Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Arabesque

The tightrope wire is taught and thin leaving not much room for play.

Inching along trepidatiously, the other side seems so far away.

Moved – or frozen – by memories and worry, I slide foot after foot on the barely visible line.

And then a pause to fill myself with breath returns me to my center.

Without any planning and responding only to the invitation of my breath, my body begins to relax.

My back leg lifts, my heart turns to the sky, and suddenly what I thought was only one path, becomes my playground.

There is still a bit of cautiousness – for I am in human form — but I give way to curiosity and before I know it there I am in a full arabesque on the wire.

Hanging on or flying free is the choice that is always there for me.

Thank you Jean McDonald for sharing this photo and your courage with all of us!


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In This Vase

I tried to grow straight and tall like them. I worked just as hard as they did to grow.

But, it seems I am unfolding differently. I wonder if you see me as suffering, wilting or weak. Do you think I am lacking in nourishment or attention? Perhaps I strike you as non-compliant or maybe even deformed.

Why can’t it just be that because of me their poise and beauty are more prominent while my stature is no less dear?

Could there be room enough in this vase for all of us to be equally valued and admired?


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Illumination

There lies a place in me that has grown numb and is forgotten, a place that in the cool darkness has fallen asleep.

The every day routines of existence have turned off the spigot of kindness, creativity and possibility. Even many of those rituals established to keep me awake and alive are void of meaning, passion, and connectivity.

I must step out of the sleepiness, the lethargy, and the isolation. I can no longer await the awakening. I must create it.

In the darkness I will dance until the vast potential and possibility within me are moved and my heart connected to the fullness, freedom, and gift of my essential self.

In the daylight hours and through the night, I will stay alert to those parts of my life that have fallen asleep, that are passing me by…and I will sing and dance and engage in such revelry and play that no part can remain unmoved, I cannot escape the awakening.

There I will find my essential self, my capacity to joyfully meet my needs as well as yours, and celebrate the wonder of life.

Special thanks to Greg Young of RGY Photography for the beautiful photo accompanying this post. See more at http://www.rgyphotography.com or on Instagram @randygyyoung.


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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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Every Tear

So proud of you for letting those tears go, no longer clinging to the emotions to which they had attached themselves.

When you cry, I do not see sadness. I see freedom. I feel the release of beliefs and emotions that are out of balance with your natural state of being.

When you cry, I see you coming home to the love and peace within you and coming into a greater knowing of who you really are.

Enjoy the cry my friend. Let the river of love crest it’s banks and pour out of you so that you can once more rest along its edge or swim in its soft currents as it washes away the imbalances, injustices, inequities, and imperfections that may feel as if they are confining you.

Let love flow freely on every tear. Fall into the comfort and release of crying.


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finding the way

Rain pounds down on the door of the earth.

The soil parts, making way for movement.

Creatures on the move rise to the surface.

Suddenly the water rushes in carrying us to unfamiliar spaces.

Momentarily stunned with uncertainty this new uncomfortable vantage point becomes home.

Gradually settling into a new way of being and heading in a new direction provided solely by the force of another.

Sensing the way, knowing now a different path.

Facing challenges and significant dangers, but moving forward just the same… determined to make good on this shift.

With the pouring rain comes fresh possibilities to establish new pattens, make new discoveries, test adaptability, and make good in the face of adversity.


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The walk

Do not worry, my friend…we know the way. To stumble or feel unsure does not require that we abandon the walk. Rather, it is simply calling upon us to step more genuinely and confidently across the stones, to move more freely to the rhythm of our own knowing. We have been preparing to walk these stones, this path, for a lifetime. You know the way.


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True Love

There once was a bright and shining little girl who truly knew her path and her gifts.  Even at a very early age, contrary to her young counterparts, this little girl spoke her truth.  “I won’t eat that animal…I just won’t,” she would cry even when it was the only opportunity she had to be fed.  I will dance and run.  I will play on my breath.  I will have struggles and need experiences along the way to help me remember who I am, but I will make my own way.  What she didn’t realize was how many others she would touch with her shining light, like a glowing ray of sunshine.  And so she grew, in her own way, finding adventures far beyond the comfort of many others in her circle of family and friends.  Yet, she never stopped listening to that voice of her truth – she stood up as she needed, she walked away with forgiveness and grace at times when others fell into compliance and complacency, and she shared and shared all of who she was and knew everywhere she went.  She didn’t need a title or a label for what she spent her whole life naturally doing.  In fact, others took her guidance and called it theirs.  Others wanted to ride the wave of her knowing as if they could capture that spirit through study or association.  And routinely many prodded and questioned her, demanding validation and justification around the path she chose. Nonetheless, she carefully sifted through all the disingenuous tethers, all the glitter and temptations, and stayed on her path, flanking herself with friends, colleagues, and ambassadors of truth, of inner knowing, of love…and she let the rest melt away (not always without sadness, anger, or feelings of loss, but carefully on the rhythm of each breath returning to wholeness).  She is a daily reminder of the gifts of expressing, honoring, and living as authentic self….of living as love.

 


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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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Emptying

When I start with the exhale, I start with a release, emptying space so that I can fill it just so. Filling becomes not as urgent when I am no longer grasping for the next inhale but expanding intensionally to receive it.

Emptying allows the filling to happen with less effort, with the simple purpose of fulfillment as opposed to rescuing or catapulting me.

With intensional emptying comes graceful, careful filling.

For it is not the act of filling that carries me on as much as the emptying which provides the space and focus for me to move on more fully.

Slowing down and extending the process of releasing creates more emptiness, more space for nothing that in return leaves me more ready to fill with everything.