Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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.


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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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From the Inside

As the last of the peppers hang on the branches of summer gardens, I am reminded that all dressed up in their glossy and attractive shades and shapes, all peppers really do look quite similar. Yes, some may be longer or rounder, but for the most part you can recognize a pepper when you see one.

The truly interesting part is that what you see on the outside rarely relays the tastes and sensations that are discovered on the inside. Size, color, and shape don’t always indicate what you will find. Stand a bright yellow pepper next to a long red one and you might think they were very different until you take a bite. Then you find a delicious sweetness in both of them. On the other hand, line three different green peppers up together and each can have a distinct flavor — some cool and sweet and others quite bitter or firey. In fact, some peppers will even take your breath away.

All crisp, juicy, and designed to complement one another, peppers come in all shapes and sizes, all flavors and intensities, all suiting different taste buds.  Imagine if the world had only one type of pepper. Imagine if someone tried to decide which pepper was best for all and ignored the taste treats hidden in the others.

Isn’t it grand we have so many peppers to get to know?


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Brushes with Bromeliads

Every day, I tenderly pluck and sort the unwanted guests between the treasured plants in the garden of this life of mine. I carefully reach between the stalks and flowers I choose to keep and arrange them all just so.

And, even with the most careful attention, I never leave my garden without scrapes, brush marks and bruises.

Yes, some of the most treasured plants in my garden have thorns. I move with particular sensitivity around them lest they snag my flesh. And somehow even as they cut me, I am still able to see their beauty and feel their special worth. They reach out and brush against me as if they just want to touch, to say “isn’t this all so grand that we are here?!”

It is at that moment when I am wounded but still capable of loving – even those plants with thorns – that I recognize that this coexistence is the essence of thriving.


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Sloughing off

Perhaps just like with so much else in our lives, these days are calling for us to release ourselves from engrained beliefs, resist holding onto outdated information, and let go of old ways of doing things. These days are providing an ideal space for new and beautiful growth, the kind that emerges from sloughing off the decay.


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Enduring

Tolerance is not ignorance.

Just because I tolerate your actions does not mean I condone them.

It does not mean they do not wound me, make me bristle or rattle my confidence in my own internal guidance systems.

Tolerance simply means that I am giving you room to be you – to learn and teach us both through your actions – to allow us to explore anger and fear, but also know patience, compassion, and forgiveness.

Tolerance is grace flexing its muscles. Tolerance is the power of my will to know my truth and allow you to explore yours.


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Tiny Droplets loop

Quiet cradles my mind like a blanket of fog embracing the landscape, softening the angles and ridges of criticism, judgment, and doubt.
Pain and suffering become frozen silhouettes. Dark and light meet, their edges fading into one another as if inseparable.
It is in this space where I find freedom to explore the notion of existing without shame or blame. I don’t need explanations, answers, or stories. It is here that I realize there is only love.

In and around, all that exists is love when I allow the low-lying cloud of peace to settle in.


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Hard work or heart work?

Are my decisions truly aligned with what is best for me?

Do I jump into action to make a big splash?

Are my actions tied to some sort of outside message board?

Can living just to feel happy be enough?

What if I chose empathy for myself instead of sympathy?

Or kindness and forgiveness instead of shame and blame?

Can I integrate my experiences, even the ones that result in mistakes, redirection or pain as essential parts of me?

Am I working to prove something?

Or am I living in these moments for my own higher good?

Could it be that by holding a space of peace and love for me I am holding it for you as well…

…and that is heart work.


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Swinging on a Heart Thread

Working through the challenges of life is like swinging on the bars of a jungle gym. Each requires a certain amount of preparation, a great deal of follow through, and the ability to balance risk and excitement all for the sake of getting to the next rung.

Taking that leap…feeling that joy.


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Evergreen

Trees loose their leaves. The moon falls to pieces. So often I take these happenings as signs that something is lost or missing.

I see someone else’s fullness as my empty. When I stand in their shadows, instead of relieved and protected, I feel smothered in darkness.

And yet the moon while it looks at times to be a fraction of itself remains whole. The shadows cast upon it by others are simply opportunities for it to buff up and then shine again. It’s light always returns, often even more brightly than before.

The tree that looses its leaves is storing energy to grow into something more, recognizing that it needs not retain its flamboyant exterior to maintain its grandiose stature.

And so the fractions, the pieces, the loss and the darkness are not thrust upon us as indicators of our own lacking or shortcomings, but as an opportunity to be something we have never been before.

Each of us ebbing and flowing with change at different times and paces to remind each other that we can be greater than we have ever been before if we lose our fear of someone else remaining evergreen or someone else shining a bit brighter today.