Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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Seeking My Place in the Sun

I am never quite sure what challenges lie ahead.

I reach out, spreading my branches despite the fog.

I do not know what I will touch or be touched by.

I cannot help but feel a darkness lurking there, fear ever present in knowing there may be hurt or pain in the unknowns and unkinds that secretly swirl around me.

The fog fuels my insecurity as the branches of other trees press against me further threatening my place in the sun.

It is then that I remember that I am made to bend and sway.

I reach not with my branches but deep down through my roots.

I extend my roots for both of us, steadying me and gently holding you so that together we can face the fog and darkness with greater certainty.

I am grateful to feel your roots hold me in return.

Under the pressure to withstand, when I feel and share my roots I need not push away those that cast shadows.

We need not struggle to find our way alone.

As I lend strength, I find security.

As I steady others, we stand together,

equally thriving,

despite the fog.


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Ripples

Each of us is standing in our own ripples,

Not different but unique,

Finding our own way to stay steady in shared space.

In this familiar but sometime unpredictable environment,

Looking for patterns that help us feel secure,

Relying on patterns that helped us adapt,

We find ourselves courageous enough to learn new patterns that allow us to thrive even more fully

Amongst the ripples.


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Tuning In

Connection is at the core of communication. How I feel about you and what you say is directly tied to my beliefs about myself. My stories and patterns of reaction determine the fruits of our interactions. So, in order to communicate effectively, I must leave you to your own beliefs and stories and simply tune my vibration to what feels good. When I leave all that other stuff out of it, I find authentic and harmonious connection in every communication.


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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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Lessons in Humility

How to be strong and vulnerable.

Look others in the eye.

Listen deeply.

Be Aware.

Allow.

Accept.

Fear less.

Laugh more.

Love.


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Unlearned lessons

I’m learning that your opinions about me come from your experiences not mine.

Your beliefs, values and habits were formed not by my behaviors but by your experiences.

So next time I judge you or think you are making a mistake, I will remind myself to pause and explore the roots of my feelings.

They were more likely than not aimed at something or someone that came long before this moment with you. This encounter just somehow shook them up or rattled them loose.

If we can both remember this we can both forgive and understand that the mistakes of other are really just reminders of our own unlearned lessons.


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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.