Do it out of love – how to overcome winter motivation dip

What is worth doing in this world and how to show up for it?

Are you feeling your mojo is low right now? Not surprising! With everything that is going on, and on top of that if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, it can really get to you. Winter season has always been hard for me. I’m beginning to feel like this is a time for me of being tested. Because my bad moods can be very convincing, all my beliefs are coming up for questioning. There’s a challenge in that, and there’s also a tremendous value. Let me explain.

Number one point is: I know that my biology lowers my motivation. That doesn’t mean that I’m just going to give in to this. The last few days, I’ve done a lot of journalling and meditation to get me through the whole process. I have other ways of supporting myself, that I won’t go into details now. What is relevant for today is that my darker side has been trying to convince me that doing my work doesn’t matter. When you’re self-employed, moreover in a business of helping people, that is a serious obstacle. You have to be committed to what you do, period. Otherwise nobody will push you to show up. Not to mention you can’t talk with conviction.

This brings me to the gift of the doubts. I went through a lot of existential questioning in the last couple of days. My mind can be brilliant at pointing out how things don’t matter on the grander scale, and how I should just do nothing. I have, however, chosen a path of warrior. I choose not to just accept this story. And I went courageously through investigating those voices. I’m going to spare you the dark, more depressing thoughts—I don’t wish to give them space.

On the other side, I got angry. Anger can be a tremendous power, honestly. There are reasons why it has bad reputation, used wisely, however, it can get you out of complacency or passivity, and give you energy to break through your obstacles. This is what happened. I have made a decision at that point, that if no meaning presents itself—I’m going to recommit to creating it myself. To proving life and the universe that life can be great, and showing up for things that make it great in my experience.

Then, I finally remembered. Because I’ve busted through the fog of passivity, I could now remember. What I love. And it makes so much sense to show up for these things in the world. I think that there’s no motivation that is more powerful than this. Anything else is a story that we create for ourselves, and that our critical mind can undermine. Whilst sometimes I believe in stories of ‘personal improvement’ or ‘being a better person’ they don’t always carry me through when I’m in a rough patch.

That other side of my personality tries to convince me sometimes that showing up for things I love is not enough. That there are ‘problems’ in the world that require fixing. My deeper wise self knows though, that plenty of those problems wouldn’t even exist if we were able to experience more love already. If we knew we were good enough already. If we gave ourselves permission to truly value beauty and pleasure.

The brilliant thing is that if you show up for love—whether in the form of doing what you love, or of expressing the love for others (or even nature e.g.) through action—you don’t need any other justification. The action already is the reward. You can be less attached to the results, because it’s the intention and energy behind it that counts.

Don’t try to push yourself, it’s not worth it. Don’t pursue goals that you’ve picked up because you’re trying to prove something, or because somebody else told you that’s what you should do (and that somebody else can be ‘society’ or even ‘wise books’). It’s not going to carry you through, and it’s not going to help you experience more joy and meaning in your life. Choose that which your heart is guiding you towards.

The challenge is that when we’re stressed, when the world gets to us, we may close down our hearts. We build layers of protection, we forget that there’s beauty and joy, and we can find ourselves in such a dark space, that we don’t trust love is even possible. It is, however, always very close. Breathing through your body’s contraction can help. Imagining things or people you love can help. Embodied techniques that help you release stuck emotions can help, that’s something I use in my work with clients. What is not likely to work is trying to get out with your mind. Not if you’re seeking real conviction and commitment to life.

This is just a part of how to approach the issues of motivation, meaning, and seasonal challenges. I may come back to these topics in my next articles, as I find them very dear to my heart 😉

I hope you find this helpful, let me know in the comments what are your thoughts and experiences with the issues I talk about. 

P.s. if you want to connect more deeply to your motivation, that is felt in the body and not just ‘sounds good’ — you could do that in my group programme BODY WISDOM starting in January. Or check out my coaching page for 1-2-1 work.