The drag ~ “A thought on the topic of doing what is ‘normal’”
Written by: Daan Uijterwaal
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Continuing with that which isn’t working. The drag of everyday life.
On a holiday, a lot of people spent time ‘relaxing’. Laying down on sunbeds, reading a book. Looking out over their lines or the sea in front of them. Hearing the rumbling and muffled sounds of kids playing in the sea. The wind picks up most of the sounds and blows them away. Making them even more relaxed. Their thoughts stop rushing and pushing. Instead, they fall into a state of mind that is slow and deliberate. Bad thoughts are seen as less obnoxious and left alone. “I am on vacation so I shouldn’t worry.” Is a motto I often heard.
After a few weeks of baking gold and brown laying there in the scorching hot sun, you are bound to leave. The experience of bliss is harshly disturbed. The sickness and stomach twisting sounds of the airplane engines are muted by the glass windows of the airport. The inescapable ending of your vacation is closing in on you as the line to enter the plane is getting shorter. “Cabin crew prepares for lift-off” is the final call. Your vacation is over. A few weeks of bliss and almost, nirvana-like, state of mind is over. Back to the hectic, ongoing, always flowing, never-ending busyness of ‘life’.
After a few weeks of working again, you are most likely to hit a bump. A hurdle in the road. Your energy starts lacking again. The initial restfulness of vacation and peace of mind is starting to subtract from the mind. So you get back to being stressed, anxious, rushed, and maybe even a bit fearful. So you plan a new vacation to energize yourself. That’s how the cycle repeats. Over and over. Till at some point it breaks.
I noticed this pattern in myself today. As if the energy I first had after a few weeks of vacation has completely left my body. Did I start wondering why? What hand could grasp inside of you and take some energy with it when it left? What dragged it out? Then it hit me. ‘Dragged it out.’ Dragged. That was it. The drag of just going on without getting energy nor purpose of it. I would even argue the two always go hand in hand. The drag of everyday life. Something I’ve heard often. The drag of work. The drag of a relationship. The drag of just going on despite the fact it doesn’t feel right.
The drag of everyday things is something to watch out for. It is overlooked quickly but the moment you feel it you should be careful. Look out for the things that don’t bring you energy. That only pulls away from you. That literally drag your energy away. Cause that drag makes you want to do nothing. That same drag makes you plan a vacation for next summer of two weeks that reenergizes you for a few weeks after which you are back planning a new vacation. The drag is continuing with something that isn’t working.
But how can we turn this around? How can we experience beauty in it? By understanding that these patterns. This continuous cycle or drag is an indication of what not to do. Off something that we should avoid. Not because we want to hide or flee from it, nor because we want to be somewhere else but because we are at any time worthy of experiencing bliss. Now if something is taking away from that bliss we should ask ourselves why are we doing it? Is there any bigger meaning behind it? If there is, there will be a great leap of energy. Knowing why you are suffering brings a great deal of meaning and therefore energy to keep going. If there isn’t any meaning behind it. If it is just because you unconsciously choose to or followed what others did, this might not be good for you. Why keep going if there is no meaning, no reason, no energy?
Fill up your battery
For now, if you are feeling demotivated, energy-less, tired. In short, feeling the effect of the drag, step out for a minute. Just step out. Do nothing. Give in for a moment. Explore the feeling of the drag. Find out why it is there. There might be a million reasons. I can not give you the answer to all of them. I can not name all of them in this post. Feel the physical sensation and observe the mental thoughts. See where they are going. Then you will find that which doesn’t bring you bliss. Find a way to work with it. Whether that is, finding meaning for it, excluding it from your life, or finding out what it is you do want to do.
The drag is not your enemy. It is your friend. It is a kind messenger letting you know where not to go next. That might be just as much value, if not more, as knowing where to go next. To be honest, sometimes there isn’t anything good really. I am sorry to disappoint you with that. Sometimes a negative result is actually a good one. This feeling that you don’t want to have anymore might be negative but it can have a positive result. Just listen to it and turn it around. Follow the guidance it gives you. If you are feeling drained because of doing the same thing day in, day out. Spice it up. Change it. Do something different. Something small as making a beautiful looking breakfast in the morning or something large as quitting your job. There is nothing wrong with that either. This notion of quitting is something I will get back on in the next post.
Just remember this. Some negative feelings can have amazing positive results and therefore I do not consider them as bad.