Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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Seeking Beyond

In the cold, still hours of dawn, the frost surrounds me. Like a fortress, ice cakes the windows.

Agitation builds as I feel blocked from the broader landscape that lies beyond that wall of ice.

Straining to look past what’s right in front of me, I fear I am unable to move forward, somehow missing out. Life out there is happening without me.

And then my gaze shifts. As easily as the breath transitions from exhale to inhale, I see it…the beauty that lies before me as these little crystals of life come into focus.

Shiny…Small…Magnificent…Fleeting.

They dance before all else that lies beyond and will, as the sun warms them, part to change my view.

For now I rest in the marvel of how they gathered there to share their beauty and their story of the importance of not overlooking what’s right in front of me to hurry to the beyond.


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Where there is grace

Swan (2)

Gliding across the still lake, the swan appears motionless…blending in, yet standing out.

There is an ease to the swan’s movements – small segments of being pieced together to produce strong, elegant, fluid motion…unfolding in a seemless, timeless, effortless evolution.

The swan goes not against the current, but blends into it, rides it, and collaborates with it to create a presence and ease that cannot help but draw the breath from me.

Attuning to the breath, I begin to realize the power and simplicity in the life force that moves so strong, elegantly, and fluidly through me.  With refinement of its movement, the breath becomes balanced and smooth. A fullness and simulaneous sense of roaring power and simple stillness come as each segment fully aligns.

In that very breath, I am the swan. In that very breath, I know grace.


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Tiny Droplets loop

Quiet cradles my mind like a blanket of fog embracing the landscape, softening the angles and ridges of criticism, judgment, and doubt.
Pain and suffering become frozen silhouettes. Dark and light meet, their edges fading into one another as if inseparable.
It is in this space where I find freedom to explore the notion of existing without shame or blame. I don’t need explanations, answers, or stories. It is here that I realize there is only love.

In and around, all that exists is love when I allow the low-lying cloud of peace to settle in.


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Living Gratitude

impatient

Thankful for the gifts of mistakes…poor choices…and illness.

Thankful for the lessons learned through the suffering of others as they have so generously lit the way to the path of something else.

Thankful for the eyes that see flawlessness in the presence of imperfections.

Thankful for every scar that contributes to this living road map.

Thankful for the loss that serves as a beacon of hope.

Thankful for quiet act of forgiveness.

Thankful for the essence of grace.

Thankful for the peace that rests at the core of existence.

Thankful for this life of privilege,

and that you and I can be just as we are.

Thankful we can be.

 


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Hard work or heart work?

Are my decisions truly aligned with what is best for me?

Do I jump into action to make a big splash?

Are my actions tied to some sort of outside message board?

Can living just to feel happy be enough?

What if I chose empathy for myself instead of sympathy?

Or kindness and forgiveness instead of shame and blame?

Can I integrate my experiences, even the ones that result in mistakes, redirection or pain as essential parts of me?

Am I working to prove something?

Or am I living in these moments for my own higher good?

Could it be that by holding a space of peace and love for me I am holding it for you as well…

…and that is heart work.


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Slowly Shining Brighter

I am the moon, ever-changing, cast in the shadows and light of the sun and the adjacent stars.
Some days I might shine brightly. Some days I show more darkness.
To make things more complicated, clouds may obstruct your view of me. Your light and the light closest to you may dull my shine.
I may also choose to shine by light that becomes explosive, that combusts when it meets your atmosphere.
I may take on many faces and seem unpredictable, perhaps even volatile at times. Other times, I am distant, cool, and elusive.
Whatever light surrounds me, whatever stars I close to align with, it is just for this moment so that you and I can play with this light and these shadows.  
I do it all in the hopes that you will still see me through it all, reflecting light and absorbing darkness so that you can get to know me even better with each moment we share together.
In that space between the light and the dark, there is a great place of hope, grace, and love where we all can learn to slowly shine brighter.