Can’t turn your motor over?

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Ever have one of those days when you feel like you just can’t get started? Your brain doesn’t engage; your body is stuck on idle, and you can’t seem to get on track with the roster of daily duties. It’s as if your motor won’t turn over and is unable to catch. There is no spark, no spontaneous combustion. There is no connection to start your engine.

More often than not, you meet this state of body-mind with irritation and frustration. You have things to do, goals to meet, and this state of inertia is getting you nowhere. You don’t have the oomph to get off the couch. Staring into space seems as vigorous as you can be at this moment. You look at the clock and groan. There are things you have to do. Yet, your body-mind is totally uncooperative and completely stalled. You are going nowhere fast.

In an effort to jump-start the process, you think caffeine, loads and loads of caffeine, or, perhaps, some protein, a good breakfast or some of last night’s leftovers. Then there is sugar; you ferret out the cookies. By God, you are going to get your body-mind in gear if it’s the last thing you do. However, over the last few months there have been too many jump starts. You have withdrawn from the well one too many times. Your system has temporarily shut down.

You could spend the better part of the day bemoaning the fact that you can’t get done what you have to do. Or you might consider the very radical thought of listening to what your body-mind might want. Leisurely read the paper over a second cup of coffee? Take a walk around the neighborhood? Go back to bed? Tinker in the garden? Watch “Law & Order” reruns? Take a mental health day?

Here’s the irony: If you stop and listen to your body-mind and give it what it wants, for an hour or, even a day, you will find that you can restart your engine. Not only will you be able to re-engage, you will find yourself with more physical stamina and mental energy. You changed directions; you were no longer driving down the same road at breakneck speed. You took a break; now you can get behind the wheel and continue your journey.


“A good rest is half the work.”
Yugoslav proverb


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2 Responses to Can’t turn your motor over?

  1. Adele Ryan McDowell August 19, 2017 at 12:07 am #

    Nice addendum with the idea of a bigger tune-up when the stalled motor is a more pervasive state-of-being. You always add such good thoughts and consideration to the conversation. Many thanks and much love.

  2. Na'ama August 16, 2017 at 9:28 pm #

    Yep. Learned that. Not necessarily the fast or easy way, but it sure IS much easier once I learned to not push, just do what I can to listen. Stuff won’t happen when stuff can’t happen.

    Great post! So timely, too, when there is so much so many are trying to squeeze into summer plans, summer vacation, time off, whatever.

    The only thing I’d add is that, of course, if those kind of stuck-in-idle days become too frequent, a bigger tune up may be required. … Whatever that may mean for different people at a different time: medical, psychological, spiritual, vocational, relational, and all the combinations of the above.
    Much love and thank you — again — for your heart filling wisdom.