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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It’s Time We Come Together

 

Still Hands

We talk about coming together as family, friends, community.  Of course, we are social beings and need one another to share experiences, confide in, lean gently upon, and confidently hold up.

Yet, so often, in our coming together we climb over one another, talking over top of each other, thinking into each other, never really arriving in that space of coming together at all.

Even when we play together, our words, feelings, and bodies get in between.

What if we were to sit or lie down beside each other?  Comfortably, safely, in our own individual space, yet together in one place.

What if we were to close our eyes, quiet our thoughts, cease the chatter, and agree to simply be there…not to sleep, but to rest side-by-side and unconditionally hold a soft space of awareness for ourselves and each other in silence.

Then, as we drift beyond the container of the body, a dance begins…a dance of the breath, of connection without words, of equal sharing in this seemingly timeless space.

It is in this space where we are equals, where we listen to the songs of others, where we simultaneously share everything and nothing, where we see each other as we see ourselves, where we are in this skin but somewhere else.

A palpable collaboration takes place in this precious space of collective rest — wakeful, conscious allowing of the stillness, allowing of our being, allowing of one another.

Maybe it is not in a board room or at the family dinner table or on the basketball court where we can do the most leaning on, supporting of, and accepting of one another.  Maybe it is actually in this space of shared rest where we can find the greatest power in our coming together.


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Cantankerous

cantankerous (2)

It is not my intent to be uncooperative or argumentative.  I never rise in the morning with a plan to see others as difficult or ungrateful.  But, soon antigens like stress, fatigue, and illness feed into the chaos of my day and next thing you know otherwise favorable relationships begin to sour.

It is easy to defend my actions, to blame others, and to deny the fear that gives rise to my crustiness.  But, for what? Why is it that just when I need kindness most I fuel the unrest?

If we seek empathy, acceptance, and compassion from others, we must first practice it ourselves.   Reflecting on how we come across and how we see others may help us to be more patient with the “cantankerous” people who cross our paths each day…and that just might make it a little less likely that we will be the cantankerous ones.


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House Cleaning

Life is not about suffering. Yet, frequently I fall into a pattern of thinking I am not fully living my life if there is not conflict or hardship.

I have made up a story that there is no room for me to be happy, no time or purpose for self care, rest, nourishment, and companionship. No space for laughter, play, and love.

Yet without those features my life is not complete and I move farther and farther away from my natural state of being.

I don’t even realize that the life I think I should be leading, the life that constantly tells me I am not worthy and not enough, is shrouding me in darkness, not because that is who I am supposed to be but as a reminder of what I am deeper inside.

I am enough just the way I am. I am successful right here and now. I am capable of feeling strong, happy, and healthy always. I am worthy of goodness.

I am made of love and my real purpose here in this place and time is to be a source of love for myself and others.

All the other stuff – the striving, the suffering, and self-deprecation — is just like cobwebs and dust, painting a picture of dismay and decay. However, quite easily with a swift and conscious swipe I can clear them all away to restore the beauty of the forgotten objects that reside just below.

In this cleaning of my house, I once more feel the freshness, spaciousness, and goodness that is intended to be. In devoting just that little bit of time and attention, that quick swipe, to restoring the luster, everything seems to fall into place. When that shroud is removed all that remains is the goodness that is in fact my life and who I am supposed to be.


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A Call to Activism

Live Oak - Activism

In the darkness, fear and anger deepen their grip on me.  Bumping up against ideals, opinions, and stories that I have formed, with urgency I am compelled to avenge imbalances and inequities.  I dash in to sweep up the broken pieces of what I perceive as attacks against me and struggle surrounding me.  I am driven to defend principles that through my ego’s eye define me.

This posture that I take implies superiority and gives way to judgment.  In my rush to right the wrongs, I become the being I so justly argue against.  Resentment bubbles up and my ego says, “they are not worthy…they should be punished…they do not belong…silence them…shun them.”

And then my heart whispers, “wait…they too are suffering.”  Those opinions I defend and just as importantly those I oppose are here to guide, test, and inform me.

To release my struggle, my fear, my anger, and my suffering, others do not need to pay a conjured debt for who they are.

Compassion, patience, and trust become my weapons against the injustices, inequities, and imbalances that swirl around me.

Allowing it all to exist and maintaining harmony, care, and peace…that is the true work of an activist.


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Strutting and Swirling

My heart feels quickly, as if flowing on subtle currents in the air. Ego moves faster, thrusting against the wind. Emotions lag behind but still they dance closely together, ego and feelings.

Guided by the dance, I strut and swirl around with urgency, bravado, and sprawling feathers. Responding to surface winds, impulsively flying in a defensive posture, these auto-pilot movements are built on the residue of my stories.

Something shifts and suddenly I am still. For a moment, my intuition takes the lead. There is no need for flight , no rush to action. I know all I need to know as I slow these frenetic motions.

I land. I unruffle. In the not-doing, I am even more than I was just moments before. I hang here in the peace and stillness of slow-looking.

When I land, I am my most powerful.


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Resilience

How is it this cut flower, detached from its roots, has the capacity to re-grow itself, to expand in a new form, and when it seems to be at the end of its existence is capable of new life?

Resilience.