Recently, I was working with a manager of one of my corporate clients and she asked me, "Ed, what do you tell people when they tell you how much they hate Mondays?" My immediate response was "pretend it's Friday!"
In all seriousness, this particular manager shared with me she really does hate Mondays. Or, that's what her mind tells her. Many opportunities for exploration of this thought pattern run across my brow as I replay this transformational coaching session.
First, let's examine the idea that it's actually not Mondays she and many others "hate." It's her perception of what Monday's represent to her. Monday is the "beginning" of another cycle of work/life balance; or imbalance. If your life is not moving in the direction you would like, Mondays really probably don't feel very good. They could be a representation of everything that's going wrong. If that's the case, we're reliving that weekly. And, the energy that it takes to bring us back to neutral is exhausting. If we actually ever try. This is creating stress physiology in the body with fear-based thinking in the mind.
For me, Mondays are exciting. It means a new week of opportunities, growth and expansion. What email will come in with some exciting news? How many new people will I meet? Which client will have a break-thru or an "ah ha" moment applying these tools & techniques? What cool experience will my daughters call to tell me about? What type of realizations and growth will happen for me in my own personal practice? There are thousands of new possibilities along the journey of life that can and do happen from the start of Mondays. But as you can see, Mondays can mean totally different things to different people.
By the same token, let's explore my initial comment back by saying "pretend it's Friday." This was meant as a joke as this isn't the answer either. Friday means the beginning of the weekend for many. Fridays can create a "perception" of what's to come too. How many times have you entered into the weekend thinking "thank goodness it's Friday" only to be let down because we had expectations of what would happen and how fun an event would be and it just wasn't.
By design our lives are not without their share of challenges and curveballs. The work is not to focus on the challenges as if they define us or our lives. They can define us if we choose to let them. Or, we can choose to explore the challenge for the lesson. When we get stuck in these challenges, we develop patterns of behavior that may develop into thought patterns like "I hate Mondays."
The reality is more things are going right in our lives than the perception of "wrong." It's how we're showing up in any given moment that determines the reality of our lives. If our perception is focused on everything that is going wrong, that is what we will continuously recreate. The emotional charge to these thoughts and the choices we make in response to them not only impact us both those around us.
Which leads me to my second observation with this thought pattern. In my role with this Manager, not only is she perpetually negatively impacting her own mental, emotional and physical health with this belief about Mondays, this gets transferred into her work and interactions with employees & co-workers as well as her personal life with a spouse, children and friends. We are all connected energetically.
While I believe no one can impact you unless you let them. Not enough of us are equipped with the skills to understand this concept nor regularly implement the tools and practices to transform beyond the negatively & victimization that surrounds us. Even on my best days, something or someone can trigger me. That just shows me I have more work to do on myself. It's not an opportunity to blame. In this case, blame Mondays. This transference from the true issue at hand is what keeps us trapped in this cycle of thinking.
How many others "hate" Mondays? In the end, we are only a victim of ourselves and our thoughts. Monday is coming again every seven days whether we like or not. The choice becomes changing the perception of the representation of Mondays and changing the patterns of behavior we've developed in response to this perception.
Mindful "Monday" Tip:
- As the thoughts come up, take five long deep inhales and exhales through your nose
- Have gratitude for what you "hate" about Mondays
- Now that your body is calming down, take a moment to explore what triggered the thought around "hating" Monday and invoke compassion for yourself
- Now, you have just learned a new awareness for yourself. Smile
- Where do you feel this awareness in your body? Breathe and allow it to move through you without reacting
Make the choice to Go BE Great. It is this simple. You already are great. You just have to remember this and choose to "be" it.