Those pesky Monday morning blues!
Those pesky Monday morning blues!
It’s Monday morning, the first day back to work after a weekend or a few weeks of annual leave. I hear a deep sigh as my colleagues sit down and turn on their computers and I smile because this was once me.
What is it about being at work that we dread or dislike so much? What is it that we feel at work that we react to in this way? What is it about how we feel within ourselves when at work?
Years ago I remember how the weekends brought such relief from the tension at work. Making it through the week was a challenge – I couldn’t get home fast enough.
I wasn’t particularly inspired by the work that I did. I felt a real lack of purpose and didn’t like how harshly people interacted with each other.
I wouldn’t have admitted this at the time, but I actually didn’t feel particularly amazing on the weekends either, even though I could keep myself busy with projects and activities or by pottering around quietly in my own space. Really, being away from work was only slightly ‘better’ than being at work, it’s just that I was able to ‘manage’ my days when at home.
At home I chose who I was with, whether I answered the phone, what I did with my time and how I did it. I could see people, or I could not see people. So it was easy to say, that I felt ‘better’ at home than at work because I was better able to ‘manage’ or ‘hide’ from those things that triggered me to react and feel upset.
If I had been more honest, I would have admitted that I was actually feeling exhausted from living in a way where I was avoiding the realities of what was going on in my life at the time – taking on too much, not feeling I could say ‘No’ or let another down.
It’s a bit different for me nowadays. I enjoy my work and how I feel about myself as I go about doing what needs to be done. I also enjoy being around people and the team that I am working with. I feel much more inspired to get out of bed and start the preparations to get ready for my day, and my weekends are not about finding relief, it really is another day of my life – a lovely and simple day at that.
I remember the change that was inspired by a presentation from Serge Benhayon, that no matter what work we do, we have great power to change lives just by bringing the loveliness of ourselves to our days and letting it out for others to feel. He suggested we take the real ‘you’ to work and to know that was enough. No need to strive, no need to push through, no need to make an outcome happen – just be you.
My ‘purpose’ around work in those days was to make money, to save for projects, to pay the bills and for career progression, and it was here that I realised I had found a part of the problem. My attitude around work actually set work up to feel like a chore from the outset, something that has to be done, a burden, void of any enthusiasm or passion. It put me into a way of being that was about fighting to get through the day or striving to achieve something.
I began to explore what it might be like if I changed the purpose of work so that it was about relationships; firstly deepening my relationship with myself and then of course with all others. It is here that I began to close the gap of how I was on the weekends to how I was at work.
Changing my attitude around the purpose of work made an immediate difference.
I changed my priorities, how I moved, how I went about my work and why I was even there. I was more relaxed, less uptight, because I wasn’t driven by having to prove myself or to make things in my job happen. There was more of a flow in how work was completed and there appeared to be space for everything.
The disharmony in the working environment didn’t necessarily change in the beginning, but I became more able to sit with the disharmony around me and see it for what it was instead of trying so hard to ignore it, manage it and change it.
The biggest block to overcome, however, was to let go of my guard and feel safe enough to allow myself to be open, real and vulnerable at work and cope with the barrage of emotion that would often come my way – frustrations, bitterness, jealousy, comparison, anger, boredom etc. Didn’t I need my protective wall up to survive in such an environment?
Being ‘professional’ at work
It is well known that in the business world we are expected to be evidenced-based and output or task focussed, all part of being ‘professional’. Yet in this ‘professional’ way we can choose to work and interrelate in a way which is hard, uncaring, dismissive and distant to others; where there is no place for ‘feelings’ for we must be ‘thinking’, ‘evaluating’, ‘critiquing’, ‘analysing’ – all coming from our mind, and dismissing the fact that as human beings we have an amazing sense that can ‘feel’ what is happening around us, what is happening in life.
I questioned whether this ‘professional’ way of being in the workplace created an environment that was potentially abrasive, offensive, insensitive and uncaring.
Was this cold way of being with each other a major contributor to how begrudgingly people might approach the working week?
Is it possible that relationship issues and dynamics experienced at work are simply a result of ‘feeling’ a lack of true care, respect, honesty and understanding between people?
‘Being professional’ in the business world is really about deeply valuing people and developing relationships with work colleagues that are supportive, open and forever evolving. It is about being cooperative rather than being competitive.
I came to know that working in a protected and hardened way was actually a false and unproductive way of working, which contributed to the abrasive culture that I knew was not a true way for us to be. And I dare say that it is very natural for human beings to not like what can be felt in organisations that use the word ‘professionalism’ to cover and make acceptable the levels of disharmony, and even abuse, that can be felt and inflicted on each other each day.
Getting to this point was crucial, and from here I knew that it was up to me to bring the care and honouring that I was so seeking from others to myself, and to not need nor seek confirmation, pleasantries, reward or appreciation from the managers, work colleagues or clients. All that was needed was to enjoy being me amongst it all, and be open to the possibility that the environment could change . . . which of course it did.
I don’t remember consciously saying goodbye to those pesky Monday morning blues, they just disappeared one day of their own accord because of the changes that I made to my life.
Each day now brings a consistency, a simplicity, and this too is forever evolving.
Thank you Serge Benhayon for offering such gems about life that help us to challenge the ‘norm’, particularly when the ‘norm’ doesn’t feel very ‘normal’ at all.