Where to look when you’ve lost your mojo

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This is a great great article from a friend of mine I have known for over 30 years. Cathy is a leader extraordinaire and it’s well worth following her newsletter and Youtube channel.

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Mojo is energy and life force. We all have access to it, but sometimes it feels like its been drained. It can be a gradual thing – we seem a little less inspired, and a little more like we need that wine after work. Sometimes though, mojo seems to vanish. Poof! Where did it go?

When we’re wanting our mojo back, the first and sometimes only place we look to is outside our self. We might blame the work load or our stresses at home. Whilst external situations can definitely impact mojo, I’m interested in what power we each hold to reignite our own mojo. If you’re interested in that too, read on.

There are two key places to look in to recover the joy of life.

1.  The first is your health. Nothing works if you’re not on top of your health, and by health I mean physical, mental and spiritual. It’s the first place to look for recovering mojo, but don’t get stuck here. Some people with huge health challenges are in love with life and powering on! That said, some low hanging mojo fruit can be plucked here.

Physical health: eat well, not too often. Move your body. For men and women over 40, check your hormones! Protect your sleep.

Mental health: explore what interests you. Read books for pleasure. Develop your understanding in a certain field. Most of us are nerds about something – find your quirk and explore it! Follow your curiosity, even if its not practical or applicable. Meditate.

Spiritual health: we’re not cogs in a wheel; we are beings in a broader universe. It’s part of being human to yearn to evolve, to love, to be moved and inspired. Look for what feeds your soul and immerse yourself there. Practice moments of mindfulness. Pause and find something to be grateful for right where you are. Allow yourself to be moved by music or art. Lie under the night sky.

You’re all likely aware of the need to attend to your health, but you might not have linked it to mojo. To move from insight to something concrete,  write down ONE action in each of these categories (physical, mental, spiritual) you can take today. Commit to a friend – or even better get a buddy, and support each other on following through.

2.  The second place to look for mojo is in the quality of the meaning and purpose you have in your life.  Mojo can be re-found when we are engaged in something that’s meaningful to us and we’re taking action in.

This may or may not be your actual job. At certain times in our life, circumstances and career, we come up against the limitations of what we know and are achieving. Unless we reinvent our work, or our relationship to it, we wither! This is normal but it’s painful, and feels a lot like we’ve lost our mojo. It’s true even if your work is intrinsically ‘worthy’. For myself, every 4-5 years at The Hunger Project I got to a point where I was a bit blah. The work, while still incredible, felt flat. At these times I reinvented how I related to it. I stepped back and redesigned the next arc of my work life and how I could express this. Mojo relit!

However, sometimes lack of mojo is an expression of erosion at a soul level. This can happen even when health, work and personal life are great. So what’s up?

What I’m seeing in droves is the numbness people are feeling when they look out into the world. Injustices are in our faces more than ever. We are turning off our hearts and minds because it feels overwhelming. We are resigned. We feel we can’t make a difference. We don’t know how to respond – and whether we can. Yet this turning away is costing us our mojo. There is a price to be paid when we know we could do something and we do nothing. When we silence our rage, our voice, our passion – something in us erodes.

Whistle blower Edward Snowden speaks to this feeling : “Every person remembers some moment in their life where they witnessed some injustice, big or small, and looked away because the consequences of intervening seemed too intimidating. But there’s a limit to the amount inhumanity that each individual can tolerate. I crossed that line. And I’m no longer alone.”

Acknowledging how you are feeling, and then engaging in some way to make a difference, or be heard, is vital to restoring mojo.

If this is a bit overwhelming, don’t despair! We don’t have to take giant leaps to activate our health and our purpose. When we’ve lost our mojo, we might feel we need to do something big and drastic to get it back. But actually small steps, accumulated over time, can start the flywheel, which then builds its own momentum. Consistency rather than grand gestures is key.

What will you do today that helps start the process of restoring your mojo? What support do you need to keep this process alive for you?

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My favourite things

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There is nothing that makes me happier than The Sound of Music. Mum and I watch it every Christmas. Felt a little down today so this was perfect for listening to. Click the picture to listen to this song and I defy you not to smile.

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Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver-white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things
When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

 

Making its rounds

This is making its rounds around Facebook at the moment, but boy is it inspirational and so very true.  Well worth sharing with you here if you haven’t seen it yet.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles roll
ed into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.. The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—-your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—-and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.. The sand is everything else—-the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first—-the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

Working late

I am working late on a major piece of work that’s been a lot of my life for the past 6-8 moths in Sydney next week, so I figured I might as well put on some lipstick and feel a little pretty sitting a the key board, alone at midnight.

In fact my working environment it’s almost perfect – vanilla candle smells fill the room and I have three months of Bold and the Beautiful to watch. Yep, this is what it’s like when you’re 47.  I have actually been so busy that I have eaten half of what I should have, but I’m just not hungry at all. I skipped breakfast and had 3 rice cakes with tomato for dinner a long with around 3 mangos.  I have this love of eating frozen mango straight our of the pack in the freezer.  It could be worse.

Not only that, I have not had any alcohol for 4 weeks and 1 day.  That is a massive achievement for me given a lot of business is done over lunch, dinner or drinks after work.

B&B

More importantly, will Katie listen to Taylor? I mean really, so many questions unanswered…

Alone, but not

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Some days, when you’re on this eating regime (see how I didn’t call it a diet), you feel alone.  All alone, but supported at the same time.  This photo I took reminded me of how I am feeling today.

I am down about 6kgs on and off and that is really good, but I expect way too much of myself. I need to take the time.  Enjoy. Read. Recover and rediscover the love I have for my body and all it gives me every day.

A change of mind (and heart)

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I don’t know how many times on this blog I have said the words “it’s finally time.  I am taking responsibility for my health and happiness”.  Well my friends I am going to say it again.

I’ve had quite a hard time of it lately. I was not looking after my health, I was drinking way too much, I was eating about three times the average amount of food a normal person should eat, sometimes secretly.  All of this ended up with me gaining not only weight but also questioning who I want to be for the rest of my life.

On July 11th this month I turned 47.  Now I’m not big on the age thing.  It is what it is, but this time I could actually notice myself aging. I could see my skin getting that little bit thinner and dry.  My period, which was as reliable as Big Ben, was now all over the place, sometimes not coming for months at a time.  Gravity was beginning to really come calling and I was feeling VERY sorry for myself.

Knowing that I hadn’t had proper ‘get on a plane with a passport vacation’ for years, my oldest and dearest friend talked me into going to Phuket to a luxurious villa.  Needless to say from the picture above it was amazing.

Unfortunately the second night I fell over and badly sprained my ankle leaving it incredibly difficult to walk for the rest of the holiday.  For me this was a real wake up call.  If I don’t start doing something about my health, my weight and my work/life balance the rest of my life is not going to get any better.  If anything, worse.

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Our private infinity pool.

We talked a lot on that vacation about health and our lives and where we wanted to be.  He had a good friend who passed away some years ago now.  She tried for years and years to give up smoking but couldn’t. During her career she worked incredibly hard for all they had. She was the hardest of workers.  It came to her one day, a little too late, that if she is such a hard worker, then giving up smoking is just hard work and I know I can do that.

Now I am sure I‘m not doing this story any justice but it rang true with me.  I work bloody hard, so this is just another something I need to work hard at, and to me it makes total sense. I have worked hard all my life in my career; surely I can work hard at something that is going to keep me alive and feeling good.

Yes, it does sound way too easy but it’s put my head into a totally different space and that’s a good thing. So here I go.

But, just a little bit differently this time.