Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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The Way

Standing on the precipice, mountains before me and behind me, I contemplate briefly the ascent or decent into the unknown.

No worries that the fog hinders my view because I feel my feet. I know that each moment, step by attuned step, I will find the earth and the sure footing that only comes with internal clarity.

Like the goat that climbs the rocks and edges of the cliffs with certainty, I approach the present, with the same attention to which I have all too often focused on my future and my past.

Looking back and looking forward the fog distorts the view. The lack of clarity forces me to see here, only that which is right in front of me.

In this moment, I put my hooves to the ground. I see the steps I need to take right here and now. I do not need to see the mountains in the foreground to know my way.


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Waking Up Happy

This morning, just as dawn broke in the sky, my eyes fluttered open.

Immediately my body tensed as I filled my head with to-do items, remaining self-criticism of all my failures and missed deadlines and opportunities of the day before, and doubts about whether I could make anything worthwhile out of today.

And just before I peeled back the covers and dashed off to start another arduous day, I wondered what was it like when I would just wake up happy?

There must have been a time in life when my first thoughts weren’t of the past or future but of noticing right now,

Where I simply noticed the cool of the morning air on my cheeks, the stillness of my body, the comfort of my bed.

A time when I felt whole, complete and not in a rush to hurry on or recoil into hiding.

I felt my way back into my body with a kind reacquaintance as if welcoming back an old and dear friend.

I noticed little sounds and followed them rhythmically in my mind sometimes as they travelled to me and sometimes back to their source.

I made no plan for what was next.

And on the voice that travels through the cells of my body softly said

This is love,

This is joy,

This is who I am.

I waited and waited there until that one memory resurfaced of that time when I awoke like this…or at least it conjured the feeling I had awoken like this.

I felt into that fully…waking up as enough, waking up with my heart open, waking up in love with myself and knowing that anything is possible when I wake up happy.


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Seeking My Place in the Sun

I am never quite sure what challenges lie ahead.

I reach out, spreading my branches despite the fog.

I do not know what I will touch or be touched by.

I cannot help but feel a darkness lurking there, fear ever present in knowing there may be hurt or pain in the unknowns and unkinds that secretly swirl around me.

The fog fuels my insecurity as the branches of other trees press against me further threatening my place in the sun.

It is then that I remember that I am made to bend and sway.

I reach not with my branches but deep down through my roots.

I extend my roots for both of us, steadying me and gently holding you so that together we can face the fog and darkness with greater certainty.

I am grateful to feel your roots hold me in return.

Under the pressure to withstand, when I feel and share my roots I need not push away those that cast shadows.

We need not struggle to find our way alone.

As I lend strength, I find security.

As I steady others, we stand together,

equally thriving,

despite the fog.


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It’s not bad, it’s just now

Someone reminded me this week that I am a grown up. As such, I have the capacity to care for myself, even survive on my own, and I have the luxury of absolute choice.

Sure, I know I am a grown up and can make choices but I still have the fear of a child. I fear making choices that will be wrong, cause suffering, or result in bad consequences.

As I further consider my power of choice, I am just now realizing that perhaps there are no right or wrong consequences. There really is no good versus bad. I do not need to avoid a choice because the outcome is not crystal clear or safe enough to follow through on.

I can chose to do or not do anything. Yes it comes with consequences but it also cultivates freedom.

Each consequence is simply another opportunity for choice, an opportunity to play more confidently and creatively with my power to choose.

Karma, choice in action, is not the punishment that results from my choices but the next actions available to me as a result of my choosing.

I do not need to avoid choices or fear consequences any more. I am a grown up. I just need to be ready to make the next choice.


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Never Alone

Harmony begins with

befriending myself.

Relying on me

to validate who I am.

Ready to stand today,

not alone,

but in my own-ness.

Seeking not to change

who you are

or have you define me.

Rather, changing my

perspective and

choosing with great care

relationships

that inspire

only

my own

vivacious,

joyful,

powerful,

truest

Self.


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A stone’s throw

To cross the stream, I search for stones that seem fixed despite the moving waters.

These stones suggest a level of safety in my crossing as they seen unmoved by the current,

stronger than I could be on my own.

Is the stream really too deep and forceful that I need the stones or

can I make the crossing?

I question my capacity to carry myself,

despite the quiet flash of reassurance in my belly suggesting I could navigate the waters just fine on my own.

I turn instead to the stones’ promise to hold me.

Without hesitation, I step wildly, quickly, with hope that they will be what they appear to be.

I put my trust completely in the stones

Only to find them unbalanced, slippery, unable to hold me, and

Depositing me completely and fully into the water.

My trust in the stones vanishes into the darkness.

I fight the current…the message…trust no one.

Suddenly the flash returns…trust…trust yourself.

It doesn’t have to be steady, clear, easy, or look a certain way.

I dive into the self-reliance that holds me, guides me, connects me with the edge of safety.

There in that moment I find trust on the inside that inspires more reliable trust on the outside.


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Ripples

Each of us is standing in our own ripples,

Not different but unique,

Finding our own way to stay steady in shared space.

In this familiar but sometime unpredictable environment,

Looking for patterns that help us feel secure,

Relying on patterns that helped us adapt,

We find ourselves courageous enough to learn new patterns that allow us to thrive even more fully

Amongst the ripples.


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Heart Bloom

Softening into the knowing, she returns again and again to the stillness for answers.

There is no less hurt, confusion, and loss in the world out there.

It’s just that in the stillness she can allow the pain and suffering to pulse through her, filtering and channeling it in ways that free her.

Her nature is to swirl and flow in love.

Her job is to know and feel all that is there and embody love above it all.

She rests in the inner knowing that her heart is meant to bloom.

Artwork Credits: This beautiful sand sculpture was hand crafted by Isabelle Gasse at the 2022 Siesta Key International Sand Sculpting Festival. Isabelle is a well known ice and snow carver from Quebec, Canada, who is enjoying the fact that she can do this carving in shorts. Her carvings are as exceptional as her spirit.


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Every day

Even in the presence of the greatest fear or anger, I can exercise refined goodwill, fluid kindness…grace. Tactfully navigating life’s challenges is one of the greatest opportunities we have to embody love. Not just in the big confrontations but in the small everyday exchanges.


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Stepping Through

Every change has a transition, a pause between what has happened and what is left to do.

This threshold offers a clear and open vantage point,

an opportunity to be fully present, not leaning back or lunging forward, but knowingly and confidently stepping into who we are now ready to be.

Whether recovering from an illness, overcoming loss, or realizing dharma, we come to this threshold not by accident or failure but as a reminder of our power to heal and know greater peace and ease.

In this doorway lies an intricate and yet simple network of universal connections fueling our every desire and supporting our every need, holding us, preparing us, reminding us we are ready to carry on. We are never alone.

We do not need to know what lies beyond this doorway, or to worry about being received on the other side.

We need only remember the full and unwavering choice we have to be here, to step in and step through to the wild and beautiful landscape infinitely sprawling before us.

Photo credit: Clifden Castle Ireland, gateway to the wild and beautiful, captured by my mischievous soul sister.