Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Contrails

Every morning through my window I watch the airplanes carve a path through the sky, a seemingly straight line built of swirling vortices.

The pilots consider themselves on a steadfast course, honed to the coordinates entered.

But as I watch the swath cover the sky, I see that one path dissipates into a thousand threads of opportunity to go in a different direction.

What one perceives as the path another sees as the starting point. A straight line swirls and morphs into a cloud.

There is nothing wrong with the trajectory on which I ride, but I find it quite fun to imagine where else I might go.


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Hmmmmm

A tear carves a cool path along my skin. My heart pounds furiously against the constricted edges of my body. Focused on my imperfections, I am frozen.

Motionless, my attention is suddenly diverted to a deep and robust murmur in the sky. I slowly turn and open my eyes to find a hummingbird still yet racing in the sky before me.

Wings fluttering so quickly I cannot see them, heart beating 500 times the speed of mine, there it hovers, searching just like me for nourishment in its motionless.

It’s lightness as much a reality as my heaviness.

Joy and freedom projecting from its racing heart and pounding wings.

My racing heart begins to feel less burdened.

My constricted body is now inspired to move.

The illusion I’ve created of my suffering fades.

I find nourishment in transforming my experiences into joy and lightness, choosing the qualities of a hummingbird over failure.


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Meditate Me

The gentle breeze brushes the hair off my face, opening my eyes to all the possibilities that lie on the path before me.

Sunlight bends and shifts through the branches above me, sending waves of warmth and shadows dancing upon my skin, drenching my muscles down to the bones.

The earth below pushes up into the soles of my feet, every step met with a symphony of sensations – crackling forest debris, jagged rocks protruding through the dusty soil, the path shifting and bending me.

The pops of green in the scattered brush and the sprinkling of wild flowers and occasional sprigs of berries remind me of the lushness in this life.

Smells meld together, carving new trenches in my memory, designing a magnificent tapestry of infinite connections linking the past to the now.

My palm now meets the furry edges of the bark on the thousand year old gatekeepers of this sacred space, full of knobs, notches, and burn marks, all signs of a life well lived. It’s touch drains the deepest crevasses of my being, tears now flowing in synchrony with the close by river, eroding the stone edges of my cheeks, chin, and chest.

All the pain, struggle, and fears, begin to melt. All the doubts and failures dissipate. My body, my soul now willing, softness consumes me, not absent strength, but expanding into the subtle power of me.

It is here that I witness harmony, balance, and beauty in the inconsistencies, imperfections, death, and birth before me…within me.

It is here that I discover my own capacity for healing.

It is here that I meditate instead of medicate.


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Does size matter?

When the energy in a situation gets big do you get bigger?

When the energy gets big, do you get littler?

Neither is right or wrong, they just produce different effects.

Where I match the energy carefully and skillfully in its bigness, riding the inhale to its peak, I can take that energy by the hand and usher it to a more stable space.

When I remain small in the big energy I model a means to come back to center, a way to arrive home on the wave of the exhale.

So I can choose whether to breathe in and ride up or breathe out and come back. Where I get into trouble is if I only head one way and forget that there is an inhale and an exhale in every encounter and that big and little are compliments as much as contrasts.


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For a Smoother Takeoff

“Prepare your doors for departure and cross check, please” said the pilot before departing the gate.

How often in our daily lives do we launch without proper preparation?

The brief pause to transition from one moment to the other – to conduct a cross check and prepare for what comes next – provides clarity, confidence, and confirmation that I am ready to move forward.

This cross check also eliminates potential danger and reduces the likelihood of unfortunate outcomes.

On the rhythm of every breath lies the opportunity to prepare for departure, to make wiser choices, and be ready for what lies ahead.

And, with that next exhale, looking keenly and calmly ahead, I softly whisper, “Cross check complete.”


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Sail Away Home

Settling into my breath, I find the spot where the inhale meets the exhale – the moment of attachment of my body to the breath, the point of connection to my inner knowing.

At that point, I find stillness. Projecting from that stillness is a clear and receptive space of awareness.

From that awareness, I follow the path of least effort to discover my intention – the sensation, word or object that reflects my true state of being. In that intention I find reassurance, guidance, and confirmation in my decision making.

I sit for a moment longer in the stillness, awareness and intention until I can let go of all discomfort. Full of ease and comfort, my sails fill confidently with my inner knowing, fulfilling my purpose and potential.

Finding stillness, awareness, intention, and letting go, I sail away home.


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Tasty

Deer focus on abundance. They notice gardens full of nourishment. They find forests of ample places to secure refuge. Deer take only what they need to thrive.

Today, I realized I might not always have that same perspective. As I trim the stems of the hosta that the deer so greatly love to eat, I see waste, carnage, and destruction.

But upon closer look, I notice the removal of foliage at the edges allows room for the little leaves to stretch, the ground to be watered, and sun to reach the stalks of the plants.

The nibbling by the deer makes room for new growth and beauty in a different way. Much like the traumas and obstacles in my lifetime, at first glance they may appear devouring but seeing them just as the act that came before the next one, the action leading to anew, gives me room to flourish.

Yes, I will be more positive minded like the deer, and for-give (give room for all actions that came before now) knowing it all leads me to greater nourishment. Taking only what I need to thrive and leaving all the rest. And, that tastes very good.


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Free falling

Whether a soft trickle or a torrent force, allow your life to freely move through and around you.

Maintain the firm and steady sense of earth below you and feel your life caress your edges gliding smoothly along your seams and boundaries. Let that be the reminder of who you are.

This is what it means to be in the flow.


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Focus

Sometimes hyper focus may seem lovely but it could actually be clouding my capacity to see.

I’m not distracted…I’m just interested in more exceptional things!


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In the Driver’s Seat

On unfamiliar roads, blanketed by haze, twists and corners hide edges of the unknown.

The brave driver before me accelerates, swiftly and confidently maneuvering along the path. I race to keep up. Staying close I can watch and adjust my moves as I mirror the course they have chosen. It feels safe here as I follow, although risks still lurk there – my success based upon that driver’s talents.

Suddenly, they are gone, the road before me empty. Separated from the leader, I now find myself in the lead. I slow down, not as sure anymore. I question my confidence at every corner and offer to move to the back of the pack and let the others lead.

Facing that unknown road and my insecurities and at the same time free to choose and follow my own course of action, I am reminded not to worry about those behind me. They may be grateful for my paving the way. It is now up to them to keep up.

It is the wise driver who knows when to ease off, stop following, trying to keep up, and decides to become the newest leader.