Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Arabesque

The tightrope wire is taught and thin leaving not much room for play.

Inching along trepidatiously, the other side seems so far away.

Moved – or frozen – by memories and worry, I slide foot after foot on the barely visible line.

And then a pause to fill myself with breath returns me to my center.

Without any planning and responding only to the invitation of my breath, my body begins to relax.

My back leg lifts, my heart turns to the sky, and suddenly what I thought was only one path, becomes my playground.

There is still a bit of cautiousness – for I am in human form — but I give way to curiosity and before I know it there I am in a full arabesque on the wire.

Hanging on or flying free is the choice that is always there for me.

Thank you Jean McDonald for sharing this photo and your courage with all of us!


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Learning to Knit

So much of this past year was spent retracted, curled inward, huddled up against myself. Darkness, distractions, and attempts to keep things all the same occupied much of my thinking. Circular thoughts woven into fears. Captive in this castle, spinning my time into the yarn of “what if.”

I imagined I was suffering, experiencing punishment of some sort. Separate from my routine, separate from others, separate from much of what I knew as familiar.

Now, a year later, I am being asked to do something with all the yarn that I have spun. I am being asked to go back to some form of the way things were, to put the yarn away. But I have rather come to enjoy the spinning and might just want to sit and spin some more.

Ah, but it could be time instead for me to learn to knit. There are endless possibilities of where I can go from here and what I can create. If I can only see that every moment is an opportunity to learn and create something new. How fortunate I have been to have this time to spin this yarn.

In this re-emergence as the gates slowly open, it is lovely to see what others have woven. Some have acquired new skills. Connected and inspired from within, they are already knitting. Some have rolled the yarn into balls to store away for another time. Some have just begun to make the yarn. In this experience, I have learned that I can resist the weaving, stumble and climb over all the yarn, or I can learn to knit.


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In This Vase

I tried to grow straight and tall like them. I worked just as hard as they did to grow.

But, it seems I am unfolding differently. I wonder if you see me as suffering, wilting or weak. Do you think I am lacking in nourishment or attention? Perhaps I strike you as non-compliant or maybe even deformed.

Why can’t it just be that because of me their poise and beauty are more prominent while my stature is no less dear?

Could there be room enough in this vase for all of us to be equally valued and admired?


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Beyond the Fog

I am the turbulent sea. I am the dense fog. I am the shining sun behind the haze.

I am all three. So what you choose to see, feel, and believe of me is what you choose me to be.

I am quite content to be all three.


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Seeking

So focused on the work,

on striving to be something, someone…

The joy has slipped away.

But there is no need to run after it, seeking it.

You see, luv, the joy is always right here in your heart. Your heart just beats more loudly to the rhythm of some things, like walks in the park, playing in the woods, cooking delicious foods and wrapping up in snuggly blankets.

Include those rhythms in your daily routine and you will not need to seek joy for it will already be there dancing with you.


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Contain It or Let It Roll?

These days are like scooping mercury. Chasing after it can be so exhausting as it beads and evades more with each attempt to contain it.

Feeling the need to clean it up, but might just have to sit here for a bit and just watch as it glides and rolls around making beautiful patterns and shapes.

Remarkable how something so potentially harmful can have such valuable purpose and be so beautiful.


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Presumed Flavor

On the surface rests an assumption of flavor, texture, and tartness. Neither color, nor shape, nor size can truly tell me what’s inside.

I can’t necessarily rely on prior experience to guide me. I am informed and intelligent, yet my predictions are never risk free. There is always a chance of finding sourness, mushiness, under ripeness or rot. Even in the bitterness there is nutrition.

Am I willing to let down my guard, to go against the odds, and to look past the outside appearances and find a way to see all as just ripe for me?


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From the Inside

As the last of the peppers hang on the branches of summer gardens, I am reminded that all dressed up in their glossy and attractive shades and shapes, all peppers really do look quite similar. Yes, some may be longer or rounder, but for the most part you can recognize a pepper when you see one.

The truly interesting part is that what you see on the outside rarely relays the tastes and sensations that are discovered on the inside. Size, color, and shape don’t always indicate what you will find. Stand a bright yellow pepper next to a long red one and you might think they were very different until you take a bite. Then you find a delicious sweetness in both of them. On the other hand, line three different green peppers up together and each can have a distinct flavor — some cool and sweet and others quite bitter or firey. In fact, some peppers will even take your breath away.

All crisp, juicy, and designed to complement one another, peppers come in all shapes and sizes, all flavors and intensities, all suiting different taste buds.  Imagine if the world had only one type of pepper. Imagine if someone tried to decide which pepper was best for all and ignored the taste treats hidden in the others.

Isn’t it grand we have so many peppers to get to know?


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We Are The Journey

Lighten up on yourself, my dear friend.

You have not veered off the path.

Every apparent curve, every jagged edge, and every soft shoulder belongs to the path.

It’s all the path.

So, pack extra love and the balm of forgiveness and grace in your backpack

and set off

not for the journey

but as the journey.


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We Are The Journey

Lighten up on yourself, my dear friend.

You have not veered off the path.

Every apparent curve, every jagged edge, and every soft shoulder belongs to the path.

It’s all the path.

So, pack extra love and the balm of forgiveness and grace in your backpack

and set off

not for the journey

but as the journey.