Remember having a sense of personal vibrancy and exuberance, when all things seemed possible? When you had the “magic”? When you felt full of joie de vivre, attractive and alive?
Are you feeling it now?
Yes, no, maybe?
If the answer is anything but an unequivocal yes, you may be suffering a Case Of Lost Mojo.
Maybe it’s been stolen by your own personal Dr. Evil. (Fellow fans of the impossibly juvenile Austin Powers movies, you know of whom I speak.) Maybe it’s been transported into outer space by aliens. Maybe you dropped it when you were ordering your latte at Starbucks.
Or maybe, like for so many of us, you haven’t even noticed that it’s gone.
But once you do notice your mojo is gone, what’s to be done? You can try to pretend it’s no big deal. “Excitement is for the young”. “It’s natural to get more serious as we mature.” “It’s not like I’m a kid anymore”.
(There’s some truth to that last one. Did you know children laugh about 300 times a day compared to 17 times for the average adult? Mojo seems to come easier to them by virtue of their youth.)
Or maybe you look on quietly, and more than a little enviously, of others who seem to still have a hold of their mojo. You wonder what they know, or what they’re doing that you aren’t.
So let’s say you’ve noticed your mojo has gone AWOL and you are ready to do something about it. What should you do? Where should you look?
Generally when I counsel someone who has lost their mojo, I ask them the following questions. Even a little bit of digging here can yield gold. So let me arm you with a spade and shovel via the following questions. Good luck, and keep digging!.
1. Am I avoiding something important?
Like any form of energy, mojo can be drained off by a chronic, unsolved problem. Avoidance of a problem is probably the most common explanation for lost mojo, and thus the one likely to yield the richest results. Of course, usually when we are avoiding something we’ve pushed it so far out of our awareness it’s hard to know *what* we’re avoiding anymore!
Look to the core areas of your life. How is my marriage really doing? Do I enjoy my work? Or does it grate on my soul to show up there every day? Do I play? Ever? Is today a good day to die? (I’ve gone a little Zen there, but the question sure does clarify the mind, don’t you think?)
2. Am I compromising myself, my values, or my truth?
In any area of life, are you doing something that goes against your values, against what you believe to be truly important in the world? Are you being unfaithful to another, in spirit or deed? Are you shading the truth to someone important? Do you feel like your company, or your job, is requiring you do to do something questionable? Do you compost your trash at home, but work for a company that’s putting toxins in the local river?
While few of us are Joan of Arc, consistently acting against our values acts like a splinter in the soul. It festers and inflames, and depletes our mojo.
3. Am I stuck in a rut?
Do you allow yourself to seek out new people, situations or activities in your life? Or do you stick to the same thing over and over?
Neuroscience tells us the brain loves novelty. (This may be why children laugh so much. Novelty often makes us laugh, and to a child the world brings new things every day!)
Change it up! Make yourself do something different, even if you don’t feel like it or if it doesn’t seem to make sense. Shop at a different convenience store. Order something different from the menu. Ask a coworker you don’t know very well to go to lunch. Follow people on Twitter who do something totally different from you. Wake up your brain and your mojo will likely come with it.
I’ll end with a message of hope.
(Spoiler alert!) Austin Powers did eventually get his lost mojo back. After going on a journey, exploring his past, and challenging his dark alter ego, he discovers it was inside him all along.
So take heart! Your mojo is in there, too.
And if you need help digging, give me a call. I’ve got a backhoe.
Photo credit: Lucy Boynton via Flickr