Peru and to the deep inner recesses of my heart, mind, and soul. The journey has been littered with challenging obstacles and initiations that have tested me greatly, and it has allowed me to experience incredible heights of joy and wonder as I reached new levels of personal and spiritual growth.
This quest for greater levels of growth and joy is one that we’re all on. Everything in existence is moving toward higher states of being and ultimate enlightenment. These higher states of being are accompanied by experiences of ever greater levels of love, light, joy and wonder. As we reach higher states, we take more and more delight in life. We see it for the gift that it is and value its preciousness and all the incredible opportunities and experiences it brings.
The only things that stand in our way are our limiting beliefs and wounds. When we are functioning more in survival mode, we don’t always believe that great joy and delight are possible. And because our wounds may still be raw no matter how old they are, the pain keeps us from experiencing the fullness of our radiance and potential.
There are two keys to moving from suffering and darkness to joy and delight. First, we have to believe that higher states of being are not only possible but rightfully ours. Second, we have to be willing to engage in the journey of healing and empowerment that will get us there. I have come to believe that anything can be healed and transformed so long as we have the patience to persevere until we are free of the painful wounds and false beliefs holding us back.
I’ve experienced first-hand the amazing transformation from darkness to delight as I have time and time again released and let go of old wounds and pains, limiting beliefs and fears. And I’ve witnessed the journey of my clients and students as they move towards higher states of joy and personal power. The price is letting go of what no longer serves, which can be scary and painful at first, but is well worth the rewards of greater freedom, joy, wonder and delight.