Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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A pebble in my shoe.

Here I am, walking along, awareness softly tuned to my surroundings.

Without any warning, the easy state of awareness suddenly funnels with precision into the soul of my foot.

A slew of messages instantly travels light lightening through my body alerting me to intense sensation.

There is a pebble in my shoe.

With each step now, I have a choice.

Do I immediately freeze, paralyzed by this unanticipated happening, shutting down, urgently driven to remove the discomfort?

Do I pause, taking notice, receiving the sensations with curiosity and kindness, quietly ascertaining my next step?

Or do I continue walking, noticing, and finding unique learning in every step, even through the unsettledness and unease?

Can I cultivate gratitude for the ability to feel, to move, and motivate, to decide with every step?

Whatever I do, it should be with care, not reacting but receiving, even when unexpected and uncomfortable, a constant reminder of my free will.


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What does it take to forgive?

To forgive requires an understanding of worth,

a belief that we are all equal and deserving of freedom,

free from the risks of learning.

It takes purity of mission,

integrity of intention,

clarity of thoughts,

truthful words,

and a loving heart.

Purity is the essence of forgiveness,

wiping away our grudges,

removing hurtles,

clearing the slate.

There is a lightness and ease for both the forgiven and the forgiver when judgment and expectation are released and we are each allowed to experience learning and loving

purely,

gently,

freely.


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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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Focus

Sometimes hyper focus may seem lovely but it could actually be clouding my capacity to see.

I’m not distracted…I’m just interested in more exceptional things!


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It’s time for an Evolution

Holding out hope for resolution or dissolution of pain or suffering brings heartache…a direct misalignment of the brain and heart as the heart knows that change is needed but the head resists the shift because it’s too much work to reorganize the memories, beliefs, stories. Gestures we make toward evolution instead of resolution free us to make transitions knowing all will be ok.

The shift doesn’t erase or do away with feelings – it alters receptivity and focus, it forges new pathways of being and seeing and offers a beautiful contrast informing contentment, the capacity to just be, absent good or bad. Contentment when fully present and balanced fuels joy and joy fuels awe…unconditional delight in experiencing evolution over resolution.


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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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Open Seat

Both chairs are always available to you. One sits above and allows you to sprinkle your wisdom confidently, but also requires you to hold a caring space, to lift me up. The other sits at the feet of the first, providing a place to listen, learn and receive, ignighted by curiosity and wonder.

Which seat do you choose? Can you find a way to sit under, to humbly receive and accept knowledge and perspective from others? Can you sit above without looking down and casting a shadow?

Is there a way you can fit in either seat depending not on what you desire but on what I need?

Please come sit with me for a spell.


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From the Inside

As the last of the peppers hang on the branches of summer gardens, I am reminded that all dressed up in their glossy and attractive shades and shapes, all peppers really do look quite similar. Yes, some may be longer or rounder, but for the most part you can recognize a pepper when you see one.

The truly interesting part is that what you see on the outside rarely relays the tastes and sensations that are discovered on the inside. Size, color, and shape don’t always indicate what you will find. Stand a bright yellow pepper next to a long red one and you might think they were very different until you take a bite. Then you find a delicious sweetness in both of them. On the other hand, line three different green peppers up together and each can have a distinct flavor — some cool and sweet and others quite bitter or firey. In fact, some peppers will even take your breath away.

All crisp, juicy, and designed to complement one another, peppers come in all shapes and sizes, all flavors and intensities, all suiting different taste buds.  Imagine if the world had only one type of pepper. Imagine if someone tried to decide which pepper was best for all and ignored the taste treats hidden in the others.

Isn’t it grand we have so many peppers to get to know?


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Brushes with Bromeliads

Every day, I tenderly pluck and sort the unwanted guests between the treasured plants in the garden of this life of mine. I carefully reach between the stalks and flowers I choose to keep and arrange them all just so.

And, even with the most careful attention, I never leave my garden without scrapes, brush marks and bruises.

Yes, some of the most treasured plants in my garden have thorns. I move with particular sensitivity around them lest they snag my flesh. And somehow even as they cut me, I am still able to see their beauty and feel their special worth. They reach out and brush against me as if they just want to touch, to say “isn’t this all so grand that we are here?!”

It is at that moment when I am wounded but still capable of loving – even those plants with thorns – that I recognize that this coexistence is the essence of thriving.


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Toughest on the Tastebuds

These days have felt so heavy, so serious, and rather dark…so much sourness and bitterness. I get it – our experiences are supposed to be varied – not all sweet and easy to digest – and those moments that are toughest on the tastebuds could actually be what is needed in the end for optimal health.

I also know that as I strive to make forward progress, even as I check tasks off the list and move effectively towards growth and change, if I get caught up in what sour and bitter flavors are to come, I may miss out on the tastiest treats yet.

If I can find room to smile, to laugh, to accept all that stands before me just as it is, I may find that what I thought too sour to handle is sitting right there just smiling back at me, waiting till I am ready to dive in, knowing it will do me good.