Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Going the Distance

I feel your heart beating next to mine even though miles away.

I know your moments of pain and sorrow even without hearing you cry.

On the gentle breeze that blows, I encounter great waves of relief, joy, and peace as they ebb and flow in you.

Even out of site I know you are there.

We may be physically distanced, but energetically, emotionally, socially, we are closer than ever before.

Physical distancing,

Social connecting.

Today we may just be closer than ever before.


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Just Be

joy-on-a-rock

Happy is a frame of mind…Joy a state of being.


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Bread Crumbs

path 2

Contrast arises in our experiences as a guide. Like bread crumbs scattered on the path, contrast draws attention, redirecting us back to the path, pointing out the direction in which we should head so that we can find our way back to what nurtures and restores us.


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Peeling Away the Layers

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When I am truly present, I feel each experience within my body. I receive it with my breath. I prod it with my thoughts and explore it with my feelings. Then, as I peel away these aspects of experience, these many layers of me, my inner wisdom welcomes that experience, absorbing it like a sponge, until that experience becomes me.

When the layers dissolve, all that I experience is me.


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Our Own Selves

Own Self

Can I ask “How are you?” for the sake of simply caring?

Can I learn of your pain, your mistakes, your successes, without judging?

Can I know that your different opinions, ideas, and ways of doing things are exquisite because they are you?

Can I trust that all of your decisions are yours, not good or bad, but those necessary to lead you along the path that is you?

Can I resist the urge to selfishly invade your experience just to feel more powerful from the distant shores of my perceptions?

Can I love and respect you enough to allow you to mind your own business?

Can we all just live freely and in peace to exist in the space of our own decisions, to learn and grow in our own unique ways, and just go to work at the task of being what we were made to be…our own selves?

 


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Where You Live

Front Door

Nothing that enters from the outside can define a person.  From within – from the space of the heart – comes the guidance and morality by which we live.  Your heart is where you live.


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The Dance of “Me”

Dance of Me

There is just one of me – one body, one mind, one world.

Yet, when I am in the left side of my mind, my world is lined up in neat little rows of describers and stories that define all of my experiences, forming memories of the past and predictions for the future, a space of story-telling, label-making, and structure.

In the right side of my mind, I am larger, brighter, made of colors, shapes, and lacking concrete boundaries.  When I step to the right, I feel free and open, joyful and full of peace.  My world is expansive, allowing, and in so many ways limitless.  In the right side of my mind, I am present and full of wonder, curiosity, and enjoyment.

I move back and forth from side to side, creating the dance that is me…but I do think I would be better off if I took a step to the right more often.


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Racing to Get Her Zen On

Racing      The door flung open, bells slashing loudly and abruptly against the wooden molding.  She raced in, tearing her coat off, kicking her shoes from her feet, keys dangling from her teeth.  Her breath was heavy, forehead glistening with sweat.  And, as the other students sat on their mats waiting for class to begin, she looked up through her tousled bangs and shouted, “I’m here to get my Zen on!”

Since when do we live in a world where we must turn our Zen on?  Why is it we need to make formal space in order for us to experience such a natural state?

What would happen if we no longer forced spaces in our day for “being in the moment” and instead each day naturally contained them — opportunities for breathing deeply and richly, moments of acute awareness of and engagement in our surroundings, and action from a place of compassion and kindness?  What if every day included time to play, to create, to enjoy our food and each other – not scheduled time, but naturally occurring moments in our day?  What if we could let go of goals and outcomes so that all of our actions could naturally lead to positive end results?

A few weeks ago, my mom greeted a work colleague with a question – “What are you doing tomorrow, on your day off?”  The friend paused and, after rendering a bit of a puzzled expression,  said, “I don’t have days on and days off…I just have days.”  He went on to explain that there is no difference in his experience of “work days” and “non-work days” as he treats every day as a gift and finds reward and ease in each day.

That is getting your Zen on!

Class ended.  She slowly stood up with a soft sparkle now in her eyes and a gentle smile in the corners of her mouth.  Her movement was easeful, her air calm and floaty – she was almost unrecognizable from the form we saw racing in the door just an hour before.  She stood back and let others move first through the doorway.  She asked one student about their health, another where they had been the prior week.  She had an awareness about her, an aura of wisdom, an unbridled confidence, without arrogance.

She had indeed gotten her Zen on and hopefully it will stay with her a little longer each time it happens until she arrives at that place where her Zen evenly flows throughout each and every day.

Until then, we’ll keep the light burning, the door open, and hold a space for her and all the others who are racing to get their Zen on.