Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Befriending

It is easy on some days to feel like my body had betrayed me or is out to get me. There is weakness, soreness, or illness. I could see this body as unattractive or failing. I could label it as the enemy. Instead of interpreting the condition of my body as messages intended to inform and perhaps even inspire me, my mind perceives threats, expresses disappointment.

When I experience my body as misaligned with me is precisely when I need to remember that my body is less like a vulture and more like a little baby bird simply needing to be nourished and loved.


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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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Open Seat

Both chairs are always available to you. One sits above and allows you to sprinkle your wisdom confidently, but also requires you to hold a caring space, to lift me up. The other sits at the feet of the first, providing a place to listen, learn and receive, ignighted by curiosity and wonder.

Which seat do you choose? Can you find a way to sit under, to humbly receive and accept knowledge and perspective from others? Can you sit above without looking down and casting a shadow?

Is there a way you can fit in either seat depending not on what you desire but on what I need?

Please come sit with me for a spell.


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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.


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Settled in the Ocean of My Unsettledness

The ocean rolls in and out, finding a rhythm in the irregular beat of its waves on the shore, a consistency in the inconsistency.

It asks that I bend more, stay more still, listen more closely, find my entry, consider a way to dive in while still feeling my feet.

Restless…rejecting…beautiful…inciting…matching breath to motion.

Sometimes steady and full, sometimes roaring in…sometimes barely there.

Here together, a push and pull of synchrony.

Even in the struggle you connect me with my breath.

You awaken my senses.

You remind me what it means to exist and give me permission to settle into my unsettledness.


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Together Within

Hidden inside us all is a cozy little spot where we can find respite from the heat of the sun, from the fear of intruders or encroachers, and where we can feel cradled and protected.

At first glance it may not even be noticeable, blending in with the roots and trunk of who we are. But, it’s there, between the knots and the twists that define our experiences and have grown us into this being.

To some, the nook may look like an imperfection. Some may see it as a weakness, a failing, or space to fill in or cover up. But this treasured gap, this space within, is of great value. For this refuge tucked just so can be bravely opened up to become a haven for others as well. The meek, the tired, the lonely, the lost, or simply those just wishing for a moment of cool, reliable coverage, can gather here in this nook. No matter how many come, when we rest here together we find plenty of space to live and breathe…just as we are.


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Brushes with Bromeliads

Every day, I tenderly pluck and sort the unwanted guests between the treasured plants in the garden of this life of mine. I carefully reach between the stalks and flowers I choose to keep and arrange them all just so.

And, even with the most careful attention, I never leave my garden without scrapes, brush marks and bruises.

Yes, some of the most treasured plants in my garden have thorns. I move with particular sensitivity around them lest they snag my flesh. And somehow even as they cut me, I am still able to see their beauty and feel their special worth. They reach out and brush against me as if they just want to touch, to say “isn’t this all so grand that we are here?!”

It is at that moment when I am wounded but still capable of loving – even those plants with thorns – that I recognize that this coexistence is the essence of thriving.