Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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An antidote for loss

When you are suffering, my smile does not mean I don’t care. It may be that I am just opening my heart more in a time when yours may feel closed off.

I am holding a space of warmth and hope in which you can feel sad but not alone.

Allow my smile to soften your pain and be not a blinding light but a guiding light.

Feeling and noticing love and joy in others does not negate the loss. It just reminds us of our capacity to heal and honor loss without getting lost in it ourselves.


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Contain Me

For each of us there is a layer that surrounds and holds our thoughts and feelings, that ties physical material existence to a sense of being. Built into the walls of that container are our beliefs, values, and desires, ever connected and blending with the feelings of others. These characteristics are what give the container strength but can also become places of vulnerability, weakness, and destruction. Stress fractures can begin to appear over time in the container where the values, beliefs, and habits are challenged, become inflexible and brittle.

Signs of wear or weakness are not markers of fault in the container, but a means for assessing whether repair or replacement could be useful. It may be the values and beliefs woven into that section are ready for reconditioning.

When I visualize the materials, tools, and mending — stitching the fabric, soldering the metal, molding the clay – and give myself permission to reshape the container, perhaps even layering different media, I can begin to fill and empty with experiences in a way that projects and protects the me I have come to be.


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Steadfast

When I become the mountain that I see in the distance, I feel my steadiness, my ability to withstand the currents of the winds and the torrents of rain. I may be walked upon by people, animals and time, yet the cracks, worn paths, and decay only add to my character and beauty.

I reach towards the sky never forgetting the love of the earth – the earth within me.

When I feel my true strength, I no longer need to be strong


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Badlands

I stand at the edge of what appears to be a barren and desolate canyon, seemingly incapable of supporting my growth.

Between the jagged and piercing crevasses, I reach down and discover I don’t need as much as I thought to thrive – simple and small gifts of connection are enough to sustain me. Humility, patience, and kindness soften the edges of the canyon like a gentle rain just enough to allow me to take hold and flourish.

Here I learn of my own fortitude and resilience. Here I may appear to stand out but it’s really just where I belong.


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Badlands

I stand at the edge of what appears to be a barren and desolate canyon, seemingly incapable of supporting my growth.

Between the jagged and piercing crevasses, I reach down and discover I don’t need as much as I thought to thrive – simple and small gifts of connection are enough to sustain me. Humility, patience, and kindness soften the edges of the canyon like a gentle rain just enough to allow me to take hold and flourish.

Here I learn of my own fortitude and resilience. Here I may appear to stand out but it’s really just where I belong.


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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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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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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.