Anyone who’s read anything by me knows I have processed many things in life: immigration, divorce, learning at the age of 50 that my biology is not what I thought it was, single parenthood, childhood neglect and trauma, racial violence, and childhood sexual abuse at the hands of clergy members…just to list a few.
I have also published several novels (four under my own name), produced films, taught at colleges and universities, and coached many, many survivors of childhood trauma in locating their “joy-spot” and thriving on their chosen paths.
I believe you can only go as high as you can go deep. In other words, you can’t experience bliss if you’re not willing to deeply feel pain, betrayal, passion, rage, and all the other things that suck. Our culture gives us lots of ways to numb ourselves – alcohol, drugs, sex, food, shopping, work, spiritual bypassing, exercise, yoga, even self-help can be a way of escaping the actual work required to metabolize painful experiences.
I’ve learned (the hard way) that the only way to find the joy-spot is to start wading through those rivers of crap. The rubble left behind after the blasts. The only way out is through, as my blind great aunt used to say.
The joy-spot is a play on the G-spot. Both are located deep within, they are hard to find, you have to concentrate and be patient and take your time, and they can both unlock ultimate bliss.
Sexuality and spirituality are inextricably bound (why else would religion work so hard to control/contain both?). In Kundalini and the eastern religions/philosophies I was raised in, the serpent energy represents sexuality and the life force, and it is the ultimate fire that winds its way up to awaken, enlighten, and illuminate. Our body is the flute through which the life force flows to awaken us.
Trauma interrupts this. It splits the two, sexuality and spirituality, creating the illusion that they are separate. The joy-spot is about knowing they are one and the same, that sexuality is the doorway to spirituality, to knowing oneself, and that pleasure is the song the Divine sings through us.
The erotic carvings on the Khajuraho temples in India are not about sex. They point to the doorway of transcendence. The very name comes from khajur, the fruit of the date-palm which, at the time, was a symbol of sweetness and pleasure…the place where the senses met the sublime. The joy-spot.
Black lesbian feminist poet, Audre Lorde, famously wrote about the power of the erotic to transform. When that power is suppressed, repressed, oppressed, violated, or otherwise stripped from the sacred, it is very easy to control entire groups and nations. We are seeing that all around us right now, in different parts of the world.
My life started out in bliss. I was safe, I knew where I fit and to whom I belonged, I knew I was overwhelmingly and unconditionally loved, and I knew it felt good to be in my body. Everything was a curiosity, a marvel, or pure and guiltless pleasure. And then everything went straight to Helena Handbasket, and I’ve spent decades trying to find my way back. It has often felt like wading through sludge and rubble. But there have also been moments of wallowing in magic and bliss.
The joy-spot, to me, is the spiritual equivalent of the G-spot. And, for the price of one coffee a month, I would love to tell you all about it.