Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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From the Inside

As the last of the peppers hang on the branches of summer gardens, I am reminded that all dressed up in their glossy and attractive shades and shapes, all peppers really do look quite similar. Yes, some may be longer or rounder, but for the most part you can recognize a pepper when you see one.

The truly interesting part is that what you see on the outside rarely relays the tastes and sensations that are discovered on the inside. Size, color, and shape don’t always indicate what you will find. Stand a bright yellow pepper next to a long red one and you might think they were very different until you take a bite. Then you find a delicious sweetness in both of them. On the other hand, line three different green peppers up together and each can have a distinct flavor — some cool and sweet and others quite bitter or firey. In fact, some peppers will even take your breath away.

All crisp, juicy, and designed to complement one another, peppers come in all shapes and sizes, all flavors and intensities, all suiting different taste buds.  Imagine if the world had only one type of pepper. Imagine if someone tried to decide which pepper was best for all and ignored the taste treats hidden in the others.

Isn’t it grand we have so many peppers to get to know?


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In the Lead

It is a lovely and intricate dance this dance of the head and heart.

The heart leads with what it knows. The head leads with what it believes it knows.

The heart lets the music guide its movement. The head responds to the beat.

The head counts the steps and searches the archives to apply with precision each detail. The heart feels every past movement, every tumble just the same and invites imperfection in its flow.

The head seeks the answers…the road map.

The heart sets down its notes and score card, turning its attention to the winding road before it.

The head consults the master plan while the heart embodies it.

Both are wickedly talented on the dance floor. Together their dance is spectacular.

But I do often wonder why it is that the head takes the lead so often.


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Going Bigger

I breathe in, filling with the life force that moves me into every adventure, like the climbing of a roller coaster to the peak of its highest rail.

I teeter at the top, momentarily suspended in the gap of the breath the frozen space of fear.

And then I soften, surrender, and remember I am bigger than the gap. When I become bigger in the space of fear, fear becomes a place of play.

I can wade, jump, dive, trickle or race through the gap, inviting the breath to meet me at the other side. As I move more fully into each turn, each bend and dip in the rail, I become bigger and bigger with every breath.

In the bigness, I am fluid and free. There, in that space, I cannot help but smile in the excitement I find in being me…in breathing excitement into fear.


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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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Toughest on the Tastebuds

These days have felt so heavy, so serious, and rather dark…so much sourness and bitterness. I get it – our experiences are supposed to be varied – not all sweet and easy to digest – and those moments that are toughest on the tastebuds could actually be what is needed in the end for optimal health.

I also know that as I strive to make forward progress, even as I check tasks off the list and move effectively towards growth and change, if I get caught up in what sour and bitter flavors are to come, I may miss out on the tastiest treats yet.

If I can find room to smile, to laugh, to accept all that stands before me just as it is, I may find that what I thought too sour to handle is sitting right there just smiling back at me, waiting till I am ready to dive in, knowing it will do me good.


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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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Buzzing with Ease

Whatever you do, do it with the essence of ease.

It doesn’t mean stop what you are doing. It means stay connected to your source, as if you are carrying your home with you, so you are not impatiently trying to get somewhere.

Slow down from the inside, even if the outside is wanting or needing to move swiftly. You can move swiftly, full of purpose and zeal, but on the inside remain steady, slow moving.

When I slow down on the inside, I find I don’t need to push so hard on the outside because I know I’m already where I should be.


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Collective Liberation

When I learn to let go of anger, you begin to feel ease.

When I stop shaming myself, you become less judgmental.

When I no longer let my past determine my future, you gain hope and excitement.

When I can forgive myself for every and any mistake, shortcoming, and perceived failure, you let go of regrets.

When I remain in a positive state, your fears begin to fade away.

When I unconditionally love myself through the darkness and fears that arise, I invite your inner light to shine.

When I love me, you love more.

When I free myself, I free you.


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Flowing

Creativity is a river always running through us…a river that sources imagination.

Imagination gives rise to widening pools of contemplation and greater depths of cohesion.

From this place springs the voice of the intuition…flowing strong and confidently into my external reality.

The more often I sit by this river and allow the currents to flow, the more resonant my knowing and the more joyful and fulfilling my experiences become.


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In a hurry to go nowhere

Motion around me could easily create a distraction or even be perceived as a danger. Motion around me could be a sign that things are passing me by.

Or, motion could be a wonderful reminder to feel my own stillness, to watch without attachment, and not be in such a hurry to get somewhere.