Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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Where there is grace

Swan (2)

Gliding across the still lake, the swan appears motionless…blending in, yet standing out.

There is an ease to the swan’s movements – small segments of being pieced together to produce strong, elegant, fluid motion…unfolding in a seemless, timeless, effortless evolution.

The swan goes not against the current, but blends into it, rides it, and collaborates with it to create a presence and ease that cannot help but draw the breath from me.

Attuning to the breath, I begin to realize the power and simplicity in the life force that moves so strong, elegantly, and fluidly through me.  With refinement of its movement, the breath becomes balanced and smooth. A fullness and simulaneous sense of roaring power and simple stillness come as each segment fully aligns.

In that very breath, I am the swan. In that very breath, I know grace.


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Tiny Droplets loop

Quiet cradles my mind like a blanket of fog embracing the landscape, softening the angles and ridges of criticism, judgment, and doubt.
Pain and suffering become frozen silhouettes. Dark and light meet, their edges fading into one another as if inseparable.
It is in this space where I find freedom to explore the notion of existing without shame or blame. I don’t need explanations, answers, or stories. It is here that I realize there is only love.

In and around, all that exists is love when I allow the low-lying cloud of peace to settle in.


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Hard work or heart work?

Are my decisions truly aligned with what is best for me?

Do I jump into action to make a big splash?

Are my actions tied to some sort of outside message board?

Can living just to feel happy be enough?

What if I chose empathy for myself instead of sympathy?

Or kindness and forgiveness instead of shame and blame?

Can I integrate my experiences, even the ones that result in mistakes, redirection or pain as essential parts of me?

Am I working to prove something?

Or am I living in these moments for my own higher good?

Could it be that by holding a space of peace and love for me I am holding it for you as well…

…and that is heart work.


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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.


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Witness Healing

My body is a part of me. It tells me when it needs nourishment and rest.

I can manifest the most horrific diseases by ignoring the signs in my body that are saying slow down, ease off, make a change.

There is no way my body can stop being ill until I care for it.

It is time for me to take responsibility for the way I feel. I do not need to be sick to care for myself. Sick is a reminder that I have neglected to care for me.

These are real symptoms – not of some outside force taking over, but a means of communication from the inside – me sending a message to me that something is out of alignment – the schedule, a relationship, nutrition, work…my connection with me.

Each of us has ignored signs that our bodies needed more care until we were really sick, feeling that powering through is a sign of strength. We don’t need to go there.

True strength lies in respecting myself enough to rest, eat well, choose to receive kindness and love from others and to forgive and let go of those who are in a position to diminish my sense of worthiness.

My body should be held and loved by me as a baby bird that has fallen from its nest. Given a chance to be seen, heard, and to heal.

When I carry my body as it carries me, my body allows me to witness the capacity I have for deep love and profound peace and healing.


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Evergreen

Trees loose their leaves. The moon falls to pieces. So often I take these happenings as signs that something is lost or missing.

I see someone else’s fullness as my empty. When I stand in their shadows, instead of relieved and protected, I feel smothered in darkness.

And yet the moon while it looks at times to be a fraction of itself remains whole. The shadows cast upon it by others are simply opportunities for it to buff up and then shine again. It’s light always returns, often even more brightly than before.

The tree that looses its leaves is storing energy to grow into something more, recognizing that it needs not retain its flamboyant exterior to maintain its grandiose stature.

And so the fractions, the pieces, the loss and the darkness are not thrust upon us as indicators of our own lacking or shortcomings, but as an opportunity to be something we have never been before.

Each of us ebbing and flowing with change at different times and paces to remind each other that we can be greater than we have ever been before if we lose our fear of someone else remaining evergreen or someone else shining a bit brighter today.