Tag Archives: Life

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“My Poses Are My Prayers” – B.K.S. Iyengar

My Poses Are My Prayers

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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

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“A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Step” — The Way Of Lao-Tzu

A journey of a thousand miles

“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

“Possibilities Are The Gifts Of Living For A Higher Purpose”

By Jennifer Miller
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YogaGoddessPossibilities are
The gifts of living
For a higher purpose.
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Survival into courage.
Loss created openness
As deception turned to trust.
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Heartache into strength.

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

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

Knowledge grew to wisdom.
Near-death to greater Life as
Hope found freedom.
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Sorrow into oneness with
Dreams fulfilling vision.
Heart Based Healing.

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I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.

Rabindranath Tagore, Indian Poet and Playwright, as quoted in “Be The Change”, by Ed and Deb Shapiro

Namaste, Jennifer

“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

“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

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

“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

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

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

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

Photograph from National Geographic

“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

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 Butterfly Counts Not Months But Moments, And Has Time Enough” – Rabindranath Tagore

Wisdom From Rumi: “You Were Born With Wings…Learn To Use Them, And Fly”

You were born with potential
You were born with goodness and trust
You were born with ideals and dreams
You were born with greatness
You were born with wings
You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.
You have wings
Learn to use them, and fly.

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī (1207-1273)