Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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Love as one

Love everyone and everything around you as if it were an arm, a leg, an extension of you.

We are all formed of the same chemicals and the same energy as everything around us. In that way we are all connected – we are one.

So, when we love beyond the perimeter of what we perceive as our structure and identity, we exist in a pure space of love…of ease…of freedom.

Oh, but wait…that would require pure love for oneself! Perhaps the true challenge lies in forming a steady stream of love for ourselves in order to feel pure connection through love beyond us.

Love requires truth. Truth requires fearless looking. Looking requires unconditional feeling. Feeling requires objective knowing.

So what if we open our eyes to see without fear, our mouths to speak authentically and empathetically, our hearts to feel without labels and judgement, and our minds to accept unlimited possibilities?

What if we can each find the “coeur”age to unconditionally love ourselves, to bathe ourselves in love?

Then, could we live as one love?


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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.


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Sloughing off

Perhaps just like with so much else in our lives, these days are calling for us to release ourselves from engrained beliefs, resist holding onto outdated information, and let go of old ways of doing things. These days are providing an ideal space for new and beautiful growth, the kind that emerges from sloughing off the decay.


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True Love

There once was a bright and shining little girl who truly knew her path and her gifts.  Even at a very early age, contrary to her young counterparts, this little girl spoke her truth.  “I won’t eat that animal…I just won’t,” she would cry even when it was the only opportunity she had to be fed.  I will dance and run.  I will play on my breath.  I will have struggles and need experiences along the way to help me remember who I am, but I will make my own way.  What she didn’t realize was how many others she would touch with her shining light, like a glowing ray of sunshine.  And so she grew, in her own way, finding adventures far beyond the comfort of many others in her circle of family and friends.  Yet, she never stopped listening to that voice of her truth – she stood up as she needed, she walked away with forgiveness and grace at times when others fell into compliance and complacency, and she shared and shared all of who she was and knew everywhere she went.  She didn’t need a title or a label for what she spent her whole life naturally doing.  In fact, others took her guidance and called it theirs.  Others wanted to ride the wave of her knowing as if they could capture that spirit through study or association.  And routinely many prodded and questioned her, demanding validation and justification around the path she chose. Nonetheless, she carefully sifted through all the disingenuous tethers, all the glitter and temptations, and stayed on her path, flanking herself with friends, colleagues, and ambassadors of truth, of inner knowing, of love…and she let the rest melt away (not always without sadness, anger, or feelings of loss, but carefully on the rhythm of each breath returning to wholeness).  She is a daily reminder of the gifts of expressing, honoring, and living as authentic self….of living as love.

 


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Comfy

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Here I sit in the middle of my couch.  Extreme joy balancing on one armrest.  Great challenge and sorrow on the other.  There are pillows and soft coverings that support me as I lean to one side or the other.

There is excitement and movement, equal levels of engagement and doing required at either end of my couch.

There are days when I slide over to one side and days that I spend a large amount of time on the other.  Neither better nor worse.  Both engaging my heart and mind in ways that are good for me. Both providing opportunities for me to grow. Both utterly exhausting.

Today I choose not to lean or slide. Today I choose to curl up right here in the middle of it all, to feel the balanced rhythm of my heart, lulled into rest by my breath.  Today I remember the weariness in my bones. Today I remember that laughter and crying use the same muscles.

I smile and melt deep into the cushions of my comfy little couch, so happy to have joy and sorrow by my sides.


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Hard work or heart work?

Are my decisions truly aligned with what is best for me?

Do I jump into action to make a big splash?

Are my actions tied to some sort of outside message board?

Can living just to feel happy be enough?

What if I chose empathy for myself instead of sympathy?

Or kindness and forgiveness instead of shame and blame?

Can I integrate my experiences, even the ones that result in mistakes, redirection or pain as essential parts of me?

Am I working to prove something?

Or am I living in these moments for my own higher good?

Could it be that by holding a space of peace and love for me I am holding it for you as well…

…and that is heart work.


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Witness Healing

My body is a part of me. It tells me when it needs nourishment and rest.

I can manifest the most horrific diseases by ignoring the signs in my body that are saying slow down, ease off, make a change.

There is no way my body can stop being ill until I care for it.

It is time for me to take responsibility for the way I feel. I do not need to be sick to care for myself. Sick is a reminder that I have neglected to care for me.

These are real symptoms – not of some outside force taking over, but a means of communication from the inside – me sending a message to me that something is out of alignment – the schedule, a relationship, nutrition, work…my connection with me.

Each of us has ignored signs that our bodies needed more care until we were really sick, feeling that powering through is a sign of strength. We don’t need to go there.

True strength lies in respecting myself enough to rest, eat well, choose to receive kindness and love from others and to forgive and let go of those who are in a position to diminish my sense of worthiness.

My body should be held and loved by me as a baby bird that has fallen from its nest. Given a chance to be seen, heard, and to heal.

When I carry my body as it carries me, my body allows me to witness the capacity I have for deep love and profound peace and healing.


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Currently Connected

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We are connectors… the shifts and moves below the water’s surface that produce the current.

When we move with ease and grace, the currents meander and flow.

Tension, gripping, and resistance make the waters turbulent and difficult to maneuver.

We can choose the experience we give to those who swim in our waters…knowing that they are counting on us to usher them safely to the edge and leave them feeling nourished and refreshed from our connection.


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less effort…more happy

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today I am just gonna be happy.

it takes too much effort to be anything else.