Category Archives: Pain

Reflections On Raising Daughters To Call On Their Own Masculine While Maintaining Their Feminine

By Jennifer Miller

Flowers of the soulWitnessing my daughters Navigating life and
Concerned they do not have
A father around.
They have learned to call
On their own masculine
While maintaining their feminine.
Transforming their pain
Into strength.
Sorrow into wisdom.
Broken hearts into kindness and compassion.
Their wit and humor is always present.
So many gifts come out of the struggles and
Journey of life when we look close enough
To see all the beauty and blessings.
Namaste
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A Beautiful Tribute From The Voice: “Hallelujah”

“Lighting Candles, Hanging Lights And Letting Things Be With Words By Paul Ferrini”

By Jennifer Miller
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Jennifer Miller Dvi-Pada-Sirsasana Pose 2012Fire up the Pavoni.
Morning coffee, so good.
Lighting candles and incense as
I start my morning yoga practice.
Arriving on the mat is like coming home again.
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Beautiful morning walking the dogs, aka “the babies”.
Breathing in the coves of Laguna ahhh!!

Breakfast at the local cafe; cool people, artist types.

Walking out, a homeless woman under a blanket.
All I can see is one foot.
My heart sinks and I want to ask her what she needs?
I know she is probably an addict.
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Back home to make homemade granola.
A yum yum Christmas tradition.
Looking through the mail and
a child support check arrives.
It’s been a while.
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My mind goes to the last 5 years.
No father in these kid’s lives.
No anger… only hope.
Could this man possibly change?
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I let it go to the Spirit and check my heart.
It’s in a good place.
Forgiveness is there.
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My beloved hangs Christmas lights.
So many years without lights.
They symbolize healing for my family.
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I look around….
No lights in the small neighborhood.
We have been judged here.
A single mom and trouble with her son.
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Interesting.
We are the ones with lights.
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A big lesson in my journey: do not judge by the outside.
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Open up a new book.

Click on book to purchase and benefit the Heart Based Healing Foundation.

Click on book to purchase and benefit the Heart Based Healing Foundation.

A favorite thing to do.
Reading,  deep reflections come to me.
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The poetic words of Paul Ferrini:
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Life is constantly asking us to make adjustments,
to give up our agenda.
It is asking us to give up the conceit that we know the way things are supposed to be.
Letting things be is a way of saying to God
“I’m willing to dance with you.”
From “Dancing With The Beloved”.
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Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Contact Jennifer Miller at yogagoddesslaguna@yahoo.com

Contact Jennifer Miller at yogagoddesslaguna@yahoo.com

Feeling The Deep Sorrows Of Being Human Allows Us To Experience The True Joy Of Healing

By Jennifer Miller

Should we strive to be TAO (Transparent, Authentic and Open) at all times? I have always been open and honest with who I am as it has been an important part of my journey.

But are there times when we should refrain from opening our souls to others?

I have been reflecting on this and feel that so much of happiness in life is  dependent on relationships that nourish our body and soul. We must seek out positive energy to maintain our life force and vitality. This is why we must spend as much time as possible with members our tribe, people who support us emotionally and give us love and comfort. The “emotional vampires” , selfish and self-absorbed people who can drain our happiness and vitality, must be avoided.
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But there are events and situations, when we are a part of a group that is either unknown or possibly hostile to us, that we should make an exception. It was at one such event that I found myself this weekend. I was invited to attend a Bridal Shower for a friend that I have exercised with for many years, who was getting married for the first time. One of the women in the room mentioned to the group that I had gone through one of the worst divorces she had ever seen.
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I naturally shared with the ladies many intimate details of the my married life and how traumatic my separation and divorce were. I have thoroughly processed my anger and grief and feel true forgiveness now. In keeping with TAO, I opened up hoping that my story might inspire and/or give hope to someone in the room.
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But at the end of the event, my body was very stressed and I knew that my openness had taken a huge toll on me both emotionally and spiritually. The fact that many of these women might use what I had said as a source of gossip and not as a source of enlightenment represented the risk I took by being authentic.
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This represents an inner struggle I have within me. Whether to live by TAO at all times or be guarded when meeting with others that I do not have either an immediate or established connection. When we live our lives in fear of the unfamiliar or unknown, we risk shutting down emotionally and spiritually.
I choose to remain dedicated to TAO, realizing that there are risks to being authentic and true to myself and journey, but the rewards are so much greater.
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Contact Jennifer Miller at yogagoddesslaguna@yahoo.com

I have been through the dark night of the soul and have come back into the light of life. It is only through feeling the deep sorrows of being human that we can experience the true joy of healing, which leads to self-realization and ultimately inner peace.

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If I could help just one woman in that room to better deal with the pain and suffering that can affect any one of us in life, then the stress of being truly authentic and open would have been worth it.
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Namaste, Jennifer Miller

Honoring Ourselves By “Seeing” That The Most Beautiful Things Must Be “Felt With The Heart”

By Jennifer Miller 
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“There is never an easy way to escape pain and trauma in life. You have to feel to heal…” Jennifer Miller

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”

Helen Keller (1880-1968)
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What are the best ways to honor ourselves each day? I have learned to start each day by acknowledging the beauty that is all around me, starting with the beauty that comes from within. It allows us to see who we really are.
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I love the connection that is possible when I walk past someone and after a quick look in each others eyes, there is a mutual “I SEE YOU”.  I can see and sense that person’s soul’s essence. This is one of life’s most wonderful moments, and confirms a sense of being alive and in the moment.
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My own life’s experiences have established a mind-body-spirit connection for which I am grateful. I have grown as a woman through the pain and it has resulted in an appreciation for beauty that I experience with my heart.  I learned that the only way through very difficult periods in life is to genuinely feel it and be transmuted to a higher plane.
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There is never an easy way to escape pain and trauma in life. You have to feel to heal…
Thank you life for bringing me here.  Namaste

The Importance Of “Letting Go” To Allow Others The Freedom To Make Their Own Choices In Life

By Jennifer Miller

Life is for many of us a journey that involves “letting go”, releasing harmful or negative things, desires, thoughts, visions, and people. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali describe this state of “non-attachment” as follows:

When the mind loses desire even for objects seen or described in a tradition or in scriptures, it acquires a state of utter (vashikara) desirelessness that is called non-attachment (vairagya).

The path to “utter desirelessness” or non-attachment is combined with asana practice to make up the core principles of yoga. But letting go has also been important to me as I have moved through challenging times in my life. Quieting my mind allows me to rise above drama and negative issues during my day, like an impartial witness floating above the scene in a movie.

This is increasingly important as a mother raising children during their teen years. It is only natural to want to teach them about life, to save them from making mistakes or experiencing failures. By practice the art of letting go, I know that they are on their own personal journey and have the freedom to make choices that enhance their life or not. I will not take their “negative” choices personally. It is their life and I cannot expect to control what is clearly their own free will.

Freedom and peace has filled my soul when only a few years ago I agonized and could be paralyzed with pain. And it will remain a process for me, a practice devoted to letting go. By giving others the freedom make their own decisions without judgment or emotion, I have increased my sense of inner peace and freedom as well.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

Twenty Years Later: “I Feel Your Pain…But Not My Own”

By Jennifer Miller

The year 2012 will be remembered for many important events and  happenings. Two of the biggest are the London Olympics and our own Presidential Election on November 6. But 2012 is also significant in that it has been 20 years since President Bill Clinton made his famous statement in March 1992:

“I feel your pain.”

While it is very difficult to feel another person’s pain, or suffering, unless you have “walked in their shoes”, we can all feel our own emotions, including pain. But why is it that so few people are actually able or willing to feel real emotions?

Do the activities and distractions in our lives numb our inner feelings?

Is it our culture of overconsumption, where we overeat and overspend, and in the extreme, abuse alcohol and drugs?

People are often afraid to go inward and truly connect with their real, raw emotions. It exposes us and makes us vulnerable…but also makes us more authentic. And humble. Getting to the real cause of personal pain and anger can often involve nothing more that looking at ourselves as we are now, not at who we were in the past. We are not that person any more. Forgive that person or move on from that person. Benefit from the often humorous process of “observing yourself” at this very time in your life. I often feel like a stand-up comic,  with an audience of “none” as I go inward and self-reflect. But it makes me aware of the moment.

I am one with my espresso coffee machine in the morning. I am one with my two dogs while I walk them. I am one with my cutting board as I prepare vegetables for cooking.

Do I feel like saying “enough already” and want to rejoin the noisy fray? Sometimes. But to go inward is so much more rewarding. I connect with my inner feelings and shower them with positive reflections. This can often produce the little miracles and happy endings that make life worth living.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“Quieting The Mind, Yoga Alows Us To Be In The Moment” By Jennifer Miller

One of the great benefits of yoga, in addition to increased strength and flexibility, is that it promotes the peaceful state necessary for self-reflection, letting us go “inward” to establish a “mind-body-spirit” connection and nourish our soul.

Other forms of physical exercise require a great deal of external focus, with our mind and body “engaged” with equipment and people around us.

Yoga allows me to “be in the moment”, quieting my mind to focus on “being where I am.”

To “be in the moment” is a goal of “meditation”.  Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, developed “mindfulness meditation” to help people reduce the suffering coming from chronic pain and stress in their lives. This included a method of “moment-to-moment” awareness that allowed for increased “coping skills”.

Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) program combined Hatha Yoga and meditation to achieve extraordinary health benefits. But, in writing “Wherever You Go, There You Are”, he beautifully described what all of us can achieve when we quiet the mind:

“From the perspective of meditation, every state is a special state, every moment a special moment.”

How cool is that? Our modern society does a great job of promoting life’s “special moments” but requires most of us to “purchase” these as luxuries.

The “movements of the body” in yoga connect us to the “moments in the mind” where we can “nourish our soul”.

My yoga practice allows me to achieve serenity and peace, what many people would describe as a “special moment”.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“The Power Of Meditation And Breathing To Reduce Pain And Stress” By Jennifer Miller

“A little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation,” says Fadel Zeidan, a neuroscientist. NPR Health Blog, April 6, 2011

Yoga has taught me to be present and feel what is going on in my body and mind both during my practice and outside of it. It teaches us the importance of self-awareness. And it is the meditative benefits of breathing, called “pranayama”, that allows a calming to wash over your body.

I came acrosse an article in “NPR”, short for National Public Radio, that cites the physical benefits of “mindfulness meditation” in reducing both physical pain and our “perception of pain” through limiting our “stress response”:

“In the study, a small group of healthy medical students attended four 20-minute training sessions on “mindfulness meditation” — a technique adapted from a Tibetan Buddhist form of meditation called samatha. It’s all about acknowledging and letting go of distraction.”

“You are trying to sustain attention in the present moment — everything is momentary so you don’t need to react,” Zeidan explains. “What that does healthwise is it reduces the stress response. The feeling of pain is a very blatant distraction.”

“After meditation training, the subjects reported a 40 percent decrease in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness.  And it wasn’t just their perception of pain that changed. Brain activity changed too.”

NPR Health Blog, April 6, 2011

A simple form of meditation is to count as you inhale deeply through your nose and exhale out through your mouth, saying “one” as you breathe out. Try to reach 60 in a very deliberate and “self-aware” manner. Simple pains and tensions should begin to ease.

And as you can see, medical studies are starting to demonstrate the physiological benefits as well.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller