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You’re One Moment Away from Being Who You Want to Be

Smiling with Arms Wide Open

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson

Two years ago I was in a meeting room, Monday morning, just before nine. I remember sipping on my second coffee of the day and swallowing yawns as I waited for everyone to show.

The chairperson arrived, a particularly intimidating woman who had been with the company for thirty years and held the reigns of both the finance and HR departments. No decision was made without her approval, even if you were the CEO.

I wished her good morning, and she asked how I was without actually making eye contact. I was middle management, I was tired, it was Monday; what could I say?

“I’m good—except for the fact that it is Monday, of course.”

She settled in her chair, focusing on piling up her folders, and said, “Really? I love Mondays.”

This caught my attention. No nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday employee likes Mondays, much less loves them! Was she being contrary on purpose just because she wanted to see what I would say?

Did she expect me to agree or defend my statement; or did she just like to disagree with everyone—an up is down/good is bad kind of person who likes to control the conversation?

Whatever the reason, I could not leave that statement hanging in the air. What could possibly be the reason to love Mondays?

I leaned in across the table. (She was at one end and I was at the other.)

“Wow, really?” I said. “You must be the only person I know who loves Mondays!” (See, I’m not crazy! You are!) “What do you like about Mondays?”

Her eyes rose slowly from towered metropolis of file folder she had constructed in front of her to meet mine.

OMG! She had an answer. I had called her bluff and now felt like I was in for a lecture. I slid back in my chair.

“Mondays are the start of something new. It’s a new week full of possibilities. I have five days to get things done, which feels better than the end of the week where I am rushing to complete thing before the weekend.”

She stared at me. Take that!

At the time I put a check mark in the box beside “crazy,” and while I did understand her position in theory, that was as far as I was willing to go.

The meeting started, and I filed her comment with all the other pieces of evidence in my mental folder: “Why No One Likes You.”

But it did plant a seed in my subconscious that has been watered time and time again, had taken root, and has begun to grow into something life changing.

What you think, causing what you feel, about something is just a matter of perspective, and sometimes, the script in our head runs on automatic for years, unquestioned, unchallenged. What if you flipped the script? What would it be like to challenge our thinking?

There is a great article written by Arthur Stone called “Mondays Aren’t as Blue as we Think” in the New York Times. It discusses the psychology behind why we perceive Mondays as the worst day of the week, despite evidence that we actually dislike all workdays equally (except Friday).

So how can we flip the script in our head?

Life happens in moments, strung together to make up a day, a year, a life.

Going to the dentist includes many pain free moments with no discomfort, yet I used to say I hated going to the dentist. Now I listen to meditation music in the chair and have many moments of relaxation and comfort while getting a tooth filled or a root canal done.

How you choose to write the script that runs through your head is completely up to you. 

The catchy slogan “fake it till you make it” helps you rewrite your script in a different way.

I said to myself, “I will try yoga for a few weeks to see if I like it” and commenced hitting the gym twice a week to a Pilates/yoga/Tai Chi fusion class.

Each day the class was offered, I didn’t think about going; I got dressed, packed my bag, and went. You seldom regret trying something you want to do, and my new script reads, “I enjoy the feeling I have after going to the gym.”

Finally, I surrounded myself with friends, books, blogs, classes, doctors, and therapists who provide the support and guidance that resonates with this type of work. Each new encounter allows me to question my thoughts and feelings, trying on concepts like clothes, seeing if they are a good fit.

Connecting with yourself, your heart, and gut and soul and spirit is the most important thing you can do to help you with your rewrites.

This all may sound simplistic, especially in the light of tragedies in life, where we feel consumed by our emotions. But the truth remains, painful emotions are often interrupted by moments of compassion, love, hope, laughter, and faith. The painful ones are just so profound that we tend to remember them more, while the others slip through the cracks.

Flipping the script isn’t easy. But who else is more important than you?

As crazy at it may sound, I go to sleep each night excited for six in the morning when I roll out of bed (albeit groggily) to meditate, blog, or just watch the birds and check my e-mail.

Each day, each moment offers us the opportunity to flip the script, to be something completely different, and because new moments come along sixty times a minute, you are only a moment away from becoming exactly who you want to be.

Photo by Kevin Marsh

About Kristen Cavanagh

Kristen Cavanagh, teacher/librarian/mom/artist and Reiki Master/Brené Brown groupie/recovering Perfectionista and Queen of Good Parking Spaces blogs as part of her recovery from a 2012 black hole like life implosion.  Her dream is to develop an online “School of Self Compassion” that will connect and support people who want to take steps to feel, be brave, love, trust and receive compassion.

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  • David

    Nice post! Thank you for the reminder. We DO have choices.

    “Every minute, every hour, is another chance to change; life is beautiful, and terrible, and strange.” — Concrete Blonde

  • Makayla

    This is very inspiring! I never thought of Mondays’ that way! Haha, guess you learn something new everyday! I will have to start “flipping my script.”

  • waterbaby

    Thank you! I really needed this today 🙂

  • pone79

    Hi Kristen,

    Thanks for the beautiful post. As thing would have it, I am reading The Mind Made Prison by Mateo Tabatabai, In this book he is talking about how we create our reality by constantly interpreting events based on our past experience.

    I guess as a society, we have learnt to interpret work as bad and leisure as good. This has become the default interpretation for most of us. Often work provides joy, camaraderie, and sense of engagement and fulfillment that can seldom be attained by sitting idle on a beach. But, since we have programmed ourselves to perceive work as something to be avoided, Monday’s are naturally seen as worst days of the week.

    Your manager simply overrode the default programming!

    Your post is a good case study for the hypothesis that reality is not absolute and we have the power to create our own reality.

    Pawan

  • Carolynne Melnyk

    I love your phrase “Flipping the script.” You are right not easy to do, but when we make the effort it sure changes things. Each moment is a new beginning and what we do with it is up to us. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  • Kristen

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! I will have to take a look at The Mind Made Prison as a way to remind myself to take a step back and “feel” things instead of operating on auto pilot without stopping to check the autopilot!

  • Kristen

    Thanks! I love that!
    It is really the only thing we have any control over—how we choose to respond to the world around us!

  • Kristen

    Hi Carolynne! Thanks for taking time to read my post! I wish flipping the script was like flipping pancakes! But with practice, it all gets easier ! I just have to remind myself to keep at it. Blogging certainly helps me keep in touch with what I am thinking and feeling!

  • Kristen

    Glad to hear it! I need to remember it myself—each and every day!

  • omg Kristen! The same thing happened to me before! I was at a seminar and the speaker said something like “Leaders love Mondays because it’s the START of the week and full of possibilities. They’re excited to make things happen” It made me stop also, because like you, I hated Mondays haha! It made me realize how I was basically just coasting through life that’s why I never saw Mondays as the start of something new! Thank you for sharing 🙂 Thank you for reminding us that “each moment offers us the opportunity to flip the script” 🙂 great post!

  • Kristen

    Hi Makayla! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! It takes bravery I think to flip the script…especially if you are going against the common belief of everyone around you. I am not sure I would be as vocal as her —but I might now start to question when I automatically default into negative thinking!

  • Talya Price

    This is great. Each moment is another chance to turn it all around. When we change our thought we change our world. Thank you for reminding me about this Kristen. 🙂

  • Kristen

    Wow Janice! Thanks for sharing! It is always cool to know that someone else has experienced the same thing! It is all about attitude…and sometimes we live in the ugly part of it just because that is always what we do/say/feel or what the media tells us we should feel! (television sure promotes horrible Mondays!) Imagine what would happen if we could flip the script on the media!

  • It is a powerful thing the mind! LOL I try to remind my son when he is pitching in baseball–don’t add up the bad pitches—each one is a new chance to get them swinging.

  • One

    Great post Kristen! Thanks!

  • scott_hearne

    Hi Kristen. Great article. I am really trying to figure out how to do this “flipping” as you describe it in my life. I really believe that there is something to this…I just read “awaken the genie within” It’s about harnessing the power of your subconscious to achieve goals. It suggests doing affirmations in a meditative state. What do you think about this? Are there any other good books or courses, etc other than what have been mentioned on this thread so far?

  • Danielle Dinh

    Never been a morning person. Maybe it’s time to flip the script and see if it works.

  • Justin Nicola

    Woooow, Kevin. That was amazing. Needed that, big time. Wow.

  • oooo let me know how it goes? I am interested in hearing from others about their challenges and successes with this sort of mind flip! I wish you luck! I love my mornings now!

  • For me, it was an 8 week course offered at the hospital that really helped. Let me see if I can find the paperwork we used to help us be 1. aware of the negative thought train…2. Identify what is really being said…3. Challenge the thinking..4. replace the thinking. There is a lot of CBT (cognitive behavior theory) going on. I will see what I can find Scott! Glad you found it something you might like to look into more. I did a post on my blog that covers a similar concept. There are two actually—about backpacks! Check them out and let me know what you think.

  • Thanks!

  • Tariq Alam

    Thanks Kristen. It is a wonderful writing and inspiration for everyone who like to live by themselves. I used to listen book on self-development, Books like Born to Win, Have a New You by Friday – Dr. Kevin Leman and some others. I also spent lot of time listening Dipak Chopra’s motivational speech. Have you got any time to read Dipak Chopra’s book? I am sure you will like it. I wish you all the best in your all aspects of life and also your blog writings. Thanks again for your wonderful posting.

  • Thanks for taking the time to read it Justin! Connecting to someone makes my heart sing!

  • Hi Tariq! I have listened to a lot of Dipak’s meditation series and some on wellness. He is inspiring and has a soothing voice! I need to get back to reading more things like that. I have been away from it for a bit! Thanks for taking the time to read this!