Category Archives: Reflections

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“We Must Be Willing To Let Go…To Have The Life That Is Waiting For Us.” – Joseph Campbell

We must be willing to let go

“To Be Able To Stay In Our Heart…Takes Openness, Expansion And Learning To Be Vulnerable”

By Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller Upward Dog PoseTo be able to stay in our heart as we navigate life is truly beautiful. It takes openness, expansion and learning to be vulnerable. My heart is like my inner guidance system, giving signals energetically. If something feels right, it sings with happiness; negative energy is sensed as well.

“When we complete the journey to our own heart, we will find ourselves in the hearts of everyone else.”

Father Thomas Keating, in Be The Change

I have realized what a gift my journey has been, with the most difficult times  opening my heart even more. I now feel a connectedness, a oneness with all.

Namaste

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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“I Dreamed I Was A Dancer, And What Did I See?” – By Jennifer Miller

I Dreamed I Was a Dancer V

“Breathing In The New Day…Keeping The Stillness Within My Mind”

By Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller Breathing in the dayBreathing in the new day,
Gazing at its sunrise beauty.
Gratitude fills my soul.
Ocean is still, reminding me to
Keep the stillness within my mind.
Accepting and knowing that all is
Well and perfect as it is.
Crisp air fills my lungs while
Sounds of nature calm my senses.
Birds chirping and the pond trickles,
Joy rises in my heart.

Namaste

“The Present Moment Is Filled With Joy And Happiness…” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Jennifer Miller 2012“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh from “Peace Is Every Step: The Path Of Mindfulness In Everyday Life”

“Awareness Is Not The Same As Thought…More Like A Vessel Which Can Hold And Contain Our Thinking” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jennifer Miller 2012” Awareness is not the same as thought. It lies beyond thinking, although it makes use of thinking, honoring its value and its power. Awareness is more like a vessel which can hold and contain our thinking, helping us to see and know our thoughts rather than getting caught up in them as reality”

Click on Book To Purchase At Heart Based Healing Store

Click on Book To Purchase At Heart Based Healing Store

From “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” By Jon Kabat-Zinn

Building A Spiritual Altar: A Great Way To Connect With Our Soul As We Begin The New Year

By Jennifer Miller
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Yoga AltarBuilding an Altar is a great way
To start the New Year.
Have fun with it!!!
Find a special place in your home.
My main altar is where I practice yoga.
There are several other small altars
Around my home that I move around
Depending on my mood and intention.
Ideas of what to place on your Altar:
  Deities – I have Quan Yin (Goddess of
  compassion), Kali and Mother Mary.
  Photographs of loved ones, who I am
  praying for.
  Mala Prayer Beads.
  Fresh Flowers – I like to place something from the earth.
  Incense – I imagine the smoke going into the Heavens
                      with my prayers and intentions for the day.
  Candles – I always light one when I am in the home.
  Aromatherapy – I love beautiful scent.
  Words of Wisdom – Beautiful thoughts as you walk by.
  Mirror – To remind me to go within for answers.
  Special treasures from travels.
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“May we all find peace within and
Extend that love to all that we encounter.”
Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.
Namaste, Jennifer
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(Please note that Mala prayer beads, aromatherapy and candles can
  be purchase at the Heart Based Healing Store, with a portion going
  to benefit women at risk.)

Taking Time To See, Listen To And Respect The Homeless This Holiday Season

By Jennifer Miller

Homeless in Laguna BeachConnecting with the homeless and
Passing out gift bags.
Walking the boardwalk.
Men and women just starting to rise.
Observing, witnessing:
“Thank you for taking time to talk with us.”
“My blood pressure just went down
While petting your dogs.”
“Did you get the pups Christmas Bones?”
They truly just wanted to be seen, respected, heard.
Smiles with missing teeth, yet
Gratitude filled their presence.
Walking the boardwalk in the future,
Taking time to talk to them and
Have them pet my dogs.

The biggest gift of all.

“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

The Importance Of Always Listening For The Inner Voice Of Guidance Within Ourselves

By Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller YogaGoddess 2012Its seems so simple to always listen to Divine Guidance. We hear it as a small whisper, and it sounds different from our normal brain chatter. But, in truth, this voice is always with us, as Caroline Myss states below:

“Do not assume that divine guidance flows only when you are in need of help. Guidance continues to flow whether or not you have problems…Whether guidance comes during times of tranquility or trauma, however, it is up to you to have the courage to acknowledge it”

It could be just a word, for example, while grocery shopping, as to what I need. I will often ignore it and when I get home, sure enough, that is something I needed. It’s happened so often that I know it’s “TRUE”.

Before getting married, there were warning signs, all of which I ignored. When we are young and innocent, we don’t listen much to anyone. I remember, as a small girl, hearing the voice that I now know as guidance. Entering the teen years, I no longer listened to its counsel. Now, as a mother and wiser woman, I not only hear, but feel this guidance with my body. When something is truly right, my body sings with joy. I breathe freely and my heart feels alive while my spirit sores.

I now listen to my heart, which is like having your best friend inside of you. It knows me like no one else, offering unconditional love while wanting the best for me and my family. As I navigate life, I am now constantly listening for that small voice within. Like a soft caress, it has a smooth and loving feeling.

Click on the book to purchase at Heart Based Healing Foundation Store.

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

A great way to complete this connection is through controlled breathing, which helps to circulate the positive benefits throughout our body. Breathing in, I feel a soothing calm that is pulled upward from my feet until it reaches my head. Tensions melt as I close my eyes. Breathing out, negative thoughts and worries are expelled, leaving a feeling of contentment that comes with releasing, letting go, and not remaining attached to things and events.

So many good things happen when we maintain a healthy mind-body-spirit connection…

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“A Life Of Dharma Is Exactly Like A Great Yoga Posture…An Experience So Far Beyond Any Pleasure You’ve Ever Had…” – Stephen Cope

Dharma: Knowledge of or duty to undertake conduct set forth by the Buddha as a way to enlightenment.

…A Life of dharma is exactly like a great yoga posture. Everything must be aligned around the spine. The dharma is a strict taskmaster. It will require you to reach — to work at your maximum potential.

In order to do this, you will have to learn to take better care of yourself. You will have to sleep and eat properly…You will probably have to create a regular schedule. And one day you’ll realize you’re in training like an Olympic athlete.  But not any old training– a particular kind of training, the particular kind of training that will support your dharma and no one else’s.

The dharma itself will prescribe this training, and you will know it when you stumble onto it through trial and error.  You’ll know it by its results, because in moments when you’re in proper training, you will feel yourself a channel…You will have stepped aside somehow (and let it come through you)…And this is an experience so far beyond any pleasure you’ve ever had that you will most definitely want more of it. And so you will henceforth be increasingly careful about your training regimen…You want to be clear…”

From: “The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling” By Stephen Cope

If We Are Conscious That Our Mind Makes Excuses, We Can Overcome Negative Attachments In Life

By Jennifer Miller

My yoga practice continues to teach me about my inner self. Working through advanced postures, I am conscious of how my mind makes “excuses” during periods where I struggle: too many babies, weak bandhas, arms and legs that are too long (very creative). But through discipline and focusing my mind, I am able to block out these thoughts and “distractions”.

This past Thursday at the Ashtanga Yoga Center in Encinitas, CA,  I finally nailed the difficult Urdhva Kukkutasana B pose (a lifting lotus) in the advanced series. But this short-term success highlighted a major theme in my overall practice: that difficult transitions in my life had reduced the desire to “push forward”.

As mothers, we must be able to “detach” from the emotions and negative energy that arise as we watch our children grow older and naturally struggle with life’s journey. We need to remain objective with the strength to make the tough calls that do not enable a continuation of poor decisions and actions.

My yoga practice and personal life both thrive when I maintain a healthy mind-body connection. My teacher noticed from across the room when I succeeded with the difficult pose. I quickly do the pose again to confirm it in my muscle memory. My mind has thoughts of “I CAN” running through it and the body responds.

I remember with a smile back to a day when I worked with girls at the Recovery Home and demonstrated this same pose. The purpose was to show them that a yoga practice mirrors our daily lives. We can feel stifled and stuck in life, but we need to have the strength to push through the barriers holding us back.

One of the girls had said “…you’re so strong you could probably take us all out”. We all laughed.  They had reacted to the positive energy I demonstrated when facing a seemingly impossible situation.

We must maintain the ability to focus our minds on the positive things we can accomplish each day in order to push through even the most difficult of times in our lives.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“The Deepest Desire Within Each Of Us Is To Be Liberated From…Our Own Psychic Madness Or Patterns Of Fear” – Caroline Myss

Full Quote:  “I am convinced that the deepest desire within each of us is to be liberated from the controlling influences of our own psychic madness or patterns of fear. All other things—the disdain of ordinary life, the need to control others rather than be controlled, the craving for material goods as a means of security and protection against the winds of chaos—are external props that serve as substitutes for the real battle, which is the one waged within the individual soul.”

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“Developing Trust In Relationships Is Like Putting Marbles In A Jar…” – Martha Beck Reviews “Daring Greatly: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live” By Brene Brown

The Importance Of Surrounding Ourselves With Positive People As We Clean Our Spiritual House

By Jennifer Miller

My weekend morning walks with the babies (my two small dogs) have been so enjoyable and nurturing for my soul and spirit. As we walked into a small cafe in downtown Laguna and stood in line to order, two women, who appeared to be in their mid-50’s, walked in behind us. I could immediately sense that both of them were comfortable with who they were, and their confidence and grace added to the positive energy I usually feel when I come here.

And it gave me an opportunity to reflect on my life and the lives of so many women. Middle-age is a time to examine the health of our “inner selves” and honor the journey that has brought us to this point. For many of us, the proceeding 20-25 years required us to be “GIVERS”, sacrificing for our children and husbands. As our role changes, we must seek out relationships and activities that nourish our body and soul. So it is very important that our support group of family and friends be sources of positive energy, and not drain us of our vitality.

 Who is on Team Jen? Who is there to support and root for me?

I have been cleaning my home recently in a way that is very healthy and life-enhancing. I believe this reflects my desire to “clean house” in my emotional life as well. I am present and in the moment, sorting through physical and mental “attachments”, seeing what are necessary and which should be discarded. As I sat in the crowded cafe patio, eating a wonderful breakfast, I am deeply connected with positive and calming sounds.

I hear birds chirping. Surrounded by people talking, I am one with birds chirping…and peace fills my body.

The day before while grocery shopping at “Trader Joes”, I sensed a woman looking at me and my daughter. She looked to be about 70 and I smiled and made room for her, thinking that she needed to get by. She came up to me and grabbed my hand and said:

“If I could come back in my next life and be you for 10 seconds I would be the happiest woman in the world.  You and your daughter are so beautiful.”

Contact Jennifer Miller at yogagoddesslaguna@yahoo.com

This was one of kindest compliments I have ever received. I told her thank you and that true beauty lies within all of us. She responded by saying that she knew I would say that, and if she felt otherwise, she would never have said it.

My daughter and I smiled at each other and thought that this lady was a truly beautiful person. I asked her If I could take her home with me. She represented to me the beauty of aging with grace.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“Adopt The Pace Of Nature. Her Secret Is Patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A Morning In The Life Of A Yogini” By Jennifer Miller, Published In SunGoddessMagazine.com

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

Reflections On “A Course In Miracles”: Choosing to Live In A Place Of Love And Not Fear

“No matter what is going on in my body, I strive to remain in a quiet place of peace.” Jennifer Miller

By Jennifer Miller

Marianne Williamson’s “A Course in Miracles” teaches that most of us live in a place of love or fear. We have a choice of how we want to be and act in any given situation.I have been reflecting recently that I am at a point in my life where I am aware of how am feeling and, if I am reacting to these feelings, I know it. I am striving to limit these “reactions”, and remain in the moment, a state of peaceful quietude where nothing can “rock my world”.

And I continue to make progress. There have been many situations in the past year that might have “taken me out”. I now strive to find that place of acceptance and often, detachment, which allows me to step back and say to myself “I see what is going on here…game over”.

Every one of us can chose to live in fear or love at that very moment. I recently watched Marianne Williamson speaking to Oprah about how our life’s blueprint is designed to achieve our highest purpose.

Anyone can “download” their life plan but if it is not synchronized with our emotions, we have little chance of fulfilling our highest purpose.

In yoga, we are trained to stay with our breath. Whatever asana or posture we are in, no matter what is going on in my body, I strive to remain in a quiet place of peace. Our body and mind follow our breath. I strive daily to remain conscious of this and come back to this “place of peace” when I feel rattled or off in some way.

Ahhhh… that beautiful connection to our soul is all through the discipline of BREATH…

Namaste, Jennifer Miller