Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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.


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Snowflake

snowflake

“Is he a snowflake?” she asked. And, in the silent pause beyond the question, I truly saw him…magnificent…sparkling…a treasure floating in the cool, gray sky.  Born of lunar energy, peaceful, bending, flowing, he works so hard to fit in, to be hot and fiery, but that is not his nature.

I could fill myself with worry and doubt about how this world full of tapas – heat and fire – will surely melt him. But instead I must believe in the strength of his molecular bonds and the cool subtle wind currents to carry him.

There are countless others in the sky with him, racing to connect and build a world of peace and stillness.

It is in the cool, gray sky where they fit best. So, I will give it to them. I will be the moon and the clouds. I will be the cool, present, flowing, calm sky that allows them to sparkle and gather.

And while this sky may seem less desirable and the darkness that soothes them uncomfortable for many, it is their time to shine. It is time to let them feel their strength and fortitude, to be just the way they are.

In this cool, gray space of unconditional acceptance, they sparkle. In the serenity, they can leave behind their struggle to fit in, their fight to find others like them, and the worry and self-doubt that constantly tugs at them.

It is time for these beautiful snowflakes to know their magnificence and for our world to benefit from giving them a space to thrive.


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House Cleaning

Life is not about suffering. Yet, frequently I fall into a pattern of thinking I am not fully living my life if there is not conflict or hardship.

I have made up a story that there is no room for me to be happy, no time or purpose for self care, rest, nourishment, and companionship. No space for laughter, play, and love.

Yet without those features my life is not complete and I move farther and farther away from my natural state of being.

I don’t even realize that the life I think I should be leading, the life that constantly tells me I am not worthy and not enough, is shrouding me in darkness, not because that is who I am supposed to be but as a reminder of what I am deeper inside.

I am enough just the way I am. I am successful right here and now. I am capable of feeling strong, happy, and healthy always. I am worthy of goodness.

I am made of love and my real purpose here in this place and time is to be a source of love for myself and others.

All the other stuff – the striving, the suffering, and self-deprecation — is just like cobwebs and dust, painting a picture of dismay and decay. However, quite easily with a swift and conscious swipe I can clear them all away to restore the beauty of the forgotten objects that reside just below.

In this cleaning of my house, I once more feel the freshness, spaciousness, and goodness that is intended to be. In devoting just that little bit of time and attention, that quick swipe, to restoring the luster, everything seems to fall into place. When that shroud is removed all that remains is the goodness that is in fact my life and who I am supposed to be.


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Flying above the hurricane

In the midst of the storm, I feel small and helpless. There is fear that the storm will overcome me.

I know of the danger in advance, but I ignore the warnings to back away. Instead, I hunker down. That is when the floods start, conflict swirls in all directions and visibility is reduced to nothing.

My heart pounds. I struggle to catch my breath, to make logical choices, and to know how to care for me and those around me.

And then I remember back to the time when as the hurricane developed I watched it from above. I saw it’s wild bands expanding, its dark center churning. From above I could see its boundaries. From above I noticed clusters of calm, bright sky swirling in the darkness.

In every storm since, I have acknowledged that I have a choice to turn away and even when I neglect that choice, I can find calm within the bands of chaos if I can just remember flying above it.


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Finding Joy

I love finding joy in unusual places.

In the raindrop that pokes my cheek and the wind that tosses my hair.

In the pattern of seeds that accidentally scatter on the floor.

In the slow looking that comes with the crowd of cars extending my commute.

In the exhale.

Here I am in my natural state of being. I feel no urgency, only a sense of calm and strength. I begin to know the essence of love.

Maybe finding joy is my super power.


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Just Ripe

When I am balanced mind and body, I am just ripe. There is no bitterness, no tough skin to cut through. I am neither too soft and falling apart.

Picked too soon, I am raw, needy, unready. Left to ripen too long and I begin to sour and decay.

Perfectly cultivated and connected to my core, I am a source of sustenance, giving flavor and nourishment without expecting anything in return.

Delicious, sweet and juicy, is what you get when I give myself ample time on the vine.