Some people tell me they feel discouraged and worried about our uncertain future, drifting along and having a hard time finding their “Mojo”, their (sense of purpose) and figuring out what to do with themselves. This is a common problem and one that sages, saints and teachers from many traditions have worked on. I will share below some of the methods I’ve found helpful. I didn’t make these up and I fully give credit and thanks to all the many teachers who have so generously shared their knowledge.
One method is to develop a daily spiritual practice. I’m not talking about any particular religious approach. What I find in common among many traditions is a daily practice of gratitudes, meditation, prayer, singing, contemplation and service. Find what works for you. Setting your purpose in the morning and at night can be done through this daily spiritual practice. Say your gratitudes, be quiet for a while, pray if that works for you, always start with thanks. Ask for help in finding your work, your “mojo”, your passion and how to best be of service to others and to Nature. Be sure to take time to notice what you are feeling in your body, your heart, your nervous system and gut. By spreading our awareness to all these systems we can unify our consciousness and help all our parts to be congruent–body, mind, heart and spirit in agreement, and ease stress at the same time.
It really helps to have others with whom you can share and talk about your daily spiritual practice and give and receive support. Gradually your spirit and confidence will grow stronger when you keep at it every day. If you forget, forgive yourself right now and just reinstate it. No self-judgment, just encouragement. Be an encouraging friend to yourself and others. As you grow stronger, work will come to you, people to help, a field you feel passionate about, a place where you can make a difference. This is how our mojo becomes strong. If you have many responsibilities, use the little bits of time you have to the fullest. If you find yourself “staring down the hole” of all the troubles in the world and in your life, shift your focus to you daily practice. Notice any easing of stress.
Nature Spirit Journey Exercise
We can further support our daily practice by taking journeys in nature. Make a time for a Nature Spirit Journey and enlist a friend(s) or loved one to come along. The night before you go on the journey I suggest using the Setting Our Purpose at Night practice that I’ve written about in another blog post. Here it is again.
Setting Our Purpose at Night: As we near the time to go to bed we can take some quiet time and pray or meditate. I recommend we always start with thanks. Thank the Spirit, or whatever you believe in for all the blessings in your life. Be specific about gratitudes. Like saying, “today when I was feeling discouraged, I appreciated feeling Spirit support to feel stronger.” Then state your purpose for this night. Here’s one way to say it: “I ask for help in having a restful sleep so I can awaken in the morning refreshed and ready to live the day.” State your intention for the Nature Spirit Journey tomorrow so that it is with you during the night.
When you wake up in the morning, express your thanks again and set your purpose or intention for the Nature Spirit Journey. Go to a quiet beautiful spot in nature that you find inspiring. Plan ahead with clothes, snacks, a notebook and water, etc. so you are not worried about your physical needs. You may have an issue you want to ponder or you may want to get in better synch with all the parts of yourself. Pick a spot where you can be quiet. You could take along a symbolic offering to give to Nature in that place, like food, water, sage, or a flower.
Sit and meditate for a while. Be sure to thank the place, all the plants and trees, the animals there for what they have given that we can enjoy. When your concern regarding the problem you are working on comes up, notice what is happening in your body. Take your time. Reassure yourself that you don’t have to solve it all right now. This is exploration time. What does your heart have to say about it? What does your gut sense have to say about it? What does nature around have to say to you? Listen for subtle, quiet messages.
When you feel you are ready, you can share with your companion(s) what has come to you if you like. I recommend that you write down your experience in a journal for later review.
I’ll write more on this subject in a future post.
© Jerry Allen 2017
About the author –
I hold a masters in public health education from UC Berkeley and a masters in counseling psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies. I’ve been a California licensed Marriage & Family Therapist since 1991, and am certified in Somatic Experiencing. I began my medicine man training in my first vision quest in 1973. I was initiated as a medicine man under the training and supervision of Theresa Dintino. I studied Aikido for 30 years and received 3 black belts. I live and practice in Oregon and Sebastopol, and enjoy playing music, tending our fruit orchard, and spending time with my two wonderful children.
Jerry Allen, LMFT, SEP, MPH, Anishinaabe Mashkikiiwinini (Medicine Man)
Gratitude Way Medicine Man Counseling & Coaching – firstname.lastname@example.org