When we feel stuck and low on energy, many of us want a sure-fire way out of it.
My first year psychology lecturer mentioned a method that had a 100% success rate for depression – in medieval times, someone was dangled with a rope by one foot over a pit full of venomous snakes, and lowered and lifted in time with the snakes’ lunging at them, purportedly to scare the demons out. Everyone who went through that treatment said they were cured.
Now, many may wonder about the mechanics behind it, and I’m not talking about the pulley.
Was the person overcome by the Tender Loving Care of the person holding the rope by making sure the former would not get bitten?
Had they experienced something so terrifying they’d lie through their teeth to make sure they never experienced it again? Was the bottom of the barrel metaphorically lowered into the snake pit, too?
Perhaps the dead bodies around the pit from unfortunate miscalculations of timing may have dissuaded the person to want to continue the treatment as a long-term option.
If someone is desperate enough, this approach may make moving to the rural parts of Australia seem like an interesting prospect (we have plenty of snakes, and we’re willing to share in true Aussie fashion), keep in mind that a lot of country folk are less than fussed about seeing snakes since snakes mostly act defensively. In fact, one person told me their father would like to play a prank on them – putting a dead snake in the front seat of the car, then tying the head to the inside of the car door so the son would see a snake flying at them when it was his turn to drive. Exciting stuff.
We’re all different. Anyone who says they have a blanket answer for any experience may be selling snake oil, as I believe context is important, our past experiences are important. There are a lot of variable approaches, and a lot of variability with each approach. Narrative therapy is an approach which is less about labeling and more about context and positivity, which I personally believe is a humane and realistic approach.
And everything helps to some extent. What may be effective for some may not be as effective for others. It may be difficult to keep investigating if someone has low energy, but it’s important to keep in mind that we’re only ever acting upon our current awareness of possibilities or treatments.
However, I’d like to offer some points for consideration – the first being about what enriches us the most. I believe humanity is more than simply having a human body – if we want to retain our humanity, we need to make sure we’re consciously expressing qualities of compassion, collaboration, community, teamwork and so forth. Set the example for the future, and be proud of doing so. After all, we can’t be responsible for other people, but we can be responsible for ourselves and our impact. Finding the need of the times is like riding a wave – help with it, and we’re propagated much further and much faster than if we had to paddle in isolation.
Also, energy levels, or deep rest, are fundamental to our experience in all aspects of our life. Find a way to increase energy, and we find that we spontaneously act as a better version of ourselves, and we find that it’s also easier to learn, to adjust. All without trying. Simple and natural.
And every bit counts. After all, do we want to fight the general and his army, or just the general?
Keep an open mind, be kind to yourself, and keep looking!
Dianne has a Bachelor of Psychology and teaches Vedic Meditation, which improves energy levels through a procedure to experience deep rest. She can be reached by email [email protected]
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