Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Reflections on a Hero

My hero is not something or someone I aspire to be…a distant goal or vision. My hero is not outside of me. My hero is not a better version of me.

My hero is the frightened little girl in me who has time and again stood up to hurt and loss,

the me that puts aside shame when I make mistakes,

the me that apologizes,

the me that expresses my truth with kindness and care,

the me that forgives unconditionally,

and the me that every day knows that I am whole, worthy, and complete,

yet willing to put myself out there

to forget and remember again and again

that I am already my hero.

Finding the hero within today feels better than striving to be the hero tomorrow.


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Side by side

Together we navigate the waves and sands of life,

Asking simple questions like “what shall we eat today?”

Or “do you think it will rain?”

We sometimes gather with the flock to catch up and share in our collective presence and strength.

There is always the hierarchy to navigate and the stories of others that come into play – no less delightful but requiring a different form of focus and care nonetheless.

But when we walk alone at the waters edge in the silence,

knowing each other’s thoughts,

sensing the world together,

equal in the space we occupy,

that is when I feel at my best

and know my Self the most.


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Asymmetrical

Some of the most beautiful things in the world are uneven, off kilter, imbalanced.

As hard as I try to always be in control, to have an answer for every unknown, and to maintain balance, there are those days that remind me that true harmony arises not in maintaining order but in remaining open to the form of the mismatched nature of my experiences with my expectations.

Sometimes imbalance is not only refreshing for the eyes, but needed to reset the soul.


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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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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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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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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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Going Bigger

I breathe in, filling with the life force that moves me into every adventure, like the climbing of a roller coaster to the peak of its highest rail.

I teeter at the top, momentarily suspended in the gap of the breath the frozen space of fear.

And then I soften, surrender, and remember I am bigger than the gap. When I become bigger in the space of fear, fear becomes a place of play.

I can wade, jump, dive, trickle or race through the gap, inviting the breath to meet me at the other side. As I move more fully into each turn, each bend and dip in the rail, I become bigger and bigger with every breath.

In the bigness, I am fluid and free. There, in that space, I cannot help but smile in the excitement I find in being me…in breathing excitement into fear.


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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.