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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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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This Treasured Vessel

My vehicle is a treasure to me. It gets me around and enables me to do things I otherwise couldn’t do. It is also an extension of me. When you see my vehicle, it tells you something about me – my style, my preferences, my level of meticulousness or ornateness.

I regularly repair and maintain this vehicle, tending to all the essential manufacturer guidelines and using my intuition to listen to the sounds it makes, to know its natural rhythm and flow. I can tell in an instant when something doesn’t seem quite right and I jump to repair it. I would never put anything in it to harm it – in fact all the spaces through which it can be fed are locked and need special access, ensuring awareness and alertness to the purity and quality of the nourishment it receives.

My vehicle is not me, but I value what it does and brings to me…the experiences it allows me to have, the places it takes me, the quality of what I can contribute to my work, to my family, to my life.

The care and effort I put into this vehicle ensures it’s reliability and longevity. It requires great patience and dedication to tend to this vehicle, but it is worth every effort for my return on investment is priceless and timeless.

This vehicle deserves the best from me always as it always gives its best for me.


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Thriving In My Humanity

In this skin, there is challenge.

In this skin, there is weakness.

In this skin, there is pain.

In this skin, I know the frailty of my humanity.

This skin, at times limiting and restricting, full of imperfections, is also the container that holds me, that cradles my every thought and feeling, the heart of my being.

In this skin, I know nourishment.

In this skin, I sense and feel fully.

In this skin, I explore edges and learn boundaries.

I know full contentment when I allow it, in this skin.


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Cantankerous

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It is not my intent to be uncooperative or argumentative.  I never rise in the morning with a plan to see others as difficult or ungrateful.  But, soon antigens like stress, fatigue, and illness feed into the chaos of my day and next thing you know otherwise favorable relationships begin to sour.

It is easy to defend my actions, to blame others, and to deny the fear that gives rise to my crustiness.  But, for what? Why is it that just when I need kindness most I fuel the unrest?

If we seek empathy, acceptance, and compassion from others, we must first practice it ourselves.   Reflecting on how we come across and how we see others may help us to be more patient with the “cantankerous” people who cross our paths each day…and that just might make it a little less likely that we will be the cantankerous ones.


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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.