How’s your Monday going so far? If you’re like me, even the word “Monday” triggers angst anthems like the Mamas and the Papas “Monday Monday” (…can’t trust that day), and of course the Boomtown Rats “I Don’t Like Mondays” about a kid who burns down the school all because of how she feels about Mondays.
Culturally, this maligned 24-hour block of time has some major collective bad attitude stacked against it, and I confess to having to be very intentional to avoid being part of the angry mob. Mondays for me start with a 5 AM wake up to get my personal practice in before the day gets rolling. Then, because I both teach yoga and run a company, it means shuttling about NYC for client meetings, staff meetings and teaching till 9 PM. “Harried” puts it mildly.
Curious if the hype about Monday has any teeth, I googled to see if there are stats on what day of the week is preferred or disliked over any other. Surprisingly I didn’t find any definitive statistics. But I did find this in online discussions of the various attributes and benefits of the days of the week: thematically, people who said they like Mondays best see it as a fresh start, a moment of diving in anew.
Aaah. How much better does that sentiment feel than the Mamas and the Papas notion of dedicating the day to “crying all of the time?”
If you experience low or negative energy about Mondays, congratulations: you’ve got a really fantastically specific event for self-inquiry that happens EVERY WEEK. We have the option to treasure any and all moments in life, so your relationship with Monday is a great place to practice your transformational skills.
First you’ve got to get underneath the thinking that puts you at odds with Monday. Get honest with yourself: are you holding general fears about your ability to meet expectations? Do you tell yourself negative speculation about things that are yet to unfold? Do you prevent yourself from trusting that no matter what unfolds you will respond as best you can and that is all you can expecct of yourself? Look at the mantra or narrative you hold about the day, your schedule and the week. Is there some way the stories you tell yourself about the past, present or future are sabotaging your ability to experience the day as it IS?
Then you have to claim some part of Monday for yourself and make it sacred. “Fresh. A moment of diving in anew.” Many ancient cultures GOT that transitions are difficult and held beginnings as sacred by ritualizing them. We’ve got remnants of that in our culture — in yoga or sports events you can see participants praying, setting intention or even singing together, be it an OM or the national anthem.
I’m not suggesting you take on something that doesn’t feel organic to your interests, but it is up to you to identify things you CAN do to presence yourself to the potential grace of a new week beginning. Is it setting aside a minute or two for watching the light as it changes moment by moment? Is it filling the bird feeder outside your window with attention to every aspect of the experience, the seeds, the birds, the fresh air? It could be as simple as watering the plants or taking a just a moment to read a poem, the bible, or whatever inspires you. Just make sure you DO IT, and not like you are performing an act on a checklist.
Most of all, and perhaps the biggest fool-proof tip I can offer anyone with respect to transforming any moment in life that feels oppositional, I’ve found that when I move with a sense of connectedness to my body and breath as my first priority, the rest of my life doesn’t seem as drama-filled. If you don’t have a physical practice to help you get that connectedness or somehow have missed doing your practice on a given day, try this simple ayurvedic therapy: lay your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly. If you close your eyes and send your awareness to attentively listening to your breath rhythm and actively sending love into your own heart for even 11 breaths, you are both acknowledging yourself as a simple life form and cultivating compassion for yourself/others.
On a Monday or any other day, this compassion and connectedness go a long way towards beginning anew.