Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Brushes with Bromeliads

Every day, I tenderly pluck and sort the unwanted guests between the treasured plants in the garden of this life of mine. I carefully reach between the stalks and flowers I choose to keep and arrange them all just so.

And, even with the most careful attention, I never leave my garden without scrapes, brush marks and bruises.

Yes, some of the most treasured plants in my garden have thorns. I move with particular sensitivity around them lest they snag my flesh. And somehow even as they cut me, I am still able to see their beauty and feel their special worth. They reach out and brush against me as if they just want to touch, to say “isn’t this all so grand that we are here?!”

It is at that moment when I am wounded but still capable of loving – even those plants with thorns – that I recognize that this coexistence is the essence of thriving.


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Toughest on the Tastebuds

These days have felt so heavy, so serious, and rather dark…so much sourness and bitterness. I get it – our experiences are supposed to be varied – not all sweet and easy to digest – and those moments that are toughest on the tastebuds could actually be what is needed in the end for optimal health.

I also know that as I strive to make forward progress, even as I check tasks off the list and move effectively towards growth and change, if I get caught up in what sour and bitter flavors are to come, I may miss out on the tastiest treats yet.

If I can find room to smile, to laugh, to accept all that stands before me just as it is, I may find that what I thought too sour to handle is sitting right there just smiling back at me, waiting till I am ready to dive in, knowing it will do me good.


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Love as one

Love everyone and everything around you as if it were an arm, a leg, an extension of you.

We are all formed of the same chemicals and the same energy as everything around us. In that way we are all connected – we are one.

So, when we love beyond the perimeter of what we perceive as our structure and identity, we exist in a pure space of love…of ease…of freedom.

Oh, but wait…that would require pure love for oneself! Perhaps the true challenge lies in forming a steady stream of love for ourselves in order to feel pure connection through love beyond us.

Love requires truth. Truth requires fearless looking. Looking requires unconditional feeling. Feeling requires objective knowing.

So what if we open our eyes to see without fear, our mouths to speak authentically and empathetically, our hearts to feel without labels and judgement, and our minds to accept unlimited possibilities?

What if we can each find the “coeur”age to unconditionally love ourselves, to bathe ourselves in love?

Then, could we live as one love?


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i can’t breathe

Suppressed sorrow, inner anger, fear, hatred, and injustice boil inside of me.

My breath, my breath – it struggles to move. I feel all so intensely but for the capacity to breathe – to imbibe the life force of my being.

I judge with ignorance. I judge from a place of intolerance. I judge inaction and I judge action.

I accuse. I blame. I judge. I shame…it goes on and on.

I carry my own sufferings as well as yours, knowing the answer is to relieve from within, to activate a force of love so great that others and myself cannot help but be moved to peace.

I begin to see the mistakes and inadequacies and to release myself and subsequently you from the shackles of limited beliefs and misperceptions.

I begin to feel the shift. I begin to feel myself escaping…not as a victim but as a beacon in a rising space of forgiveness, freedom and love. The hate softens and I then hold so much more compassion, kindness and understanding for all the sufferings than ever before.

And, as this life would have it, the weight bears down once more on my throat, taking away my voice, closing off my airway, and so I begin again turning inward.

These times when the breath cannot be freed, I must turn to love and relieve the anger from within.


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Collective Liberation

When I learn to let go of anger, you begin to feel ease.

When I stop shaming myself, you become less judgmental.

When I no longer let my past determine my future, you gain hope and excitement.

When I can forgive myself for every and any mistake, shortcoming, and perceived failure, you let go of regrets.

When I remain in a positive state, your fears begin to fade away.

When I unconditionally love myself through the darkness and fears that arise, I invite your inner light to shine.

When I love me, you love more.

When I free myself, I free you.


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Pretending to be bored

Waiting for my thoughts to quiet.

With each breath, feigning an attempt to soften the tension in my muscles.

Always on high alert, my body is the ever faithful soldier standing at attention, ready to advance, attack, or defend.

My thoughts and feeling providing constant counsel, conducting their business at all hours of the day and night as if essential personnel.

It is a strange request I make that all the components that serve me in my daily busy-ness are called upon now to rest.

They are troubled by this pause as it could imply they may no longer be needed. They resist – the body…the mind…the emotions that want to protect and define me.

And yet, a strange and delightful spaciousness coats my experience when I am willing to just sit down and breathe.

It frees them all to not disappear but to serve me better. They become my friends, sipping tea on the deck, holding hands and dancing in the absence of mission and doing.

Oh, the joy of knowing my thoughts, my feelings, my body in the absence of need.

We rest here for a bit together, finding a freshness in how we coexist…

…and then we agree to do this much more often.


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Going the Distance

I feel your heart beating next to mine even though miles away.

I know your moments of pain and sorrow even without hearing you cry.

On the gentle breeze that blows, I encounter great waves of relief, joy, and peace as they ebb and flow in you.

Even out of site I know you are there.

We may be physically distanced, but energetically, emotionally, socially, we are closer than ever before.

Physical distancing,

Social connecting.

Today we may just be closer than ever before.


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On Belonging

It is not discrimination I fear as much as dejection.

Discrimination says because you are different you do not fit in.

Dejection says because I don’t value you, you don’t belong.

We all deserve to feel we belong…and fit in.


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Enduring

Tolerance is not ignorance.

Just because I tolerate your actions does not mean I condone them.

It does not mean they do not wound me, make me bristle or rattle my confidence in my own internal guidance systems.

Tolerance simply means that I am giving you room to be you – to learn and teach us both through your actions – to allow us to explore anger and fear, but also know patience, compassion, and forgiveness.

Tolerance is grace flexing its muscles. Tolerance is the power of my will to know my truth and allow you to explore yours.


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True Love

There once was a bright and shining little girl who truly knew her path and her gifts.  Even at a very early age, contrary to her young counterparts, this little girl spoke her truth.  “I won’t eat that animal…I just won’t,” she would cry even when it was the only opportunity she had to be fed.  I will dance and run.  I will play on my breath.  I will have struggles and need experiences along the way to help me remember who I am, but I will make my own way.  What she didn’t realize was how many others she would touch with her shining light, like a glowing ray of sunshine.  And so she grew, in her own way, finding adventures far beyond the comfort of many others in her circle of family and friends.  Yet, she never stopped listening to that voice of her truth – she stood up as she needed, she walked away with forgiveness and grace at times when others fell into compliance and complacency, and she shared and shared all of who she was and knew everywhere she went.  She didn’t need a title or a label for what she spent her whole life naturally doing.  In fact, others took her guidance and called it theirs.  Others wanted to ride the wave of her knowing as if they could capture that spirit through study or association.  And routinely many prodded and questioned her, demanding validation and justification around the path she chose. Nonetheless, she carefully sifted through all the disingenuous tethers, all the glitter and temptations, and stayed on her path, flanking herself with friends, colleagues, and ambassadors of truth, of inner knowing, of love…and she let the rest melt away (not always without sadness, anger, or feelings of loss, but carefully on the rhythm of each breath returning to wholeness).  She is a daily reminder of the gifts of expressing, honoring, and living as authentic self….of living as love.