Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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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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Seeking

So focused on the work,

on striving to be something, someone…

The joy has slipped away.

But there is no need to run after it, seeking it.

You see, luv, the joy is always right here in your heart. Your heart just beats more loudly to the rhythm of some things, like walks in the park, playing in the woods, cooking delicious foods and wrapping up in snuggly blankets.

Include those rhythms in your daily routine and you will not need to seek joy for it will already be there dancing with you.


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Pulling for Us

Feeling the tug on the visceral thread that connects us all…riding the wave…knowing we are all so bravely in this together.


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Presumed Flavor

On the surface rests an assumption of flavor, texture, and tartness. Neither color, nor shape, nor size can truly tell me what’s inside.

I can’t necessarily rely on prior experience to guide me. I am informed and intelligent, yet my predictions are never risk free. There is always a chance of finding sourness, mushiness, under ripeness or rot. Even in the bitterness there is nutrition.

Am I willing to let down my guard, to go against the odds, and to look past the outside appearances and find a way to see all as just ripe for me?


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Feeling in

Through your accomplishments I gain confidence in my ability to move the world.

In your mistakes I recognize your willingness to be my teacher.

In your humility I lay down my need to fight for my existence.

In your weakness I see the most incredible power.

Each time I pause to notice, I cannot help but shed tears of incredible gratitude and honor in feeling into life through your heart and eyes.


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Open Seat

Both chairs are always available to you. One sits above and allows you to sprinkle your wisdom confidently, but also requires you to hold a caring space, to lift me up. The other sits at the feet of the first, providing a place to listen, learn and receive, ignighted by curiosity and wonder.

Which seat do you choose? Can you find a way to sit under, to humbly receive and accept knowledge and perspective from others? Can you sit above without looking down and casting a shadow?

Is there a way you can fit in either seat depending not on what you desire but on what I need?

Please come sit with me for a spell.


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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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We Are The Journey

Lighten up on yourself, my dear friend.

You have not veered off the path.

Every apparent curve, every jagged edge, and every soft shoulder belongs to the path.

It’s all the path.

So, pack extra love and the balm of forgiveness and grace in your backpack

and set off

not for the journey

but as the journey.