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A guide to surviving Mondays
This book will outline the steps necessary to help you appreciate waking up in the morning and enjoy the great day called Monday. Once you put those rules into practice and have learned to master them, you will never look at Monday morning the same way again.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO STAY IN THE MOMENT
What does the letter M mean? It stands for MOMENT. What does moment have to do with dying on Monday? Moment is the ground of our experience. Moment is important because it plays a major role in our everyday life, including all our actions. Since moment is also within, it determines the when, why and how of everything we do, thus the importance of appreciating the moment. Being aware of the moment has the potential to make life easier.
For instance, Joe’s boss, before walking out of the office, asked him to send a very important document by fax. Just as Joe started to fax the document, the telephone rang. Joe picked it up and spent the next ten minutes talking to a very unhappy customer. After hanging up, he sighed with relief, and ran to the filing room for the customer’s file. By this time, he had forgotten all about the document he was to have faxed, and since it was lunch time, decided to go to lunch. At the restaurant, Joe ate hurriedly, worried about the mountain of work at the office awaiting his return. Joe was so stressed that he forgot to get his change from the cashier.
Suddenly, at 3:00 pm, Joe remembers the document he was supposed to have faxed. He checks the fax machine, but it is not there. He looks everywhere, thinking someone may have misplaced it or shredded it by mistake. More than one person in the office has used the fax machine, and someone may have put it in the trash. Nobody seems to know where it is. Joe begins tugging at his hair. By 3:30 his head is bald! Yes, he has lost all of his hair. In fact, a razor could not have done as good a job.
The pressure of the 4:00 p.m. deadline strikes Joe at 3:50 p.m. He grimaces. His forehead is damp. He begins to bite his lip. His blood pressure rises and he can hear his heart beating loudly in his ears. He has only ten minutes to make things right. He begins to rewrite the letter, but his boss's signature is missing. Mr. Boss is long gone by now and is not answering his cell phone--probably out on a hot date.
“Oh My God! What am I going to do?” Joe turns to a colleague.
“Don’t look at me. You should have known better,” responds Miss Colleague.
Joe puts a hand over his temple to alleviate an oncoming bad migraine. All of it--the hard-driven preoccupation, the return to the office, and the impossible mountain of work--turns the other way and sucks away his breath. He searches behind him with one hand, feels the hard surface of his desk and flops down. Dizziness takes him over. His breath rushes back loudly, adding to the noise, building to a crescendo.
Joe runs out of luck, poor thing! His mistake cost him his job, and the company fifty thousand dollars. Through it all, Joe never once acknowledged the magic word--"the moment." If he had, he would have spared himself all of the trouble. Acknowledging “the moment” helps you to remember what you’re doing, and keeps you focused on the task. By learning to concentrate on the individual task, you can maintain focus and avoid loss of control.
One good way to stay in the moment is to learn to breathe efficiently. If you know how to breathe, you can rule the world. Stress takes away our ability to breathe—our breathing becomes shallow and oxygen-deprived. Since our brain needs oxygen to survive, we cannot function effectively in such a state. Chaos takes over and we lose our ability to deal with the simplest of tasks. Even our memory fades rapidly away. This is exactly what Monday did to Joe.
Like a great many people, at one time or another, Joe simply got off to the wrong start this particular Monday morning. He had a verbal disagreement with his wife before leaving the house and became so upset he didn't have breakfast. He had awakened very late that morning and made up for it by speeding on the freeway. He cut off the other drivers, cursed at them, and tailgated the stragglers while blaming them for his tardiness.
The night before, Joe had gone to sleep angry; furthermore, he was worried about the many tasks awaiting him at work. Consequently, he spent the entire night tossing and turning. Joe should have stayed home that Monday--he simply was not ready for the day. Even though he was not prepared, he still could have made it work; if he remembered his mantra. Once you start repeating your mantra, your breathing will start to improve naturally. Try it and you’ll see. I am doing it right now together with you. I just realized that I have been writing all of this without even taking a breath. Ah! Ah! There is nothing like a gulp of fresh air.
I AM IN THE MOMENT
I AM IN THE MOMENT
I AM IN THE MOMENT
Did you try it? How does it feel to you? Does it help you relax a bit? Are you aware of your breathing? Are you conscious of your thoughts when you say it? Are you more aware of what you’re doing right now? Don’t worry, nobody can hear you say it, so do not feel self-conscious about it.
I love mantras; they will always work if you learn to put them into practice. Don’t relate to the repetition as being crazy or stupid; just try them a while and you’ll see. It’s so easy to lose focus when we’re going at eight hundred to a thousand miles per hour all day long. Right now, as I write this book, I am losing focus; I think of paying bills, washing clothes, doing something for my mom; helping a friend with a letter, shopping for food, organizing my closet, doing some cleaning, taking the dog to the vet, finishing this book and starting another; the list goes on and on. To have an immense number of tasks roaming about in my head all day does not help at all; they only create unnecessary stress because I cannot do them all at once. Therefore, I make a list and move to each one at a time while trying to do the best that I can. Trust me, it’s not that easy because I’m so used to the race.