A love note to Monday

Happy Monday!

Rather cheeky, aren't I? Are we even allowed to feel happy on Mondays? I mean, we all know that person, the one who comes into the office, cheerful on Monday -- Sometimes we love their relentless cheerfulness and sometimes it drives us bonkers.

I admit -- sometimes I am that person! And sometimes I pretend I'm not.

If people around me are complaining about Monday, I want to join in. We're social beings and it feels good to be connected to others, even over crabbiness. When things are difficult in the world, when politics are loud, when friends are having a hard time, it can feel insensitive to say, I'm good, thanks. Things are good.

I've felt this with family members too. When people I love are struggling, I feel like I too should be struggling. When your parents are ill, when your child is bereft after a breakup, when your spouse is frustrated with work, it can feel wrong to not share in their feelings, can't it?, to feel empathy for them but also, on your own, to feel differently.

It seems odd to say, but sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to be happy, or even okay. On Monday. During times of war. When our kids are struggling. When our parents are struggling.

On the other hand, sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to be happy that we need permission to be sad or disappointed. On a holiday. At the wedding of a beloved friend. On vacation.

We're not just one thing, are we?

There's a solar eclipse today, which means that for a time, the moon will block the rays of the sun. But the thing is, the sun's rays are still there. Many won't reach us, but they're still there. Sometimes when things are difficult, it is helpful to remember that the good things are still there too, even if at the moment their rays can't quite reach us. And sometimes we we feel both--the pain of the difficult situation and the pleasure of the good parts of our life--all at the same time and we have to expand a little bit to hold it all at once.

The problem with Monday isn't that it's bad. It isn't even that the weekend is over. The problem with Monday is that we put a lot on it. We expect that we should love it (new week, new start!) or hate it (Mondays!), rather than just letting it be its own complex self -- the beginning of some things and the end of others. In that way, Monday is a microcosm of life, full of beginnings and endings, often poignantly so. I know on this Monday people are driving miles to experience totality, but the partial eclipse we'll see where I live resonates with my experience of life as the both/and.

This week, ask yourself, how can I meet myself where I am right now? Maybe that means taking things slower and offering yourself some comfort, when people you love are celebrating, or maybe it means letting yourself be proud of an accomplishment even when people you love are feeling blue. Checking in with yourself to ask, "How do I feel right now?" helps, as does asking, "What might help me right now?" These questions let us tune into the micro-feelings and remind us that within a single day, we might experience a range of feelings and that's okay. We are not just one thing. Even on Solar Eclipse Monday. ❤️

Sometimes on Monday I look at the coming week and I think, There are too many things to do and not enough time. It's a familiar feeling for me -- the not enough. Not enough time, money, energy, creativity -- Most of us know the feeling of not having enough, not being enough. But if we ask ourselves what would be enough, we often don't know. This week's podcast is about the power of answering that question for ourselves, so we can spend more time feeling enough.

Episode #97: What is enough?

What does enough feel like? What would it feel like to know that you have enough, do enough, are enough? Most of us aren't very familiar with that feeling but we're very familiar with the feeling of not enough. Not enough leads us to overwork, overeat, overdrink, and generally just feel bad about ourselves.

In this episode I rethink enough, focusing on it as a decision we can make, and a feeling we can choose. I also talk about the paradoxical relationship between enough and desire. We assume that our desire comes from not enough, from wanting to fill a need. When we aren't seeking a feeling of enough, though, we can just decide what we want because we want it.

This episode is a good follow up to ep #94 about consent and #95 about safety -- because enough is a feeling of safety, while not enough makes us feel unsafe in our world.

Take a listen and let me know what resonates -- I'd love to hear about your own enough experiments. What happens when you decide where your "enough" is?

Happy Solar Eclipse to those who celebrate :)

Love, Rachel

P.S. The number of people listening to my podcast has been going up -- So exciting! Thank you to everyone who listens and shares. This is such a good example of how enough can inspire us to still desire more. I absolutely have enough listeners -- knowing that the podcast helps other people is such a deep source of satisfaction for me, and would be even if my number of listeners never increased. And also, I want more listeners so more people can practice kinder self-talk, see possibility, and create lives they love.

P.P.S. I'm sure I'm not alone in humming Bonnie Tyler today -- enjoy!

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Rachel Baum

I'm a life coach, college professor, and former president of the Overthinkers Club. Also, I host the Making Midlife Magic podcast. I love helping middle aged people dream again and create lives they love. Sign up to get inspiring mind shifts sent right to your email box. I don't over-send, and you can unsubscribe any time.

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