Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Make It A Day

It should have taken 20 minutes, but instead I sat in traffic for an hour and a half, I spilled tea in my lap, and I had a headache.  Immediately, frustration bubbled up in me and I said, “Grrr, I’m having such a BAD day!”   Why????

Why is it rational thought encourages us to label everything, to justify experiences, to identify feelings, and define our world as “good” or “bad”?   Rational thought is a great gift, but it sometimes gets in the way.

The ego steps in to say, “this is hard work, it’s a big challenge, so to help you feel better, let’s call it bad”. (or maybe even use more expletive words)

What qualifies as a bad day…or a good day?  Does it change over time as new labels are affixed to experiences?  Can experiences be relabeled?  Why is it easier to label the bad before the good?  Why do we need labels?

Perhaps, instead of creating labels for the challenges, the hard work, the setbacks, the traumas, they could just be there…all just part of LIFE.

Would I really be loved less if people around me didn’t hear me complaining, if I told of my day without defining it?  Is the outcome truly different if I call a situation good or bad?  Or, can I simply move through the experience and see these challenges as adding to who I am, but not defining me or causing that roller-coaster of emotions.

The tea in my lap dried up.  Deep breaths alleviated my headache.  I arrived in time and my day went on.

I think I will work on not having so many good days or bad days, but just having more days.


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Mind The Gap

Image          Due to age and changing topography, the London subway trains (also known as the Tube) often arrive at their platform stations with a noticeable gap between the floor of the train and the platform edge.  With its arrival at each station, the train announces to passengers to Mind the Gap as they depart the train.

On the path of life, as in the London subway system, rarely is the pavement straight or level.  Often there are small, subtle changes in the alignment of the floor with the platform that might cause you to stumble, but with a little awareness and an adjustment to your step, you are on your way.  At other times, the step up or step down requires a lot more attention.  The gap is wider, requiring more strength, increased agility, and greater care as you navigate the divide…a tumble here could really set you back. 

Fortunately, a recorded voice reminds passengers on the Tube to be aware.  The voice is loud and distinct and hard to ignore.  In life, that voice is more subtle and comes from within – but it’s there!  Tuning in, increasing your awareness, and allowing that voice to guide you may be the difference between a serious tumble and smooth stepping.

Whether the path requires that you step up or your best move is to step down, whether the gap is huge or just a small crack, your approach to what lies ahead makes all the difference in whether you reach your destination successfully.

So, stay flexible, be aware, step up, or back down, know that the divides and uneven pavement along the way are just part of the topography…and you’ll be just fine, as long as you mind the gap.    

Safe travels!