Do you dread Mondays?
Happy Tuesday! Your case of “the Mondays” may hold some nugget of knowledge, a gem of wisdom.
At my old job, I used to hate going back to work after a few days off. I’d get up Monday mornings and trudge along, reluctant and recalcitrant. This went on for years. While at work, I was difficult to be around – all mumbly and grumbly, so everyone knew just how unhappy I was. I made it a point to shower others with my storm cloud.
At first, I blamed everyone and everything else for my grumpypants. Gradually though, I began to see that I was always putting happiness just outside of my reach. “When I get a new job, then I’ll be happy.” “When traffic is flowing, then I’ll be happy.” “When the weekend is here, I’ll smile again.” “Someday….I’ll be happy!”
But happiness attached to some outside event is only fleeting. As the event passes, so does the happiness associated with it.
Oftentimes we don’t know we’re even thinking this way. We don’t know that the dread that we feel is conditioned by the thoughts we’re having about the future, conditioned by the past. We label the experience upcoming (“another day at the office”), as dreadful, and then proceed accordingly.
Are you aware of the thoughts that are bringing you down? Can you see the point when your blue skies turn grey?
The most interesting thing is that our natural resting state is one of peace, joy, stillness, happiness. When our mind gets wrapped in judgment and confusion, it kicks up the clouds that shade the light.
“Let the Light Shine” Exercise
This week, if you feel the creeping feeling like something just ain’t right, try this quick exercise, designed to draw out the hidden wisdom:
Take a moment to take a few breaths, allow your body to relax, and then bring a smile to your face. Where is this feeling coming from? Jot down the first three reasons that pop up.
Looking at the reasons, which of these can you take action on? Which do you have control over now? If you can take action, write down one thing that you can do today to move closer to the light you’d like to see. If you have no control over the reason for the feeling, write down one thing that you can do to surrender, let go, and relax more fully into the way things are.
In each moment, we can either surrender and accept things as they are, or we can take action. In both cases, we make room for the light to shine again.
How will you let your light shine today?
Stress Release Tip
Do something that makes your heart sing. What’s something that you love to do, that you can TODAY? Find that little something that you forgot — slowly sipping tea or coffee instead of rushing to the next destination. Lingering with your favorite song instead of shutting the car off right away. Sing at the top of your lungs with the radio…no one’s watching! Anytime you bring a feeling of unbridled and unregulated joy to your heart and spirit, you are free.
Leave some space in your day today. Schedule it. Block out at least 15 minutes for you to do slow down, rest, nap, chill out, journal – whatever it is, make it your time. Be mindful of what it feels like to be in this space of “not-doing.” See if you can linger here just a bit longer… And notice if you feel the urge to rush off to the next thing on your agenda. Just notice. When your time is up, deliberately move to the next thing in your day, bringing this spaciousness along for the ride.