Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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

cantankerous (2)

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.


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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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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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Just Ripe

When I am balanced mind and body, I am just ripe. There is no bitterness, no tough skin to cut through. I am neither too soft and falling apart.

Picked too soon, I am raw, needy, unready. Left to ripen too long and I begin to sour and decay.

Perfectly cultivated and connected to my core, I am a source of sustenance, giving flavor and nourishment without expecting anything in return.

Delicious, sweet and juicy, is what you get when I give myself ample time on the vine.


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Aware versus Analytical

I don’t need a “why.” I just need an “oh.”

Noticing something, my mind quickly jumps in to create a story.

I have this sensation. I will label it. I will now connect it to good or bad. My mind will attach it to a memory and define it as an experience.

How splendid it would be to just notice with curiosity, not the critical mind, as each thought occurs like drops of water. Inquisitively, I watch the water dripping, not seeking to explain its circumstance but simply present in its occurrence.

Awareness without analysis, knowledge for discovery, not proof or justification.

When I “oh” instead of “why”, I “be” instead of “do.”