Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Let Me Be Clear

So many times I have wished for a window into the future, into the consequences of my choices.

Seeking certainty in my decisions, weighing my intuition against the feedback in my environment, just to be sure I am getting the best deal, walking the right path, doing the proper thing.

All along I have sought clarity to fuel my certainty. I thought that clarity would provide assurance as if my choices could ever be right or wrong.

The day I chose acceptance over assurance is the day I began to realize there are no good and bad choices, no right or wrong.

When I seek assurance in my choices, I am doubting my capacity to be flexible, creative, and resilient.

When I seek to accept my choices I engage compassion for myself and confidence that I will be ok no matter what choice I make.


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The Way

Standing on the precipice, mountains before me and behind me, I contemplate briefly the ascent or decent into the unknown.

No worries that the fog hinders my view because I feel my feet. I know that each moment, step by attuned step, I will find the earth and the sure footing that only comes with internal clarity.

Like the goat that climbs the rocks and edges of the cliffs with certainty, I approach the present, with the same attention to which I have all too often focused on my future and my past.

Looking back and looking forward the fog distorts the view. The lack of clarity forces me to see here, only that which is right in front of me.

In this moment, I put my hooves to the ground. I see the steps I need to take right here and now. I do not need to see the mountains in the foreground to know my way.


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Bound to Thrive

Boundaries add to the architecture of the landscape.

Boundaries provide protective edges.

Boundaries tame the wild nature in such a way as to contain but not limit.

Boundaries provide soft and gentle guidance to ensure safety and prevent harm.

Boundaries do not need to be solid, heavy walls, or impassible fortresses.

Optimal boundaries leave room to move and breathe and gaps through which opportunities can peek through.

Whether meticulously trimmed and groomed or allowed to fill and empty on their own, the edges of the boundaries remain clear.

Boundaries can always be created or dissolved, but their imprint lingers, forever a path of protection.

Well-built boundaries are exceptionally beautiful.


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Waking Up Happy

This morning, just as dawn broke in the sky, my eyes fluttered open.

Immediately my body tensed as I filled my head with to-do items, remaining self-criticism of all my failures and missed deadlines and opportunities of the day before, and doubts about whether I could make anything worthwhile out of today.

And just before I peeled back the covers and dashed off to start another arduous day, I wondered what was it like when I would just wake up happy?

There must have been a time in life when my first thoughts weren’t of the past or future but of noticing right now,

Where I simply noticed the cool of the morning air on my cheeks, the stillness of my body, the comfort of my bed.

A time when I felt whole, complete and not in a rush to hurry on or recoil into hiding.

I felt my way back into my body with a kind reacquaintance as if welcoming back an old and dear friend.

I noticed little sounds and followed them rhythmically in my mind sometimes as they travelled to me and sometimes back to their source.

I made no plan for what was next.

And on the voice that travels through the cells of my body softly said

This is love,

This is joy,

This is who I am.

I waited and waited there until that one memory resurfaced of that time when I awoke like this…or at least it conjured the feeling I had awoken like this.

I felt into that fully…waking up as enough, waking up with my heart open, waking up in love with myself and knowing that anything is possible when I wake up happy.


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And…

The wind says run.

The sun says stay.

The cool at the edges of my body says retreat…or is it calling me towards it?

The warm in the center of my being spreads outward craving more – warm seeking warm.

The body clenches and contracts in the coolness,

Portions of me are soft from the inner warmth.

I crave the warm.

I find the cool invigorating and awakening.

This tug of warm and cool, of retreat and advance, of contract and expand, plays within and all around me.

Ping-ponging from one as if better than the other or as one instead of the other, appearing as lack or wanting.

Then there is that moment…I recognize I can be warm and cool at the same time.

Where the opposites exist simultaneously within and for me.

Feeling nurtured and grounded, safe and secure in the warmth, and at the same time empowered to expand outward into the bright, crisp air and what lies before me.

How magical it is to be in two experiences simultaneously – like night and day, not opposites or tag-teaming but always there, highlighting one another.

A reminder that my world is not linear or singular.

There is never just one view, one perspective, or one answer.

I can have both but I am not without either. It is just where I happen to focus my attention, where I choose to create the story, and what I chose to feel.

It is the play of duality.

It is the “and” of being human.


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It’s not bad, it’s just now

Someone reminded me this week that I am a grown up. As such, I have the capacity to care for myself, even survive on my own, and I have the luxury of absolute choice.

Sure, I know I am a grown up and can make choices but I still have the fear of a child. I fear making choices that will be wrong, cause suffering, or result in bad consequences.

As I further consider my power of choice, I am just now realizing that perhaps there are no right or wrong consequences. There really is no good versus bad. I do not need to avoid a choice because the outcome is not crystal clear or safe enough to follow through on.

I can chose to do or not do anything. Yes it comes with consequences but it also cultivates freedom.

Each consequence is simply another opportunity for choice, an opportunity to play more confidently and creatively with my power to choose.

Karma, choice in action, is not the punishment that results from my choices but the next actions available to me as a result of my choosing.

I do not need to avoid choices or fear consequences any more. I am a grown up. I just need to be ready to make the next choice.


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Never Alone

Harmony begins with

befriending myself.

Relying on me

to validate who I am.

Ready to stand today,

not alone,

but in my own-ness.

Seeking not to change

who you are

or have you define me.

Rather, changing my

perspective and

choosing with great care

relationships

that inspire

only

my own

vivacious,

joyful,

powerful,

truest

Self.


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Every day

Even in the presence of the greatest fear or anger, I can exercise refined goodwill, fluid kindness…grace. Tactfully navigating life’s challenges is one of the greatest opportunities we have to embody love. Not just in the big confrontations but in the small everyday exchanges.


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Kaleidoscope of Change

What is regular? Normal? The way things are “supposed to be?”

It seems our nature is to crave stability and consistency, to look around us for the expected.

Can the expected really be a constant pattern of change, redefined based on circumstances?

In the fall every tree chooses a slightly different timing and color and pattern of change based on its relationship with the earth, the air, and its surroundings.

Even the evergreen loses some leaves, changes shape, and becomes something different year after year.

This shifting is considered beautiful, an often awe-inspiring evolution.

No tree taking the exact same steps, no one looking the same, yet all normal, regular, naturally changing.

This change allows the tree to thrive.

I must remember there is no right or wrong in change, simply an opportunity to be unafraid, vulnerable, and resilient.

Think about the possibility.