Tag Archives: Soul

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
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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

“Yoga Tones The Bodies And Nourishes The Souls Of The Women At The Recovery House”

By Jennifer Miller
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Walking through the doors at the Recovery House, the ladies came up to me with a request: they wanted to see a picture of me before I started yoga. “I bet you always looked like this” said one. The group’s interest turned into a discussion of one of the big benefits of yoga: getting in shape after having a baby. These questions and others are all very honest and touching, reflecting how concerned they are with their appearance and bodies.
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A question then came up about whether my yoga practice excited my husband when I was married, again showing the physical and sexual interest the poses had in their minds. I then told them about very painful parts of my life, where yoga helped me to process my grief, to the point where I am now able to laugh at many of these traumatic times.
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I could feel, and see in their eyes, that my words were very comforting to these women, all of whom were dealing with trauma and change in their lives. One of the young ladies asked me why I volunteered here.
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 I told her that presenting the gift of yoga allowed my soul to give back some of the beautiful calm and peace I felt during times of great pain…

They were all very moved and I knew some were true believers. I felt my heart sing with joy that they could understand. I began to work on some individual asanas with a few of the girls. At first they are scared in trying something new, but three of the girls all nail the “crow” pose. I was cheering and clapping and didn’t know who was more excited.
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A girl in the back of the room asked me what poses would help her tighten her stomach and lose weight. I told her that yoga connects our minds and bodies, and that by maintaining the connection while eating, she could learn to eat only until feeling full. This honors the body as it is the temple for our soul.
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Nearing the end of our time together, I hear that one of the girls is cleaning a yoga mat to take to her room to practice, while another one is listening to a yoga tape. I can see the slow progress we are making, and know in my heart that if you can touch one life you’ve made a difference in the world. On my way out they bring their babies over…the beauty of connecting with the human spirit.
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Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“Spirituality Means Energy…Having Faith In This Energy Is Spirituality” By Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

“Spirituality means energy and to meditate on that energy is spirituality. So, developing and having faith in this energy is spirituality…spirituality is believing.”

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Quote from Namarupa Magazine, Fall 2004 Issue: “3 Gurus, 48 Questions: Matching Interviews With SRI T.K.V. DESIKACHAR, SRI B.K.S. IYENGAR & SRI K. PATTABHI JOIS”

http://www.namarupa.org/magazine/nr03/downloads/NamaRupa_03_02.pdf

“The Importance Of Being Our Own Best Friend”

By Jennifer Miller

I was just thinking of how important it is for most of us to have a best friend. We never forget that best friend from childhood, who was there for so many important moments as we grew up. That best friend may not have been your best friend after high school; in truth, we can have many best friends over our lifetime.

I searched important quotes on “Friendship” and many familiar and famous statements came up. But one stood out to me:

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.

The quote is attributed to William Shakespeare, but is also cited as being Anonymous. The source is the 16th Century, and I feel it addresses the importance of a (best) friend knowing our past, present and future selves. But who….

       “knows you as you are…”

                 “understands where you have been…”

                                        “accepts what you have become…”

                                                                       “allows you to  grow…”

The list of our friends that meet those responsibilities really narrows. And the truth is, that a friend, with those virtues, is most likely busy with their own life. And the person who most likely could meet all four would be your “soul mate”, and in a perfect world, your husband or wife.

Our best friend is, must be, ourself. We must be able to open up our heart and soul and love what we see. We must accept our own failures and successes with grace and ease, and not condemn ourselves when we make a mistake.

To love our “best friend within”, unconditionally, is to have a best friend for life.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

Reflections On Life: “DoYou Know Who Your Tribe Is?…You Will If They Nourish Your Soul”

By Jennifer Miller
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Most of us want to belong to a group. We have our identity defined in many cases by the people who relate to us, support us or confirm our “status” within the community where we live or work.
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But do you know who your tribe is?
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A special group of people “having a common character or interest” is the definition of a tribe…but it is so much deeper when you connect with someone’s “soul”.

I want to believe that my tribe is the group of family and close friends I spend the most time with. But to bond with women, or men, at the soul level, requires as much luck as it does length in the relationship getting to know someone. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to maintain friendships, and like a long-term investment, there has to be the outlook for the soul to be nurtured and grow.
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“The relationship with your self is the most important relationship you’ll ever have.”

This quote by Dr. Judith Orloff is so important. If we find ourselves giving more in our relationships that we receive, it will come at the cost of our own well-being. Who fills my soul and who drains my energy? There are two sides of me: a fun, free spirit side and a deeply spiritual side. Neither can remain healthy and vibrant if I am surrounded by people who take away my vital force. Choose to be with people who nourish the soul, and consider them members of your tribe.

Make a pact with yourself to be aware of the energy of those around you. Those that drain your energy, who don’t make your heart sing with joy, are not the people you should have around you. My soul knows my tribe and it always feels like coming home.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

Reflections On My Daughter: “Finding Answers All Around Us…Just Blowin In The Wind”

By Jennifer Miller

Oh, to be sixteen, now that summer’s here. And so I hop into the passenger’s seat of my daughter’s car to go bathing suit shopping. She is wearing bright pink lipstick and shorts to show off legs that are long and tan. Clearly, she is in the prime of teenhood, with her mood brightened in these final sophomore days of high school.

“If ya dont know by know, doggy-dog is a freak,freak,freak!”

Rapper Snoop Dogg’s latest song blasts out from the speakers as the she starts the car. The lyrics are offensive and crude, but her car is her domain.

“I keep a bad bitch with me seven days of the week, week, week!”

Welcome to a modern mother’s world. I take a deep breath as she glances at me with a huge grin, looking me over to see my reaction. But the windows are down, and our hair is “blowin in the wind” (a little Peter, Paul and Mary to balance Snoop). I smile with complete acceptance. The teen years are always trying, but they can also be fun.

She has always followed her soul and has now embraced her inner goddess. I am grateful that she doesn’t seem to care what others think. She has been through a lot in her young years, and has the gift of wisdom that only a full life can bring. I haven’t had to make too many demands of my youngest daughter recently, but getting a job this summer is a must.

She knows this and hasn’t commented on her progress. I already know the answer if I asked: “It’s not summer yet”.

The bikini and beachwear selection proves very enticing and she is pleased; so is mom. As we are checking out, she spots the store manager and without hesitating, asks her: “Are you hiring?” The answer is “Yes” and my daughter goes into action mode. With a huge smile, she holds out her hand and introduces herself and takes control of the interview.

The power of confidence is really the power of being in the moment. The woman saw an authentic display of enthusiasm and interest in being “at that store”.  This is my independent free spirit, brimming with inner wisdom, openness, and a natural sense of being balanced and grounded.

I pray she continues to use her natural abilities to find the answers to life’s questions, answers which are always there, all around us, and within our soul when we take the time to go inward and self-reflect. 

With employment application in hand, we are back in her car and her domain. As we head home, the windows down, I imagine how appropriate Bob Dylan’s lyrics would be if we could change just two words:

How many roads must a WOMAN walk down, before you call HER a WOMAN.

The answer, my friend,
is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.”

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

 

“Our Soul’s True Purpose” By Jennifer Miller (Video)

We must all strive to connect our mind, body and spirit to find our soul’s true purpose.

Rumi, a 13th Century Persian Poet, wrote beautifully about the importance of following your heart to find love and purpose in life….

My video presents 5 of his most beautiful quotations.

“What I have come to treasure most in life are the hardships I have overcome, and the satisfaction of feeling “heroic” in many ways. To live through challenging times and not only survive, but to emerge victorious and “thrive”, will bring all of us a sense of incredible joy and satisfaction.”

“To live a truly authentic life makes us vulnerable, but it is a life worth living. I am who I am and I can live with that.”

Jennifer Miller

“Finding Our Soul In The Little Girl Who Beat To Her Own Drum” By Jennifer Miller

“I am who I am”, not to be defined by conventions regarding a “role” as wife , mother, or daughter.

As a child, I was always told by people that “I beat to my own drum”. And because I did not always conform to the “rules”, my actions were frowned upon by my family and schools that I attended.

I can now see the beauty of following our soul and not caring what others think or say about us. Although I would lose this part of my soul at times, life would always bring it back to me.

Women, by allowing society and others to “define” them as daughter, wife and mother, come to believe that their “identity” resides outside their soul and bodies…Our ego becomes attached to these external realities, and it makes reclaiming our soul very difficult at times.

When my life collapsed several years ago, destroying all of my so-called dreams of having the “perfect family”, I found my soul again in the little girl that “beat to her own drum”. And her little voice told me that “I am who I am”, not to be defined by conventions regarding a “role” as wife , mother, or daughter.

 “I am me…a soul free to grow and expand beyond societal restrictions”

As women, we must reach out and embrace the infinite as this is always in the best interest of the soul. Do not let anyone or anything define your Dharma. We should strive for independence, and like a child follow our hearts.

The best path to understanding the connection with “our truth” is to start living it, breathing it, thinking it, acting it and ultimately “feeling it”.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

Reflections On Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”: “A Balanced You” By Jennifer Miller

“A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle makes very important statements on the “balance” we need in life to feel fulfilled. I like the term “A Balanced You”.
” When we find that connection with Source, which creates the balance in our lives, we become vehicles for awakened consciousness to express in our world. Then everything changes.”
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Tolle believes that women are ahead of men when it comes to awakening.
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The feminine is naturally more connected with being because they have never completely lost the connectedness with FEELING.

Because the ego was never as deeply rooted in women, it is losing its hold on them more quickly than men. This is also why there are more women teaching “collective awakening”.

Namaste, Jennifer Miller

“Women’s Intuitive Wisdom” By Jennifer Miller

“Women’s Intuitive Wisdom”

A woman’s cycle exists for so many beautiful reasons. Our bodies are truly amazing. Yesterday, I was feeling not quite myself; I took a gaze at my calendar and, yes, it’s that time of the month.
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I could feel myself going inward. What is this incredible miracle, my body, telling me? As I reflect, it is clear: it needs time to heal and feel.
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It is part of the beautiful cycle of life that I can get quiet and listen to my body’s intuitive wisdom, always knowing what the soul needs.

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful that if in this quiet, reflective time, we could be honored and nurtured as mothers and women? That someone would hear our spirit calling and arrive to nurture our souls?
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I love the biblical concept of “The Red Tent” where a woman could take refuge with a tribe of women during our cycle or giving birth; mother, sisters and aunts are there for questions, laughter, and healing. As a child I had a teepee that I would go into for peace and quiet; I felt so safe. I can still remember that wonderful feeling.
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The little girl in me long ago, knew how to take care of herself.

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Our circle of family and friends is our tribe. It is so important to surround to ourselves with people that honor and nurture “all” of us. I thank my womanly cycle for allowing me to go within during this “time” and honor my healing and feeling. If friends and associates bring me down, I will choose “not” to have them around me as this is the ultimate statement of “self love”.
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I pray we breathe in the fullness of love and then extend it to all.
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Namaste, Jennifer Miller

Reflections On Healthy Eating: “Feed Your Soul”

"What do I need to feed my soul?" Jennifer Miller

Instead of starving youself or overeating, ask questions:

What do I need to feed my soul?

What is empty inside me that needs to be taken care of?

Wrap your arms around your body:
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What needs to be Mothered in my inner child?

What is your heart telling you?

What is your tummy really craving?

We have to nourish our souls or we will look to food to do it for us.
We have to be able to say to ourselves:
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I love you.

I am here for you.

What do I really need?

What needs to be fed in your soul?

Namaste, Jennifer Miller 

Thoughts For The Day: “Last Night’s Rain…” By Jennifer Miller

The natural process to Renew, Reclaim, and Rebirth after every rain,
How wonderful is that!

The rain is a gift.

Gazing out my window this morning I realized that last night’s rain cleansed our  beautiful Earth.
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The natural process to Renew, Reclaim, and Rebirth after every rain;
How wonderful is that!
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I observed that my soul needed an inner cleansing as well.
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Our bodies undergo a process of cell death followed by a truly miraculous cell renewal.
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Why can’t our conscious self?
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 We have the power to do this for our souls to sustain life .
I thank my inner Goddess for her patience when I need to regain my postion next to her .
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Today I will honor my inner Temple and celebrate the gift of life.
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Namaste, Jennifer Miller