Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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House Cleaning

Life is not about suffering. Yet, frequently I fall into a pattern of thinking I am not fully living my life if there is not conflict or hardship.

I have made up a story that there is no room for me to be happy, no time or purpose for self care, rest, nourishment, and companionship. No space for laughter, play, and love.

Yet without those features my life is not complete and I move farther and farther away from my natural state of being.

I don’t even realize that the life I think I should be leading, the life that constantly tells me I am not worthy and not enough, is shrouding me in darkness, not because that is who I am supposed to be but as a reminder of what I am deeper inside.

I am enough just the way I am. I am successful right here and now. I am capable of feeling strong, happy, and healthy always. I am worthy of goodness.

I am made of love and my real purpose here in this place and time is to be a source of love for myself and others.

All the other stuff – the striving, the suffering, and self-deprecation — is just like cobwebs and dust, painting a picture of dismay and decay. However, quite easily with a swift and conscious swipe I can clear them all away to restore the beauty of the forgotten objects that reside just below.

In this cleaning of my house, I once more feel the freshness, spaciousness, and goodness that is intended to be. In devoting just that little bit of time and attention, that quick swipe, to restoring the luster, everything seems to fall into place. When that shroud is removed all that remains is the goodness that is in fact my life and who I am supposed to be.


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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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A Call to Activism

Live Oak - Activism

In the darkness, fear and anger deepen their grip on me.  Bumping up against ideals, opinions, and stories that I have formed, with urgency I am compelled to avenge imbalances and inequities.  I dash in to sweep up the broken pieces of what I perceive as attacks against me and struggle surrounding me.  I am driven to defend principles that through my ego’s eye define me.

This posture that I take implies superiority and gives way to judgment.  In my rush to right the wrongs, I become the being I so justly argue against.  Resentment bubbles up and my ego says, “they are not worthy…they should be punished…they do not belong…silence them…shun them.”

And then my heart whispers, “wait…they too are suffering.”  Those opinions I defend and just as importantly those I oppose are here to guide, test, and inform me.

To release my struggle, my fear, my anger, and my suffering, others do not need to pay a conjured debt for who they are.

Compassion, patience, and trust become my weapons against the injustices, inequities, and imbalances that swirl around me.

Allowing it all to exist and maintaining harmony, care, and peace…that is the true work of an activist.


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Jagged Edges

Tucked into the crevices,

Buried between the rocks and sand,

Are little moments,

Precious little glimpses of life’s greatest gifts hiding just beneath the surface.

I could easily pass them by if not for the jagged edges that reach up, poking at my being.

This uneven landscape calls for greater awareness.

I draw upon my deepest core for balance so that the pressure and discomfort do not become too great.

Those jagged edges remind me that I have not chosen the easy path, but I am capable of walking this path just the same.

Those jagged edges belong to the moments that will require the greatest courage and persistence, but unquestionably will cause rise to the fullest form of me.


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Strutting and Swirling

My heart feels quickly, as if flowing on subtle currents in the air. Ego moves faster, thrusting against the wind. Emotions lag behind but still they dance closely together, ego and feelings.

Guided by the dance, I strut and swirl around with urgency, bravado, and sprawling feathers. Responding to surface winds, impulsively flying in a defensive posture, these auto-pilot movements are built on the residue of my stories.

Something shifts and suddenly I am still. For a moment, my intuition takes the lead. There is no need for flight , no rush to action. I know all I need to know as I slow these frenetic motions.

I land. I unruffle. In the not-doing, I am even more than I was just moments before. I hang here in the peace and stillness of slow-looking.

When I land, I am my most powerful.


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Flying above the hurricane

In the midst of the storm, I feel small and helpless. There is fear that the storm will overcome me.

I know of the danger in advance, but I ignore the warnings to back away. Instead, I hunker down. That is when the floods start, conflict swirls in all directions and visibility is reduced to nothing.

My heart pounds. I struggle to catch my breath, to make logical choices, and to know how to care for me and those around me.

And then I remember back to the time when as the hurricane developed I watched it from above. I saw it’s wild bands expanding, its dark center churning. From above I could see its boundaries. From above I noticed clusters of calm, bright sky swirling in the darkness.

In every storm since, I have acknowledged that I have a choice to turn away and even when I neglect that choice, I can find calm within the bands of chaos if I can just remember flying above it.


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Finding Joy

I love finding joy in unusual places.

In the raindrop that pokes my cheek and the wind that tosses my hair.

In the pattern of seeds that accidentally scatter on the floor.

In the slow looking that comes with the crowd of cars extending my commute.

In the exhale.

Here I am in my natural state of being. I feel no urgency, only a sense of calm and strength. I begin to know the essence of love.

Maybe finding joy is my super power.