Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Reflections

I am an open landscape on which you paint your experience.

I mirror back to you just what you put out there.

If you aren’t sure of what you are painting,

pause,

step back,

clear your mind,

open your heart.

Come sit a spell in my grand, vast emptiness before you start to fill the canvas with elements that may not produce the landscape best for the both of us.

Tread gently on the rolling hills,

pause and watch the rising and setting sun,

see ocean…

flowers…

wild flowing grasses…

Deep wooded forests.

The landscape is yours in which to play.

Just remember that whatever you add to this landscape – the meeting of your choice of media, colors and textures – is yours to assimilate and accommodate, not mine.


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Every day

Even in the presence of the greatest fear or anger, I can exercise refined goodwill, fluid kindness…grace. Tactfully navigating life’s challenges is one of the greatest opportunities we have to embody love. Not just in the big confrontations but in the small everyday exchanges.


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Resonance

Cold or crisp

Jagged or pronounced

Lonely or spacious

Lifeless or still

Lifting out or melting down

Eerie or quiet

Feel it in your heart

Attune vibrationally not visually to your surroundings and your experiences

Feel the heartbeat of living things

The resonance.

Photo Credit: Iceland by Lindsey Simpson, @yoga_with_Miss_Lindsey


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On a branch

Let’s just meet on a little branch somewhere,

nestled in between the flowers,

shaded by a tall leafy tree.

We can find a little nourishment,

share a little love,

not limited by the constructs of time

or burdened by emotions or heavy thoughts.

Let’s meet on a little branch somewhere

and consider doing this more often.


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Delicious

Sweet, ripe, bits of tartness, sometimes mushy, juicy, occasionally messy and on the verge of rotten.

Dripping with flavor and full of surprises.

A steady flow of tastes and textures that overlap and give way to each other.

It has taken me all these years to realize I am not just the piece of fruit.

I am the whole fruit salad, meant to be experienced and enjoyed as a whole.


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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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Listening

Smiles and laughter have a beautiful way of resonating in our hearts forever, like the vibration of music carried on the wind. The music is always there…we just sometimes have to stop to listen for it.


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Hmmmmm

A tear carves a cool path along my skin. My heart pounds furiously against the constricted edges of my body. Focused on my imperfections, I am frozen.

Motionless, my attention is suddenly diverted to a deep and robust murmur in the sky. I slowly turn and open my eyes to find a hummingbird still yet racing in the sky before me.

Wings fluttering so quickly I cannot see them, heart beating 500 times the speed of mine, there it hovers, searching just like me for nourishment in its motionless.

It’s lightness as much a reality as my heaviness.

Joy and freedom projecting from its racing heart and pounding wings.

My racing heart begins to feel less burdened.

My constricted body is now inspired to move.

The illusion I’ve created of my suffering fades.

I find nourishment in transforming my experiences into joy and lightness, choosing the qualities of a hummingbird over failure.


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Does size matter?

When the energy in a situation gets big do you get bigger?

When the energy gets big, do you get littler?

Neither is right or wrong, they just produce different effects.

Where I match the energy carefully and skillfully in its bigness, riding the inhale to its peak, I can take that energy by the hand and usher it to a more stable space.

When I remain small in the big energy I model a means to come back to center, a way to arrive home on the wave of the exhale.

So I can choose whether to breathe in and ride up or breathe out and come back. Where I get into trouble is if I only head one way and forget that there is an inhale and an exhale in every encounter and that big and little are compliments as much as contrasts.


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For a Smoother Takeoff

“Prepare your doors for departure and cross check, please” said the pilot before departing the gate.

How often in our daily lives do we launch without proper preparation?

The brief pause to transition from one moment to the other – to conduct a cross check and prepare for what comes next – provides clarity, confidence, and confirmation that I am ready to move forward.

This cross check also eliminates potential danger and reduces the likelihood of unfortunate outcomes.

On the rhythm of every breath lies the opportunity to prepare for departure, to make wiser choices, and be ready for what lies ahead.

And, with that next exhale, looking keenly and calmly ahead, I softly whisper, “Cross check complete.”