Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Inspired Action

I breathe in…

inspire…

inspiration…

awakening inner wisdom with the breath.

Stress and agitation squeeze that breath. In the absence of breath, there is no action…

Stagnant…

Stagnation…

No connection …

Nothing flows.

I am stuck…until I exhale.

With the exhale, the dam of emotions is released…

tension dissipates.

The breath comes rushing back in. As if startled awake, I tune once more into my source.

Inspired action always takes me back to joy!

Photo credit:

Inspired by Jack Blackwell. So grateful, Jack, for your sharing your photography talents here!


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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.


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House Cleaning

Life is not about suffering. Yet, frequently I fall into a pattern of thinking I am not fully living my life if there is not conflict or hardship.

I have made up a story that there is no room for me to be happy, no time or purpose for self care, rest, nourishment, and companionship. No space for laughter, play, and love.

Yet without those features my life is not complete and I move farther and farther away from my natural state of being.

I don’t even realize that the life I think I should be leading, the life that constantly tells me I am not worthy and not enough, is shrouding me in darkness, not because that is who I am supposed to be but as a reminder of what I am deeper inside.

I am enough just the way I am. I am successful right here and now. I am capable of feeling strong, happy, and healthy always. I am worthy of goodness.

I am made of love and my real purpose here in this place and time is to be a source of love for myself and others.

All the other stuff – the striving, the suffering, and self-deprecation — is just like cobwebs and dust, painting a picture of dismay and decay. However, quite easily with a swift and conscious swipe I can clear them all away to restore the beauty of the forgotten objects that reside just below.

In this cleaning of my house, I once more feel the freshness, spaciousness, and goodness that is intended to be. In devoting just that little bit of time and attention, that quick swipe, to restoring the luster, everything seems to fall into place. When that shroud is removed all that remains is the goodness that is in fact my life and who I am supposed to be.


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Agency

Poor behavior is a sign of a loss of agency.

Lashing out at the circumstances around me instead of diving into the power within me.

There within I always have the capacity to choose, to “re-cognize” and bring back into my mental awareness my own tools of agency. I don’t need someone else to pick me up, to defend me, or clear the way for me.

I can feel confident, strong, and happy through my own decision making.

Whatever the story, with agency I can produce my own powerful, beautiful ending.


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A Call to Activism

Live Oak - Activism

In the darkness, fear and anger deepen their grip on me.  Bumping up against ideals, opinions, and stories that I have formed, with urgency I am compelled to avenge imbalances and inequities.  I dash in to sweep up the broken pieces of what I perceive as attacks against me and struggle surrounding me.  I am driven to defend principles that through my ego’s eye define me.

This posture that I take implies superiority and gives way to judgment.  In my rush to right the wrongs, I become the being I so justly argue against.  Resentment bubbles up and my ego says, “they are not worthy…they should be punished…they do not belong…silence them…shun them.”

And then my heart whispers, “wait…they too are suffering.”  Those opinions I defend and just as importantly those I oppose are here to guide, test, and inform me.

To release my struggle, my fear, my anger, and my suffering, others do not need to pay a conjured debt for who they are.

Compassion, patience, and trust become my weapons against the injustices, inequities, and imbalances that swirl around me.

Allowing it all to exist and maintaining harmony, care, and peace…that is the true work of an activist.


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Jagged Edges

Tucked into the crevices,

Buried between the rocks and sand,

Are little moments,

Precious little glimpses of life’s greatest gifts hiding just beneath the surface.

I could easily pass them by if not for the jagged edges that reach up, poking at my being.

This uneven landscape calls for greater awareness.

I draw upon my deepest core for balance so that the pressure and discomfort do not become too great.

Those jagged edges remind me that I have not chosen the easy path, but I am capable of walking this path just the same.

Those jagged edges belong to the moments that will require the greatest courage and persistence, but unquestionably will cause rise to the fullest form of me.