Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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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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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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See you on the bright side

I find fear exhausting.

Negative thoughts so draining.

Judgment and greed just tie me up in knots.

Why do we have to find fault and blame?

My breath flows so freely when I express kind words.

My muscles glide with ease as I extend gratitudes.

Joy makes my whole body sparkle.

This bright side is where I want to live,

no pain in perceived inferiority,

no striving or comparing,

no forgetting that everyone is always doing their best

and mistakes are the delightful gifts we are given to develop our curiosity, wonder, and awe.

Meet me here in this place of freedom to be the splendid, courageous, bright and imperfect beings that we are intended to be.


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Freedoms

I think my goals will no longer be based in outcomes…

But instead freedoms.

Giving

Receiving

Fluid

Unrestricted

Uninhibited

Without attachments

Without stipulations

Or boundaries

Adaptable

Accommodating

Peaceful

Gentle

Joyful

founded in Love.


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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.