Motivation (or, How I Need to Trick Myself to Get Shit Done)

I’m trying to find ways to motivate myself right now. It’s not easy.

I’ve been stuck in a depressive funk for a while and I’m not sure why. Even on days when my mood is stable/okay, I’m still unmotivated to do anything. I keep thinking I should really reorganize and clean the pantry, I should clean the kitchen, I should do my physio exercises, I should go outside and breathe air….

Do any of these things happen? No. I rarely do my physio, I go outside only for absolute necessities (like grocery shopping), and the rest? My idea of cleaning the other day was to move stuff from the guest bed to the floor.

The worst part of all this is I’m unmotivated to Do Religion, too. I’m trying to find bare minimum physical acts of worship that I can do, even if I’m not feeling it. Beyond lighting candles to Hestia daily and offering Her coffee, I’ve been stuck.

I’m writing this post because today I found a way to motivate myself to do a mundane thing and a religious thing by combining them. (NOVEL IDEA, ZIE WHO CALLS ZIRSELF THE MUNDANE MYSTIC.) And I may be able to extrapolate this to other things. But for now, my idea is to motivate myself to do physio by tying it to religion. 

I hate physio. It’s hard and painful and I don’t want to think about it. I know it’s necessary for my leg to heal; I know it’s necessary for me to get back to where I was before I broke my femur. But I fucking hate it.

A red resistive exercise band stretches across an outstretched leg. The leg is clad in black pants and the foot wears a TARDIS slipper.
INSTRUMENT OF FUCKING TORTURE. (The physio band, not the TARDIS slippers. Those are awesome.)

Well, Who better to dedicate such an action to but m’Lady the Morrigan? This is all up Her alleys. Since 2007, when She first thwapped me/made Hir presence known in my life (I’m pretty sure Ze* was around way before I actually knew it), She has been KICKING MY ASS to do super uncomfortable stuff. One of our earliest interactions involved Her calling me a weakling and telling me to “buck up, buttercup.” When I fought back, screamed that I wasn’t weak, Ze smiled and said “Now that’s what I want to hear.”**

For almost 8 years now, She has been deliberately pushing me right to the limits of my comfort zones. This is Hir MO with me. Ze pushes me because She believes I can take it.

This has never been in relation to my physical life before, but now I think it must be. Not because the Morrigan wants me to be non-disabled, or skinny,*** but because Ze wants me to strive to be my best self, and to strive to fix what problems I can.

My leg is a problem I can tackle. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to find a fix for my back; it’s possible the spinal problems I have are permanent. I won’t stop looking, of course, but I have to face the possibility that this is my reality now.

The leg, however, CAN be fixed to a certain point, and it’s up to ME to make that happen. No one is going to wave a magic wand and give me back my muscle strength or lessen the pain. I have to do the Work.

So. My new plan for physio: do my exercises in front of my shrine, after lighting a candle to Her (with the exception of the one exercise that requires the staircase, because the staircase is outside). Make the space for my physio exercises a religious one. And do them twice a day, godsdammit. 

I’m hopeful this is the kick in the ass I need to get this done.


*You may notice I switch between She/Her and Ze/Hir for the Morrigan. I view Her as a genderqueer deity, but it hasn’t felt appropriate to switch fully to gender-neutral or genderqueer pronouns for Hir. So I alternate between, and that feels right. Your mileage may vary.

**A note on this: sometimes I hear what the gods say in actual verbal statements, but mostly I don’t. This was one of the rarer times I actually had a verbal conversation with tM. For the most part, it’s feelings/impressions/vagueness that I then translate into verbal statements for the ease of blogging about them.

***I will likely rant about this sort of thing again in a later blog post. I actually can’t remember if I’ve ranted about the Pagan Trope of “The Morrigan wants no fatties!” here before; I know I have on Twitter. So it might be a sort of repeat. I don’t know. We’ll see.