Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Enduring

Tolerance is not ignorance.

Just because I tolerate your actions does not mean I condone them.

It does not mean they do not wound me, make me bristle or rattle my confidence in my own internal guidance systems.

Tolerance simply means that I am giving you room to be you – to learn and teach us both through your actions – to allow us to explore anger and fear, but also know patience, compassion, and forgiveness.

Tolerance is grace flexing its muscles. Tolerance is the power of my will to know my truth and allow you to explore yours.


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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

comfy 3

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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Where there is grace

Swan (2)

Gliding across the still lake, the swan appears motionless…blending in, yet standing out.

There is an ease to the swan’s movements – small segments of being pieced together to produce strong, elegant, fluid motion…unfolding in a seemless, timeless, effortless evolution.

The swan goes not against the current, but blends into it, rides it, and collaborates with it to create a presence and ease that cannot help but draw the breath from me.

Attuning to the breath, I begin to realize the power and simplicity in the life force that moves so strong, elegantly, and fluidly through me.  With refinement of its movement, the breath becomes balanced and smooth. A fullness and simulaneous sense of roaring power and simple stillness come as each segment fully aligns.

In that very breath, I am the swan. In that very breath, I know grace.


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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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less effort…more happy

IMG_0746

today I am just gonna be happy.

it takes too much effort to be anything else.


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All Wrapped Up

All Wrapped Up

There comes a time and space where each of us longs to curl up in a snuggly blanket, to feel the pressure on our skin, the cocoon of warmth and connection.  This need for contact, pressure, and restriction is also the driver for the invitation of struggle, suffering, and conflict into our lives.

With difficulty pressing in upon me, I will always still find the same comfort and ease on the inside if I allow it.

It is simply a matter of the material of the wrap and the lens with which I see it that determines whether I feel it as nurturing or limiting.

The wrap is just a reminder to feel what’s on the inside – to know the true essence of me, undefined by the fabric of my experience.


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Here We Are

All is well.

We will never get it all done.

It will not be easy.

It will get messy.

It will not be perfect.

It may get ugly.

We will have fun.

All is well.


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Transplanted

Serenely, attentively, and lovingly I focus on cradling the dangling roots of a small plant as they uncoil themselves from the snug inside edges of their familiar small pot. I invite the plant to settle into a new place to live. Grace, peace, and fluidity guide the roots gently into their new home. The plant is ready to grow as this new pot offers room to branch out.

The transplanting has nonetheless been stressful and will require new resources and support from the inside and out in order for this little plant to thrive.

Planting complete, I hop up quickly, losing focus and in a furry of thoughts and feelings I upheave my own roots, tumbling down onto the ground right next to my newly potted plant.

I have lost my footing, my roots now tangled and exposed…some broken, others barely hanging on. The damage rocks my whole being.

And in that very moment, a little voice inside me says, “Be kind, attentive and serenely focused. Lovingly tuck those roots into new, unfamiliar soil and invite them to take hold, to uncoil in a new direction.”

Not without pain, focused effort, and belief that I will be stronger, I expand my roots. I find resources on the inside and outside to grow deep. I settle into a new space of being and in this nurturing of my roots, I realize an enhanced capacity to flower, bear fruit, and thrive in a way previously unattainable.

Every tumble, every root exposed is an opportunity to uncoil and lovingly replant, to be bigger and stronger than I ever was before.


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Pulsing

Have you ever noticed there is a natural rhythm to the flow of things? When you are in sync with that energetic rhythm there is no resistance – everything flows.

Try to push or pull against the natural flow of your experience and it causes turbulence, imbalance and the potential for unnecessary suffering.

To reduce the discomfort, increase the pause. Slow the looking and the feeling. Sip it in until you can interpret the rhythm.

When I connect with my breath – the rhythmic pattern of inhale and exhale – it shows me the resistance, the tension, and where there may be imbalance. I can chose to ride the breath as it is or invite a shift. Either way, I am getting into the flow, balancing on the crest, and engaging a more comfortable and sustainable way of being.

When I pulse instead of push – on the breath, on sounds, on tastes, on interactions with others, or my experiences – there is a symmetry and unending sense that all is OK.

I exist in the pulse rather than the push.