Category Archives: Suffering

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
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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

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

“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

“Crossing The Street To Break The Cycle Of Suffering” By Jennifer Miller

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”  ― Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

Is it possible to “flow” with life and be free of “attachments”? Can you “Be In The Present Moment” and accept what is? Are you ok with the “cards” you have been dealt, and not straining to control the outcome of events?
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I speak with many women who are “vested” in an “outcome” and will seemingly go to any length in order to achieve it. But setting healthy and attainable goals and manifesting dreams requires us to “let go”.
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All of us put our desires and dreams out into the universe and hope they are realized some day. But it is very unhealthy to keep putting our energy into people and things, over and over again, and then wishing for a different outcome. The Einstein quote I referenced defines this as “insanity”, or “crazy”, reminding me of a favorite quote:

“When You See Crazy Coming, Cross The Street”Iyanla Vanzant, New Thought Spiritual Teacher

“Crossing the Street” is recognizing when we have become “attached” to harmful and debilitating thoughts, actions and “things” in life  and taking the steps necessary to avoid repeating the “same old mistakes”.

But it is hard to break with these “things”, and many women choose to numb out and block the pain and suffering of attachment through drinking and sedatives. They are in denial while justifying their lives to family, friends and themselves. I advise them to make the tough choice to feel their emotions; all of them know their situation or choices are not healthy or stable.

I will write more on the importance of living in the present and appreciating and loving ourselves. Embrace your emotions because when you feel them, you are living your life and not avoiding reality. This is the beauty of feeling and healing; and the secret of breaking the cycle of suffering.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“Women Must Break The Chains Of Attachment And Denial To Find Happiness” By Jennifer Miller

“Attachment is the origin, the root of suffering; hence it is the cause of suffering.”
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  “The Dalai Lama at Harvard: Lectures on the Buddhist Path to Peace” (1988)
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I have personally known many women who were trapped in unhappy marriages or relationships, and chose to stay in those often abusive relationships because it at least provided them with a sense of financial security and stability. These women, and many like them, have become “attached” to these relationships and lifestyles, and are suffering and miserable as a result.
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So much of our unhappiness is caused by attachment to things, people, images and even “visions of ourselves”. It starts with wanting and desiring and can progress to craving and obsessing. Becoming prisoners, “in” relationships and marriages and “of” things, women often try to numb the pain and suffering, “living in denial” as they attempt to escape “their” reality.
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I will be writing more on “attachment”,  with unhappiness, suffering and “living in denial” as a result. I was married to an abusive man who destroyed our family life and financial security through drug, alcohol and sexual addictions. But I made the painful decision to leave him, divorce, and raise my children on my own. Through my yoga practice and spiritual studies, I was able to stabilize and make decisions that have benefitted my life and family.
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The value of living a healthy life, free of craving “things” and being grateful each day for what I have are the secret to being happy. I seek to help women through very tough times in their lives by “going there” and learning to how to break the chains of attachment. I want to use the gift of my life experiences to assist women in coping with substance abuse and addictions in loved ones. And finally, help women transform their body, mind and spirit through their essential soul’s wisdom.
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Namaste, Jennifer Miller