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August 26, 2014

When Life Happens, You Get 2 Choices.

Sharon Woods / Pixoto

Stop. Right now.

Before you go read any further, wherever you are, regardless of what you’ve got going on, do one of the following:

a) high five yourself (or a neighbor)

b) have a ten second dance party, arms in the air, or;

c) stand up and slow clap, nice, loud and proud.

Why? Because it’s Tuesday. As in the day after Monday.

That’s right. Monday is over. Over. You are now only three days away from Friday, which is one day from Saturday (when you can still enjoy the weekend without thinking about it almost being Monday again).

Even for someone who works in some capacity pretty much every day of the week like me, this is still big news. Epic. Love it.

Hellllllooooooo Tuesday, how you doin’?

Mondays, you see, are like a heavy lifting workout day. Leg day. Long holds at yoga day; six minute crescent lunge kind of stuff. Getting through Monday means you’ve done the hard work already. You’ve torn the muscle so it can build stronger tissue, fed the body so it can grow, laid the ground floor, set the foundation, prepped the scaffolding, or whatever other workout/construction metaphor you’d like to align yourself with, because it’s really all about building anyway.

You’ve helped structure the rest of your week in a way most likely to assist you in total world domination (or at least in greeting Friday’s end at happy hour actually happy).

Monday is when the week’s reality check shows up, reminding you of everything that awaits from the 3 p.m. Friday “I’ll do this next week” list plus all the new things that showed up in the brief respite between work days. It’s a chance to turn your self assessed “F” from last week into an “A” for this one, all with one small stroke on the right.

Your stroke, in this case, is your perspective. The attitude you bring to the week will determine its outcome.

It’s your party and you can cry if you want to, but, that’s not so helpful really.

You could spend time dwelling on unfinished tasks that you didn’t accomplish last week, or you can get off your ass and work on them now. What’s done (or rather, not) is done, it can’t be changed. However, you can continue to move forward. You can accomplish step one. You can get that first item on the list checked off, finally.

Yes, that list will keep growing. You will get three things done and find five more to do. For sure. That’s how it works. It’s a dance, a cha-cha, two steps forward, one step back. Life keeps happening, full speed, all the time; there is no pause button.

However, you have the most amazing power within you. The most amazing, incredible opportunity at your disposal, anywhere, anytime and with anything. Life will happen, and you get to choose:

Are you going to be a participant, or a recipient?

I was reminded of this during a recent yoga practice. About 45 minutes into a vinyasa class, right at the point of shaking, clenched jaws, and silent cursing, we struggled to stay for just.a.little.bit.longer.

Some settled in deeper, stayed in the fire and held through the shaking. Some took rest. But, pretty much everyone, at some point, sighed, groaned, or otherwise looked at the teacher in agony, seemingly to say, “Why are you doing this to me?”

Ummmm, really? She’s doing it to us, is she?

Let’s reframe.

As our wise teacher pointed out, we can view this practice in one of two ways—as something in which you are actively engaged, or as something that is happening to you. You can be a player or a victim. A member or a casualty.

The event is the same. The experience, however, lies within you.

What a power reminder from the universe that my attitude, my response, my composure, and my willingness to face what’s in front of me in the present and embrace change are ultimately what determines my current reality. This is my hard work, my mental workout, my training and preparation.

And although I target Monday in this revelation, the concept really applies to any time of high intensity, high stress, high stakes, great significance. Sometimes “Monday” doesn’t actually fall on Monday. Some weeks every day feels like Monday. Hell, some months every day feels like Monday.

The point is, the training pays off, big time. What lies on the other side is worth it, every step, every struggle, every challenge has merit, there is value in holding the pose.

For though the form may vary and the recognition be a bit inconspicuous at times, hard work does not go unrewarded.

So go forth and conquer, warriors. The time will pass, the world will keep turning, day will turn into night, this moment will pass. The decision you get to lead, the choice you get to make, the question you get to ask yourself, is not whether or not you are going to the party, but what you are going to wear.

“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance” ~ Unknown

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Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Pixoto

 

 

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Michelle Sweezey

Michelle Sweezey Michelle is a recovering overacheiver, mama to two spunky small people, and spiritual gangster wannabe. A lifelong athlete, she has been running since her feet first hit the ground. After discovering the transformative power of yoga Michelle began a dedicated practice as a student and set her intention on sharing it with the world through teaching. When she’s not facilitating the development of bodies and minds somewhere, she is probably writing about it in a coffee shop. Laugh with (at?) her on her blog.