Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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In This Vase

I tried to grow straight and tall like them. I worked just as hard as they did to grow.

But, it seems I am unfolding differently. I wonder if you see me as suffering, wilting or weak. Do you think I am lacking in nourishment or attention? Perhaps I strike you as non-compliant or maybe even deformed.

Why can’t it just be that because of me their poise and beauty are more prominent while my stature is no less dear?

Could there be room enough in this vase for all of us to be equally valued and admired?


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Stillness in Motion

Have you ever noticed the calm in movement? A dancer fills the stage with motion and even in the flow of the dance there is a sense of breathlessness, of suspension, and stillness.

Take a moment to sit and watch the falling snow or a drip of water in a faucet. Notice the stillness present in every motion. See the pause of the droplets, the gaps in between the snowflakes, or the steady space that is filled as you watch one flake make its way down, down, down right after another…one drip chase another. The moving object becoming the stillness itself. Feel time pause, honoring the power of stillness in the movement.

Move your body. Move your breath. Move your mind into the deep crevasses of the movement until you find the stillness.


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Mine

What’s yours is mine and mine is yours — at least that’s what we learn as children, right?

But sometimes it’s hard to share, to let someone have something we treasure…a favorite object, a delicious treat, our time, or our work product.

It sometimes makes me want to stop creating, contributing, doing and having!

But we know that renunciation — refraining, withdrawing, doing without — or non-action does not eliminate the fears and attachments. In fact it may even make them grow as in the unknown still lurks the possibility – even in doing nothing – that I might have something to share.

Instead, I think I will listen more, align myself with actions that fulfill me as I do them, and find such joys in the doing, creating, and connecting that I can unconditionally share anything of mine knowing that I am satisfying the tenants of pure love and that in giving to you I give to me.


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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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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.


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Awakening

Why is it when something good happens, I assume I am dreaming? Good fortune couldn’t possibly come to me just because it is a way of living.

Our dreams allow us to live out endless possibilities, to experience great joys and work through sufferings. Yet it is more often the sufferings that we bring with us into the waking world. It is the sufferings we expect to find in the daylight hours.

As we settle into the darkest time of the year, let us awaken in this darkness to the fact that we are intended to live in joy and peace, and to thrive in the living more than in our dreams.

It is the suffering that is the illusion, not the success. It is the discomfort that we can relinquish to the dream state.

In the darkness, I awaken to know that this being is intended to be miraculous, exuberant, joyful and abundantly filled with ease.

It is time to give ourselves permission to celebrate our successes and well-being, fully awake and aware in our right to thrive.


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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.