I’m prone to abstract amblings of the mind as soon as I wake up in the morning and, in my theta state today, I got to wondering “when was the last time Christmas Day happened on a Monday and did it feel the same?” In other words, was it in any way compromised by the fact a little part of me still knew it was still Monday, “that day” that tends to make us all feel a little bit off for no apparent reason (cue the Boomtown Rats)?
Reason for asking; twelve years on from doing any kind of conventional work, I still get that Monday feeling rise up in my belly, still sometimes get a hard knot of anxiety land in the solar plexus, a feeling of doom-laden nonsense before my mind has a chance to make anything of “why?” Not so much these days; very little in fact but its still there; I can still wake up and know its Monday in a split-second (certainly not Sunday nor any other day of the week). The “slush slush” of traffic outside my window is a big clue…but then that happens at least five days a week. And I know a lot of it is a feeling I pick up off my partner lying next to me, who doesn’t sleep nearly as well in the transition from weekend to weekday and often sends out over-active-mind vibes from about three hours before rising. But what is it, this thing we call Monday, and why is it such a strong, non-negotiable feeling long after (in my case) its stopped being taken all that seriously since I do what I do whenever inspiration strikes, yes even on Sunday if that’s what feels right. Are we so tuned into the collective that we feel each others anxiety until there’s a wall of stress that we all hit up against and, if so, why did we co-create this thing in the first place?
I talk a lot about the fourth dimension and if you’re really not that sure what I’m going on about, this topic (to which most people can relate) is such a big clue. The universe didn’t invent Monday; it didn’t hand it to us and say “there, this is Monday, this is what it will feel like, these are the things you must do on it, abide by it at all costs!” Its not an object that you can touch, nor a wall we must bang our heads upon and yet we all step around it (and into it) like its a hard object in our lives. We fall into single file and hang our heads low, making ourselves smaller, as though to avoid the restricted-height door frame as we march into its dreary threshold, leaving behind that golden Sunday feeling that was ours just a few hours ago…another world. Through mass adherence to a concept that started as a mere wisp on the wind, we made it solid, thus separating one part of our lives from another; creating compartments of what felt good and what felt like grind.
This is how “the fourth” works; its where our ideas become as solid as we make them through adherence to their supposed edges and boundaries; we make them real with our minds, acting “as though” they are the prison cell or the holy grail and all stages in between. Most of our world operates in this domain since its where we determine what our lives will look like before we even step our foot on the ground of our days…yet most people don’t see it, they think they live in a world that is solid and see-able, made up of hard-won possessions, solid brick buildings, ever-elusive money and all those other people they keep bumping into. Behind that “reality” lie all the concepts and spin and belief systems that (really) run the whole show…and we get to choose what that looks like, to consciously select what feels better and reinvent it daily (but most people don’t).
This post started as something of a joke; something lighthearted before Christmas and yet there’s real substance to it as I consider all the ideas that got hooked onto this mindset of Monday. Through its introduction as a weekly flag lowered on the perpetual grand prix of the working week, we got to roll in a whole new set of ideas that have become heavy furniture in the fourth dimension…ones which suggested people stop moving around so freely in order to build permanent structures that they became fixated upon owning a part of, called houses and cities; ones which abruptly halted the free-flow of life’s essentials (once held sacrosanct on the understanding that we all have an equal entitlement to food and shelter and that we should take care of one other) and meant we all started assuming a fundamental state of lack. This one thing meant that we would now start with a life-account of zero, have to compete to stay alive and to do certain tasks in exchange for tokens which have no inherent value but which we can exchange for things that we really need to stay alive. In order to do this, we become slaves to the concept of time since this is what holds the whole supply and demand machine together. When this bundle of ideas first arrived, we jumped on its treadmill and the treadmill carved its own steps in the rock of our lives through its constant repetition (which has been our whole world for thousands of years…but by no means forever). These are all left-brain concepts that came sweeping into our world from nowhere around seven thousand years ago and they have made this world what it currently is – a place of many Mondays – yet we are now seeing a great softening wave come flooding in as more people consider what shapes their lives into hard-edged compartments and how much they really want this to continue.
Its been a long time…years…since I wore a watch and I don’t regret giving mine up; not a bit. Though I might (rarely) miss the fashion accessory that it was, I saw its underlying symbology all too clearly…that time never truly let go its control of my left arm when I wore it and of the daily metaphor played out in this apparent need strap myself to it every morning. Nor do we have a conventional alarm clock beating its marching tune or sirening its reminders in our sleep-zone; rather, we have a silent-sweep clock under our bed that (yes!) wakes us up – if it must – to the gentle sound of birdsong. During the day, I check my time by other means (its not that I live with the concept of schedule in complete abeyance) yet by not having it strapped to me, I find I jump through its hoops far less; have, in effect, made my time my own and feel like I have far more of it. These are the subtle yet powerful ways in which we get to re-sculpt the fourth dimension so that we get to climb out of the invisible cages our minds like to create.
Its work in progress but I would like to see 2017 as the year of softer days and less starkly defined parts of the week too; an aspiration that which will get easier for us to achieve when there are less of us (having a school-age child) having to jump to its abrupt Monday starting gun. My future holds the place for a life where “Monday to Friday” is a quaint old-fashioned concept peered at from the outside whenever we notice other people adhere to it; a curiosity left-over from another era but not really of our world. I look forward to us pursuing what we love doing “for a living” (there’s another phrase shouting out for review…) as a far more gently integrated thing as part of the rich tapestry of life, not something we have to throw ourselves into abruptly, just as we might throw ourselves off a cliff!
I’m actually one of the most organised and driven people I know, always doing something, especially first thing in the morning. Yet its fuelled from passion and enthusiasm within, not pushed along on the outside by adrenalised, fear-driven timetables that keep me from picking up what I most feel inspired to do in any given moment (and I know others for whom this approach is working miracles of empowerment and productivity). Already, in our household, our lives are far softer than they used to be; so much more directed by inspiration and flow than by schedule (often both to be found working in the evenings side-by-side…because we want to) yet there’s still room for improvement and we still feel that Monday vibe kicking down the door, fed by a world of loyal adherents who keep its stronghold well-maintained. So what can we do as dissenters? (As with all fourth-dimensional refurbishment projects) we just keep choosing our prefered life-interior, decorating our inner space the way we like it, recalibrating to a more comfortable structure of activity that feels much more aligned with achieving our highest potential (since nobody really delivers of their best when under perpetual stress and locked into tightly maintained systems that make them machine-like at the expense of creativity). We assert new rhythms, fresh perspectives, different ways of doing things into the pattern of our lives in order to bring the best and most creative aspects of ourselves to light. In a world where we realise we don’t have to adhere to an old belief system around what Mondays and “the working week” are meant to look (or feel!) like anymore, we get to keep that Sunday-best feeling going for very much longer…and, in my experience, those are often the most inspired and creative days of all.
FYI Christmas last fell on a Monday in 2006 (hmm, I remember it well…) and crops up again next year; 2017 the year of total reinvention! Lets see how much difference we can make to our apparently hard-edged lives in twelve months…
On a more serious note (I just learned) this morning there have been four serious accidents on the road infrastructure near where I live, closing the the motorway (again) and causing a domino-effect of traffic chaos on all the local roads; nobody started their office or school day on time! These kinds of multi-accident days are becoming much more the norm where I live (it feels like a major event like this occurs once or twice a month) with everyone’s rush to be somewhere on time, in their Monday morning brain-fog, feeding into a chaotic and often lethal cocktail of circumstance. I’m forced to ask, what kind of logic dictates that nine tenths of the population be tipped out onto the roads at roughly the same time just so they can get to a building, within a certain timetable, labelled “work”; its just not tenable anymore. I can’t help feeling that the imploding of this unnatural set of circumstances, combined with the pressure of just so many people focused upon their own mounting stress, is like a wake-up alarm to ourselves; inviting us to look at far more natural working-practices (including remote working, flexible hours, a different structure to the school day…etc) and to review the whole life-work balance.