Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Outta my mind

 

 

pour outThere are times when I should say, “no.”  There are times when what I need is to pause, breathe, and make room.  There are times when I will give myself permission to let go of outcomes and expectations.  Times when I am choosing not to make decisions emotionally or driven by ego…when I make decisions from my heart, where my inner knowing takes the lead.

In those times, it might seem as if I don’t care about what needs to get done as I slow down and slough off responsibilities.  Rather, this decision-making is full of care.  I’m not getting caught in the story of what this will look or feel like – I am dedicated to getting out of the thoughts in my mind and into the kindness of my heart.

It’s not that I don’t care…it’s just that I don’t mind.


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Cantankerous

cantankerous (2)

It is not my intent to be uncooperative or argumentative.  I never rise in the morning with a plan to see others as difficult or ungrateful.  But, soon antigens like stress, fatigue, and illness feed into the chaos of my day and next thing you know otherwise favorable relationships begin to sour.

It is easy to defend my actions, to blame others, and to deny the fear that gives rise to my crustiness.  But, for what? Why is it that just when I need kindness most I fuel the unrest?

If we seek empathy, acceptance, and compassion from others, we must first practice it ourselves.   Reflecting on how we come across and how we see others may help us to be more patient with the “cantankerous” people who cross our paths each day…and that just might make it a little less likely that we will be the cantankerous ones.


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Inspired Action

I breathe in…

inspire…

inspiration…

awakening inner wisdom with the breath.

Stress and agitation squeeze that breath. In the absence of breath, there is no action…

Stagnant…

Stagnation…

No connection …

Nothing flows.

I am stuck…until I exhale.

With the exhale, the dam of emotions is released…

tension dissipates.

The breath comes rushing back in. As if startled awake, I tune once more into my source.

Inspired action always takes me back to joy!

Photo credit:

Inspired by Jack Blackwell. So grateful, Jack, for your sharing your photography talents here!


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It’s just a blip

Just humming along, everything seeming to go according to plan.

Then, there it is…the morsel of doubt…the blip in confidence…suddenly I have lost my way.

On the outside the path appears unchanged but on the inside the screen has just gone dark.

In that blip, that fractional space of darkness, I am momentarily paralyzed by thoughts that I am not all that…I don’t know what I’m doing…I become lost in judgment and expectations.

Everyone has them, those points of doubt when the screen seems to go blank. That’s when we must dig deep and patiently allow the system a chance to reboot, clearing out the malware and drawing on the back up files of imagination, courage, and wisdom to stay the course.

And then the blip is gone.


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The Snag

The Fabric 2

A stirring, an imbalance, an unthinkable happens and there I am…swirling in thoughts and emotions.

Although we seem unconnected, we are tethered undeniably to others’ experiences, their pain, their suffering, their anger.  Their division and righteousness becomes mine, even when I don’t want it to be.

And then comes the arduous task of sifting.  Sifting through the messages in all of this…not what it means to my community or the statement it makes about my society, but the fundamental lesson for me in the perceived tragedies and suffering that stand before me.

I dare not admit how my thoughts flow in circular motions…how I cannot point at the right or wrong…it all just seems to come back to me, to the fear I have that any one of them could be me.

…the “victim”…the “suffering”…the “perpetrator”…the “responsible one.”

These labels belong to my deepest shadows and like threads dancing on a loom, have long since been woven into the fabric of me.

So, I turn my anger to the scariest one in an attempt to cut that thread.  And then the story unfolds, my experience is defined by calling out the grossest attributes of others although deep down inside I know they are still undeniably tethered to me, undeniably me.

It is then that I must fill with compassion, for each of them and for me. I must allow these situations and the contrast they provide to take me back to the center of my being, to turn inward and calm the swirling from the inside.  Instead of needing the contrast to tug at the fabric from the outside as if separate from me, I turn inward to reweave the threads, to smooth the snag so that the fabric on the outside lays out more seamlessly.

Each time the contrast begins to pull and tug at me again, I slow the loom, treasure that thread, and remember that no matter what any of us have done or who any of us seem to be,  the threads are the same – it is a complex fabric that tethers you and me.


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Snowflake

snowflake

“Is he a snowflake?” she asked. And, in the silent pause beyond the question, I truly saw him…magnificent…sparkling…a treasure floating in the cool, gray sky.  Born of lunar energy, peaceful, bending, flowing, he works so hard to fit in, to be hot and fiery, but that is not his nature.

I could fill myself with worry and doubt about how this world full of tapas – heat and fire – will surely melt him. But instead I must believe in the strength of his molecular bonds and the cool subtle wind currents to carry him.

There are countless others in the sky with him, racing to connect and build a world of peace and stillness.

It is in the cool, gray sky where they fit best. So, I will give it to them. I will be the moon and the clouds. I will be the cool, present, flowing, calm sky that allows them to sparkle and gather.

And while this sky may seem less desirable and the darkness that soothes them uncomfortable for many, it is their time to shine. It is time to let them feel their strength and fortitude, to be just the way they are.

In this cool, gray space of unconditional acceptance, they sparkle. In the serenity, they can leave behind their struggle to fit in, their fight to find others like them, and the worry and self-doubt that constantly tugs at them.

It is time for these beautiful snowflakes to know their magnificence and for our world to benefit from giving them a space to thrive.


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House Cleaning

Life is not about suffering. Yet, frequently I fall into a pattern of thinking I am not fully living my life if there is not conflict or hardship.

I have made up a story that there is no room for me to be happy, no time or purpose for self care, rest, nourishment, and companionship. No space for laughter, play, and love.

Yet without those features my life is not complete and I move farther and farther away from my natural state of being.

I don’t even realize that the life I think I should be leading, the life that constantly tells me I am not worthy and not enough, is shrouding me in darkness, not because that is who I am supposed to be but as a reminder of what I am deeper inside.

I am enough just the way I am. I am successful right here and now. I am capable of feeling strong, happy, and healthy always. I am worthy of goodness.

I am made of love and my real purpose here in this place and time is to be a source of love for myself and others.

All the other stuff – the striving, the suffering, and self-deprecation — is just like cobwebs and dust, painting a picture of dismay and decay. However, quite easily with a swift and conscious swipe I can clear them all away to restore the beauty of the forgotten objects that reside just below.

In this cleaning of my house, I once more feel the freshness, spaciousness, and goodness that is intended to be. In devoting just that little bit of time and attention, that quick swipe, to restoring the luster, everything seems to fall into place. When that shroud is removed all that remains is the goodness that is in fact my life and who I am supposed to be.