Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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Going Bigger

I breathe in, filling with the life force that moves me into every adventure, like the climbing of a roller coaster to the peak of its highest rail.

I teeter at the top, momentarily suspended in the gap of the breath the frozen space of fear.

And then I soften, surrender, and remember I am bigger than the gap. When I become bigger in the space of fear, fear becomes a place of play.

I can wade, jump, dive, trickle or race through the gap, inviting the breath to meet me at the other side. As I move more fully into each turn, each bend and dip in the rail, I become bigger and bigger with every breath.

In the bigness, I am fluid and free. There, in that space, I cannot help but smile in the excitement I find in being me…in breathing excitement into fear.


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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.


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Just My Thinks

There are thinks I follow through on and thinks that follow me.

There are thinks that motivate and thinks that discourage.

There are thinks that build me up and thinks that crumble me to the ground.

There are thinks I think of doing and thinks that do on their own.

There are thinks I engage and thinks I avoid.

There are thinks I want to have and thinks that seem to taunt me.

There are thinks I hope to have and thinks that linger long past their usefulness.

It seems my thinks are here to stay.

Thankfully, I know they are not all that is me…they are just my thinks…just resting in a small crevasse of my being…

…and it is okay to let some get away.


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Collective Liberation

When I learn to let go of anger, you begin to feel ease.

When I stop shaming myself, you become less judgmental.

When I no longer let my past determine my future, you gain hope and excitement.

When I can forgive myself for every and any mistake, shortcoming, and perceived failure, you let go of regrets.

When I remain in a positive state, your fears begin to fade away.

When I unconditionally love myself through the darkness and fears that arise, I invite your inner light to shine.

When I love me, you love more.

When I free myself, I free you.


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Flowing

Creativity is a river always running through us…a river that sources imagination.

Imagination gives rise to widening pools of contemplation and greater depths of cohesion.

From this place springs the voice of the intuition…flowing strong and confidently into my external reality.

The more often I sit by this river and allow the currents to flow, the more resonant my knowing and the more joyful and fulfilling my experiences become.


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Pretending to be bored

Waiting for my thoughts to quiet.

With each breath, feigning an attempt to soften the tension in my muscles.

Always on high alert, my body is the ever faithful soldier standing at attention, ready to advance, attack, or defend.

My thoughts and feeling providing constant counsel, conducting their business at all hours of the day and night as if essential personnel.

It is a strange request I make that all the components that serve me in my daily busy-ness are called upon now to rest.

They are troubled by this pause as it could imply they may no longer be needed. They resist – the body…the mind…the emotions that want to protect and define me.

And yet, a strange and delightful spaciousness coats my experience when I am willing to just sit down and breathe.

It frees them all to not disappear but to serve me better. They become my friends, sipping tea on the deck, holding hands and dancing in the absence of mission and doing.

Oh, the joy of knowing my thoughts, my feelings, my body in the absence of need.

We rest here for a bit together, finding a freshness in how we coexist…

…and then we agree to do this much more often.


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The walk

Do not worry, my friend…we know the way. To stumble or feel unsure does not require that we abandon the walk. Rather, it is simply calling upon us to step more genuinely and confidently across the stones, to move more freely to the rhythm of our own knowing. We have been preparing to walk these stones, this path, for a lifetime. You know the way.


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Seeking Beyond

In the cold, still hours of dawn, the frost surrounds me. Like a fortress, ice cakes the windows.

Agitation builds as I feel blocked from the broader landscape that lies beyond that wall of ice.

Straining to look past what’s right in front of me, I fear I am unable to move forward, somehow missing out. Life out there is happening without me.

And then my gaze shifts. As easily as the breath transitions from exhale to inhale, I see it…the beauty that lies before me as these little crystals of life come into focus.

Shiny…Small…Magnificent…Fleeting.

They dance before all else that lies beyond and will, as the sun warms them, part to change my view.

For now I rest in the marvel of how they gathered there to share their beauty and their story of the importance of not overlooking what’s right in front of me to hurry to the beyond.


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Slowly Shining Brighter

I am the moon, ever-changing, cast in the shadows and light of the sun and the adjacent stars.
Some days I might shine brightly. Some days I show more darkness.
To make things more complicated, clouds may obstruct your view of me. Your light and the light closest to you may dull my shine.
I may also choose to shine by light that becomes explosive, that combusts when it meets your atmosphere.
I may take on many faces and seem unpredictable, perhaps even volatile at times. Other times, I am distant, cool, and elusive.
Whatever light surrounds me, whatever stars I close to align with, it is just for this moment so that you and I can play with this light and these shadows.  
I do it all in the hopes that you will still see me through it all, reflecting light and absorbing darkness so that you can get to know me even better with each moment we share together.
In that space between the light and the dark, there is a great place of hope, grace, and love where we all can learn to slowly shine brighter.