Better By Monday: Do you Lift or Lean?

Better By MondayMonday isn’t always given the respect it deserves. Disagreeable mumbling by more than one not-ready-for-work sleeper is heard. The sunlight sneaking between the blinds into the bedroom window doesn’t bring the delight of a new day it brings the burden of another day to endure.

The sun doesn’t seem to warm the morning air with hope but lights it up with anticipatory anxiety. Problems are waiting for us. Stress of different shapes and sizes line the halls of the schools our children attend, the streets we drive down, the rows of offices in our buildings and we don’t have solutions.

Even if old problems are left in the past, new problems seem to always be just ahead. We don’t always benefit from thinking about getting ahead because sometimes we can only get through. A sea of daily stress with endless days of rowing can feel unrewarding and unmanageable. But are all the moments in a day made up of problems, pain, stress and frustration?

What if we could give each other a moment away from feeling our problems? I know you’ve heard of Random Acts of Kindness (which work well) but have you considered making those into small acts of compassion/ kindness you can do throughout the day? By looking for the opportunity to show compassion in small ways during the day you give yourself a break from feeling your own stress and co-create a stress relieving moment with others.

SACK someone’s stress by showing grace, interest, empathy and/or patience in a moment of need and you get a day filled with more meaningful moments. Look for the moments where you can show a little compassion. Monday through Friday will feel lighter because you are lifting instead of leaning away.

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault Ed.S., LPC.

Better By Monday is a blog about one thing you can do, over the weekend, to feel a little better by Monday.

Zest of Life, LLC. Professional Counseling.

Better By Monday: Imagine A Rescue

Better By MondayHave you ever wondered if you would save the life of a stranger? I have made myself contemplate being able to save someone from drowning? I have questioned myself about if I would jump into a cold and deep river to try to pull someone to safety. If a person was drowning, even if I might also perish, I would help save a stranger’s life.

There is no question in my mind that I value a person’s right to survive and to live, and I would hold nothing back to help them as a fellow human being, deserving of all the same things I hoped for in my own life.

This exercise of imagining the human need to survive and my desire to help that need reconnected me with my humanity. I identified with a way to love a fellow human being trying to survive, like all of us, through the unlimited potential drowning we all face as we try to move safely through our daily lives, to survive, and also succeed and thrive. I found my path to empathy through imagining.

No one gets through life without pain. What causes one person pain looks different than what causes pain for others. Because we can’t ever truly see or know what causes pain for the other people we encounter – we are walking into dangerous unmarked territory. We can’t get to know everyone we encounter on a deeply personal level because we don’t have the time to listen to every survival story happening around us.

Awareness that others DO have a story, and that it’s as compelling and fraught with pain and travail as our own, works to create a sense of being on a common path. We find we can actually trust each other’s intentions, despite behavior that can sometimes trigger our own pain, and this leads us to pure and unassailable empathy. Nothing could do your life (and your blood pressure) better than to find yourself in the land of inner empathy and to stay there as long as possible.

Empathy isn’t only about walking a mile someone else’s shoes. It’s also a knowing and believing that life is painful for everyone in some way – your pain is not more important than your neighbors. Empathy promotes a sense of compassion that bridges your humanity and mine and with this we can feel more safe and hopeful every day.

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.

Better By Monday is a blog about one thing you can do, over the weekend, to feel a little bit better by Monday.

Zest of Life, LLC. Professional Counseling