Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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A Call to Activism

Live Oak - Activism

In the darkness, fear and anger deepen their grip on me.  Bumping up against ideals, opinions, and stories that I have formed, with urgency I am compelled to avenge imbalances and inequities.  I dash in to sweep up the broken pieces of what I perceive as attacks against me and struggle surrounding me.  I am driven to defend principles that through my ego’s eye define me.

This posture that I take implies superiority and gives way to judgment.  In my rush to right the wrongs, I become the being I so justly argue against.  Resentment bubbles up and my ego says, “they are not worthy…they should be punished…they do not belong…silence them…shun them.”

And then my heart whispers, “wait…they too are suffering.”  Those opinions I defend and just as importantly those I oppose are here to guide, test, and inform me.

To release my struggle, my fear, my anger, and my suffering, others do not need to pay a conjured debt for who they are.

Compassion, patience, and trust become my weapons against the injustices, inequities, and imbalances that swirl around me.

Allowing it all to exist and maintaining harmony, care, and peace…that is the true work of an activist.


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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.


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Eclipsed

At my core, there is a fiery hot center, a burning ember that stokes my will, drives to protect me, and provides great strength.

When guided by my intuition that fire burns bright as the sun in the distance, like a gentle warrior claiming victory through kindness and compassion.

When led by ego, it becomes blinding and oppressive, randomly erupting in all directions.

That is when I call upon the moon.

The moon with its still darkness brings calm, restores balance. Gathering and redirecting the excessive sun energy, the moon cools the fire to a soft, gentle glow once more.

The mist of ego retreats and the inner wisdom once more shines humbly.

The moon provides just the right light for me to see my way.

Inside, bright and shining. Outside soft and calm.

Harnessing the strength of the sun and the peace of the moon, I am whole once more.


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Less labeling, more living

I no longer have weekdays and weekends. I simply have days.

I no longer have good days or bad days. I simply have days.

Some days feel heavier and on those days I go slow.

Some days feel lighter and on those days I shine a bit brighter.

Whether heavy or light, I live fully and freely in each day.

It feels better to live without labels.


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Stepping Stones

There is a tendency for us to focus on the negative in the situations that are unfolding around us – to see the hate, the violence, the suffering, the injustices. We may see where we are and what is happening around us as a time of struggle, hopelessness, despair, darkness. We worry about what life will be like tomorrow. We may even fear hardship for our children as if the world around us is falling apart.

But our children are not afraid. They have confidence, perhaps just like we did when we were younger, that they are simply learning and evolving. They have a deep knowing that where we are today is an opportunity for them to succeed tomorrow. Those who are following their internal GPS are filled with hope.

So maybe instead of fretting about the politics, being angry about the hate and violence, and focusing on what is wrong or lacking, we are meant to relax into this darkness so that we can discover the light and have confidence in our children to know the way. Maybe what we see happening around us and to us today are actually the stepping stones our children need to lead us all to happiness, peace, and universal love tomorrow.