Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Luminosity

The sun typically illuminates the moon.

The moon relying on the sun to be seen.

On occasion they come into complete opposition.

The earth interferes with the sun’s capacity to light the moon.

For a moment there appears to be total darkness.

And then the moon emerges more strikingly in the sky than ever before, full of deep, rich color.

The moon becomes something new,

The dark more luminous,

The sun still shining.

Adversity the catalyst,

Throughout the darkness.


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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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Loss, Not Lost

Grief…it’s not about the loss as much as creating and being able to access a little warm place in your heart where you hold that connection forever.

I used to think that grief was the act of severing ties and throwing away something special because it was lost.

But now I know that grief is a process of storing the memories of the specialness of every experience regardless of its labels, conditions, and how it came to be or not be.

Grief is experiencing the loss without getting lost.


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The Pieces

Frequently I stumble over my desire to align myself with someone else, to feel liked, to fit in.

Then, I realize a little piece of me is already aligned with everyone else and that is what allows me to stand out.


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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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Caught up

Why is it that I am so regularly seduced by over work at the sacrifice of self care and compassion?

Caught in the net of a never ending to-do list that lures me away from rest and towards the mirage of success.

In the end, it is not the amount of work I get done but my capacity to enjoy the work I do and that is only possible with sufficient compassion and care.


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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.