Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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At the Starting Line

Today I begin again…not as a punishment or starting over but launching from a new starting line.

To begin again is to feel into an experience in a new way and invite…and then allow… an unexpected outcome.

To joyously and curiously invite variety, spontaneity, and change in such a way as to begin again and begin again, freely cultivating an openness to the unknown while at the same time feeling stable, connected, confident, and grounded.

To begin again is to be fully present, wildly open, and happy in every moment.


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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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Steadfast

When I become the mountain that I see in the distance, I feel my steadiness, my ability to withstand the currents of the winds and the torrents of rain. I may be walked upon by people, animals and time, yet the cracks, worn paths, and decay only add to my character and beauty.

I reach towards the sky never forgetting the love of the earth – the earth within me.

When I feel my true strength, I no longer need to be strong


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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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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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Free falling

Whether a soft trickle or a torrent force, allow your life to freely move through and around you.

Maintain the firm and steady sense of earth below you and feel your life caress your edges gliding smoothly along your seams and boundaries. Let that be the reminder of who you are.

This is what it means to be in the flow.