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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And…

The wind says run.

The sun says stay.

The cool at the edges of my body says retreat…or is it calling me towards it?

The warm in the center of my being spreads outward craving more – warm seeking warm.

The body clenches and contracts in the coolness,

Portions of me are soft from the inner warmth.

I crave the warm.

I find the cool invigorating and awakening.

This tug of warm and cool, of retreat and advance, of contract and expand, plays within and all around me.

Ping-ponging from one as if better than the other or as one instead of the other, appearing as lack or wanting.

Then there is that moment…I recognize I can be warm and cool at the same time.

Where the opposites exist simultaneously within and for me.

Feeling nurtured and grounded, safe and secure in the warmth, and at the same time empowered to expand outward into the bright, crisp air and what lies before me.

How magical it is to be in two experiences simultaneously – like night and day, not opposites or tag-teaming but always there, highlighting one another.

A reminder that my world is not linear or singular.

There is never just one view, one perspective, or one answer.

I can have both but I am not without either. It is just where I happen to focus my attention, where I choose to create the story, and what I chose to feel.

It is the play of duality.

It is the “and” of being human.


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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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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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Pressure

The harder I rattle the cage, The tighter the confines become.

The more I strive for spaciousness, the more suffocating and unfruitful my actions.

Moved by desire, lofty outcomes in place, I remain caught up in my belief that freedom, success, and wholeness are not attainable…there is always one more sticker to put on the chart before I can experience that reward.

When I put aside the roadblocks of desire and achievement and allow true being to flow, there is still plenty of room for me to thrive and the world to know my magnificence, right here, right now, just the way I am.


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The Power

Rolling in, rolling out.

The waves may be big. The waves may be small.

There may be great space between or a quickness that causes me uneasiness.

For a moment I feel unsteady, unable to trust. Is it the waves or is it me I doubt?

I soften and focus my awareness.

I find a rhythmic ebb and flow within.

Doubt disappears as my internal rhythms take over. I settle into the flow.

I create the ease that I crave. I am not the waves.

I am not the fear.

I am the power behind it all.


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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.


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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)