Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Arabesque

The tightrope wire is taught and thin leaving not much room for play.

Inching along trepidatiously, the other side seems so far away.

Moved – or frozen – by memories and worry, I slide foot after foot on the barely visible line.

And then a pause to fill myself with breath returns me to my center.

Without any planning and responding only to the invitation of my breath, my body begins to relax.

My back leg lifts, my heart turns to the sky, and suddenly what I thought was only one path, becomes my playground.

There is still a bit of cautiousness – for I am in human form — but I give way to curiosity and before I know it there I am in a full arabesque on the wire.

Hanging on or flying free is the choice that is always there for me.

Thank you Jean McDonald for sharing this photo and your courage with all of us!


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Learning to Knit

So much of this past year was spent retracted, curled inward, huddled up against myself. Darkness, distractions, and attempts to keep things all the same occupied much of my thinking. Circular thoughts woven into fears. Captive in this castle, spinning my time into the yarn of “what if.”

I imagined I was suffering, experiencing punishment of some sort. Separate from my routine, separate from others, separate from much of what I knew as familiar.

Now, a year later, I am being asked to do something with all the yarn that I have spun. I am being asked to go back to some form of the way things were, to put the yarn away. But I have rather come to enjoy the spinning and might just want to sit and spin some more.

Ah, but it could be time instead for me to learn to knit. There are endless possibilities of where I can go from here and what I can create. If I can only see that every moment is an opportunity to learn and create something new. How fortunate I have been to have this time to spin this yarn.

In this re-emergence as the gates slowly open, it is lovely to see what others have woven. Some have acquired new skills. Connected and inspired from within, they are already knitting. Some have rolled the yarn into balls to store away for another time. Some have just begun to make the yarn. In this experience, I have learned that I can resist the weaving, stumble and climb over all the yarn, or I can learn to knit.


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In This Vase

I tried to grow straight and tall like them. I worked just as hard as they did to grow.

But, it seems I am unfolding differently. I wonder if you see me as suffering, wilting or weak. Do you think I am lacking in nourishment or attention? Perhaps I strike you as non-compliant or maybe even deformed.

Why can’t it just be that because of me their poise and beauty are more prominent while my stature is no less dear?

Could there be room enough in this vase for all of us to be equally valued and admired?


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Seeking

So focused on the work,

on striving to be something, someone…

The joy has slipped away.

But there is no need to run after it, seeking it.

You see, luv, the joy is always right here in your heart. Your heart just beats more loudly to the rhythm of some things, like walks in the park, playing in the woods, cooking delicious foods and wrapping up in snuggly blankets.

Include those rhythms in your daily routine and you will not need to seek joy for it will already be there dancing with you.


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Tiny Seed

It is here in the cool darkness that I harness the energy to grow, that I am held, and bravely take on the task of seeing myself as something I’ve never been before.

It takes great courage to stay within these confines and not feel restricted or inferior. The darkness gives me time to be a tiny seed – tight and small, contained in my protective shell —nurtured by all that is around me.

This time in the dark is essential for growing on the inside to support expansion on the outside.

Isn’t it fortunate that we all at some point or another have the opportunity to go inside and revisit our magnificence as a tiny seed…time and time again.


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Awakening

Why is it when something good happens, I assume I am dreaming? Good fortune couldn’t possibly come to me just because it is a way of living.

Our dreams allow us to live out endless possibilities, to experience great joys and work through sufferings. Yet it is more often the sufferings that we bring with us into the waking world. It is the sufferings we expect to find in the daylight hours.

As we settle into the darkest time of the year, let us awaken in this darkness to the fact that we are intended to live in joy and peace, and to thrive in the living more than in our dreams.

It is the suffering that is the illusion, not the success. It is the discomfort that we can relinquish to the dream state.

In the darkness, I awaken to know that this being is intended to be miraculous, exuberant, joyful and abundantly filled with ease.

It is time to give ourselves permission to celebrate our successes and well-being, fully awake and aware in our right to thrive.


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Contain It or Let It Roll?

These days are like scooping mercury. Chasing after it can be so exhausting as it beads and evades more with each attempt to contain it.

Feeling the need to clean it up, but might just have to sit here for a bit and just watch as it glides and rolls around making beautiful patterns and shapes.

Remarkable how something so potentially harmful can have such valuable purpose and be so beautiful.


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Presumed Flavor

On the surface rests an assumption of flavor, texture, and tartness. Neither color, nor shape, nor size can truly tell me what’s inside.

I can’t necessarily rely on prior experience to guide me. I am informed and intelligent, yet my predictions are never risk free. There is always a chance of finding sourness, mushiness, under ripeness or rot. Even in the bitterness there is nutrition.

Am I willing to let down my guard, to go against the odds, and to look past the outside appearances and find a way to see all as just ripe for me?


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Feeling in

Through your accomplishments I gain confidence in my ability to move the world.

In your mistakes I recognize your willingness to be my teacher.

In your humility I lay down my need to fight for my existence.

In your weakness I see the most incredible power.

Each time I pause to notice, I cannot help but shed tears of incredible gratitude and honor in feeling into life through your heart and eyes.


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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.