The Webster Dictionary defines motivation as “the mental process that arouses an organism to action.” Motivation, for Gracen and I at least, is fluid. There are days, weeks and maayyybe a month when our creative juices are aligned with our energy, and we. get. shit. done. We are productive power houses full of ideas, killing it at our day jobs, finishing Dr. Grace projects, paying bills, cleaning house, cooking dinner, being present with our babies, working out, etc etc et. We are vibing, we are flowing, we are creating, we are riding the wave. Then, BAM, the “mental process that arouses an organism to action” is gone.
Our motivation tank is empty and “running on fumes” begins. Trying to force that creative energy back is frustrating and trying to accomplish everything that we accomplish while we are vibing is exhausting.
What if the times when we lose our motivation, it is a sign to rest and recharge? To take it a little easier? What if we try to give ourselves grace for not doing ALL the things? Everything that is anything has cycles. The moon, the ocean, flowers, animals. I find these cycles fascinating. A few weeks ago, I walked in to find my son’s tortoise, Peanut, with his eyes closed, neck fully out, and in this totally relaxed and vulnerable position that I’d never seen before. Poor Peanut doesn’t have the luxury to be vulnerable in this house full of rambunctious boys. I thought he was dead. However, Peanut was not dead. He is in hibernation mode (lucky bastard). When Peanut is tired, he sleeps. He honors his cycle.
Why do we, as humans, especially as women, not do the same? Personally, the expectations I put on myself keep me from honoring the ebbs and flows of my motivation cycle. I attach my value with crossing tasks off my to-do list. I tie my worth to my productivity. At the depths of my being, I honestly believe our value as beings in this world is not something we have to earn, we are born with it. It is who we are. Our value is all the hundreds of quirks and idiosyncrasies we offer the world. If my kids eat fast food three nights a week, I’m still me. If I don’t work out, I am still me. While I don’t have the luxury of going into complete hibernation mode like Peanut, I do have the option to take it easier on myself in that ebb of the wave. I have the option to stop forcing and learn to surrender to what is. I can find peace when I let go of where I want to be and accept where I am. I am a much nicer, more grounded human when I learn to stop trying to reign in the waves.