Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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In This Vase

I tried to grow straight and tall like them. I worked just as hard as they did to grow.

But, it seems I am unfolding differently. I wonder if you see me as suffering, wilting or weak. Do you think I am lacking in nourishment or attention? Perhaps I strike you as non-compliant or maybe even deformed.

Why can’t it just be that because of me their poise and beauty are more prominent while my stature is no less dear?

Could there be room enough in this vase for all of us to be equally valued and admired?


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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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Illumination

There lies a place in me that has grown numb and is forgotten, a place that in the cool darkness has fallen asleep.

The every day routines of existence have turned off the spigot of kindness, creativity and possibility. Even many of those rituals established to keep me awake and alive are void of meaning, passion, and connectivity.

I must step out of the sleepiness, the lethargy, and the isolation. I can no longer await the awakening. I must create it.

In the darkness I will dance until the vast potential and possibility within me are moved and my heart connected to the fullness, freedom, and gift of my essential self.

In the daylight hours and through the night, I will stay alert to those parts of my life that have fallen asleep, that are passing me by…and I will sing and dance and engage in such revelry and play that no part can remain unmoved, I cannot escape the awakening.

There I will find my essential self, my capacity to joyfully meet my needs as well as yours, and celebrate the wonder of life.

Special thanks to Greg Young of RGY Photography for the beautiful photo accompanying this post. See more at http://www.rgyphotography.com or on Instagram @randygyyoung.


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Be-leaf in yourself

My new year wish for you…

Not that you make time for me or to do other things.

Not that you resolve to be any different than you are right now.

Not that you set out to accomplish anything more than you already have.

Not that you accumulate more than what is already there .

My new year’s wish for you is that you be safe where you are,

that you be fed on the soul level,

that you feel love,

and you fully and completely believe in the power of you to be a bright beacon for yourself and others

and in that light you thrive.


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Going Bigger

I breathe in, filling with the life force that moves me into every adventure, like the climbing of a roller coaster to the peak of its highest rail.

I teeter at the top, momentarily suspended in the gap of the breath the frozen space of fear.

And then I soften, surrender, and remember I am bigger than the gap. When I become bigger in the space of fear, fear becomes a place of play.

I can wade, jump, dive, trickle or race through the gap, inviting the breath to meet me at the other side. As I move more fully into each turn, each bend and dip in the rail, I become bigger and bigger with every breath.

In the bigness, I am fluid and free. There, in that space, I cannot help but smile in the excitement I find in being me…in breathing excitement into fear.


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Brushes with Bromeliads

Every day, I tenderly pluck and sort the unwanted guests between the treasured plants in the garden of this life of mine. I carefully reach between the stalks and flowers I choose to keep and arrange them all just so.

And, even with the most careful attention, I never leave my garden without scrapes, brush marks and bruises.

Yes, some of the most treasured plants in my garden have thorns. I move with particular sensitivity around them lest they snag my flesh. And somehow even as they cut me, I am still able to see their beauty and feel their special worth. They reach out and brush against me as if they just want to touch, to say “isn’t this all so grand that we are here?!”

It is at that moment when I am wounded but still capable of loving – even those plants with thorns – that I recognize that this coexistence is the essence of thriving.


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Toughest on the Tastebuds

These days have felt so heavy, so serious, and rather dark…so much sourness and bitterness. I get it – our experiences are supposed to be varied – not all sweet and easy to digest – and those moments that are toughest on the tastebuds could actually be what is needed in the end for optimal health.

I also know that as I strive to make forward progress, even as I check tasks off the list and move effectively towards growth and change, if I get caught up in what sour and bitter flavors are to come, I may miss out on the tastiest treats yet.

If I can find room to smile, to laugh, to accept all that stands before me just as it is, I may find that what I thought too sour to handle is sitting right there just smiling back at me, waiting till I am ready to dive in, knowing it will do me good.


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In a hurry to go nowhere

Motion around me could easily create a distraction or even be perceived as a danger. Motion around me could be a sign that things are passing me by.

Or, motion could be a wonderful reminder to feel my own stillness, to watch without attachment, and not be in such a hurry to get somewhere.


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Pretending to be bored

Waiting for my thoughts to quiet.

With each breath, feigning an attempt to soften the tension in my muscles.

Always on high alert, my body is the ever faithful soldier standing at attention, ready to advance, attack, or defend.

My thoughts and feeling providing constant counsel, conducting their business at all hours of the day and night as if essential personnel.

It is a strange request I make that all the components that serve me in my daily busy-ness are called upon now to rest.

They are troubled by this pause as it could imply they may no longer be needed. They resist – the body…the mind…the emotions that want to protect and define me.

And yet, a strange and delightful spaciousness coats my experience when I am willing to just sit down and breathe.

It frees them all to not disappear but to serve me better. They become my friends, sipping tea on the deck, holding hands and dancing in the absence of mission and doing.

Oh, the joy of knowing my thoughts, my feelings, my body in the absence of need.

We rest here for a bit together, finding a freshness in how we coexist…

…and then we agree to do this much more often.


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finding the way

Rain pounds down on the door of the earth.

The soil parts, making way for movement.

Creatures on the move rise to the surface.

Suddenly the water rushes in carrying us to unfamiliar spaces.

Momentarily stunned with uncertainty this new uncomfortable vantage point becomes home.

Gradually settling into a new way of being and heading in a new direction provided solely by the force of another.

Sensing the way, knowing now a different path.

Facing challenges and significant dangers, but moving forward just the same… determined to make good on this shift.

With the pouring rain comes fresh possibilities to establish new pattens, make new discoveries, test adaptability, and make good in the face of adversity.