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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Contact Jennifer Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Posted in Balance, Darkness, Heart-Based Healing, Life, Light, Pain, Soul, Spirituality, Suffering, Wisdom, Women
Tagged Dark Night, Gossip, Healing, Heart-Based Healing, Jennifer Miller, Joy, Life, Sorrow, Soul, Wisdom, Women
By Jennifer Miller
“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)
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.
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.
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.
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
Posted in Balance, Gratitude, Heart-Based Healing, Life, Mindfulness, Pain, Quotes, Reflections, Self, Soul, Spirituality, Suffering, Wisdom, Women
Tagged Beauty, Connection, Heart, Heart-Based Healing, Helen Keller, Inner Beauty, Inner Wisdom, Life, Mind, Quotes, Wisdom
“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
Posted in Breathing, Life, Meditation, Pain, Reflections, Suffering, Women, Yoga
Tagged Breathing, Jennifer Miller, Meditation, Pain, Pranayama, Stress, Yoga