There are all sorts of names for Mondays. Names like Manic Monday that refer to Mondays as the end of enjoyable weekends and the start of another long week of school, work, and being on someone else’s schedule.

I enjoy weekends as much as anyone else. This past weekend I was blessed by time with friends and family, participating in a fun fundraiser, baking in my newly remodeled and efficient kitchen, praying with the monks and community at the monastery, puttering in the garden while watching the activity out on the river which included eagles sightings contrasting the hummingbirds and the black bear visit in our yard. I organized my studio and played with watercolor. The entire weekend was unhurried, relaxing.

Anything that came up needing my attention I set aside for Monday if I could, what I consider my ‘managing Monday’. Unlike a lot of people, I don’t mind Mondays at all. It is when I look over the week ahead to see what needs to be done and what I can do mindfully. That means I will most likely not do everything that is asked of me or that I’d like to do. Often I will go have morning coffee with friends before I do this.

A friend who is a business owner explained a while back that she gets a lot of requests for donations. She can’t possibly fulfill all the requests and so once a week she reviews the requests to see which ones she can fulfill. I feel the same way about all the things that are asked of me. I can’t possibly do them all. Monday is when I sort things out, reflect on the past week and look to the week ahead.

When I first started visiting Mount Saviour Monastery and realized how many times a day the monks stopped to pray in chapel I wondered “how do they get anything done?”. But I learned their rhythm, I learned that doing things mindfully and pausing at certain times in the day actually recharges me and helps me work more efficiently. And that eventually what needs to be done will get done. The hardest part was separating the ‘need’ and ‘want’.

My Benedictine leadership training program continues for the next 5 months. Last week the topic of discussion was ‘A Call to Courage’. In the event I wasn’t paying attention, the word Courage kept coming to me from a variety of sources, often accompanied by the word Intimacy. In a book I’m reading titled Radical Hospitality, much is said about the courage to be intimate as it applies to hospitality and companionship. Many of the things I explored last week, although from different sources all fitting very well together, gave me much to reflect on.

This week’s focus in the leadership training is ‘ A Call To Inspire’. I’m looking forward to exploring where it takes me.

Below are a couple of photos of a sun printing workshop offered by my guild for a day camp for preteen girls at a nearby nature center last week. I kept an eye on the bandanas as the sun came and went and a few drops of rain fell, praying for the sun to stay and print images on the art created by the girls. In the end they turned out very well and the girls were delighted with the results.

And some cookies. What they lack in appearance they more than made up in taste. I took some with me to the monastery yesterday, they vanished in minutes.

I’m hearing an eagle complaining as I’m writing this, the crows chatter tell me they are the source of the eagle’s complaint. Now seems like a perfect time for a morning pause out on the deck …

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