I recently was invited to give a talk to a group about my new book and what it means to be Dancing on the River of your life. If you have been reading this blog, you know that it is a consciousness that is a reflection of a life decision to be happy in the moment that you make to be happy over and over again.

In the Q and A afterwards, many pointed out that this was a challenge for them because there was too much pain in their lives. They had been traumatized by events that they have never gotten over. And so often in their everyday living they saw too much suffering in the world.

That is the challenge that we all face. We all have been traumatized by life to various degrees and some of us are more sensitive to these events than others. Our physiology and nervous systems are unique, some more fragile than others.

So how do we find joy in the midst of a somewhat chaotic and sometimes unfair world? That is the challenge we all face. How can we see the light when we are surrounded by darkness. How can we experience joy when there is so much suffering?

In this blog, I want to give you a starting point and I’m not saying to forget the traumatic events of the past. We don’t ever get over them. But we can learn to accept and make peace with them. Many years ago I was privileged to meet a spiritual teacher from India who had taken a vow of silence for 39 years. When asked if he had learned how to be totally present with life, he answered, “NO.” Most of us present in that room were surprised. But he did say that he had learned to make peace with it.

That’s all we can do–make peace and accept all of life. We grieve for the pain in our lives and in the world, but at some point we have to go on with our lives. And what I mean by going on with our lives, is to allow ourselves to experience the joy and blessings that are so abundant when we allow ourselves to remain open to these experiences.

Often it is said that pain builds character. That is true and it also expands our capacity to experience joy. Joy and sorrow come from the same well. As we experience more, our hearts open and we embrace all of life.



Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He is the author of, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes.

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