Hello there, and welcome back to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast!
I’m your host, Cindy.
Here in Episode 74 I’m going to encourage you to stop living for the weekend.
Here we go…
Episode 74 Show Notes Links
Book: Do Less by Kate Northrup
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Episode 74 Transcript
You’re listening to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast: a comfy, cozy place for private practice introverts, highly sensitive therapists, and solopreneurs who help and heal.
This is the place for practical, nature-based, magickal support for your business and life.
Hello there, and welcome back to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast! I’m your host, Cindy. Here in Episode 74 I’m going to encourage you to stop living for the weekend.
Let me paint you a picture. Imagine that you toil away at your job, saving up and squirreling away every single vacation day and sick day so that you can retire a bit earlier. You daydream about all the fun things that you will do when you retire.
As you get closer to retirement, you may realize that you need to work a little longer so that you can bulk up your retirement a bit more. When the day comes, you are so exhausted from busting your ass for 40 years, with no real vacations, and going into work when you were sick so you could save up your days, that you have no energy or desire left to traipse around the world on your international vacations that you’ve been daydreaming about your entire life.
Sorry to bum you out, but what I’m talking about in this episode is like a mini version of what I just described. It’s not as intense, so you may not even realize that it’s happening. But, I can assure you that it is – just on a smaller level. It’s like you are saving up all your fun times throughout the week, and trying to squeeze them in over the weekend.
Before I go any further, I want to acknowledge that our society is set up to praise the 40+ hour work week. And this 40-hour work week isn’t doing us any favors. In fact, it can be quite disastrous to our health, well-being, and quality of life.
I also want to provide a disclaimer here that I completely recognize that many people feel trapped in their jobs. And, more importantly, many people don’t just FEEL trapped in their jobs, they are ACTUALLY trapped in their jobs because of the way that our capitalistic society is set up to make the rich even richer, while they drive their workers (the people who are actually making them all that money) further into the ground.
In our society there is significant corruption, injustice, suppression, discrimination, and inequity. And if I’m being honest, I sometimes feel so helpless and powerless to make any real change. But then I remind myself that systemic change takes time, and that my frustration alone isn’t doing anything to help.
I believe that we all have our ways of supporting the changes that we want to see in the world. Some people are made for the big stages and spotlights, speaking out against the many injustices. Others are making quiet, yet impactful, changes through small daily decisions. Not one of these is better than the other. Personal change is as important as local change is as important as regional change is as important as global change.
Since it can sometimes feel overwhelming to take on the larger injustices of the the societies we live in, especially for those of us who are introverted, highly sensitive souls, we can find small, creative, and inspirational ways to challenge the status quo and begin to create change. Personally, I do this in many ways in my everyday life that are not recognizable to the outside world.
I feel that this is important to say before I go into dissing the 40-hour work week, as I recognize that, out of context, me saying things like, “ditch the 40-hour work week,” “go out and create the dream life that you deserve,” and “you can design the life you want,” can sound insensitive because of the society we live in.
I want to say that everything exists together. That two opposing beliefs can be true at the same time. If you follow me on instagram you have probably seen some of the posts from my ‘It’s Okay Series’ where I reference a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald stating, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
So while I recognize that there are gross inequities in our society that keep people suppressed and oppressed, that doesn’t mean that people are helpless victims who are unable to create the lives that they want.
I like to think that we have more power and control over our lives than we are led to believe. This episode is really geared toward those people who FEEL trapped in their job, and FEEL as though they can’t do anything about it – when in actuality they can and they’re just being held back by societal conditioning and fear.
So now that I’ve hopefully put this episode in the right context, I’ll get back to the topic…
I’ll begin by talking about the countless studies that support ending the 40-hour work week in favor of less. I’ll not cite them here, but you can do a quick internet search and find a plethora of them. Anyway, I just want to share a few of the statistics that I can recall off the top of my head…
-We’re pretty good productivity-wise up until about 25 hours a week, then we start declining
-A 6-hour work day is the optimum/upper-limit for good health
-Many people are the most productive when they have a 3-day work week
-When you get into the 50+hour work week, there is a significantly higher risk of major health problems and death as a direct result of time worked
…and I could go on and on, but the gist is that working less is better for you all around. In the book Do Less by Kate Northrup, there’s a great section in Chapter 1 that talks about the data supporting less work for increased health and productivity. I’ll share a link to the book in the show notes.
I believe that the grind of the 40+ hour work week is going out of style… and I’m saying, “Good riddance.”
Earlier I mentioned making small changes as a way to tackle greater societal problems. Knowing that the 40-hour work week isn’t good for our health and well-being, I’m going to tackle this one with my own schedule, and hopefully inspire other solopreneurs to do the same. I want to lead by example and show that it’s possible to break free of an overly busy life, where you are constantly feeling behind, pressured to catch up, and living for the weekend only to end up being disappointed time and time again.
I encourage my clients to create a schedule that works for them, so I’m doing the same. I see so many therapists and coaches giving wonderful support and advice to their clients, yet failing to take that support and advice for themselves and implement into their own lives.
I’m well aware of this phenomenon and I do my best to stay cognizant of taking my own advice. I’m not going to ask my clients to try something that I’m not willing to do myself.
I do many unconventional things with my schedule that I won’t get into in this episode, but you can visit Episode 54 where I talk about my Deep Work & Rest Week, which is one fun thing I do with my schedule.
What I am here to talk about is the exhausting trap of living for the weekend.
I said that I’m not going to ask my clients to do anything that I’m not willing to do myself. I’m always taking about protecting your time, following your energy, and setting up your schedule for when YOU want to work.
Personally, I don’t want to work on the weekends. This is one of two reasons that I host my Tiny Retreats during the week. I just said that I don’t want to work on the weekends, so I need to honor that. My Tiny Retreats are no exception.
I see solopreneurs saying that they want one thing, and then going and creating the complete opposite in their business. We have to realize that we are the ones who get to decide what our business looks like, and it’s time that we stop letting societal influences and external pressures determine how we run our businesses and trust that our businesses will flourish when we are making decisions that are best for us – not our clients, our colleagues, our parents, our children, our partners, or anyone else for that matter. The paradox is that all these people will be better off when you start putting yourself, your happiness, and your well-being first. By doing this, you can begin showing up for them in amazing ways, and you’ll be operating from a truly joyful foundation.
So, I mentioned that one reason why I hold my Tiny Retreats during the week is that I don’t want to work on the weekends. But the second reason has an even deeper meaning and purpose behind it. I do not choose the dates at random, and they have a greater aspiration in mind. If you have been following me for any time at all, you know that I’m all about reclaiming rest as a birthright. I’m also (in my own tiny and unique way) challenging current society’s unhealthy relationship with work and productivity.
I’m so over witnessing people living for the weekend. Weekends are supposed to be a good ole time – but when you are working an exhausting Monday – Friday job you’re likely using Saturday to recover. Or if you are doing something fun on Saturday, you may not get the rest that your body needs (even though you’re doing something enjoyable).
But wait, you still have Sunday right? Not really. Many people are so consumed by the Sunday Scaries that they spend the entire day in dread of the upcoming week. And there’s still laundry to do and dishes in the sink.
I absolutely will not contribute to your exhaustion. Period. I absolutely will not take precious time away from you that would otherwise be spent resting, doing something fun, or spending time with family and friends.
I will, however, interrupt your embodiment of internalized capitalism. In order to change the (deeply ingrained) tides of internalized capitalism, we’re going to need to shake things up a bit, as something like this isn’t going away on its own.
If you’re not sure what internalized capitalism means, it’s that your self-worth is directly related to productivity. How gross is that?!
I know it’s unconventional to have a retreat that doesn’t take up your entire weekend (and leave you with no time to recover). But that’s what I’m doing. To some this may seem radical, and to others it’s a breath of fresh air.
Using my business to challenge the status quo isn’t always the most “logical” thing to do, especially with the business advice that is hyper-focused on productivity and lofty income goals. The status quo says that you need to hold retreats over the weekend so that people don’t have to take as much time off work. And some would say that I am limiting myself because there are many people who FEEL that they cannot take 4 days for themselves.
This is where I’m being a bit disruptive, in that I am offering somewhat of a challenge to people to take time off work for themselves and for no other reason. I’m asking them not to try to squeeze every little bit of joy in their lives into an already busy and task-heavy weekend. I understand that for some, this is a tough-love ask. And for others, as I mentioned earlier, it’s a breath of fresh air.
So, if you’re feeling consumed by your work, I invite you to envision another possibility of living. No more living for the weekend in a perpetual state of exhaustion. Begin to take into account your energy, creativity, and desires when you are designing your schedule.
You don’t have to operate your business in the traditional sense, especially if the status quo is keeping you burned out and exhausted.
If you’ve listened to me for anytime at all, I’m taking the risk of sounding like a broken record and saying to you that you can design your business any way that you want to. If you don’t see an example out there of what you want to create, create it anyway. You can bring this new way of doing business into the world. We, ourselves, are the biggest obstacles in our way. We impose more limitations on ourselves than are actually imposed upon us. So, get creative, and do what you want. Life is too short, so make it what you want.
I hope this episode has been helpful, and invites you to take an honest look at your schedule and your work week to see where adjustments and tweaks can be made that creates a more satisfying and sustainable environment for you.
I do want to take a moment to mention two retreats that are coming up. First is the Cozy Forest Retreat that I’m hosting with Jane Carter, November 17th-19th at the Indigo Nature Retreat in Old Fort, North Carolina. This cozy retreat will only host 5 solopreneurs so that you get ample time, attention, and support in all areas of life and business. You’ll have your very own private bird nest cabin, catered meals, yoga, massage, expert coaching and business support, & tranquil forest amenities.
The application deadline is in one week, so please visit mountainpracticejourneys.com/fall-retreat/ to find out more and to apply. You can listen to the Cozy Forest Retreat bonus episode here on the podcast for additional information, and you can also go to Jane’s instagram account @janecartercoaching and check out the recent IG live we recorded about the retreat. We hope to see you there!
And, don’t just take it from me. I’m including a little snippet from a previous Cozy Forest Retreat attendee so that you can see what being at the retreat is like first hand…
Thank you so much, Christina, for your kind words. It was such a delight to retreat with you.
The second retreat I want to mention is my Healing the Witch Wound tiny retreat – and only 2 spots remain! The retreat will be held at a luxury Scandinavian cabin in Black Mountain, North Carolina, February 27th – March 2nd, 2023!
I hope you’ll consider joining me on this one-of-a-kind, deeply nourishing journey. We’ll work together to release the fears that keep you small, hidden, and disconnected from your true power and purpose.
You can expect an all-inclusive experience featuring luxury lodging, your own private room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, nourishing meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks), a healing the witch wound swag bag (with over $150 of swag to support you on your journey), engaging workshops, guided meditations, gentle yoga, plenty of rest and downtime, divinations with oracle, tarot, and runes, warm outdoor spa soaks with expansive views, and more.
Visit mountainpracticejourneys.com/witch-wound for more information and to apply.
ACORN (Tarot Card Pull)
Welcome to the acorn segment. With each solo episode I’ll be drawing a tarot card to help provide some magickal inspiration and insight.
The card for this episode is the Four of Pentacles.
I’ll describe the card for those of you who may not be familiar. The four of pentacles features a man sitting in a chair with a coin on the top of his head, one coin under each of his feet, and he is tightly grasping onto the fourth coin with both hands.
Some words associated with this card are scarcity, conservatism, and control. And it can be interpreted as a fixation on wealth.
This makes me think about today’s episode and, in many cases, it is the fixation on wealth that keeps us overworked, exhausted, and burned out. We’re so afraid that if we say no to that new prospective client that we’ll somehow go broke. So we take them on. And that’s even after we have already told ourselves that we were not taking on anymore clients. We already know that we are at capacity, but we are in a scarcity mindset and we have the illusion that taking on that extra client, and making a bit of extra money will give us some semblance of control over our lives. But the opposite is true. Something else has control, and it’s not us.
Another message of this card is that you are placing too much value on material possessions to the detriment of your relationships, your family, your happiness, and your health and well-being.
And I really love the interpretation of the four coins as being barriers provided by Elliot Adam, the author of Fearless Tarot. The coin on the man’s head severs his connection to Spirit, the coin clutched in front of his heart blocks him from giving and receiving love, and the coins under his feet cut him off from being grounded in his own nature.
There’s nothing wrong with money, or with being financially successful. It is a wonderful thing. But when you have an unhealthy relationship with money, then you need to reassess. Is your obsession with money and wealth preventing you from living a truly fulfilling life? Are you choosing the pursuit of more and more money to the detriment of your family, or your own health and well-being?
I’ll post a picture of the card along with the message today on my instagram @mountainpracticejourneys so head on over and let me know if this message resonates with you at this time.
Thank you so much for joining me today. For episode 75 I chat with Kelley Stevens of The Private Practice Pro about the importance of building referral relationships.
If you haven’t yet listened to Episode 73, I urge you to do that. In that episode I chatted with Shawny Sena of Weirdo Therapist Coaching and she introduced the 5 copy questions for all your marketing.
I’m truly grateful that you choose to join me here for practical, nature-based, magickal support for your business and life. For more inspiration and to see what I’m up to, join me over on instagram @mountainpracticejourneys If you’re enjoying yourself here, please head over to Apple Podcasts and hit those 5 stars and I’ll be over the moon. And if you’d like to work with me, join me in Forestmind, my cozy, small-group mastermind for private practice introverts, highly sensitive therapists, and solopreneurs who help and heal. May the forest be with you.
I Want You To Be Successful In Business & In Life!
Starting, growing, and maintaining a business is a big deal. It's super-exciting and super-scary all at the same time. I created Mountain Practice Journeys to support you through the difficult and muddy terrain, and to celebrate with you when you have reached each summit of the many mountains you will conquer on your journey.
Happy Climbing, Cindy