Why Monday? I see a lot of Instagram and Facebook posts about having Monday blues and how awful Monday’s are. Do we need to think this way? If we change our approach, our attitude – could Monday’s be very different? Imagine if everyone woke up on a Monday and thought WOW it’s Monday, can’t wait to see what today brings – how different Mondays could be! You can only change YOUR thoughts though, your attitude but this is enough. You do not have to be affected by others. Change the way YOU think about Monday.
Imagine your Sunday evening without that underlying feeling of Monday approaching, the build up of anxiety that I have to face this person and that person and this thing and that thing. Not only do you have a shit Monday, you also sabotage your Sunday! That’s 2 days out of 7 that you have ruined. That’s 104 shit days every year – I hope that’s right, maths is not my thing! Whatever it is, it is a lot of days that could be okay. I’m not saying you have to be shouting from the rooftops every Monday, jumping around annoying everyone with happiness oozing out of every pore. That would probably be too much the other way! I am talking about a balanced approach to create a mindful Monday.
I have been through many years of having the Sunday/Monday blues – don’t ever forget the affect it has on your precious Sunday. The most chilled day of the week gets slowly ruined as the evil Monday thoughts creep in throughout the day. As I began to practice mindfulness I changed my approach and found that things didn’t have to be the way the monkeymind liked them to be. Mindfulness becomes a way of life and for me it has become a thoroughly enjoyable experience. It’s not easy at first, the human mind is a force to be reckoned with and turning it around does take some effort. Speaking from direct experience, I know for a fact that we can learn to train our mind.
Yes, you might have a horrible boss, a job you don’t like or colleagues you can’t abide and you dream of getting out of that job as soon as possible but you can’t, you never leave, you get stuck. There are three things you can do:-
It is that simple. Let’s put aside the leaving for now as that is always complicated with needing another job – got to pay the rent, got a family to support, got this that and the other. I understand the complications and will offer further thoughts on this another time but for now I am more interested in helping you find a way to cope with where you are in this moment. You can begin to make alternative plans for your job situation – this will give you focus and once you begin to plan your exit your current predicament will not seem so exaggerated and important. Even if the exit strategy takes 6 months, your attitude will change and the pressure will begin to subside.
Let’s assume its your boss you dread – if you changed your attitude to him/her their power would disintegrate. Untangle yourself from the mind that won’t allow you to let things go over your head. If they are putting pressure on you, evaluate that pressure – is it reasonable? Is it unreasonable? Evaluate your reaction to your boss. Is your reaction reasonable? He/she may well be behaving in an unreasonable manner but you can’t change that, you can however change the way you react.
You have a choice to let go. To let go of the negative, reactive thought patterns which cause a huge amount of negative energy and anxiousness which can be extremely damaging to the health if left to fester over long periods of time. When I say let go, it is more a case of sitting with the thoughts and discovering if they are useful to you. The thoughts do not stop, they are relentless but you will be able to manage them and let them pass through. The more you do this the more accomplished you will become. Then think about letting go of yourself because ultimately if you can let go of yourself you can find peace in all situations. The thoughts are not you.
Meditation is a great practice for this. Sit with your thoughts and begin to observe them. You will begin to understand them and see what is useful and what is basically bullshit – you will see what ridiculous storyline’s the mind creates in many situations. Once you have begun to see that your thoughts are not you, that’s the beginning of change. It may be uncomfortable at first and you may start to wonder who is watching the thoughts, who is watching and thinking what! This is something for another day. The point for now is that you have a choice how you react to situations and people and how you observe and act on your thoughts. Your thoughts create your reality, we should observe carefully.
Being present in each moment – this is extremely important and crucial to mindfulness. Think about those Sunday’s, even if Monday is going to be shit – do you want to ruin every Sunday as well? No, be with Sunday and if Monday turns out to be shit then that is Monday – deal with it on Monday. I have a 6 year old and she is my ‘guru’ in being present. Young children naturally know how to be in the moment as we did, we have let conditioning, society and thoughts get in the way. You can change this, again it just takes practice. If you don’t have children and want to borrow mine let me know! There are many ways you can find to be in the present moment – observe nature, observe animals, observe…
Meditation is not an exclusive activity that involves forgetting this world and getting into something else. By meditating, we are dealing with the very mind that devised our eyeglasses and put the lenses in the rims.
Chögyam Trungpa, The Heart of the Buddha….