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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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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Jagged Edges

Tucked into the crevices,

Buried between the rocks and sand,

Are little moments,

Precious little glimpses of life’s greatest gifts hiding just beneath the surface.

I could easily pass them by if not for the jagged edges that reach up, poking at my being.

This uneven landscape calls for greater awareness.

I draw upon my deepest core for balance so that the pressure and discomfort do not become too great.

Those jagged edges remind me that I have not chosen the easy path, but I am capable of walking this path just the same.

Those jagged edges belong to the moments that will require the greatest courage and persistence, but unquestionably will cause rise to the fullest form of me.


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Strutting and Swirling

My heart feels quickly, as if flowing on subtle currents in the air. Ego moves faster, thrusting against the wind. Emotions lag behind but still they dance closely together, ego and feelings.

Guided by the dance, I strut and swirl around with urgency, bravado, and sprawling feathers. Responding to surface winds, impulsively flying in a defensive posture, these auto-pilot movements are built on the residue of my stories.

Something shifts and suddenly I am still. For a moment, my intuition takes the lead. There is no need for flight , no rush to action. I know all I need to know as I slow these frenetic motions.

I land. I unruffle. In the not-doing, I am even more than I was just moments before. I hang here in the peace and stillness of slow-looking.

When I land, I am my most powerful.


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Flying above the hurricane

In the midst of the storm, I feel small and helpless. There is fear that the storm will overcome me.

I know of the danger in advance, but I ignore the warnings to back away. Instead, I hunker down. That is when the floods start, conflict swirls in all directions and visibility is reduced to nothing.

My heart pounds. I struggle to catch my breath, to make logical choices, and to know how to care for me and those around me.

And then I remember back to the time when as the hurricane developed I watched it from above. I saw it’s wild bands expanding, its dark center churning. From above I could see its boundaries. From above I noticed clusters of calm, bright sky swirling in the darkness.

In every storm since, I have acknowledged that I have a choice to turn away and even when I neglect that choice, I can find calm within the bands of chaos if I can just remember flying above it.


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Finding Joy

I love finding joy in unusual places.

In the raindrop that pokes my cheek and the wind that tosses my hair.

In the pattern of seeds that accidentally scatter on the floor.

In the slow looking that comes with the crowd of cars extending my commute.

In the exhale.

Here I am in my natural state of being. I feel no urgency, only a sense of calm and strength. I begin to know the essence of love.

Maybe finding joy is my super power.