Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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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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Dashing through the snow.

Where are you running to? Are you so sure that where you are headed is better than where you are now?

When the ego takes the reins and the animal instincts snap the whip, running seems the only answer.

But we can always pause…we can always choose to let go of the drive and fear and sit in stillness until where we are becomes clearer and where we go is not as critical as why.

What you leave behind may actually be a more hospitable space than where you are off to. It may be all you need is to stop long enough to allow the path to appear, for you to know on that deepest level what is your right way.

Stay here for just a bit longer and you may find the freedom you seek, your greatest potential, is right here where you are.

You will always know the way if you just stop long enough…and then if you choose to run, the dash is simply for the fun of it.


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Befriending

It is easy on some days to feel like my body had betrayed me or is out to get me. There is weakness, soreness, or illness. I could see this body as unattractive or failing. I could label it as the enemy. Instead of interpreting the condition of my body as messages intended to inform and perhaps even inspire me, my mind perceives threats, expresses disappointment.

When I experience my body as misaligned with me is precisely when I need to remember that my body is less like a vulture and more like a little baby bird simply needing to be nourished and loved.


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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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Love as one

Love everyone and everything around you as if it were an arm, a leg, an extension of you.

We are all formed of the same chemicals and the same energy as everything around us. In that way we are all connected – we are one.

So, when we love beyond the perimeter of what we perceive as our structure and identity, we exist in a pure space of love…of ease…of freedom.

Oh, but wait…that would require pure love for oneself! Perhaps the true challenge lies in forming a steady stream of love for ourselves in order to feel pure connection through love beyond us.

Love requires truth. Truth requires fearless looking. Looking requires unconditional feeling. Feeling requires objective knowing.

So what if we open our eyes to see without fear, our mouths to speak authentically and empathetically, our hearts to feel without labels and judgement, and our minds to accept unlimited possibilities?

What if we can each find the “coeur”age to unconditionally love ourselves, to bathe ourselves in love?

Then, could we live as one love?


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i can’t breathe

Suppressed sorrow, inner anger, fear, hatred, and injustice boil inside of me.

My breath, my breath – it struggles to move. I feel all so intensely but for the capacity to breathe – to imbibe the life force of my being.

I judge with ignorance. I judge from a place of intolerance. I judge inaction and I judge action.

I accuse. I blame. I judge. I shame…it goes on and on.

I carry my own sufferings as well as yours, knowing the answer is to relieve from within, to activate a force of love so great that others and myself cannot help but be moved to peace.

I begin to see the mistakes and inadequacies and to release myself and subsequently you from the shackles of limited beliefs and misperceptions.

I begin to feel the shift. I begin to feel myself escaping…not as a victim but as a beacon in a rising space of forgiveness, freedom and love. The hate softens and I then hold so much more compassion, kindness and understanding for all the sufferings than ever before.

And, as this life would have it, the weight bears down once more on my throat, taking away my voice, closing off my airway, and so I begin again turning inward.

These times when the breath cannot be freed, I must turn to love and relieve the anger from within.


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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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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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Going the Distance

I feel your heart beating next to mine even though miles away.

I know your moments of pain and sorrow even without hearing you cry.

On the gentle breeze that blows, I encounter great waves of relief, joy, and peace as they ebb and flow in you.

Even out of site I know you are there.

We may be physically distanced, but energetically, emotionally, socially, we are closer than ever before.

Physical distancing,

Social connecting.

Today we may just be closer than ever before.