Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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In the Sea of Knowing

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Funny how we assign emotions, assume other’s perspectives, and assimilate outside experiences as our own.

The body works so hard to represent the advisory panel of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, but sometimes it doesn’t always get that representation right.  Sometimes we read too much into posture, expression, engagement.  We jump to conclusions.

All along, it’s just a series of labels we attach to things to create order — an illusion that we have some sort of control.

Let the labels wash away and then what is there?  Energy — plain and simple chemical reactions — that whimsically attach to illusions.  Eliminating the labels, we engage our intuition, not just our eyes, to interpret our surroundings.  It is not always what I see that informs, but how it bumps up against me energetically.

The real gift in communication and connection is tapping into that energy.

Bored…or relaxed?

Impatient…or enthusiastic?

Sad…or peaceful?

Or maybe the energy isn’t connected to the expression at all.

Lose the labels…make the deeper connections…feel the power in knowing beyond seeing.


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It’s Time We Come Together

 

Still Hands

We talk about coming together as family, friends, community.  Of course, we are social beings and need one another to share experiences, confide in, lean gently upon, and confidently hold up.

Yet, so often, in our coming together we climb over one another, talking over top of each other, thinking into each other, never really arriving in that space of coming together at all.

Even when we play together, our words, feelings, and bodies get in between.

What if we were to sit or lie down beside each other?  Comfortably, safely, in our own individual space, yet together in one place.

What if we were to close our eyes, quiet our thoughts, cease the chatter, and agree to simply be there…not to sleep, but to rest side-by-side and unconditionally hold a soft space of awareness for ourselves and each other in silence.

Then, as we drift beyond the container of the body, a dance begins…a dance of the breath, of connection without words, of equal sharing in this seemingly timeless space.

It is in this space where we are equals, where we listen to the songs of others, where we simultaneously share everything and nothing, where we see each other as we see ourselves, where we are in this skin but somewhere else.

A palpable collaboration takes place in this precious space of collective rest — wakeful, conscious allowing of the stillness, allowing of our being, allowing of one another.

Maybe it is not in a board room or at the family dinner table or on the basketball court where we can do the most leaning on, supporting of, and accepting of one another.  Maybe it is actually in this space of shared rest where we can find the greatest power in our coming together.


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When the gates are open

I certainly don’t claim to have any part of this whole dying thing down. But I have seen enough family and friends make that transition to understand that it is not in the clinging to this life or the wallowing in the departure that brings peace. It is not in the anointing or in the fighting that we pass on but in the releasing…the letting go of the story, the belief that we are only of value in this living physical form, the fear we have somehow not been or done enough, and the pressure to continue on in something that has drawn to a close.

I believe we always have the choice. There can be fanfare and drama or quiet and stillness. Those left behind can wail and wrestle with their loss or

be happy for the soul that returns to the light, which I believe allows the departed to float more freely, untethered to the strings of our emotions, fears, and needs in this temporal space.

We need not believe in “life” after this body, but we can be sure that we are more than this body. We can be grateful for the space this body provided for us to play and learn – whether just hours or days or many, many years.

We all have within us a mysterious longing to be free, yet we spend little time preparing for the opportunity to run freely when the gates are open.

One thing that is becoming increasingly clear to me is that it seems the way to die may be to live in love, to surround ourselves with those who are willing to hold the gates open for us, and let nothing hinder us from feeling whole, content, and ready to run.


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Nudge

Let the world press against you – not to criticize or judge you – but just to let you know where you are.


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D-E-F-E-N-S-E

Defense is establishing a boundary with clarity and confidence.

Defensive is lunging beyond the boundary with fear and doubt.

If you have a strong defense, you don’t need to be defensive.


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The Snag

The Fabric 2

A stirring, an imbalance, an unthinkable happens and there I am…swirling in thoughts and emotions.

Although we seem unconnected, we are tethered undeniably to others’ experiences, their pain, their suffering, their anger.  Their division and righteousness becomes mine, even when I don’t want it to be.

And then comes the arduous task of sifting.  Sifting through the messages in all of this…not what it means to my community or the statement it makes about my society, but the fundamental lesson for me in the perceived tragedies and suffering that stand before me.

I dare not admit how my thoughts flow in circular motions…how I cannot point at the right or wrong…it all just seems to come back to me, to the fear I have that any one of them could be me.

…the “victim”…the “suffering”…the “perpetrator”…the “responsible one.”

These labels belong to my deepest shadows and like threads dancing on a loom, have long since been woven into the fabric of me.

So, I turn my anger to the scariest one in an attempt to cut that thread.  And then the story unfolds, my experience is defined by calling out the grossest attributes of others although deep down inside I know they are still undeniably tethered to me, undeniably me.

It is then that I must fill with compassion, for each of them and for me. I must allow these situations and the contrast they provide to take me back to the center of my being, to turn inward and calm the swirling from the inside.  Instead of needing the contrast to tug at the fabric from the outside as if separate from me, I turn inward to reweave the threads, to smooth the snag so that the fabric on the outside lays out more seamlessly.

Each time the contrast begins to pull and tug at me again, I slow the loom, treasure that thread, and remember that no matter what any of us have done or who any of us seem to be,  the threads are the same – it is a complex fabric that tethers you and me.


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Snowflake

snowflake

“Is he a snowflake?” she asked. And, in the silent pause beyond the question, I truly saw him…magnificent…sparkling…a treasure floating in the cool, gray sky.  Born of lunar energy, peaceful, bending, flowing, he works so hard to fit in, to be hot and fiery, but that is not his nature.

I could fill myself with worry and doubt about how this world full of tapas – heat and fire – will surely melt him. But instead I must believe in the strength of his molecular bonds and the cool subtle wind currents to carry him.

There are countless others in the sky with him, racing to connect and build a world of peace and stillness.

It is in the cool, gray sky where they fit best. So, I will give it to them. I will be the moon and the clouds. I will be the cool, present, flowing, calm sky that allows them to sparkle and gather.

And while this sky may seem less desirable and the darkness that soothes them uncomfortable for many, it is their time to shine. It is time to let them feel their strength and fortitude, to be just the way they are.

In this cool, gray space of unconditional acceptance, they sparkle. In the serenity, they can leave behind their struggle to fit in, their fight to find others like them, and the worry and self-doubt that constantly tugs at them.

It is time for these beautiful snowflakes to know their magnificence and for our world to benefit from giving them a space to thrive.