Don’t Hate Mondays, Hate Your Lifestyle. Or change your mindset.
There’s a saying that is sometimes attributed to Karl Marx or Slavoj Zizek——that tidily sums up the existential angst many people feel at the start of a traditional work week:
"You don’t hate Mondays. You hate capitalism."
There is that there’s nothing intrinsic to “Monday,” which is just a word we’ve invented to delineate every seventh day, that makes your average 9-5 worker miserable.
It is just a day like any other.
The despair comes may have something to do with your lifestyle and the common routines many of us share. This invests “Monday” with meaning—this is the day you return to your "routine". For many it is the cycle of repetitive, unsatisfying labor that fills you with loathing and anxiety. This is the thing you should should change.
“Monday” is just a label. Its just a word; a meaningless symbol— nothing more than a day of the week. You may as well get mad at a rock. Perhaps better then to evaluate how and what goes into your work / life balance and look for ways, if possible to make changes to your lifestyle.
Monday symbolizes the end of the weekend and the start of a new week. So it symbolizes the day when the fun stops, and the obligations begin. For most people it represents the beginning of the working week. It symbolizes something undesirable and unmotivating.
But, Do you really hate Mondays? No, you don’t. (If you do, you don't have to - remember, its in YOUR mind, you are in control).
Mondays can be truly wonderful days. Just because people think Mondays are bad days, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you have to irradiate pessimism at the beginning of the week.
So, there are two reasons why you might hate Mondays:
You’ve become a part of the global view that Mondays are bad days
You’re not living a life that would allow you to enjoy your Monday
How to Make Mondays Great, or at least Better?
In order to stop seeing Monday as a bad day, you need to fix your way of thinking. First and foremost, you have to start creating your own attitudes about your life, and the people who surround you. Look at your routine. What can you do different? Is it the overwhelming barrage of emails? Give it a time slot, answer them and move on. Are you over scheduled? Learn to start saying no to some things.
Change Your Mind About Mondays
While the rest of the world is convinced that Monday is a bad day, you can be different. It is a mindset really. Every individual is unique and has something to offer the world. Don’t be afraid of being different. You’re nothing else but what your brain thinks you are. When you succeed in creating a positive image of Mondays in your head, that day will become positive, and full of great opportunities in your eyes.
If it is a return to some tedious tasks, find a way to look at or find positive aspects. If there are a couple of specific things that really get you down find a way to change or eliminate those. Maybe one or 2 small things are affecting your mood about every other aspect of Mondays.
Someone once suggested plan a good meal or a treat for Monday dinner - that seems like a good little simple idea.
If its work related, find something rewarding to either start or complete on Mondays. Something that can bring you satisfaction.
Successful people tend to use every day for making agreements, opening new businesses, or enjoying life. Why should you restrict yourself by throwing out your Mondays? It doesn’t matter what day it is; you can start a business on Monday, Tuesday, Saturday or any other day of the week.
Don’t use days of the week as an excuse. Every day is a new chance for you to make changes, become a better person, don’t miss out on that. Time is our most valuable resource, so you have to spend it wisely.
Change Your Lifestyle.
Making Massage a New Year's Resolution
You know the drill. Before the ball is finished descending in Times Square and the confetti has yet to hit the floor, most of us already have made our New Year's resolutions.
Every December, as we indulge in various holiday treats, we promise ourselves that once the New Year arrives, we will take better care of our bodies, minds and spirits. 3 out of 4 Americans claim this as their top resolution. It is by far the most common. But how many of you see it through?
The reasons behind these resolutions vary from person to person, but invariably, they are a reaction to the differing stresses that play such a major part in our daily lives. Job stress, family issues and a host of other outside factors provide the motivation to get in shape and learn to cope.
And according to a recent study, many Americans are making massage one of their top New Year's resolutions.
A telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults found that a majority of Americans said they experienced more stress in 2015 than the previous year (56 percent), and that they are seeking new methods to deal with that increased stress methods such as massage therapy.
Three out of four Americans (75 percent) claim their New Year's resolution is to focus on taking better care of themselves and achieving a more complete work/life balance.
The study revealed that 76 percent of respondents believe relaxation is very important to health and wellness, with 73 percent of respondents rating massage as either extremely relaxing or very relaxing, compared to 51 percent who said exercise was extremely relaxing and 29 percent who opted for a glass of wine or a cocktail to relax.
Massage therapy is less being viewed as an indulgence, but as a significant component to an overall health and wellness regimen.
To that end, we are offering a special "buy 3 get 1 free", as a way to make bodywork as routine as a getting a haircut.
For more information, message me here or join our mailing list.
Sounds simple right ? Words are easy, actions not so much. Actually when I put this image and words together it actually contains two separate but related ideas - the second one being, "if your mind is happy, you will be happy, where ever you are".
The second thought reminds me of the bucket list people.This point was driven home to me sharply and personally this week as i continue to strive to practice what I preach.
I write sometimes and post to ground me back to where I myself need to be. In a sense I am writing for me but as well for you if anyone is here and chooses to read. These are lessons that I myself need to adhere to, and I find writing helps cement them into my own brain.
The concept is simple - mindfulness, living in the present moment. Giving the person or persons you are with your full attention. Being aware and appreciative of the present surroundings, the sights the smells the temperature of the air - losing track of time; that it is ultimate in mindfulness. It is called flow. It is again an old old concept wrapped in new packaging. The idea of being so fully engaged in a task, be it drawing, or baking , or fixing a motorcycle, that you lose track of time. Have you ever had that experience? Its called flow. It is the sense of being so totally in the moment that you lose all sense of time. It is a wonderful feeling. It comes to me during body work, or when I am drawing, or shooting photography.
But, one need not be engaged in flow, that is the extreme end of the spectrum of being present. This post is simply about giving the place you are in and person or persons you are with your full attention while you are there and to appreciate what you are, where you are - not be thinking about the next thing, or the last thing.
What I try to create during my sessions is an environment that fosters and encourages one to unplug at least for the time they are with me. If only for an hour, nothing else matters, then I have succeeded for you and for me The greater challenge is to expand that into daily life. It takes practice, it takes strength of mind, and discipline. Words - they are easy. They fall onto the page as fast as my fingers can type. Putting into practice that is the challenge.
Sensitive touch by hands compels us to spontaneously to return to the feel of the present moment, because quite often our thoughts - a constant "thought carousel" are usually somewhere else. Of course, we are at all times in the here and now, but rarely do we notice or appreciate the reality of the present moment. Most often we do not. We are texting, chatting, watching TV, consuming all manner of sensory input, and thinking…..worrying, about the future. Tomorrow, next, week, next year. And alot of times these days we are doing two or more of these at once!
The brain is a future thinking machine; it is the one thing that separates us from all other animals. Man is the only being that can contemplate the future......and that is where the trouble lies. Because only in thinking about the future, do we find stress, and worry, and panic.
In both touching and being touched it happens that we bring ourselves very concretely back to the present moment.
In massage, we can focus on the internal. We notice first, how we are feeling, what is our mood, how is the temperature in the room on our skin? What about the sounds, the smells.......all sensory inputs about the present moment. This is how one begins to relax. Some people will talk about “emptying your mind” I hear that phrase a lot, and it is more difficult to do for the average person who is not experienced in meditation. So maybe one idea is not to empty the mind, but to push away the thoughts of the future or external, and replace them with thoughts of the present and or internal.
Our thoughts are almost always focused externally: "What should I do about this? and that. Then she said this, and then I answered that ... " "This person did this" So, rotates the carousel thoughts.
In Lomi Lomi, there is very much a giving and a taking between the person receiving the massage and the person giving it. It as both an exchange of energy, and it it is also and exchange of touch for the person giving. The body on the table gives feedback to the sensitive nerve endings in the fingers. For me it is like reading Braille, the way I try to read a body. So I am giving touch but I am also receiving. There are 2,500 nerve receptors per centimeter just on the fingertips! Maybe 20,000 per hand! As well there are over 7,000 nerve endings just in the feet? Is it any wonder why rubbing of the feet feels so good.
For you on the table, touch is a way to bring you into focus. Focus on where is the hand is now, how does it feel ? Where is it going? What is the pressure? does it float on your skin like a piece of paper upon the water? There is a rhythm and a fluidity. This is aided by the rhythm of the music, and as well by the aromas, sometimes of lemongrass, sometimes grapefruit. Try to notice. All of these sensory inputs are designed to put your thoughts into the present moment, so that there is not room for the thinking about the future. The massage experience is like giving that part of the brain a rest……sort of like when we sleep, except that in restless sleep too often our future thoughts can still invade, in the form of bad dreams.
So - what happens when we experience a Lomi massage and enter into touch? We feel and we give at the same time. We give warmth by the type of contact. Because we let ourselves go entirely to the experience we feel and e give a lot of love. We sense what is needed. How can it be that we, as the giver, have the ability to sense? How can it be that we arrogate to ourselves, we purport to know what the other person needs? Quite simple really. For we are not so different, we are human. Something in us already knows, if we allow ourselves to become attuned, we can feel what is actually needed.
Touch, I believe is as essential as water to life and to living. It is not something to be feared but to be acknowledge and enjoyed.
In Lomi, we touch as if we were the ones receiving – we are touching, but again also simultaneously receiving. We allow ourselves to feel empathy. Something in us knows what feels good and all the moves, all the techniques, all kinds of touch that we learn in Lomi training spring from this deep empathy. There is no script. The body is the script.
There is an apparent paradox. At school, or in the office we always learned that learning is a process in which we would have to add information. English Vocabulary for example: Clearly, we need to learn vocabulary - Add words to the brain. When learning Lomi massage something else happens. Although we first learn the basis of specific techniques and we learn to let our body loose and move smoothly, but the deeper we dive, the more we feel that it just comes out. Actually, it is a kind of "ex-learning" of the rigid patterns of movement. Then the body of the recipient in connection with our body can really become our script. That is why each Lomi experience is different.
And when it is concluded, the feeling is that of being back in balance. Imagine floating naked, in a river or sea of calm, warm clean water – peaceful, in balance. Happy, just because!
Holiday Stress Tips to Stay On Top
Here "it" comes -- holiday stress. A s families negotiate where to spend Thanksgiving, and millions of us are making the empty promise to ourselves to start early on holiday shopping, the anxiety begins to build. And it only gets crazier from here. Choir practice for the kids, family gatherings at every turn, office parties, treks to the mall, baking...you know where this is headed. So what can you do about it? You may not be able to control the chaos of the season, but there are some steps to make sure you survive it unscathed.
1.Take time for yourself. YES, get a massage. Soak in a mineral bath. Listen to the silence of a snowfall. Even if there seems no possible moment you can claim as your own, close your eyes, breathe deep from your belly several times, exhaling the air loudly from your mouth. Do this whenever you need a "moment."
2. Utilize catalog/online shopping. Don't fight the crowds. From the convenience of your home or during an office lunch hour, catalog and online shopping can eliminate the headache of holiday stress tenfold.
3. Eat right. Some of the best goodies come out this time of year. While you shouldn't deny yourself the opportunity to have a piece of grandma's pumpkin pie, don't overdo it. Remember to eat plenty of veggies and fruits to help stave off the winter's bombardment of colds.
4. Give yourself the advantage. Consumption of alcohol, nicotine, drugs and caffeine elicit the body's stress reaction. Remember moderation; you'll be happier and calmer in the long run.
5. Don't skimp on the exercise...but allow yourself to be excused from the routine when need be. Exercise helps melt the stress away and can provide that moment of clarity in a hectic day.
6. Don't try to be Martha Stewart. It's easy to get caught up in the spirit of the holidays with new decorating ideas, fancy dinners and the whim to make all your gifts this year. Be realistic and honest with yourself. Don't set yourself up for failure. Hire a caterer. Have friends help by having a craft day. Forgo making the gift wreath and give a gift you'll know they'll appreciate -- a massage.
7. Remember the spirit. When it's all said and done, no one will remember that the turkey was a little dry, that the sweater didn't fit, or that you were a few minutes late for rehearsal. What do they remember? The precious moments with family and friends.
Originally published in Massage Bodywork magazine
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.