Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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When the gates are open

I certainly don’t claim to have any part of this whole dying thing down. But I have seen enough family and friends make that transition to understand that it is not in the clinging to this life or the wallowing in the departure that brings peace. It is not in the anointing or in the fighting that we pass on but in the releasing…the letting go of the story, the belief that we are only of value in this living physical form, the fear we have somehow not been or done enough, and the pressure to continue on in something that has drawn to a close.

I believe we always have the choice. There can be fanfare and drama or quiet and stillness. Those left behind can wail and wrestle with their loss or

be happy for the soul that returns to the light, which I believe allows the departed to float more freely, untethered to the strings of our emotions, fears, and needs in this temporal space.

We need not believe in “life” after this body, but we can be sure that we are more than this body. We can be grateful for the space this body provided for us to play and learn – whether just hours or days or many, many years.

We all have within us a mysterious longing to be free, yet we spend little time preparing for the opportunity to run freely when the gates are open.

One thing that is becoming increasingly clear to me is that it seems the way to die may be to live in love, to surround ourselves with those who are willing to hold the gates open for us, and let nothing hinder us from feeling whole, content, and ready to run.


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D-E-F-E-N-S-E

Defense is establishing a boundary with clarity and confidence.

Defensive is lunging beyond the boundary with fear and doubt.

If you have a strong defense, you don’t need to be defensive.


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To Be True

standing namaste

So often during times of personal growth and expansion into self, we can find ourselves struggling in surroundings that seemed so comfortable and familiar before our transition into this new space. Family and friends become reticent, relationships unsettled.  We are blossoming into harmony within as the world without seems to crumble.

We need not own that struggle. We need not judge those who seem to be hanging behind, unwilling to change, as we move into these new frontiers or feel slighted as they perceive us as weird or difficult to understand.  There is room for us to all be who we will be.  The important part is to stay true to who you are…no matter what.

Remember, you are what you are…and what a lovely you, you are…just the way you are!


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Turn Into the Wind

Can you turn your face to the wind and welcome it?

Does the air upon your face invite inquiry?

Opening all of your senses to each moment can be so freeing, exhilarating, curious, pleasantly undefinable.

Relaxing into the current of wind pulsing against my face, I need no answers, I need no direction.

Turning into the wind reminds me what it is to be alive in this body at this time.

Close your eyes, relax your cheeks, open wide and invite the winds of life to press into and delight you.


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Inspired Action

I breathe in…

inspire…

inspiration…

awakening inner wisdom with the breath.

Stress and agitation squeeze that breath. In the absence of breath, there is no action…

Stagnant…

Stagnation…

No connection …

Nothing flows.

I am stuck…until I exhale.

With the exhale, the dam of emotions is released…

tension dissipates.

The breath comes rushing back in. As if startled awake, I tune once more into my source.

Inspired action always takes me back to joy!

Photo credit:

Inspired by Jack Blackwell. So grateful, Jack, for your sharing your photography talents here!


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It’s just a blip

Just humming along, everything seeming to go according to plan.

Then, there it is…the morsel of doubt…the blip in confidence…suddenly I have lost my way.

On the outside the path appears unchanged but on the inside the screen has just gone dark.

In that blip, that fractional space of darkness, I am momentarily paralyzed by thoughts that I am not all that…I don’t know what I’m doing…I become lost in judgment and expectations.

Everyone has them, those points of doubt when the screen seems to go blank. That’s when we must dig deep and patiently allow the system a chance to reboot, clearing out the malware and drawing on the back up files of imagination, courage, and wisdom to stay the course.

And then the blip is gone.


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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.