Tag Archives: Pain

Reflections On My Daughter “Standing Up Against Bullying And Cruelty In High School”

By Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller StrengthMy daughter told me last night about a girl she knew at school who was being bullied. She was visibly upset and showed me a horrific text that had been sent by the boy who had been verbally “attacking” this young lady.

I too had been bullied by neighborhood boys, one of which, later in life, ended up in jail. My daughter had been bullied the prior week, and stood up to the boys (and girls). She showed incredible courage in standing up for herself, while making a stand for justice and what is right.

She posted a statement on her Facebook page regarding the injustice. Some kids rallied around her, while others attacked her because she choose to say speak her mind. We talked further about what could be done to help the girl, and it was decided to bring the actions (and text) to the attention of the school. She felt that it was important to support her classmate. Dangerous and cruel actions have consequences in life.

As I watch my daughter navigate life, and stand for ethics, morals and values, I know in my heart that she will make a difference in the world.

Being kind unlocks so many doors in this harsh world. I truly believe that if every single person in America operated out of love and not out of fear and hatred, all problems would be solved. Selfishness, killings, oppression, drugs, healthcare, unemployment, war, religion, poverty, bullying… Think about it. What if people operated out of love, and treated YOU with kindness? Would you be a happier person? Would you be kinder to others?

People who are victims of these problems often need your help more than any one else. Empathize with them. Everyone has a story to tell, and sometimes words aren’t the only way of crying out for help. BE KIND. I guarantee your life will change, and so will the those who are the beneficiaries of your love and empathy. If not for anyone else, do it for yourself. Savannah Robison

Namaste

Advertisements

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

Twenty Years Later: “I Feel Your Pain…But Not My Own”

By Jennifer Miller

The year 2012 will be remembered for many important events and  happenings. Two of the biggest are the London Olympics and our own Presidential Election on November 6. But 2012 is also significant in that it has been 20 years since President Bill Clinton made his famous statement in March 1992:

“I feel your pain.”

While it is very difficult to feel another person’s pain, or suffering, unless you have “walked in their shoes”, we can all feel our own emotions, including pain. But why is it that so few people are actually able or willing to feel real emotions?

Do the activities and distractions in our lives numb our inner feelings?

Is it our culture of overconsumption, where we overeat and overspend, and in the extreme, abuse alcohol and drugs?

People are often afraid to go inward and truly connect with their real, raw emotions. It exposes us and makes us vulnerable…but also makes us more authentic. And humble. Getting to the real cause of personal pain and anger can often involve nothing more that looking at ourselves as we are now, not at who we were in the past. We are not that person any more. Forgive that person or move on from that person. Benefit from the often humorous process of “observing yourself” at this very time in your life. I often feel like a stand-up comic,  with an audience of “none” as I go inward and self-reflect. But it makes me aware of the moment.

I am one with my espresso coffee machine in the morning. I am one with my two dogs while I walk them. I am one with my cutting board as I prepare vegetables for cooking.

Do I feel like saying “enough already” and want to rejoin the noisy fray? Sometimes. But to go inward is so much more rewarding. I connect with my inner feelings and shower them with positive reflections. This can often produce the little miracles and happy endings that make life worth living.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“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

“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