Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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The Way

Standing on the precipice, mountains before me and behind me, I contemplate briefly the ascent or decent into the unknown.

No worries that the fog hinders my view because I feel my feet. I know that each moment, step by attuned step, I will find the earth and the sure footing that only comes with internal clarity.

Like the goat that climbs the rocks and edges of the cliffs with certainty, I approach the present, with the same attention to which I have all too often focused on my future and my past.

Looking back and looking forward the fog distorts the view. The lack of clarity forces me to see here, only that which is right in front of me.

In this moment, I put my hooves to the ground. I see the steps I need to take right here and now. I do not need to see the mountains in the foreground to know my way.


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Bound to Thrive

Boundaries add to the architecture of the landscape.

Boundaries provide protective edges.

Boundaries tame the wild nature in such a way as to contain but not limit.

Boundaries provide soft and gentle guidance to ensure safety and prevent harm.

Boundaries do not need to be solid, heavy walls, or impassible fortresses.

Optimal boundaries leave room to move and breathe and gaps through which opportunities can peek through.

Whether meticulously trimmed and groomed or allowed to fill and empty on their own, the edges of the boundaries remain clear.

Boundaries can always be created or dissolved, but their imprint lingers, forever a path of protection.

Well-built boundaries are exceptionally beautiful.


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Waking Up Happy

This morning, just as dawn broke in the sky, my eyes fluttered open.

Immediately my body tensed as I filled my head with to-do items, remaining self-criticism of all my failures and missed deadlines and opportunities of the day before, and doubts about whether I could make anything worthwhile out of today.

And just before I peeled back the covers and dashed off to start another arduous day, I wondered what was it like when I would just wake up happy?

There must have been a time in life when my first thoughts weren’t of the past or future but of noticing right now,

Where I simply noticed the cool of the morning air on my cheeks, the stillness of my body, the comfort of my bed.

A time when I felt whole, complete and not in a rush to hurry on or recoil into hiding.

I felt my way back into my body with a kind reacquaintance as if welcoming back an old and dear friend.

I noticed little sounds and followed them rhythmically in my mind sometimes as they travelled to me and sometimes back to their source.

I made no plan for what was next.

And on the voice that travels through the cells of my body softly said

This is love,

This is joy,

This is who I am.

I waited and waited there until that one memory resurfaced of that time when I awoke like this…or at least it conjured the feeling I had awoken like this.

I felt into that fully…waking up as enough, waking up with my heart open, waking up in love with myself and knowing that anything is possible when I wake up happy.


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And…

The wind says run.

The sun says stay.

The cool at the edges of my body says retreat…or is it calling me towards it?

The warm in the center of my being spreads outward craving more – warm seeking warm.

The body clenches and contracts in the coolness,

Portions of me are soft from the inner warmth.

I crave the warm.

I find the cool invigorating and awakening.

This tug of warm and cool, of retreat and advance, of contract and expand, plays within and all around me.

Ping-ponging from one as if better than the other or as one instead of the other, appearing as lack or wanting.

Then there is that moment…I recognize I can be warm and cool at the same time.

Where the opposites exist simultaneously within and for me.

Feeling nurtured and grounded, safe and secure in the warmth, and at the same time empowered to expand outward into the bright, crisp air and what lies before me.

How magical it is to be in two experiences simultaneously – like night and day, not opposites or tag-teaming but always there, highlighting one another.

A reminder that my world is not linear or singular.

There is never just one view, one perspective, or one answer.

I can have both but I am not without either. It is just where I happen to focus my attention, where I choose to create the story, and what I chose to feel.

It is the play of duality.

It is the “and” of being human.


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Seeking My Place in the Sun

I am never quite sure what challenges lie ahead.

I reach out, spreading my branches despite the fog.

I do not know what I will touch or be touched by.

I cannot help but feel a darkness lurking there, fear ever present in knowing there may be hurt or pain in the unknowns and unkinds that secretly swirl around me.

The fog fuels my insecurity as the branches of other trees press against me further threatening my place in the sun.

It is then that I remember that I am made to bend and sway.

I reach not with my branches but deep down through my roots.

I extend my roots for both of us, steadying me and gently holding you so that together we can face the fog and darkness with greater certainty.

I am grateful to feel your roots hold me in return.

Under the pressure to withstand, when I feel and share my roots I need not push away those that cast shadows.

We need not struggle to find our way alone.

As I lend strength, I find security.

As I steady others, we stand together,

equally thriving,

despite the fog.


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Reflections

I am an open landscape on which you paint your experience.

I mirror back to you just what you put out there.

If you aren’t sure of what you are painting,

pause,

step back,

clear your mind,

open your heart.

Come sit a spell in my grand, vast emptiness before you start to fill the canvas with elements that may not produce the landscape best for the both of us.

Tread gently on the rolling hills,

pause and watch the rising and setting sun,

see ocean…

flowers…

wild flowing grasses…

Deep wooded forests.

The landscape is yours in which to play.

Just remember that whatever you add to this landscape – the meeting of your choice of media, colors and textures – is yours to assimilate and accommodate, not mine.


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It’s not bad, it’s just now

Someone reminded me this week that I am a grown up. As such, I have the capacity to care for myself, even survive on my own, and I have the luxury of absolute choice.

Sure, I know I am a grown up and can make choices but I still have the fear of a child. I fear making choices that will be wrong, cause suffering, or result in bad consequences.

As I further consider my power of choice, I am just now realizing that perhaps there are no right or wrong consequences. There really is no good versus bad. I do not need to avoid a choice because the outcome is not crystal clear or safe enough to follow through on.

I can chose to do or not do anything. Yes it comes with consequences but it also cultivates freedom.

Each consequence is simply another opportunity for choice, an opportunity to play more confidently and creatively with my power to choose.

Karma, choice in action, is not the punishment that results from my choices but the next actions available to me as a result of my choosing.

I do not need to avoid choices or fear consequences any more. I am a grown up. I just need to be ready to make the next choice.


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Never Alone

Harmony begins with

befriending myself.

Relying on me

to validate who I am.

Ready to stand today,

not alone,

but in my own-ness.

Seeking not to change

who you are

or have you define me.

Rather, changing my

perspective and

choosing with great care

relationships

that inspire

only

my own

vivacious,

joyful,

powerful,

truest

Self.


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A stone’s throw

To cross the stream, I search for stones that seem fixed despite the moving waters.

These stones suggest a level of safety in my crossing as they seen unmoved by the current,

stronger than I could be on my own.

Is the stream really too deep and forceful that I need the stones or

can I make the crossing?

I question my capacity to carry myself,

despite the quiet flash of reassurance in my belly suggesting I could navigate the waters just fine on my own.

I turn instead to the stones’ promise to hold me.

Without hesitation, I step wildly, quickly, with hope that they will be what they appear to be.

I put my trust completely in the stones

Only to find them unbalanced, slippery, unable to hold me, and

Depositing me completely and fully into the water.

My trust in the stones vanishes into the darkness.

I fight the current…the message…trust no one.

Suddenly the flash returns…trust…trust yourself.

It doesn’t have to be steady, clear, easy, or look a certain way.

I dive into the self-reliance that holds me, guides me, connects me with the edge of safety.

There in that moment I find trust on the inside that inspires more reliable trust on the outside.


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Abounding Possibilities

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the possibilities we have for abundance.

The interesting thing is that the more we feel a need to search for it, desire it, and perceive a lack of it, we forget it’s always there.

Abundance is sourced from gratitude.

Gratitude is the present moment awareness of the natural flow of love and goodness in our lives.

Gratitude arises from grace.

Grace is one’s capacity to fill a life’s destiny as opposed to filling life densely with action that opens us to joy.

When we can sit back, stop striving, and peel back the layers of perceived lack and suffering, we find that life abounds with possibilities.

The more open and creative we become in filling our life’s destiny the more we attune to the natural flow of abundance.

What we are creating is not abundance itself but a means by which it can freely surface, brightening our connection with joy and love.