There was a time when I had all sorts of mojo. You know what I mean; energy, zest, vitality and joy! It wasn’t only that I managed to get a lot done in the course of a day but that I actually enjoyed all the things I did! Now there are lots of definitions for mojo but the one I like most is “magic!” I had my own personal magic going on!
Then something happened that put my life on a different course, and took the joy out of a lot of what I did. I thought I’d lost my mojo, maybe even for good. Life became a struggle, day to day, just to get by. I think we’ve all been through those times. You know, those days when just getting out of bed and getting dressed is the most you can really count on accomplishing. Finding our keys and actually getting out of the house is an even bigger challenge! I think sometimes we go into emotional hibernation. We turn ourselves off for a bit to conserve energy and to heal. Unlike bears, we can’t actually get along without eating and paying the rent, but we aren’t really as conscious as we should be and we aren’t experiencing any joy.
Recently, someone reminded me that I am still the same person I was when things were going well. When I was feeling confident and accomplished, I was exactly the same person I am now. Actually, I may be even better now, a little older and a little wiser. I haven’t lost my mojo. It’s still here. I just need to dig around, find it, brush off the cobwebs and break it out again! I really needed to hear this and I’m so glad she mentioned it.
“Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering, and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.” John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
I’ve realized that I’ve spent so much time learning to NOT care what other people think that sometimes I don’t pay enough attention to what the really great people in my life do think! As women, why do we seem to have so much trouble taking a compliment when one is offered? If someone tells us we are fat, or ugly or stupid, we always seem willing to believe that! We take it in, we internalize it and we hurt because of it! Yet, when someone who matters tells us we look great, or praises an accomplishment, we brush it aside, as if we are undeserving!
It’s important to let ourselves hear what those who care about us really think, but then the rest is up to us. Mojo is personal. Joy comes from the inside. YOU have to want it. You have to find it. It doesn’t come in a pill form and there are no shortcuts.
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” Joseph Campbell
You have to do the work. Find the things in your life that bring you joy and add more of those. Identify the things in your life that bring you down and cause you stress and start, one by one to solve or eliminate those. Still not feeling it? Remember, no one is going to find it for you. Sometimes you’ve got to push yourself. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Go for a walk, get a massage, or give yourself permission to spend the afternoon curled up with a good book, whatever makes you happy. Think of something you have always wanted to do and take a step towards doing it. Sign up for a class, brush up your resume and make some calls! Join a book group, go listen to poetry at the library or to music in the park. Go to the store and pick out a really funny card to send to a friend. Call an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while and brighten both of your days at the same time. Joy comes in steps, one day at a time. Keep at it!
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Bad things happened, and I let them hold me back from enjoying my life. Yet, the bad things won’t be any easier to handle because you sat around waiting nervously for them. In fact, more great things will happen to if you are open and willing to receive them. And those great things will fortify you. They will strengthen you, so that when the bad comes you are ready and able to handle it. Even better, if you are open to it, you will have a rich life full of loving friends and family who will support you through those times and hold you up. And just in case, it doesn’t hurt to have an extra set of keys around!
“Joy is sometimes a blessing, but it is often a conquest. Our magic moments help us to change and sends us off in search of our dreams. Yes, we are going to suffer, we will have difficult times, and we will experience many disappointments — but all of this is transitory it leaves no permanent mark. And one day we will look back with pride and faith at the journey we have taken.” Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept