Monday Mindfulness

Cultivating Strength, Joy, Peace & Resilience


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Making Something of Myself

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Stand out!

Be seen!

Grab others’ attention.

Smile!

Press on!

Make something of yourself.

It presses against my nature,

and yet I go on as best as I can.

In all my efforts to stand out

All I really want is to blend in.


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In the Sea of Knowing

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Funny how we assign emotions, assume other’s perspectives, and assimilate outside experiences as our own.

The body works so hard to represent the advisory panel of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, but sometimes it doesn’t always get that representation right.  Sometimes we read too much into posture, expression, engagement.  We jump to conclusions.

All along, it’s just a series of labels we attach to things to create order — an illusion that we have some sort of control.

Let the labels wash away and then what is there?  Energy — plain and simple chemical reactions — that whimsically attach to illusions.  Eliminating the labels, we engage our intuition, not just our eyes, to interpret our surroundings.  It is not always what I see that informs, but how it bumps up against me energetically.

The real gift in communication and connection is tapping into that energy.

Bored…or relaxed?

Impatient…or enthusiastic?

Sad…or peaceful?

Or maybe the energy isn’t connected to the expression at all.

Lose the labels…make the deeper connections…feel the power in knowing beyond seeing.


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When the gates are open

I certainly don’t claim to have any part of this whole dying thing down. But I have seen enough family and friends make that transition to understand that it is not in the clinging to this life or the wallowing in the departure that brings peace. It is not in the anointing or in the fighting that we pass on but in the releasing…the letting go of the story, the belief that we are only of value in this living physical form, the fear we have somehow not been or done enough, and the pressure to continue on in something that has drawn to a close.

I believe we always have the choice. There can be fanfare and drama or quiet and stillness. Those left behind can wail and wrestle with their loss or

be happy for the soul that returns to the light, which I believe allows the departed to float more freely, untethered to the strings of our emotions, fears, and needs in this temporal space.

We need not believe in “life” after this body, but we can be sure that we are more than this body. We can be grateful for the space this body provided for us to play and learn – whether just hours or days or many, many years.

We all have within us a mysterious longing to be free, yet we spend little time preparing for the opportunity to run freely when the gates are open.

One thing that is becoming increasingly clear to me is that it seems the way to die may be to live in love, to surround ourselves with those who are willing to hold the gates open for us, and let nothing hinder us from feeling whole, content, and ready to run.


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Rest for the Weary

Sleep evades me when my thoughts and emotions battle to define my reality.

When I look through the lens of fear and doubt, my eyes are reluctant to close as my body dwells in the space of my inadequacy.

If I could just soften the clenching, look another direction, allow my body to surrender to my inner knowing that all is ok, then I could dive in…dive in between the thoughts and feelings and their manifestation in my body, dive in to a space wide open where I can sort my experiences, face my decisions and choices, explore outcomes, and perceive failures and successes without consequence or judgement.

If I can just allow myself to dive in, I discover a playground in my dreams that frees me from the illusions of success or failure, where I always have the option to stop the experience or change its path.

And, then I awaken remembering that I have this same control, this same ability to change my experience, when I am awake as when I sleep.

I am no longer restless for I realize I am not my dreams, I am not my feelings, I am not my emotions – they are just the space in which I play.

I am the space of rest.


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D-E-F-E-N-S-E

Defense is establishing a boundary with clarity and confidence.

Defensive is lunging beyond the boundary with fear and doubt.

If you have a strong defense, you don’t need to be defensive.


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This Treasured Vessel

My vehicle is a treasure to me. It gets me around and enables me to do things I otherwise couldn’t do. It is also an extension of me. When you see my vehicle, it tells you something about me – my style, my preferences, my level of meticulousness or ornateness.

I regularly repair and maintain this vehicle, tending to all the essential manufacturer guidelines and using my intuition to listen to the sounds it makes, to know its natural rhythm and flow. I can tell in an instant when something doesn’t seem quite right and I jump to repair it. I would never put anything in it to harm it – in fact all the spaces through which it can be fed are locked and need special access, ensuring awareness and alertness to the purity and quality of the nourishment it receives.

My vehicle is not me, but I value what it does and brings to me…the experiences it allows me to have, the places it takes me, the quality of what I can contribute to my work, to my family, to my life.

The care and effort I put into this vehicle ensures it’s reliability and longevity. It requires great patience and dedication to tend to this vehicle, but it is worth every effort for my return on investment is priceless and timeless.

This vehicle deserves the best from me always as it always gives its best for me.


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Disintegration

I hold a piece of clay, cool, heavy, undefined.

As I push and pull upon it, a shape begins to form. The temperature, texture, and identity of that clay grow with me.

As my best efforts produce an uneven, imbalanced figure, one to which I have nonetheless become attached, I realize more work needs to be done.

To bring the work into balance requires undoing what I have created, detaching from what is currently there before me.

The chemical reaction in my brain, the visceral response in my body, and the tugging of my thoughts and emotions make reworking the clay painful.

To restore balance, I must pull the familiar apart. I must disintegrate the work. It is not without labor and discomfort that I destroy the familiar and let go of what I knew as my best work.

I tremble with fear and doubt – I cannot imagine a greater work than before.

And there it is. After the pain of disintegration comes release from what was…freedom from past bests.

Pleasure and pride arise as the new shape takes form, coming closer into balance.

With faith and perseverance, disintegration leads to evolution.