Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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the view

I stand at the window looking outward. Not noticing the shining sun or the beautiful signs of life flowering around me. Instead I focus on the water spots, dust, and debris collected on the window pane. I am quick to blame outside factors for my spotty view.

But then I remember that I can wipe that window clean. It is not a conspiracy that the rain and flowers and earth have stirred up and thrown at me. They are not trying to obstruct my view. Rather they invite me to step outside, to clear the lens, and look in to see the beauty that lies there.

And so each time that window gets dirty, I know it is just a reminder to brush off the outside and look within. And when I focus inward with clarity, what I see looking outward shines more brightly too.


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Making Something of Myself

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Stand out!

Be seen!

Grab others’ attention.

Smile!

Press on!

Make something of yourself.

It presses against my nature,

and yet I go on as best as I can.

In all my efforts to stand out

All I really want is to blend in.


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In the Sea of Knowing

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Funny how we assign emotions, assume other’s perspectives, and assimilate outside experiences as our own.

The body works so hard to represent the advisory panel of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, but sometimes it doesn’t always get that representation right.  Sometimes we read too much into posture, expression, engagement.  We jump to conclusions.

All along, it’s just a series of labels we attach to things to create order — an illusion that we have some sort of control.

Let the labels wash away and then what is there?  Energy — plain and simple chemical reactions — that whimsically attach to illusions.  Eliminating the labels, we engage our intuition, not just our eyes, to interpret our surroundings.  It is not always what I see that informs, but how it bumps up against me energetically.

The real gift in communication and connection is tapping into that energy.

Bored…or relaxed?

Impatient…or enthusiastic?

Sad…or peaceful?

Or maybe the energy isn’t connected to the expression at all.

Lose the labels…make the deeper connections…feel the power in knowing beyond seeing.


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It’s Time We Come Together

 

Still Hands

We talk about coming together as family, friends, community.  Of course, we are social beings and need one another to share experiences, confide in, lean gently upon, and confidently hold up.

Yet, so often, in our coming together we climb over one another, talking over top of each other, thinking into each other, never really arriving in that space of coming together at all.

Even when we play together, our words, feelings, and bodies get in between.

What if we were to sit or lie down beside each other?  Comfortably, safely, in our own individual space, yet together in one place.

What if we were to close our eyes, quiet our thoughts, cease the chatter, and agree to simply be there…not to sleep, but to rest side-by-side and unconditionally hold a soft space of awareness for ourselves and each other in silence.

Then, as we drift beyond the container of the body, a dance begins…a dance of the breath, of connection without words, of equal sharing in this seemingly timeless space.

It is in this space where we are equals, where we listen to the songs of others, where we simultaneously share everything and nothing, where we see each other as we see ourselves, where we are in this skin but somewhere else.

A palpable collaboration takes place in this precious space of collective rest — wakeful, conscious allowing of the stillness, allowing of our being, allowing of one another.

Maybe it is not in a board room or at the family dinner table or on the basketball court where we can do the most leaning on, supporting of, and accepting of one another.  Maybe it is actually in this space of shared rest where we can find the greatest power in our coming together.


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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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Nudge

Let the world press against you – not to criticize or judge you – but just to let you know where you are.


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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.