Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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.


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Arabesque

The tightrope wire is taught and thin leaving not much room for play.

Inching along trepidatiously, the other side seems so far away.

Moved – or frozen – by memories and worry, I slide foot after foot on the barely visible line.

And then a pause to fill myself with breath returns me to my center.

Without any planning and responding only to the invitation of my breath, my body begins to relax.

My back leg lifts, my heart turns to the sky, and suddenly what I thought was only one path, becomes my playground.

There is still a bit of cautiousness – for I am in human form — but I give way to curiosity and before I know it there I am in a full arabesque on the wire.

Hanging on or flying free is the choice that is always there for me.

Thank you Jean McDonald for sharing this photo and your courage with all of us!


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Learning to Knit

So much of this past year was spent retracted, curled inward, huddled up against myself. Darkness, distractions, and attempts to keep things all the same occupied much of my thinking. Circular thoughts woven into fears. Captive in this castle, spinning my time into the yarn of “what if.”

I imagined I was suffering, experiencing punishment of some sort. Separate from my routine, separate from others, separate from much of what I knew as familiar.

Now, a year later, I am being asked to do something with all the yarn that I have spun. I am being asked to go back to some form of the way things were, to put the yarn away. But I have rather come to enjoy the spinning and might just want to sit and spin some more.

Ah, but it could be time instead for me to learn to knit. There are endless possibilities of where I can go from here and what I can create. If I can only see that every moment is an opportunity to learn and create something new. How fortunate I have been to have this time to spin this yarn.

In this re-emergence as the gates slowly open, it is lovely to see what others have woven. Some have acquired new skills. Connected and inspired from within, they are already knitting. Some have rolled the yarn into balls to store away for another time. Some have just begun to make the yarn. In this experience, I have learned that I can resist the weaving, stumble and climb over all the yarn, or I can learn to knit.


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Illumination

There lies a place in me that has grown numb and is forgotten, a place that in the cool darkness has fallen asleep.

The every day routines of existence have turned off the spigot of kindness, creativity and possibility. Even many of those rituals established to keep me awake and alive are void of meaning, passion, and connectivity.

I must step out of the sleepiness, the lethargy, and the isolation. I can no longer await the awakening. I must create it.

In the darkness I will dance until the vast potential and possibility within me are moved and my heart connected to the fullness, freedom, and gift of my essential self.

In the daylight hours and through the night, I will stay alert to those parts of my life that have fallen asleep, that are passing me by…and I will sing and dance and engage in such revelry and play that no part can remain unmoved, I cannot escape the awakening.

There I will find my essential self, my capacity to joyfully meet my needs as well as yours, and celebrate the wonder of life.

Special thanks to Greg Young of RGY Photography for the beautiful photo accompanying this post. See more at http://www.rgyphotography.com or on Instagram @randygyyoung.


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Tiny Seed

It is here in the cool darkness that I harness the energy to grow, that I am held, and bravely take on the task of seeing myself as something I’ve never been before.

It takes great courage to stay within these confines and not feel restricted or inferior. The darkness gives me time to be a tiny seed – tight and small, contained in my protective shell —nurtured by all that is around me.

This time in the dark is essential for growing on the inside to support expansion on the outside.

Isn’t it fortunate that we all at some point or another have the opportunity to go inside and revisit our magnificence as a tiny seed…time and time again.