Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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.


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Flowing

Creativity is a river always running through us…a river that sources imagination.

Imagination gives rise to widening pools of contemplation and greater depths of cohesion.

From this place springs the voice of the intuition…flowing strong and confidently into my external reality.

The more often I sit by this river and allow the currents to flow, the more resonant my knowing and the more joyful and fulfilling my experiences become.


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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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finding the way

Rain pounds down on the door of the earth.

The soil parts, making way for movement.

Creatures on the move rise to the surface.

Suddenly the water rushes in carrying us to unfamiliar spaces.

Momentarily stunned with uncertainty this new uncomfortable vantage point becomes home.

Gradually settling into a new way of being and heading in a new direction provided solely by the force of another.

Sensing the way, knowing now a different path.

Facing challenges and significant dangers, but moving forward just the same… determined to make good on this shift.

With the pouring rain comes fresh possibilities to establish new pattens, make new discoveries, test adaptability, and make good in the face of adversity.


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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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Swinging on a Heart Thread

Working through the challenges of life is like swinging on the bars of a jungle gym. Each requires a certain amount of preparation, a great deal of follow through, and the ability to balance risk and excitement all for the sake of getting to the next rung.

Taking that leap…feeling that joy.


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Doable

passion and common sense (2)

When passion and common sense come together they bring with them a whimsical assuredness.  Their rhythmic dance is reverent and focused, yet meandering and joyful.  Together they carry me forward with comfort and ease.

With a balance of passion and common sense, life seems quite doable…anything seems doable…everything is doable when we walk this path together.