Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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My Story

There is a story in my body – a story of joy and a story of suffering, a story imprinted in my flesh of adopted beliefs and weathered patterns of being.

I have a belief. My body records it. With devotion to my higher good, my body informs me of my ways.  It unfailingly wears my happiness, fears, pain, doubt, informing me through these tissues and bones in service to my heart, all knowing, all seeing.

My body hears my heart calling for a change in that belief, so it demonstrates the belief in physical form in order for me to transform it…on the physical level, the thinking level, the feeling level, the being level.

I pause to listen to the advice of this worn vessel and then almost as soon as I acknowledge the pattern in the body, the beliefs begin to dissolve, reshaping my existence, restoring my wellness.

The body lets go of tension, no longer gripping to accommodate the familiar.  The battering patterns melt away, initiating a flow of healing…through the body, into the heart.


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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.


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The mist of the unknown

Change sinks in like a heavy fog.

It distorts my view. I become disoriented as it wraps around me.

I am afraid. All that is familiar is disappearing before me.

I am now isolated in its grips. It presses in upon my weary bones and tests the strength of my very constitution.

Somehow I find the courage to endure its press upon me as it softly whispers…”trust me.”

And just when the weight feels too much to bear, I surrender. I surrender the need to know what lies beyond. I trust that the weathered framework that is me will endure.

And then the winds shift and rays of sun seep in. My surroundings reappear with some familiarity and yet a brightness and clarity that tunes my eyes to seeing what went before unnoticed.

In uncoiling from this temporary isolation, I see that I am still here. I have withstood the pressure in the mist of the unknown.

All is brighter and inviting now as I embrace this new vision and carry on.


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Rest for the Weary

Sleep evades me when my thoughts and emotions battle to define my reality.

When I look through the lens of fear and doubt, my eyes are reluctant to close as my body dwells in the space of my inadequacy.

If I could just soften the clenching, look another direction, allow my body to surrender to my inner knowing that all is ok, then I could dive in…dive in between the thoughts and feelings and their manifestation in my body, dive in to a space wide open where I can sort my experiences, face my decisions and choices, explore outcomes, and perceive failures and successes without consequence or judgement.

If I can just allow myself to dive in, I discover a playground in my dreams that frees me from the illusions of success or failure, where I always have the option to stop the experience or change its path.

And, then I awaken remembering that I have this same control, this same ability to change my experience, when I am awake as when I sleep.

I am no longer restless for I realize I am not my dreams, I am not my feelings, I am not my emotions – they are just the space in which I play.

I am the space of rest.


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Disintegration

I hold a piece of clay, cool, heavy, undefined.

As I push and pull upon it, a shape begins to form. The temperature, texture, and identity of that clay grow with me.

As my best efforts produce an uneven, imbalanced figure, one to which I have nonetheless become attached, I realize more work needs to be done.

To bring the work into balance requires undoing what I have created, detaching from what is currently there before me.

The chemical reaction in my brain, the visceral response in my body, and the tugging of my thoughts and emotions make reworking the clay painful.

To restore balance, I must pull the familiar apart. I must disintegrate the work. It is not without labor and discomfort that I destroy the familiar and let go of what I knew as my best work.

I tremble with fear and doubt – I cannot imagine a greater work than before.

And there it is. After the pain of disintegration comes release from what was…freedom from past bests.

Pleasure and pride arise as the new shape takes form, coming closer into balance.

With faith and perseverance, disintegration leads to evolution.


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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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To be the Mountain

What is it to be the mountain?

To stand strong, deeply rooted in the earth, proudly displaying your majesty and power.

Or, to bow humbly, providing the contrast to the sky and the scaffolding on which the sky balances, sprawls, and expands.

It is our role as teachers and leaders of today’s children to do both. To stand strong, firmly rooted in our values and beliefs, and at the same time submit to the greater knowing that resides in our children as we invite them to sprawl and expand into their own greatness, feeling only our love and trust as we remain firmly planted under them, fully supporting them exactly as they are.