Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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Kaleidoscope of Change

What is regular? Normal? The way things are “supposed to be?”

It seems our nature is to crave stability and consistency, to look around us for the expected.

Can the expected really be a constant pattern of change, redefined based on circumstances?

In the fall every tree chooses a slightly different timing and color and pattern of change based on its relationship with the earth, the air, and its surroundings.

Even the evergreen loses some leaves, changes shape, and becomes something different year after year.

This shifting is considered beautiful, an often awe-inspiring evolution.

No tree taking the exact same steps, no one looking the same, yet all normal, regular, naturally changing.

This change allows the tree to thrive.

I must remember there is no right or wrong in change, simply an opportunity to be unafraid, vulnerable, and resilient.

Think about the possibility.


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Pollinating

Moving from experience to experience, fertilizing each moment with the lingering imprint from where I have been.

Carrying just enough with me to grow a place to land tomorrow.

Taking my time right here and now to nourish and enjoy myself is the only way to ensure that enough of this experience sticks to me fruitfully.

Life flowers fully before me when I linger where I am and carry only the good stuff with me.


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Loss not lost

Funny how you work so hard for something to be over and then when you are done there is a sense of sadness or loss.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of room for joy in letting go but the habit that developed is going to take some time to get over.

Maybe grief isn’t so much about doing without as much as it’s about breaking a habit and finding comfort in a new routine.


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Find the way

Caught my finger briefly in the door.

Intense sensation.

Rush of pain.

Momentarily immobilized.

No blood, no mark, and yet I felt such an enormous affront.

Breath gradually returns.

Senses calm.

Back to OK.

Realizing how deceiving hurts can be on the outside…no way to know how the hurt is unfolding on the inside.

What seems like such a minor encounter could feel quite crushing on the inside.

Perhaps it would serve best to judge less and avoid assessing whether feeling hurt is appropriate and rather focus on finding the way back to OK.


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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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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.