Tag Archives: Living in the Moment

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

Baizhang Huaihai (720-814 AD)

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

“Quieting The Mind, Yoga Alows Us To Be In The Moment” By Jennifer Miller

One of the great benefits of yoga, in addition to increased strength and flexibility, is that it promotes the peaceful state necessary for self-reflection, letting us go “inward” to establish a “mind-body-spirit” connection and nourish our soul.

Other forms of physical exercise require a great deal of external focus, with our mind and body “engaged” with equipment and people around us.

Yoga allows me to “be in the moment”, quieting my mind to focus on “being where I am.”

To “be in the moment” is a goal of “meditation”.  Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, developed “mindfulness meditation” to help people reduce the suffering coming from chronic pain and stress in their lives. This included a method of “moment-to-moment” awareness that allowed for increased “coping skills”.

Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) program combined Hatha Yoga and meditation to achieve extraordinary health benefits. But, in writing “Wherever You Go, There You Are”, he beautifully described what all of us can achieve when we quiet the mind:

“From the perspective of meditation, every state is a special state, every moment a special moment.”

How cool is that? Our modern society does a great job of promoting life’s “special moments” but requires most of us to “purchase” these as luxuries.

The “movements of the body” in yoga connect us to the “moments in the mind” where we can “nourish our soul”.

My yoga practice allows me to achieve serenity and peace, what many people would describe as a “special moment”.

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