Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Meditate Me

The gentle breeze brushes the hair off my face, opening my eyes to all the possibilities that lie on the path before me.

Sunlight bends and shifts through the branches above me, sending waves of warmth and shadows dancing upon my skin, drenching my muscles down to the bones.

The earth below pushes up into the soles of my feet, every step met with a symphony of sensations – crackling forest debris, jagged rocks protruding through the dusty soil, the path shifting and bending me.

The pops of green in the scattered brush and the sprinkling of wild flowers and occasional sprigs of berries remind me of the lushness in this life.

Smells meld together, carving new trenches in my memory, designing a magnificent tapestry of infinite connections linking the past to the now.

My palm now meets the furry edges of the bark on the thousand year old gatekeepers of this sacred space, full of knobs, notches, and burn marks, all signs of a life well lived. It’s touch drains the deepest crevasses of my being, tears now flowing in synchrony with the close by river, eroding the stone edges of my cheeks, chin, and chest.

All the pain, struggle, and fears, begin to melt. All the doubts and failures dissipate. My body, my soul now willing, softness consumes me, not absent strength, but expanding into the subtle power of me.

It is here that I witness harmony, balance, and beauty in the inconsistencies, imperfections, death, and birth before me…within me.

It is here that I discover my own capacity for healing.

It is here that I meditate instead of medicate.


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For a Smoother Takeoff

“Prepare your doors for departure and cross check, please” said the pilot before departing the gate.

How often in our daily lives do we launch without proper preparation?

The brief pause to transition from one moment to the other – to conduct a cross check and prepare for what comes next – provides clarity, confidence, and confirmation that I am ready to move forward.

This cross check also eliminates potential danger and reduces the likelihood of unfortunate outcomes.

On the rhythm of every breath lies the opportunity to prepare for departure, to make wiser choices, and be ready for what lies ahead.

And, with that next exhale, looking keenly and calmly ahead, I softly whisper, “Cross check complete.”


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Sail Away Home

Settling into my breath, I find the spot where the inhale meets the exhale – the moment of attachment of my body to the breath, the point of connection to my inner knowing.

At that point, I find stillness. Projecting from that stillness is a clear and receptive space of awareness.

From that awareness, I follow the path of least effort to discover my intention – the sensation, word or object that reflects my true state of being. In that intention I find reassurance, guidance, and confirmation in my decision making.

I sit for a moment longer in the stillness, awareness and intention until I can let go of all discomfort. Full of ease and comfort, my sails fill confidently with my inner knowing, fulfilling my purpose and potential.

Finding stillness, awareness, intention, and letting go, I sail away home.


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Disordered Eating

Sometimes I eat to soothe.

I eat to drown.

I eat to fuel,

to ease my nerves,

…to breathe.

Sometimes I eat to fit in.

Sometimes I eat to feel loved.

There should be no shame or guilt in my eating. It is in the stories I weave of need, of loss and pain, where the suffering sets in. Stories of worthiness, of import. Stories based in anger, fear, and greed…towards the outside world and more strikingly towards myself.

Sometimes our stories weave together and then again we may just appear odd to one another.

So, we hold a space for each to simply taste, receive, be grateful and full, where there is no longing…no gaps to fill, no stories to write or rewrite,

where the order of eating is founded in mercy, grace, and love.


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Barefoot

When I feel burdened, I go outside

and feel the whispers of Mother Earth through my feet,

knowing I am held in the vast container of the Universe

where there is ample room for me

and all of my emotions,

thoughts,

and beingness.

There where the earth meets the sky, I can pour it all out

and let the knot at the center of this struggle

begin to unravel.

There I feel the freedom in knowing I am not alone.

I am, in fact, cradled lovingly,

always

in these arms,

my breath as full and free as the sky,

my spirit rooting down.

When I step outside,

I step into being all of me.


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It’s time for an Evolution

Holding out hope for resolution or dissolution of pain or suffering brings heartache…a direct misalignment of the brain and heart as the heart knows that change is needed but the head resists the shift because it’s too much work to reorganize the memories, beliefs, stories. Gestures we make toward evolution instead of resolution free us to make transitions knowing all will be ok.

The shift doesn’t erase or do away with feelings – it alters receptivity and focus, it forges new pathways of being and seeing and offers a beautiful contrast informing contentment, the capacity to just be, absent good or bad. Contentment when fully present and balanced fuels joy and joy fuels awe…unconditional delight in experiencing evolution over resolution.


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Awakening

Imagine no more separateness. No more day. No more night. No more sleep. No more wake. Simply a space in which I rest when I am tired and I dance and play when I feel joyful.

Night and day converging, it is all just a dream. What takes place is all imagined – what power I have to control my story! I can awaken at any time to adjust the impression left by this moment.

I can dance in the moonlight, rest during the day, sun and moon in one sky. The yin and yang of life itself poised in equanimity, one space, one being.

When the sun and the moon brighten the sky together, that will be the moment in which I realize anything is possible, any story can be written or rewritten, and life is all unfolding under one timeless sky.


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Side by side

Together we navigate the waves and sands of life,

Asking simple questions like “what shall we eat today?”

Or “do you think it will rain?”

We sometimes gather with the flock to catch up and share in our collective presence and strength.

There is always the hierarchy to navigate and the stories of others that come into play – no less delightful but requiring a different form of focus and care nonetheless.

But when we walk alone at the waters edge in the silence,

knowing each other’s thoughts,

sensing the world together,

equal in the space we occupy,

that is when I feel at my best

and know my Self the most.


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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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Fragile

Fragile

Mired in the fog of fatigue, loss, and self-doubt,

I am more fragile these days,

More prone to tears,

aware of tightness,

weakness,

imbalance.

Heavy and slower moving,

hyper-vigilant,

frenetic,

almost desperate to break free.

Oh, to relieve the longing,

the striving,

the insecurities.

To return to my true nature.

I am more fragile these days,

but not broken.

Tucked away for now,

but I will surely bloom again.