Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Brushes with Bromeliads

Every day, I tenderly pluck and sort the unwanted guests between the treasured plants in the garden of this life of mine. I carefully reach between the stalks and flowers I choose to keep and arrange them all just so.

And, even with the most careful attention, I never leave my garden without scrapes, brush marks and bruises.

Yes, some of the most treasured plants in my garden have thorns. I move with particular sensitivity around them lest they snag my flesh. And somehow even as they cut me, I am still able to see their beauty and feel their special worth. They reach out and brush against me as if they just want to touch, to say “isn’t this all so grand that we are here?!”

It is at that moment when I am wounded but still capable of loving – even those plants with thorns – that I recognize that this coexistence is the essence of thriving.


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Love as one

Love everyone and everything around you as if it were an arm, a leg, an extension of you.

We are all formed of the same chemicals and the same energy as everything around us. In that way we are all connected – we are one.

So, when we love beyond the perimeter of what we perceive as our structure and identity, we exist in a pure space of love…of ease…of freedom.

Oh, but wait…that would require pure love for oneself! Perhaps the true challenge lies in forming a steady stream of love for ourselves in order to feel pure connection through love beyond us.

Love requires truth. Truth requires fearless looking. Looking requires unconditional feeling. Feeling requires objective knowing.

So what if we open our eyes to see without fear, our mouths to speak authentically and empathetically, our hearts to feel without labels and judgement, and our minds to accept unlimited possibilities?

What if we can each find the “coeur”age to unconditionally love ourselves, to bathe ourselves in love?

Then, could we live as one love?


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i can’t breathe

Suppressed sorrow, inner anger, fear, hatred, and injustice boil inside of me.

My breath, my breath – it struggles to move. I feel all so intensely but for the capacity to breathe – to imbibe the life force of my being.

I judge with ignorance. I judge from a place of intolerance. I judge inaction and I judge action.

I accuse. I blame. I judge. I shame…it goes on and on.

I carry my own sufferings as well as yours, knowing the answer is to relieve from within, to activate a force of love so great that others and myself cannot help but be moved to peace.

I begin to see the mistakes and inadequacies and to release myself and subsequently you from the shackles of limited beliefs and misperceptions.

I begin to feel the shift. I begin to feel myself escaping…not as a victim but as a beacon in a rising space of forgiveness, freedom and love. The hate softens and I then hold so much more compassion, kindness and understanding for all the sufferings than ever before.

And, as this life would have it, the weight bears down once more on my throat, taking away my voice, closing off my airway, and so I begin again turning inward.

These times when the breath cannot be freed, I must turn to love and relieve the anger from within.


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Every Tear

So proud of you for letting those tears go, no longer clinging to the emotions to which they had attached themselves.

When you cry, I do not see sadness. I see freedom. I feel the release of beliefs and emotions that are out of balance with your natural state of being.

When you cry, I see you coming home to the love and peace within you and coming into a greater knowing of who you really are.

Enjoy the cry my friend. Let the river of love crest it’s banks and pour out of you so that you can once more rest along its edge or swim in its soft currents as it washes away the imbalances, injustices, inequities, and imperfections that may feel as if they are confining you.

Let love flow freely on every tear. Fall into the comfort and release of crying.


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Pretending to be bored

Waiting for my thoughts to quiet.

With each breath, feigning an attempt to soften the tension in my muscles.

Always on high alert, my body is the ever faithful soldier standing at attention, ready to advance, attack, or defend.

My thoughts and feeling providing constant counsel, conducting their business at all hours of the day and night as if essential personnel.

It is a strange request I make that all the components that serve me in my daily busy-ness are called upon now to rest.

They are troubled by this pause as it could imply they may no longer be needed. They resist – the body…the mind…the emotions that want to protect and define me.

And yet, a strange and delightful spaciousness coats my experience when I am willing to just sit down and breathe.

It frees them all to not disappear but to serve me better. They become my friends, sipping tea on the deck, holding hands and dancing in the absence of mission and doing.

Oh, the joy of knowing my thoughts, my feelings, my body in the absence of need.

We rest here for a bit together, finding a freshness in how we coexist…

…and then we agree to do this much more often.


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Comfy

comfy 3

Here I sit in the middle of my couch.  Extreme joy balancing on one armrest.  Great challenge and sorrow on the other.  There are pillows and soft coverings that support me as I lean to one side or the other.

There is excitement and movement, equal levels of engagement and doing required at either end of my couch.

There are days when I slide over to one side and days that I spend a large amount of time on the other.  Neither better nor worse.  Both engaging my heart and mind in ways that are good for me. Both providing opportunities for me to grow. Both utterly exhausting.

Today I choose not to lean or slide. Today I choose to curl up right here in the middle of it all, to feel the balanced rhythm of my heart, lulled into rest by my breath.  Today I remember the weariness in my bones. Today I remember that laughter and crying use the same muscles.

I smile and melt deep into the cushions of my comfy little couch, so happy to have joy and sorrow by my sides.


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Splat! Eeek! Oh!

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Thought I had the shower all to myself.  Turns out a little frog thought the same.

As I hurried around the corner to turn on the water, it sprung from the wall to the ground with a giant splat. The sound was enormous!

My heart recoiled at the explosion.  Fear grabbed me.  It pulled the breath from my chest.  My body tensed from head to toe ready to respond.  My mind raced through the options…fight…or…flee…I froze.

It was at that moment I wondered – if I hadn’t been in such a hurry, if I hadn’t been so distracted with thoughts and urgency, would I have had the same reaction?

If I had been truly present and more attuned to my surroundings, would I have rounded the corner more gently?  Would the frog and I perhaps have exchanged a glance but then carried on with our business?

Because I was in such a hurry and so distracted, I had created an unsettled space for both the frog and me.

Oh, how fear takes advantage of us and sneaks in to catch us when we are off balance. And how our actions impact others’ experiences.  That poor frog would certainly have benefited from a little more care and focus from me…and I would have actually been able to get a shower instead of taking that time to sort through my surging fears and emotions.

 


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All Wrapped Up

All Wrapped Up

There comes a time and space where each of us longs to curl up in a snuggly blanket, to feel the pressure on our skin, the cocoon of warmth and connection.  This need for contact, pressure, and restriction is also the driver for the invitation of struggle, suffering, and conflict into our lives.

With difficulty pressing in upon me, I will always still find the same comfort and ease on the inside if I allow it.

It is simply a matter of the material of the wrap and the lens with which I see it that determines whether I feel it as nurturing or limiting.

The wrap is just a reminder to feel what’s on the inside – to know the true essence of me, undefined by the fabric of my experience.


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the donning of my awareness

I hear the birds calling.

I feel the rustling of the earth as outside the dawn awakens.

Sleep fell so swiftly upon me as the full moon watched over and with a new sense of soft inquiry my eyes flutter open. My awareness rustles with the sounds, colors and shifting environment around me. The morning presents itself to me, as my awareness awakens with the dawn.

In this moment, as my awareness shifts from my inner state of attachment to an interconnection with what is around me, I feel a different state of aliveness. An aliveness of knowing simultaneously what is happening on the inside and the outside of the container that I perceive as me.

This awareness is scintillating and soothing, clear and not completely definable. I am aware of all and nothing.

My awareness flutters and swirls like the newly arising birds that sing and dance just outside my window, tuned as well into the mystery of awakening.

It is in the awakening of the dawn that I can explore the awakening of my awareness. It is in the awakening of my awareness where I come closer to knowing the true sense of who I am…if I am who at all.

I begin to wrap myself in the dawning of this awakening. In donning my awareness, I welcome the awakening of this harmonious interconnection with all that is around me.

…nurturing the I iN All.


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In the Sea of Knowing

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Funny how we assign emotions, assume other’s perspectives, and assimilate outside experiences as our own.

The body works so hard to represent the advisory panel of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, but sometimes it doesn’t always get that representation right.  Sometimes we read too much into posture, expression, engagement.  We jump to conclusions.

All along, it’s just a series of labels we attach to things to create order — an illusion that we have some sort of control.

Let the labels wash away and then what is there?  Energy — plain and simple chemical reactions — that whimsically attach to illusions.  Eliminating the labels, we engage our intuition, not just our eyes, to interpret our surroundings.  It is not always what I see that informs, but how it bumps up against me energetically.

The real gift in communication and connection is tapping into that energy.

Bored…or relaxed?

Impatient…or enthusiastic?

Sad…or peaceful?

Or maybe the energy isn’t connected to the expression at all.

Lose the labels…make the deeper connections…feel the power in knowing beyond seeing.