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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Focus

Sometimes hyper focus may seem lovely but it could actually be clouding my capacity to see.

I’m not distracted…I’m just interested in more exceptional things!


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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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Branching out

When I tap into the channels of giving, grace, and peace in me, I become a place of respite.

Like a leaf offering shade or a branch to swing upon, I bend and sway to provide a universal place for all to play and rest,

where we can breathe, soften, and melt into the essence of our being.

For when I open these channels of love to you, my roots find strength.

I stretch into my purpose.

Together we branch out.

In our oneness, we more fully expand into who we are each meant to be.


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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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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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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?