Category Archives: Wisdom

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

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“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

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

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

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“Love, Without Desire To Possess…This Is The Highest Love.” – Love Or Loving-Kindness (Metta), One Of The Four Basic Sublime States In Buddhism

A Generous Gift Of Yoga Mats That Will Transform The Lives Of Women At The Recovery House

By Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller with gift of 20 yoga mats from the “lululemon athletica” store in Newport Beach, CA.

I had exciting news to share with “The Girls” at the Recovery House this week. Mats are a very important part of a yoga practice and I have been working hard to find a store or company to donate new mats to the program.

Several weeks ago I approached the “lululemon athletica” store in Newport Beach and spoke with the lady in charge of their “Giving Program”. I shared with her my vision of bringing young women at risk the beautiful and healthy benefits of yoga and she was quickly in agreement with the importance of a quality mat.

After numerous emails, the store agreed to donate 20 MATS! I was so grateful and I made the announcement Monday that I would be bringing them to the Recovery Home next week.

My new goal is to get the girls their own personal yoga mat. I will be seeking a store or supplier to share the vision of health and transformation that yoga has brought these amazing young women and mothers.

Thank you again lululemon for your very generous gift. You have made a difference in women’s lives.

We at lululemon have a vision of elevating the world and we do this through the relationships we establish, support and grow in all of our global communities. These relationships are currently grown through our store events, our supplier partnerships and other outreach. The Giving program acts as one of our tools for outreach and for elevating our communities.

“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

“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

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

“In The End These Things Matter Most: How Well Did You Love?…How Deeply Did You Let Go?” Siddhartha Gautama

“Flow With Whatever May Happen, And Let Your Mind Be Free…” – Zhuangzi

Zhūangzi (c. 369 BC – c. 286 BC)

“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

“Our Present Thoughts Build Our Life Of Tomorrow…” – Siddhartha Buddha

Photograph from National Geographic