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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In the Driver’s Seat

On unfamiliar roads, blanketed by haze, twists and corners hide edges of the unknown.

The brave driver before me accelerates, swiftly and confidently maneuvering along the path. I race to keep up. Staying close I can watch and adjust my moves as I mirror the course they have chosen. It feels safe here as I follow, although risks still lurk there – my success based upon that driver’s talents.

Suddenly, they are gone, the road before me empty. Separated from the leader, I now find myself in the lead. I slow down, not as sure anymore. I question my confidence at every corner and offer to move to the back of the pack and let the others lead.

Facing that unknown road and my insecurities and at the same time free to choose and follow my own course of action, I am reminded not to worry about those behind me. They may be grateful for my paving the way. It is now up to them to keep up.

It is the wise driver who knows when to ease off, stop following, trying to keep up, and decides to become the newest leader.


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Scattered

Scattered like the ripest fruit falling away from the tree, petals melt to the ground bearing the raw, delicate heart of the flower.

The breeze carries the evolution of being on its wing.

It is jarring, turbulent, and so beautiful…the scattering…

the falling apart to make something new.


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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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Real

When I feel angry, my world appears abrasive and confrontational.

When I am confused, all is cold and insensitive.

The more beautiful my world feels, the more gentle and receptive it seems.

As I play in this world with wonder, curiosity, and awe, the world invites me to laugh and be free.

When I feel wrapped in care and comfort, I find the world worthy of love.

My world is a reflection of my beliefs, a reflection of what I see on the inside.

My world gives me just what I see.

This is what is real, as long as this is the story I want to see.


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Asymmetrical

Some of the most beautiful things in the world are uneven, off kilter, imbalanced.

As hard as I try to always be in control, to have an answer for every unknown, and to maintain balance, there are those days that remind me that true harmony arises not in maintaining order but in remaining open to the form of the mismatched nature of my experiences with my expectations.

Sometimes imbalance is not only refreshing for the eyes, but needed to reset the soul.


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Learning to Knit

So much of this past year was spent retracted, curled inward, huddled up against myself. Darkness, distractions, and attempts to keep things all the same occupied much of my thinking. Circular thoughts woven into fears. Captive in this castle, spinning my time into the yarn of “what if.”

I imagined I was suffering, experiencing punishment of some sort. Separate from my routine, separate from others, separate from much of what I knew as familiar.

Now, a year later, I am being asked to do something with all the yarn that I have spun. I am being asked to go back to some form of the way things were, to put the yarn away. But I have rather come to enjoy the spinning and might just want to sit and spin some more.

Ah, but it could be time instead for me to learn to knit. There are endless possibilities of where I can go from here and what I can create. If I can only see that every moment is an opportunity to learn and create something new. How fortunate I have been to have this time to spin this yarn.

In this re-emergence as the gates slowly open, it is lovely to see what others have woven. Some have acquired new skills. Connected and inspired from within, they are already knitting. Some have rolled the yarn into balls to store away for another time. Some have just begun to make the yarn. In this experience, I have learned that I can resist the weaving, stumble and climb over all the yarn, or I can learn to knit.


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Stillness in Motion

Have you ever noticed the calm in movement? A dancer fills the stage with motion and even in the flow of the dance there is a sense of breathlessness, of suspension, and stillness.

Take a moment to sit and watch the falling snow or a drip of water in a faucet. Notice the stillness present in every motion. See the pause of the droplets, the gaps in between the snowflakes, or the steady space that is filled as you watch one flake make its way down, down, down right after another…one drip chase another. The moving object becoming the stillness itself. Feel time pause, honoring the power of stillness in the movement.

Move your body. Move your breath. Move your mind into the deep crevasses of the movement until you find the stillness.