Category Archives: Self

“In The Flow Of The Moment” With Sea Lions While Kayaking Off The Coast Of Laguna Beach

By Jennifer Miller

The beauty in nature can teach us so much about life and our place in it. I have been kayaking in the ocean on Saturday mornings for the past few weeks and have come to marvel at the simple wonders that abound off the coast.

We launched through the surf and were immediately “skimming” through a unique world, where sea lions frolicked in the water and shared a large rock with pelicans and other birds. These creatures were clearly “in the moment”, present within themselves as they swam, searched for food and basked in the sun. I could watch (and learn from them) for hours!

Landing at Laguna’s Main Beach, I met a homeless woman on a bench reading a Bible. She agreed to watch the kayak and paddles, which we had parked next to her sleeping bag and worldly possessions, for us while we walked over to a local cafe for breakfast. She asked if we could bring her back a cup of ice water but we included a bagel. She was very grateful for the little surprise. The beauty of simple moments in life.

 The trip back north along the coastline was remarkable for the different activities of people “sharing” the sea: snorkelers, scuba divers, paddle boarders, kayakers, and swimmers.

We encountered over thirty outdoor enthusiasts on our five-mile paddle, yet the only sounds were that of the waves, birds and barking sea lions.  The quote by Gandhi was never more appropriate:

“Speak only if it improves upon the silence.” 

Approaching the completion of our journey, the final landing reminded me of an episode of Hawaii 50 and riding a wave in through the surf. All went according to plan until two waves first spun the kayak sideways and then dumped us unceremoniously on the sand and foaming water. The shock of first being in silent partnership with nature and then being “roughed up” by its power and unpredictability, is truly a metaphor for life.

Our lives can proceed in planned and simple harmony and then “wham”, we are knocked off our feet and must struggle with disruption and crisis. But picking ourselves up, drying off, and re-establishing order is a necessity for a happy life. We must find the humor in painful moments which will keep us grounded, and not over-reacting to circumstances.

Just like the flow of the ocean, we must “go with the flow” of our lives. The only absolute constant in life, is change. It is how we react to and handle this change, that determines our happiness. I choose to be at peace in life, and staying in the moment.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

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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

“Worrying…Empties Today Of Its Strength” – Corrie Ten Boom, German Death Camp Survivor

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

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CorneliaCorrieten Boom, Dutch woman who survived the German Ravensbruck concentration camp in World War II

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

“Countless Words Count Less Than The Silent Balance Between Yin And Yang” – Lao Tzu

“When You Move Amidst The World Of Sense, Free From Attachment And Aversion Alike…You Live In The Wisdom Of The Self” – Bhagavad Gita

“When We Feel Love And Kindness Towards Others…” – Dalai Lama XIV

Photograph of Whooper Swans from the National Geographic (February, 2011)

“Breathing In The Benefits Of Yoga To Achieve Happiness In The Moment” – By Jennifer Miller, “SunGoddess Magazine” In July 30 Issue

“Just Detach From False Mental Objects And Be Enlightened To Being-As-Is” – Baizhang Huaihai

Baizhang Huaihai (720-814 AD)

“Like A Bird In Flight, Your Life Can Soar Above The Troubles Of The World” – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

“100 Secrets for Living a Life You Love” by Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Photograph by Vince Maidens, “Snowy Owl, Canada”

National Geographic “Photo of the Day”, July 11, 2012

“If We Sit With An Increasing Stillness Of The Body…The Mind Gradually Stills And The Heart Is Filled With Quiet Joy” – Ravi Ravindra

“If we sit with an increasing stillness of the body, and attune our mind to the sky or to the ocean or to the myriad stars at night, or any other indicators of vastness, the mind gradually stills and the heart is filled with quiet joy.”

The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide by Ravi Ravindra” 

“Mindfulness…Is The Observing Of Things As They Are,…Without Laying Or Adding…Expectations Onto What Is Happening.” – Frank Jude Boccio

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

“Watching The Moon At Midnight…I Knew Myself Completely, No Part Left Out.” – Izumi Shikibu

“Dwelling In The Present Moment, I Know This Is A Wonderful Moment” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“…If You are Standing Before A Beautiful Flower, You Will Not Be Able To See It…You Have To Be Silent, Utterly Silent, Not Even A Flicker Of Thought–And the Beauty Explodes.” By Osho

“Thoughts can create such a barrier that even if you are standing before a beautiful flower, you will not be able to see it. Your eyes are covered with layers of thought.”

“You have to be silent, utterly silent, not even a flicker of thought – and the beauty explodes….”

 From “The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here” by Osho

Picture from: 2012 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contestant Fred An

“In The Attitude Of Silence The Soul Finds The Path In A Clearer Light…” – Mahatma Gandhi

“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light…Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.”

“Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“Yoga Is The Path…The Experience Of Realization, Samadhi” From ‘Bhagavad Gita Demystified’

“Yoga…is the path and not the goal. It is the experience of the path that matters. The bliss that we experience during this path is the experience of realization, samadhi.”

“Tittibhasana” Pose by Jennifer Miller

From “Bhagavad Gita Demystified” by Nithyananda Paramahamsa

“Yoga Is Primarily A Practice Intended To Make Someone Wiser…” By T.K.V. Desikachar

“Yoga is primarily a practice intended to make someone wiser, more able to understand things than they were before.”

“The goal is always bhakti…to approach the highest intelligence, namely, God.”

T.K.V. Desikachar from “The Heart of Yoga: Developing A Personal Practice”.

“Even In Simple Asanas…One Is Experiencing The Innermost Quest” – B.K.S. Iyengar

“Even in simple asanas, one is experiencing the three levels of quest: the external quest, which brings firmness of the body; the internal quest, which brings steadiness of intelligence; and the innermost quest, which brings benevolence of spirit.”

B.K.S. Iyengar, From “Light On Life”