Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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An antidote for loss

When you are suffering, my smile does not mean I don’t care. It may be that I am just opening my heart more in a time when yours may feel closed off.

I am holding a space of warmth and hope in which you can feel sad but not alone.

Allow my smile to soften your pain and be not a blinding light but a guiding light.

Feeling and noticing love and joy in others does not negate the loss. It just reminds us of our capacity to heal and honor loss without getting lost in it ourselves.


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Contain Me

For each of us there is a layer that surrounds and holds our thoughts and feelings, that ties physical material existence to a sense of being. Built into the walls of that container are our beliefs, values, and desires, ever connected and blending with the feelings of others. These characteristics are what give the container strength but can also become places of vulnerability, weakness, and destruction. Stress fractures can begin to appear over time in the container where the values, beliefs, and habits are challenged, become inflexible and brittle.

Signs of wear or weakness are not markers of fault in the container, but a means for assessing whether repair or replacement could be useful. It may be the values and beliefs woven into that section are ready for reconditioning.

When I visualize the materials, tools, and mending — stitching the fabric, soldering the metal, molding the clay – and give myself permission to reshape the container, perhaps even layering different media, I can begin to fill and empty with experiences in a way that projects and protects the me I have come to be.


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Badlands

I stand at the edge of what appears to be a barren and desolate canyon, seemingly incapable of supporting my growth.

Between the jagged and piercing crevasses, I reach down and discover I don’t need as much as I thought to thrive – simple and small gifts of connection are enough to sustain me. Humility, patience, and kindness soften the edges of the canyon like a gentle rain just enough to allow me to take hold and flourish.

Here I learn of my own fortitude and resilience. Here I may appear to stand out but it’s really just where I belong.


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Badlands

I stand at the edge of what appears to be a barren and desolate canyon, seemingly incapable of supporting my growth.

Between the jagged and piercing crevasses, I reach down and discover I don’t need as much as I thought to thrive – simple and small gifts of connection are enough to sustain me. Humility, patience, and kindness soften the edges of the canyon like a gentle rain just enough to allow me to take hold and flourish.

Here I learn of my own fortitude and resilience. Here I may appear to stand out but it’s really just where I belong.


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Contrails

Every morning through my window I watch the airplanes carve a path through the sky, a seemingly straight line built of swirling vortices.

The pilots consider themselves on a steadfast course, honed to the coordinates entered.

But as I watch the swath cover the sky, I see that one path dissipates into a thousand threads of opportunity to go in a different direction.

What one perceives as the path another sees as the starting point. A straight line swirls and morphs into a cloud.

There is nothing wrong with the trajectory on which I ride, but I find it quite fun to imagine where else I might go.


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Hmmmmm

A tear carves a cool path along my skin. My heart pounds furiously against the constricted edges of my body. Focused on my imperfections, I am frozen.

Motionless, my attention is suddenly diverted to a deep and robust murmur in the sky. I slowly turn and open my eyes to find a hummingbird still yet racing in the sky before me.

Wings fluttering so quickly I cannot see them, heart beating 500 times the speed of mine, there it hovers, searching just like me for nourishment in its motionless.

It’s lightness as much a reality as my heaviness.

Joy and freedom projecting from its racing heart and pounding wings.

My racing heart begins to feel less burdened.

My constricted body is now inspired to move.

The illusion I’ve created of my suffering fades.

I find nourishment in transforming my experiences into joy and lightness, choosing the qualities of a hummingbird over failure.


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Meditate Me

The gentle breeze brushes the hair off my face, opening my eyes to all the possibilities that lie on the path before me.

Sunlight bends and shifts through the branches above me, sending waves of warmth and shadows dancing upon my skin, drenching my muscles down to the bones.

The earth below pushes up into the soles of my feet, every step met with a symphony of sensations – crackling forest debris, jagged rocks protruding through the dusty soil, the path shifting and bending me.

The pops of green in the scattered brush and the sprinkling of wild flowers and occasional sprigs of berries remind me of the lushness in this life.

Smells meld together, carving new trenches in my memory, designing a magnificent tapestry of infinite connections linking the past to the now.

My palm now meets the furry edges of the bark on the thousand year old gatekeepers of this sacred space, full of knobs, notches, and burn marks, all signs of a life well lived. It’s touch drains the deepest crevasses of my being, tears now flowing in synchrony with the close by river, eroding the stone edges of my cheeks, chin, and chest.

All the pain, struggle, and fears, begin to melt. All the doubts and failures dissipate. My body, my soul now willing, softness consumes me, not absent strength, but expanding into the subtle power of me.

It is here that I witness harmony, balance, and beauty in the inconsistencies, imperfections, death, and birth before me…within me.

It is here that I discover my own capacity for healing.

It is here that I meditate instead of medicate.


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Sail Away Home

Settling into my breath, I find the spot where the inhale meets the exhale – the moment of attachment of my body to the breath, the point of connection to my inner knowing.

At that point, I find stillness. Projecting from that stillness is a clear and receptive space of awareness.

From that awareness, I follow the path of least effort to discover my intention – the sensation, word or object that reflects my true state of being. In that intention I find reassurance, guidance, and confirmation in my decision making.

I sit for a moment longer in the stillness, awareness and intention until I can let go of all discomfort. Full of ease and comfort, my sails fill confidently with my inner knowing, fulfilling my purpose and potential.

Finding stillness, awareness, intention, and letting go, I sail away home.


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Reflections on a Hero

My hero is not something or someone I aspire to be…a distant goal or vision. My hero is not outside of me. My hero is not a better version of me.

My hero is the frightened little girl in me who has time and again stood up to hurt and loss,

the me that puts aside shame when I make mistakes,

the me that apologizes,

the me that expresses my truth with kindness and care,

the me that forgives unconditionally,

and the me that every day knows that I am whole, worthy, and complete,

yet willing to put myself out there

to forget and remember again and again

that I am already my hero.

Finding the hero within today feels better than striving to be the hero tomorrow.


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Awakening

Imagine no more separateness. No more day. No more night. No more sleep. No more wake. Simply a space in which I rest when I am tired and I dance and play when I feel joyful.

Night and day converging, it is all just a dream. What takes place is all imagined – what power I have to control my story! I can awaken at any time to adjust the impression left by this moment.

I can dance in the moonlight, rest during the day, sun and moon in one sky. The yin and yang of life itself poised in equanimity, one space, one being.

When the sun and the moon brighten the sky together, that will be the moment in which I realize anything is possible, any story can be written or rewritten, and life is all unfolding under one timeless sky.