Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fanning a Spark into a Flame

I was feeling kind of down over the past weekend. I just couldn't seem to snap out of my funk. I'd had a busy, productive week, but on the weekend I sort of 'crashed' and found that my motivation and energy level plummeted. I just couldn't seem to get myself going.

Saturday afternoon, I thought about going to a movie, but that just didn't seem to be what I wanted to do. I didn't feel like doing much of anything.

As I pondered my options, the only thing that sounded even remotely appealing to me was to drive into downtown Seattle to eat at one of my very favorite Mexican Food Restaurants, Mama's Mexican Kitchen. I absolutely love their crisp chicken tacos! They even have a burrito on their menu called the "NOLAsco" burrito!

This didn't make a lot of sense to me. It's 30 - 40 minute drive from where I live. I usually only go there when I have another reason to be in downtown Seattle. Making a trip all the way into town, just to have lunch seemed kind of silly and self indulgent.

I decided, given I had zero motivation to do anything else, and the fact that I had worked hard all week long, I would go ahead and follow that glimmer of energy and interest. I drove to Mama's.

What happened as a result, was quite amazing. As I sat there, eating my chips and salsa, sipping my iced tea, I started to feel a little better. A favorite waiter of mine was there, and we chatted a bit. They brought me my own carafe of iced tea, with lots of ice... just the way I like it.

I felt better and I started to feel inspired to go home and tackle a couple little organizational projects that I'd been putting off. I had been completely 'down' when I got the impulse to go to Mama's. Now, less than two hours later, I felt uplifted, motivated and ready to do some things - both productive and just for fun.

The rest of my day was wonderful. I got some chores done, took a long walk in the sunshine, and did some things just for fun. None of that would have happened if I hadn't gone to Mama's. I probably would have moped around all day feeling sorry for myself - aimless and without energy.

I really believe that when we have lost our motivation, or are feeling down, one way 'out of the tunnel' is to look for ANY glimmer of interest or motivation and indulge it. I'm not talking about doing something unhealthy or destructive, just to be clear. But if something seems a bit frivolous (like driving 40 minutes for a chicken taco) or like a 'waste of time' (like working on a jigsaw puzzle - one of my other activities that I sometimes do when I'm feeling down) I say GO FOR IT! Very often, when we follow a desire of our heart, we rekindle our enthusiasm for life in general. We can fan the spark of motivation and energy until it becomes a fire!

Next time you are feeling low or unmotivated, see if there is anything at all that calls to your heart... and go for it!