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Transcript Interview Episode with Miriam Trahan

[00:00:00] Miriam: So much of our daily lives are focused out there somewhere. And in western culture especially, I think there is a sense that we're not supposed to focus on ourselves too much. We should be doing things for others. We should be being productive. We should be responding, reacting, you know, busy, busy, busy.

So, when we are quiet and we've done some breath exercises and now we are just breathing, it's a little easier to follow your breath. But we also become who Eckhart totally refers to as, who are you when you are not thinking?

[00:00:42] Laurin: Hello friends, and welcome to Curiously Wise. I'm Laurin Waittig, your host, and today I have Miriam Trahan with me. She lives in the beautiful state of Hawaii. And I am a little bit jealous of that cuz it's such a beautiful place. Let me just give you a quick introduction to her and then we're gonna dive into a fabulous conversation.

She says in her bio, Aloha! Practicing breath work as a gateway to deep nourishing meditation for over 30 years. Miriam offers a gentle, practical perspective on inner explorations, self-care, and expansions of consciousness. All things I love to talk about. So welcome to Curiously Wise, Miriam.

[00:01:26] Miriam: Aloha! And thank you, Laurin. I so appreciate being welcome to your audience and to this conversation. Looking forward to it.

[00:01:34] Laurin: It's gonna be fun. So, you are a meditation specialist, I would say. Is that accurate?

[00:01:41] Miriam: You could say that. Yes.

[00:01:42] Laurin: You're a breath specialist too.

[00:01:45] Miriam: I'm a breath specialist as well. Breath practice has been my doorway into meditation practice for a number of years. And I started with breath practice in the mid-nineties and studied for about 10 years with a breath master who had learned in India. And it was really life changing for me.

It made meditation accessible which up until that point had not really been happening for me. I had really struggled for a number of years to find any way in just watching my breath or concentrating on an object or even guided meditations as they were available at that time didn't really help me arrive at that meditative state.

So, I have studied breath for many years. It's continued to practice. And then I am now studying with a group called Light Body at It is a meditation practice that's very specialized in explorations of consciousness, which it really appeals to me. So, breath and consciousness and how do you get to meditation? Those are, those are the things I work on.

[00:02:55] Laurin: Yeah, so let, let's back up a little bit and talk about breath, because we all breathe. I had a guest on recently who is really focuses on myofascial kinds of problems for people to help them breathe better, which was fascinating to me and taught me a lot about how I don't breathe very well and so it's something we all take for granted. And yet you've studied it for a long time. So, tell us what you've, what you know, sort of the greatest hits of what you've learned or what, what you think is most important for people to understand about breath.

[00:03:28] Miriam: Well, we do all breathe. And I've found that very few people get to adulthood without some sort of constriction in their breath. Many people breathe very shallow up in the top of their body. Many other people, their entire ribcage is totally frozen, doesn't move at all. Only their belly moves a little bit.

A lot of people tend to breathe too rapidly, and there's a common misconception about breath and breath practice that it means that you're going to be taking really big breaths. Well, it's not really possible to take big breaths if you're already kind of overfilled with old breath, right? So, a lot of what I do is help people exhale.

And now as we've been talking about breath, you may feel that your breath has gone kind of weird and you've sort of suddenly forgotten how to breathe.

[00:04:19] Laurin: I did catch myself just taking a really good deep breath.

[00:04:22] Miriam: Yay. I'm all for that. But it, it's funny how when you first start to think about breathing, because it takes place below the level of our awareness, most of the time when you begin to think about your breath, it can feel a little awkward at first, but that passes very quickly. So don't worry about it.

But your ability to have a breath that matches the circumstances that you are in. So, let's say you are sitting quietly reading, your breath should be pretty long and not very many breaths per minute because you don't have a lot of demand on your physiology. If you're running or dancing or cleaning the house, your breaths should match that activity.

For many of us, that's not really the case. We breathe kind of the same all the time. So, when we're in that quiet activity, we're probably over breathing, we're probably breathing too fast. And then you get up and start doing things. Your breath may not be deep enough, it may not be able to bring in enough oxygen and let go of enough waste material from your body.

Most of the waste that the body expends in the course of a day leaves the body through the breath.

[00:05:31] Laurin: Really?

[00:05:32] Miriam: Really.

[00:05:33] Laurin: Huh. That’s fascinating.

[00:05:34] Miriam: How about that? So, a lot of the things that come through our metabolism, the things the body wants to release, can be released through the breath as well as through the other systems of the body.

So, it's really important. It's also really important to get a good balance of oxygen in and carbon dioxide out. And that's also another thing that generally takes place under our notice. So, as we begin to notice our breath, one of the first things that I teach is kind of how to notice your breath. And how to breathe like a baby.

So, babies breathe in this really gentle fluid or a puppy. You ever see a puppy and their little bellies are just going, they're really, they're like rubber. They're really soft. Well, if we get to be adults, we're not very rubbery anymore for the most part. And all of the places where your ribs attached to your sternum or attached to your spine are made of cartilage. Cartilage is the same thing your ears are made of.

[00:06:38] Laurin: Mm-hmm.

[00:06:39] Miriam: We think of how soft your ears are. That's how soft these attachments could be. But for most of us, they're pretty rigid. They don't move very well. So, a good place to start, breath practice is laying down. You don't need any muscles to hold your body up.

You can just put your hands on your body very gently. And the first thing to do is just notice how you're breathing. Does it seem like it's kind of fast? Are you a little lightheaded now that you've been thinking about your breathing? Can you get your abdomen to open? Do your ribs move at all? So, these are all explorations you can do on your own.

This is not meditation, it's really breath practice, it's breath awareness. So, I encourage people to start with breath awareness.

[00:07:23] Laurin: So, I just wanna add just insert something here for me. Years ago, I took a yoga class. That was wonderful. I was the youngest person in it by a decade, so it allowed me a lot of room to be stiff and I couldn't even touch my toes at the time I was in my fifties. And the teacher taught at workshop style.

So instead of like you had a vinyasa flow or you had a particular, you know, set of movements you had to do, she would focus on one thing for a while and she loved to focus on opening up our ribcage.

[00:07:54] Miriam: Ah, yes.

[00:07:56] Laurin: And she had us lying down one day, one morning after I'd been going for a while, and she told us to breathe into our back and I thought that's weird. And, but I did it and I had been with her long enough that things had loosened up in a little bit and I felt my back expand and my ribs expand, and I thought, that's amazing. You know.

[00:08:16] Miriam: What a wonderful teacher.

[00:08:17] Laurin: I had no idea you could breathe into your back.

[00:08:20] Miriam: Yes, absolutely. I do some of that in my classes. That's, you had a wonderful teacher and, okay, so now let’s pretend we're…

[00:08:26] Laurin: But I had to be lying down to feel it.

[00:08:27] Miriam: Yes, let's pretend we're laying on the floor or standing against a wall. The floor is great because it's, it's flat, it's not going anywhere. You can get a lot of body awareness from laying on the floor.

A, a, a couch or a cushion or a bed is fine, but the floor is really, you really get a lot of information. So, if you can get down to the floor and back up again, I encourage you to try the floor and support your head. So, your neck is not in a funny position, but if you can bring the awareness to the back body as you breathe, it might even take a little bit of engaging the muscles in the front of the body so that the breath can move into the back and you'll see immediately how well do those ribs move.

[00:09:10] Laurin: Mm-hmm.

[00:09:11] Miriam: They may not move at all. If your ribs in the back are not moving, then there's a little work that you can do there and you can do it just by laying on the floor and trying to breathe into your back. It's, it's surprising how little awareness we may have in our back body. We don't tend to think about it that much, but it's super important.

And if you can free up your, your intercostal muscles and all of that tissue that's between the ribs, you might find that some back issues that you may have had start to ease up. It might just be a stiffness in your rib cage, whoever thinks of that, but you can use your breath to open that space.

[00:09:55] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:09:57] Miriam: And so, as you do your explorations, you can use your breath to explore other parts of your body to, how well do your front ribs move?

How well does your abdomen move? Can you imagine the breath coming into some part of your body that you're having a bit of an issue with? You have a sore joint. You have something on the body that is asking for healing. As you get more experienced with this, you can begin to use your imagination to draw the breath into the body in that place that needs a little nourishment.

And you know what happens? The breath goes there, the energy of the breath will arrive in that place. It's kind of effortless. It doesn't take a lot of practice to learn to be able to do that. And if you can get even the smallest amount of relief, let's say you have an issue that's been with you for a long time.

It's taken a lot of years or months to get to the place where you are now. To expect that it would unwind immediately is probably not realistic. But if you can make a small measure of change, any kind of shift, you may find, oh, there's a little relief there that I didn't have before. And if you apply this technique over a period of time, you can begin to move the healing energy of the breath into that part of your body.

And then maybe even on the exhale release something that had been carried there. And what I find with the, now we are into breath practice, so now we're using the breath to do different things. Breath is also. Part of your emotional and mental bodies, you can use your breath to locate something on your body that might need attention.

You may suddenly feel you have a strong emotional reaction. There may be something entangled in your tissues there that was an emotional thing that's now beginning to soften and release, or a mental pattern that, oh, I'm thinking about that thing I always think about. And oh, maybe it's attached to this part of my body that is having an issue, and oh, now I'm having a flood of emotion.

So, we get these entanglements between the mental and emotional bodies, and then now it's expressed in the physical body, and you can begin to become aware of it and disentangle it simply by breathing.

[00:12:25] Laurin: Yeah. Yeah, that's, I, I do that with some of my patients if I'm having, cuz I work with them in the same idea. I work with the energy that's in that place of pain and get information about it. And sometimes it's, doesn't wanna budge, it doesn't wanna loosen, it doesn't wanna relax. And I will have them breathe into that knee or into that hip.

Just, you know, imagine your breath goes here and usually after two or three breaths it starts to release.

[00:12:54] Miriam: Isn't that it's seven. It's sort of like ordinary magic. It's a little magical thing that you can do that's really attached to your ordinary self, your everyday life, and it can be really very useful. So that's one aspect of breath as a practice. And another aspect is to actually do breathing exercises.

And so, in my podcast we have breathing exercises. I have several seasons of Miriam's meditations that are online available at all the various podcast servers. And if you start at the beginning, in the beginning, I give a lot more instruction on how to do these breath practices. As we move along, there's less instructions.

So, if you're new to breath practice, you might wanna start closer to the beginning. And the, the breath practices that we do in my podcast are very accessible to anyone. And, they give your brain something to do. So…

[00:13:54] Laurin: Yeah, cuz just paying attention to your breath can get pretty boring.

[00:13:58] Miriam: Well, and then your mind wanders, and now you're really far away and you're like, did I ever meditate? Did that, did it ever happen for me? It's like, hmm, I, and, and so people become discouraged because it is, I found it a really challenging place to start.

But when I found this breath teacher and began to do alternate nostril breathing, or we actually have a breath practice that's called the rib stretching breath, where we put our hands on either side of our ribcage, breathe in a full and complete breath, and then use our hands to press on the ribcage as you exhale.

So, you wanna try that hand on either side of your ribcage, exhale all the air in your lungs to prepare. All right. Now just breathe in a full and complete breath. Notice if your ribs are moving, and as you exhale, just press with your hands and move your ribs.

[00:14:49] Laurin: Ooh,

[00:14:49] Miriam: Let’s do it again. Breathe in and exhale. Press on your ribcage, let the air come out and your ribs move under your hands. You can press pretty strongly if you're strong enough. All right. Now they'll just rest.

[00:15:05] Laurin: Oh that feels good.

[00:15:05] Miriam: So, you get some information there. Right? Do my ribs move?

[00:15:09] Laurin: Yeah, yeah they do now.

[00:15:10] Miriam: Are they kind of stiff? Do they move better in the front or the back?

So, the ribcage should move in all four directions. You should move in the front. They should pivot a little bit under your armpits and they should move in the back. So, it's like a balloon opens. And a balloon deflates. And so, if you're not getting movement in all four directions, there's some work that you can do.

But the breath exercises themselves, we put together in a sequence, not unlike a yoga sequence of physical movements. And when you do them one exercise after another, and you've been doing this now for 10 or 12 minutes, and then you pause, there's a kind of ringing silence.

[00:16:03] Laurin: Hmm

[00:16:04] Miriam: And that you're just now quieter than you were before. Your mind has settled down, and it's not just that it gives the brain something to do, that's kind of where you start. But the breath exercises themselves carry a certain resonant tone that clears the mind and calms the emotions. So, there is an energetic signature to each breath that when you'd practice them as a sequence, now you get to the end of your breath practice.

Not only are you a little more oxygenated, which is always good for the body, your carbon dioxide balance has come so that the carbon dioxide is leaving the body and a way that is balanced. Your mind is now clear and your emotions have settled down. This is an excellent time to approach a meditative state.

[00:16:59] Laurin: Hmm.

[00:17:00] Miriam: It’s really a big assistance in that regard. Really helps you arrive. And it's not just about being quiet, it's about meeting yourself.

[00:17:13] Laurin: Mmm Okay. So, wait, talk about that. Meeting yourself. What do you mean by that?

[00:17:18] Miriam: So much of our daily lives are focused out there somewhere. And in western culture especially, I think there is a sense that we're not supposed to focus on ourselves too much. We should be doing things for others. We should be being productive. We should be responding, reacting, you know, busy, busy, busy.

So, when we are quiet and we've done some breath exercises and now we are just breathing, it's a little easier to follow your breath. But we also become who Eckhart totally refers to as who are you when you are not thinking?

[00:17:58] Laurin: I have never heard that. That's excellent.

[00:18:03] Miriam: I just love that.

[00:18:03] Laurin: What a fabulous question.

[00:18:06] Miriam: Because you are not your thoughts. You are not even your emotions. You are the one who is thinking. You are the consciousness behind the thoughts. And so, when you are sitting with your quiet now, it's just you and you begin to make friends with yourself, your ordinary mind. So, here's a little meditation tip.

I always ask my students to put a pen and pad next to their seat because when you become quiet, something that happens in the beginning and, and even as you become an experienced meditator, is that your ordinary mind may have some very important things it wants to tell you. Things that it doesn't want you to forget.

And if you try to use your usual mind to try and remember them so you don't forget, cuz it really is important. You're never gonna get to the meditative clarity that you are looking for. So, I just write them down and I keep writing them down so my ordinary mind quits telling me important things it wants me to remember.

And then we're quiet again. So as a kind of meeting yourself in your ordinary way, your ordinary mind, your everyday mind that's busy, and it's important to be busy. Your personality is an important part of who you are. And then now it's like emptying a cup, pouring out all the water, and you've put it on the paper so that later when you are in your quiet moment, the ordinary mind pops back up and goes, hey, remember that thing I told you not to remember?

You can say, yeah, I know. I wrote it down. Look with one eye. Yeah, I did. I wrote that down,

[00:19:38] Laurin: I got it.

[00:19:40] Miriam: It's okay. You can settle because its job is to help you remember these things, right? That's its job and it's just doing its job. We, we make friends with our ordinary mind as well. It's not something bad we wanna turn off.

It's just another part of our consciousness. So now we have put it all down on the piece of paper. Now we have another level of ease and repose. Now there's another level of quiet. Now who's there? That's where you meet your true self. That's where you meet your deeper knowing, your higher self, your inner being is right there, ready to make your acquaintance, and that's another level of the meditative state.

And you, you have to pass through all of these various levels until you get to a place where there is really just a kind of stillness that's also very dynamic. There's still something happening. It's not nothing.

[00:20:41] Laurin: Yeah. Yeah. That's, and that's where I find when I get there, cuz I, I meditate pretty regularly, several times a week at least. And I've been doing it long enough that I can get quiet pretty easily. And that's where the magic starts to happen. That’s where I get inspired. That's where, where I get this wisdom coming to me that I know is from me.

But I couldn't hear it. There was too much else going on, so I can really hear my, hear me, hear my wise. I call it Wise Laurin, so I can hear wise Laurin.

[00:21:16] Miriam: Oh, I love that. She has a name that's wonderful. And we all have this. Every single human being has this wise component of who we truly are. It's a larger, vaster you that has no boundaries and yet has a kind of accessibility, can it will speak to you in words that are uplifting and kind. It will bring you information from deeper parts of yourself.

And sometimes if you're ready for a shift, it might bring to your awareness something that you may be ready to work on more at the personality level.

[00:22:01] Laurin: Mm-hmm.

[00:22:01] Miriam: But here is some wisdom to go along with that personality level, and that shift can come from these deeper realms. So, when you go back to your ordinary reality, you're different.

[00:22:15] Laurin: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:22:16] Miriam: You've carried something from that deeper openness and wisdom out into the world. And it's my knowing that when we are doing this practice, a practice like this, we are doing it also on behalf of everyone.

[00:22:31] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:22:32] Miriam: As we become familiar with these deeper realms and we bring this knowledge and wisdom forward into reality, we are making pathways that others can follow.

We're opening spaces where others can open also to a similar flow and find what they need in the energies. And this, I believe, is how humanity is evolving its consciousness. In this period of time when the problems seem so insurmountable. It is we who need to change how we are approaching life and draw this deeper wisdom forward because that's where the answers will come from.

[00:23:12] Laurin: Yeah. Yeah. And I love that you bring up the point that that voice, that inner knowingness wisdom, my wise Laurin is always loving and kind. If it's not loving and kind, it's not that voice.

[00:23:25] Miriam: Right. That's probably another voice that you accumulated or acquired from the culture, from your family of origin. And it could be fairly persistent and in your consciousness. But you know what happened for me, because I had plenty of that stuff when I first started, is I became adept at noticing the difference.

Like, oh, that's that belief pattern. Or something someone once told me about myself that I don't really even believe is true. But there it is, still there kind of haunting me and I can learn to begin to put that aside so that when it, when it pops up again, I can say, hmm, no thanks.

[00:24:08] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:24:09] Miriam: No thanks. I have this wise being now that I'm listening to. And so that voice, those voices, since we're not giving it any credence over time, it just melts away. And that's one of the aspects I found with breath practice was that, many of these emotional patterns and mental patterns that I had really struggled to free myself of, when I did my breath practice and meditated.

They began to dissolve of their own accord because I spent more and more time in these spaces with my wise inner being that the energy that was feeding them, that momentum that had been in place began to dissolve and they went away over time. It just clarified. There was personal work to do. I sat with therapist.

I did all kinds of other work, but I did find that the breath and the meditation was an integral part of really being able to heal that at a very deep level and leave it behind.

[00:25:16] Laurin: Yeah, for me, I, a few years ago, my mom was in the last years of her life and she had dementia and she was a narcissist. And it was really difficult for me. And meditation was my survival skill because when things got bad, I would say to my husband, I, I, I gotta go meditate cuz it would quiet all the voices, all the, you know, the ugly things she would say to me because she was lost in her, in her dementia.

But you know, it's your mother's voice and it's right here, you know. But I got to where I could, I could go, okay, I just need to reset.

[00:25:53] Miriam: Mm-hmm.

[00:25:54] Laurin: And, and let wise Laurin come in and go, you know, that's not true. That's just her disease. It's just, it's, you know, it's not true. This is, you know. It's like, so it really did, like you said, it just, it, it softened those things until I got to the point where I could quickly recognize that's not the truth.

[00:26:14] Miriam: Exactly. And you point out something very interesting and that is the idea of practice. And some people feel like it takes an enormous amount of discipline. Oh, I'm not very disciplined. I don't think I could do that, et cetera.

What I found was when I had a practice that was suited to me, friend, for me that was, I started with the breath, then the practice be quickly, became essential, and it created its own momentum. And momentum is kind of an underrated quality that many of the things that we are doing in our ordinary lives, we are maintaining with a, and it has a kind of momentum.

And when you begin to change from the inside out, that momentum can keep that thing going for a little while. So, what you are wanting to do is place your momentum in this new you, in this new practice.

It's just momentum. It is going to fade when you stop giving it any attention. And the new thing that you're doing will have, will have the momentum, and that's where the practice comes in.

So, here's my second tip that I always give people when they're new to practice. That makes it a little easier. When I first started doing my practice, I found a piece of music that I really liked. It had no words, so it didn't entrain my brain in any, it didn't entangle my brain in any thoughts. It was new to me. I was, I didn't have any associations attached to it. It was long, it was like 30 minutes. It was just instrumental, what we used to call New Age music.

It was really lovely. It was very peaceful, but not so peaceful that I would go to sleep. I just saved this piece of music just for my breath and meditation practice. I didn't use it for anything else, and I, I just sort of found this just by doing it. No one told me to do this, but what I did find was when I would sit down, I'd put on my music. My body had become entrained to the music and my body said, it's time to breathe.

And it made it so much easier because now I was friends with my body, my body and I were in it together and the music was the thing that brought it into harmony and made it so much easier. So, I just put my music on. I started my breath practice and before you knew it, you know, a half hour had gone by and I was still sitting there enraptured by this beauty that just welled up from inside of me.

And so, find yourself piece of music, and save it just for your practice. I used the same piece of music for over a year. I didn't use it for anything else, and it was just an amazing discovery.

[00:28:58] Laurin: I used music that way to get into a flow state, which is the same as you.

[00:29:02] Miriam: The same thing.

[00:29:03] Laurin: And I, I've written novels in my first novel. I, I played the same three back when we had CDs, you know, and I played the same three classical music CDs every day when I sat down and I did, and it got me into the state, like you said, it was like, my body was like, oh, time to write.

[00:29:22] Miriam: Hey.

[00:29:23] Laurin: I never heard that music. I was so deep after the first few days of, of doing that, I never, I couldn't tell you what was on the middle cd. Never heard it. Not consciously.

[00:29:33] Miriam: I hear you. I hear you. And for me it was the, the first opening bars and, you know, I'm into the practice and music is, is a container. It creates a container of energy and it is very, very supportive. So even if you don't really think of yourself as a music person, there's plenty of lovely music, much of it available for free.

Select something that's meaningful to you or that's appealing, and use it for your practice. So, I, I have found that and having a little, a little spot that's just for your practice even if it's a rolled-up yoga mat and you just roll it up, put it back in the corner. But if you can light a candle or have a vase with some flowers or some crystals, or even just a picture of someone you love, that's beautiful.

A scene that's beautiful. If you can make a beauty corner for yourself, a little beauty place.

[00:30:24] Laurin: I have it. It's right next to me.

[00:30:26] Miriam: I see it. I see it. And that will also set a tone of sacred energy. That you are making time for yourself in a way that is wholesome and good.

[00:30:39] Laurin: Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's a wonderful self-care practice to, to begin that kind of practice.

[00:30:46] Miriam: It really is. And you're, you're setting a tone for others around you. I am not to be interrupted. You are, I think it was Oprah has said you'd, you'd teach other people how to treat you or how to talk to you by how you set your own standards and you set a time, even 10, 15 minutes is a really nice amount of time to set aside for yourself.

[00:31:06] Laurin: I literally made signs for my office door, cuz this is also my meditation sanctuary. It's just, it's my space. And I have one that says meditating. And even when my husband's not home, cuz he works up in DC a couple of days a week, I put that sign up. It's an intention. There's nobody else here, but I still, I, I go and I put my meditating sign up on my door, close the door, get myself settled.

[00:31:32] Miriam: I love that.

[00:31:33] Laurin: It's just part of my process. It's part of that, that…

[00:31:37] Miriam: Right. And you create a process for yourself. You, you claim pieces that are useful, and now you have a practice that is designed just for you because you've designed it and it becomes a container for the energy that is the setup for a meditation field. And for me, what if we could talk about meditation itself for a moment.

[00:32:00] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:32:01] Miriam: And how people think about meditation as sitting and doing nothing. That doesn't sound very appealing to me either. And so, what I've discovered in meditating for over 30 years now is that when I have truly arrived in a meditative state, it's like a new field of energy sets up around me. And it's very tangible. My mind is, my ordinary mind is quiet, but my higher mind might be very actively doing something, processing something, bringing some energy forward.

It may or may not have words. It may or may not even have symbols or many times for me, I'm, I'm, I'm somewhat visual, but I didn't start being visual in the beginning. Meditation was just felt sense for me. I felt different.

[00:32:52] Laurin: mm-hmm.

[00:32:53] Miriam: So, don't necessarily limit yourself to, oh, getting visions. I have a good friend whose meditative practice is auditory. He hears sounds and he can tell that his state has changed because the sound has changed.

[00:33:05] Laurin: Hmm.

[00:33:06] Miriam: I think that's a little more rare, but it's, it's definitely something that can happen to us. But if all, all you are doing is feeling your way along for a while, for me, I felt like I was a blind person just feeling my way along.

And that was sufficient. I definitely felt different. I felt things, and not just emotional things, but flows of energy, patterns of energy, a sense of expansion. A sense of spaciousness or perhaps a very pinpointed focus. All of these things are ways that you can learn to perceive inside your own consciousness.

[00:33:44] Laurin: Mm-hmm.

[00:33:45] Miriam: So, these are things that can happen with you when you have achieved a meditative state.

[00:33:50] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:33:51] Miriam: So, it's a field of energy that sets up around you that is different from your ordinary consciousness. Still you, you're still there.

[00:34:00] Laurin: Mm-hmm.

[00:34:02] Miriam: And you begin to learn how vast you are, how wise you are, how abundant you are.

You may even find your ancestors come to speak with you, or a guide may show up with a very high energy or a gift. These are all things that I've experienced in the meditative state, and then bringing myself back to my ordinary state, allowing a few moments of quiet and to call some of that. Back into my ordinary reality gives me a way to stitch this all together because it's not really, you're one thing here and you're another thing there.

It's a continuum of consciousness. It's a spectrum of consciousness. And there are vistas, I call them different places where you can sort of land with your consciousness and, oh, things seem very different here. Oh, I'm back to my ordinary consciousness. What did I do to arrive at that vista? Can I repeat those steps and so I can find that again?

And often the answer is yes, sometimes not. I try not to get too attached to having a magnificent experience every time, because that definitely doesn't happen, even as I've had many years of practice. But there are often beautiful and amazing experiences, and it's always worth it to sit.

[00:35:30] Laurin: Yeah, yeah. That's where epiphanies arrive and, and healing happens.

[00:35:36] Miriam: And healing happens. It does.

[00:35:37] Laurin: Healing happens. I mean, you're sitting there feeling like you're not doing anything, but when you get your energy in that state, you are bringing your body back to a state of, of self-healing, of, of homeostasis, where it knows what to do for itself.

[00:35:53] Miriam: And all the different parts of your being come into a kind of coherence. Your physical being is breathing in a quiet and appropriate way. Your emotional body is resonating with that breath. Your mental body is also in resonance. It's like someone struck a crystal glass and you're the other crystal glass in the room and now you're ringing and all of your parts have come into a kind of wholeness, a oneness, and that is not something that we are trained to experience in our culture. We are very scattered.

[00:36:24] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:36:25] Miriam: We have partitions. Many of them are quite artificial, some of them useful, but many of them very artificial and not particularly useful. And as you claim parts of yourself you haven't corresponded with in a long time, and that healing happens and the vibrational patterns that are no longer serving you like static in your vibration begin to dissipate.

Your natural true vibration is not static, but this high, pure tone, this beautiful energy, that's the true nature of who we really are.

[00:37:03] Laurin: Yeah. So, one of the things that I had difficulty with in earlier in my practice and still do at times, is I'll get myself into that, that place, that high vibration where everything is coherent and everything feels great and I am floating, you know, it's, it's like, it's, it's a natural hive of the, of the best kind.

And then I have to go out into the world. And so, so one of the things that I have, I'm getting better at, at like holding that vibration, cuz I spend more time in it now, but do you have any suggestions for people when you to moving from that beautiful place out? You know, you gotta go to work or you gotta go pick up the kids or whatever it is, how can you begin to carry that with you?

[00:37:52] Miriam: That's a beautiful question. I really like that. I really like that you wanna talk about that. So…

[00:37:59] Laurin: Because it's one of the gifts to the world. If you can take that vibration out there.

[00:38:03] Miriam: It is. Everywhere you go, there you are.

[00:38:04] Laurin: Yeah, yeah,

[00:38:06] Miriam: So if you're cranky and you're cranky with the cashier at the grocery store, well now you've given that person some of your cranky, but you can also give that person some of your beauty. And here's where it gets a little, okay, I'm just gonna say it. It requires a kind of softness of heart that we are not accustomed to being.

We are accustomed to shielding our hearts and shielding ourselves against the world because we perceive the world to be unfriendly.

[00:38:36] Laurin: Mm-hmm.

[00:38:37] Miriam: And the truth that I have come upon in my own practice is that the universe is friendly. It's how we are approaching the universe that gives us this sense of being unsafe.

And now I'm not recommending that people deliberately put themselves in unsafe situations. And if you have a lot of social anxiety or personal anxiety, that's obviously something that you will want to take in very small increments. However, if you are going to a place where you can reliably expect to be treated in a friendly fashion, that's a place that you can practice.

[00:39:14] Laurin: Hmm

[00:39:14] Miriam: Staying with the softness of heart,

[00:39:16] Laurin: mm-hmm.

[00:39:17] Miriam: Just remembering as you come back to your ordinary self. So, you've been in this very high state. It's a kind of a home place in the inner plains, and you come back into your ordinary reality. I would take a few moments to notice the beauty, the harmony, any changes or shifts that have come about in your little sanctuary, your home plays that serves to ground that energy into your home.

[00:39:52] Laurin: Hmm

[00:39:53] Miriam: And now as you begin to move out into the world, you may notice your breathing. You may do a mudra with your hands. Sometimes just bringing all the fingertips of the hands together brings both hemispheres of the brain together.

[00:40:09] Laurin: Oh, nice.

[00:40:11] Miriam: Our brains have a lot of real estate dedicated to the hands.

[00:40:15] Laurin: Really, I guess that makes sense, right?

[00:40:18] Miriam: Doesn't it? We're very touchy-feely kind of thing.

[00:40:19] Laurin: Yeah, yeah.

[00:40:20] Miriam: Aren’t we?

[00:40:20] Laurin: That's…

[00:40:21] Miriam: So, if you touch all of your fingertips together and maybe even your palms, which of course is a prayer status, but even just the fingertips, there's something about that that brings the brain back to that meditative place.

[00:40:38] Laurin: Yeah. It's funny cuz when I first started meditating, that was what I did with my hands. Now I'm much more either, you know, open or sometimes just, you know, down on my legs. But, but I started that way just in, didn't have any intention about it. That just felt right. Now I know why.

[00:40:55] Miriam: That just felt right. Now you know why. Because it is a way to bring your focus in, in your hands. If your hands are busy or in an awkward position, it will be very hard to settle down. So, bringing the fingertips together. And so, let's say you're moving out into the world. You can take a moment to pause sitting in your car or sitting in public transit or anything.

Just you don't even have to close your eyes. If you don't feel safe to close your eyes, don't close your eyes, but you can bring your fingertips together and you can breathe in through your nose and out through your nose.

And if you breathe in through your nose and notice the air is cool and you breathe out and you notice the air is warm,

[00:41:38] Laurin: Hmm.

[00:41:38] Miriam: Now you are reclaiming your meditative stance in a way that you can also move out into the world.

[00:41:46] Laurin: I love that. I love that. That's excellent. I, I find myself putting my hand on my heart sometimes, and that just brings me back to that, that center, that energy.

[00:41:58] Miriam: Right. Right. And, and practicing being softhearted, understanding everyone in your vicinity is having a day just like you are. Something challenging, maybe going on with them that you don't know and can't see. Giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, accepting what kindness has come your way in passing them on.

You know, setting an intention for some quality that you wanna carry forth out of your practice, like harmony, kindness, beauty, wellbeing, joy.

[00:42:32] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:42:33] Miriam: You can just rest on one of those qualities. Say, I'm gonna try to add a little kindness to the world today. That's my intention. And I'm a big fan of little signs. I have 'em all over the waist, and sometimes one of my recent slogans is, I know what to do and I do it, right?

So, it's like, okay, I have the inner wisdom and I have the action, I have the inner wisdom, and I have the action. And so, I put little signs in my car, sticky notes everywhere, especially when you are beginning. Want to approach the world in a new way. You wanna have a new mind or a new heart as you move through your day.

Little sticky notes and signs are just wonderful. And if you don't want other people to read them, like you're at your desk in your office, put it in your little drawer that's right in front of you.

[00:43:26] Laurin: He's hoping it up.

[00:43:27] Miriam: You know, it's like you just kind of open it up and look. Okay. Yeah, there it is. It's still there. Yep. Okay. Okay. So today it's all about, you know, that guy, I'm just not gonna like, you know, send him any icky energy and I'm not gonna let that icky energy come in on me. I'm gonna be peace. Okay.

[00:43:44] Laurin: Yeah. Well, the…

[00:43:45] Miriam: You know, you don't know what other people are struggling with.

[00:43:48] Laurin: Yeah, I, I was just gonna say that same wonderful yoga teacher that I had years ago. She said, you know, when you're standing in line at the grocery store and everybody around you is a little grumpy cuz they're in a hurry or somebody's, you know, taking too long, whatever, just smile at 'em and see what happens.

And inevitably it changes the whole feeling of the people around you and it spreads. Like it's really beautiful to watch, you know.

[00:44:17] Miriam: It is beautiful to watch. I love that. Everywhere you go there you are.

[00:44:20] Laurin: So, I always, I smile at everybody and say, hey, how are you at the grocery. I just always do that.

[00:44:23] Miriam: Yeah, I know. Oh, like your shirt. Oh, those are cool shoelaces. You can always find something nice to say to people, but you don't really even have to say anything. You can I, I have a practice that is at the smiling breath. You close your eyes and you smile, or you smile inwardly and you draw the breath into the smile and it changes your energy.

And when you are carrying a field with this high spiritual tone from your practice that you now love and do a lot, because it's so great, you don't have to have any discipline. You just show up on your mat. You carry this field out into the world, you'll begin to notice that the world is changing around you.

[00:45:07] Laurin: Yeah.

[00:45:08] Miriam: You are now an instrument for peace, wellbeing, harmony. All of these qualities that you are unfolding in your own practice now ring throughout your entire being and your energy. We're always co-creating with others. The world that we live in.

[00:45:27] Laurin: And our energy fields interact with each other, so yeah.

[00:45:31] Miriam: Absolutely! And so, even just standing and smiling to yourself while you're standing in line, breathing out that smile, you may notice that everyone in line feels a little better. It's something invisible. I do it all the time.

[00:45:47] Laurin: Yeah. It's cool. It's, it's kind of like being a magician, you know?

[00:45:52] Miriam: It is, it is. I love that. Yes. There we are back to ordinary magic, cuz it is a kind of, it is a kind of magic that you can carry with yourself. And even if you're not a particularly cheerful glass half full kind of person, it's fine. You are who you are. You are the person who you are. I'm not saying that we all have to be super Pollyanna and ignore the world and ignore the world's suffering and pain because those are real things.

That's that, that is part of the world. And at the same time, you can stand in a clear tone of energy and light. You can just be neutral.

[00:46:29] Laurin: Mm-hmm.

[00:46:30] Miriam: A neutral stance. You can cultivate a neutral stance to the crabiness around you. You don't have to, if you, if you go out there thinking you're gonna pretend to be happy, that is might be a bit of a struggle.

That's not what we're talking about here. It's something much deeper that comes from a much deeper well, and your contribution in the energy field might be order.

[00:46:56] Laurin: Mm. Mm-hmm.

[00:46:58] Miriam: Or grounding.

[00:46:59] Laurin: Mm-hmm.

[00:47:01] Miriam: Or balance. Those aren't Pollyanna at all. That does not depend on you having a happy-go-lucky attitude.

[00:47:08] Laurin: No.

[00:47:09] Miriam: You know?

[00:47:09] Laurin: Even just a place of calm. You know?

[00:47:12] Miriam: A place of calm. Right. So, all of those qualities can be things that you can bring forward, whatever your fundamental qualities are that you would like to see more in the world, bring those forward.

[00:47:25] Laurin: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Lovely. All right. I, I, gosh, we could just keep talking and talking. This is so much fun. But I think perhaps we are gonna stop right there, cuz I think that's a good place to leave people with some ideas of how they can begin to bring this into the world with them. I'm a big believer in, you know, it's great to cultivate this in ourselves, but we need to share it with the world.

And so, I love that we've brought that in. I think what we're gonna do now is turn to the rapid-fire questions,

[00:47:55] Miriam: Okay.

[00:47:56] Laurin: So, I ask all of my guests these same four questions and they're just, you know, just for fun. And so don't think too hard about it. Whatever comes to mind first is, is a great answer.

[00:48:07] Miriam: Okay.

[00:48:08] Laurin: They are also not hard. Who is or was the wisest person in your life?

[00:48:13] Miriam: My, my current spiritual teacher, his name is Duane Packer.

[00:48:17] Laurin: Okay. What's so wise about him?

[00:48:20] Miriam: The depth of his knowingness and the way that he can bring forward the, just that very thing that I need in the moment. I can ask any question that is in my heart or consciousness, and he can bring me to a place where I am uplifted. And if a shift is available for me, now I can make that shift.

[00:48:43] Laurin: Nice. Okay. That's a, that's a good person to have in your life. All right?

[00:48:47] Miriam: I’m so very fortunate.

[00:48:48] Laurin: Yes. Yeah. So, the next one is, what's your favorite self-care practice?

[00:48:55] Miriam: Naps.

[00:48:59] Laurin: I was thinking about it this morning. It's like a long shower. just that calm. But yeah.

[00:49:05] Miriam: Yes.

[00:49:06] Laurin: Those are good.

[00:49:07] Miriam: I'm a big believer in naps,

[00:49:08] Laurin: Well, and you live in that beautiful energy out there in Hawaii where taking a nap in the day is just sort of chilling out. Yeah. Why not?

[00:49:16] Miriam: You know, it is, it's the, it, it gives me permission. I, I tend to run at things kind of hard and fast. I'm not a long-distance runner. I'm a sprinter, so I do things and I'm like really active. I have a lot of energy. And then poo, I've like, I'm out of energy. And for me, with following that, understanding what my natural rhythms are, I have given myself permission to just lay down in the afternoon, close my eyes.

I may not sleep, but I give myself an opportunity to reset and rest. So, naps, they're my favorite.

[00:49:51] Laurin: Lovely! What lights you up when you're feeling.

[00:49:54] Miriam: Chocolate

[00:49:57] Laurin: I totally agree with that.

[00:50:00] Miriam: I also have this really great puppy. I've had her, she's a year old now and she is a little shitzu and she's just such a little bright spot. Then she, she just makes me laugh. So even if I'm feeling a little glum about something or working through something that's difficult, she will find me. And she does this funny little dance with her paws and she sits up on her back legs and she does this with her hands and she's just funny. She'll throw things in the air to try and get my attention.

[00:50:29] Laurin: Uh, I have one of those.

[00:50:31] Miriam: Yeah.

[00:50:33] Laurin: Yeah,

[00:50:33] Miriam: I'm also really, I feel really lucky to have her.

[00:50:36] Laurin: Yeah. Yeah. They're, they're, we got a puppy during the pandemic. She's two now. But yeah, she's brought a lot of, of light and joy into the house. And you said you have all these little messages, so I think this one is maybe hard to answer, but do you have a favorite mantra or affirmation?

[00:50:52] Miriam: I do. What's the best thing that can happen?

[00:50:56] Laurin: Ooh, I like that one. Oh, I like that one. I'm always intentioning things and adding or better to the end of it. So that's…

[00:51:04] Miriam: It Yes. Yes. Well, it's, it's, you know, people always say, well, what's the worst thing can happen? It's like, well, what's the best that can happen?

[00:51:11] Laurin: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:51:12] Miriam: What's, I had that one in my car for a long time. I had printed it on a piece of paper backwards, so when it shines up on the sunshine, falls on it, it shines up on the glass of my windshield and you can read it forward.

So now, cause, cause when you get in your car, right, you're in your car and you're. Your brain starts to go and it starts to click with all those things that you worry about or the things that you have to do, whatever. And now I'm looking out sort of like Google glass. They have those weird glasses that they wanted people to wear for a while, It's my version of Google glass, and it's always the same message. What's the best that could happen?

[00:51:47] Laurin: I love that. That is a brilliant way to do that too. That is, I never would've thought of that. Okay. I'm gonna have to borrow that one.

[00:51:55] Miriam: You're welcome. Yeah, that's why I share it. That's a great one.

[00:51:59] Laurin: All right. Can you tell our listeners where to find you online?

[00:52:02] Miriam: Hey, yes, thank you. M I R I A M S And my podcast is Miriam's Meditations. It's available on Apple and Google and Spotify and all of the major carriers of podcasts. And yeah, please come and breathe with us. It's really wonderful. We have a, I try to do a, a short talk about something that's up for me, some kind of or something I've read that I wanna share.

We do our breath practice, and then we have a guided meditation of some kind. And the guided meditations are often about energy and sometimes they're about walking along the beach. So, you might get one of those where we're walking around Maui. So come on, walk with us.

[00:52:47] Laurin: Sweet. All right, so this has been such an excellent conversation. Thank you so much for being here and I hope the listeners have enjoyed it as much as I have, cuz that's just been, it's been a delight and I'm so appreciative of you, you being here with us. So, I want to thank the listeners for being here as well and I hope that you will go and check out Miriam's Meditations.

The podcast is, I haven't listened to it yet, but I found it so I can go and start now. I know I need to start from the beginning. And I'm really looking forward to that. So, I invite you to take advantage of that. It's free. Go try it. Do you ever have anything, I know you're in Maui, do you do things locally there?

[00:53:26] Miriam: Well, you know, this podcast started as a local meditation class, and then we had the pandemic. So, so then, you know, for I, I thought, well, how can I connect with my students? And so, the podcast was born and the podcast just wanna say one other brief thing about that. When I record the podcast, I am sitting with a group of meditators, we are all together doing the meditation.

So, it's not just me talking to you. There is a whole group of us that are live being recorded live. So, there is an energy imprint that is very generous and open, makes it very easy to find the energy when you are meditating with others. Meditating along can be a bit of a challenge to find the energy. So, when you listen to my podcast, you are meditating with our whole group, very generous, very experienced meditators, setting a beautiful tone and energy for you to be part of.

[00:54:21] Laurin: Nice.

[00:54:22] Miriam: That being said, I have not gotten to doing any other live practices here on the island, but stay tuned. I might.

[00:54:29] Laurin: Okay. All right. All right. I think that we have come to the end of our, our conversation with Miriam Trahan today, and I hope to see you next week for the next episode of Curiously Wise. We release a new episode every Tuesday, and it's always a great conversation. I have been so blessed to have great people join me here, so have a wonderful day and we'll see you next time.

Thank you so much for joining us today on Curiously Wise. If you enjoyed this episode, please be sure to subscribe so you don't miss future fabulous conversations. And if you had any ahas, please share them in a review on Apple Podcasts so we can continue to pay forward the unique wisdom we all have.

If you want to know more about me or my intuitive energy healing practice Heartlight Wellness, please head over to my website.

Curiously Wise is a team effort. I am grateful for the skill and enthusiasm. Arlene Membrot, our producer, and Sam Wittig, our audio engineer, bring to this collaboration. Our music is Where the Light Is by Lemon Music Studio.

I'm Laurin Wittig. Please join me again next week for another episode of Curiously Wise. From my heart to yours, may your life be filled with love, light, joy, and of course, curiosity.

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