Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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At the center of my being

Right there, in between the meandering branches of my life,

the shifting sands of time,

the ebbing and flowing waters of my mind,

and the soft current that carries my heart,

there is a bright and constant light

that moves and shines through my existence,

the steady point that reminds and renews me over and over again,

guiding me back like a porch light,

to the warm, quiet, stillness of my eternal home within.

Photo credit: Brian Danahy (from the port of Mykanos, Greece)


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Budding freedom

Taking away someone’s freedom is the ultimate infringement on being.

When I impose my ideas, my values, and my beliefs on you, I limit your freedom.

When I think that any part of your mind, body, or spirit needs changing, I build barriers to your freedom.

When I create obstacles that exist from my assumptions and preconceptions and believe I do not have the power to change the way we co-exist, you cannot be free.

When I say I am powerless to impact your sense of freedom and that it is totally up to you, I am shirking my obligation to give you space to be free.

It is not just you that controls your ability to be free. If I lose sight of the light of love that shines in every one of us – in you and me – the light that has a right to shine – we cannot be free.

Today I vow to do my best to cultivate your liberation, your resilience and your fortitude, to be free.


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Delicious

Sweet, ripe, bits of tartness, sometimes mushy, juicy, occasionally messy and on the verge of rotten.

Dripping with flavor and full of surprises.

A steady flow of tastes and textures that overlap and give way to each other.

It has taken me all these years to realize I am not just the piece of fruit.

I am the whole fruit salad, meant to be experienced and enjoyed as a whole.


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Find the way

Caught my finger briefly in the door.

Intense sensation.

Rush of pain.

Momentarily immobilized.

No blood, no mark, and yet I felt such an enormous affront.

Breath gradually returns.

Senses calm.

Back to OK.

Realizing how deceiving hurts can be on the outside…no way to know how the hurt is unfolding on the inside.

What seems like such a minor encounter could feel quite crushing on the inside.

Perhaps it would serve best to judge less and avoid assessing whether feeling hurt is appropriate and rather focus on finding the way back to OK.


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Ripples

May ripples of love and acceptance help you see all the good in others so that you can see it in you too.


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Here and Now

Fear is born of the past.

Worry is tied to the future.

In the stillness of this moment

fully present

there is joy.

Instead of trying to form my being

If I allow myself to be

I find joy.


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A pebble in my shoe.

Here I am, walking along, awareness softly tuned to my surroundings.

Without any warning, the easy state of awareness suddenly funnels with precision into the soul of my foot.

A slew of messages instantly travels light lightening through my body alerting me to intense sensation.

There is a pebble in my shoe.

With each step now, I have a choice.

Do I immediately freeze, paralyzed by this unanticipated happening, shutting down, urgently driven to remove the discomfort?

Do I pause, taking notice, receiving the sensations with curiosity and kindness, quietly ascertaining my next step?

Or do I continue walking, noticing, and finding unique learning in every step, even through the unsettledness and unease?

Can I cultivate gratitude for the ability to feel, to move, and motivate, to decide with every step?

Whatever I do, it should be with care, not reacting but receiving, even when unexpected and uncomfortable, a constant reminder of my free will.


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Holding on too tight

Control creates the illusion of safety.

The more I seek control, the more insecure I become.

The more I allow myself to trust the not-knowing to result in wisdom, the uncertainty to to inspire clarity, and the gift of others’ feedback to grow my confidence, the less I approach life as a field of potential failures and instead find a river of opportunities.

The less I grapple with control, the more I understand how much there is to learn and realize how much I already know.


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Relief

The deadline was met.

The difficulty has passed.

The challenge is complete.

Is there a way to just feel rest instead of collapsing into this state of completion?

Must dread and arduousness accompany the work?

Why have I created this belief that I need struggle in order to be worthy of the prize of rest?

Could I move instead from a place of ease in such a way that the work is joyful, the learning graceful?

Could challenge instead be reframed as delightful growth?

Yes, if I choose to make it that way.


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No loss, just lessons learned

Change can be a trigger for grief when I view it as resulting in something I don’t want, something that requires me to lose what I have.

But when change is received as a marker of accomplishment of a stage or triumph over a challenge, it inspires a sense of renewal and growth.

To receive change in that way requires diligence and optimism. It requires a belief in me that all of my experiences are opportunities to get to know myself better and to play in the dance of life with you, this body, this world, even if it means it looks different along the way.

In this way, change becomes not suffering but nourishing, evolutionary, and a source of freedom.