I didn‘t notice the arrival of spring this year. Suddenly everything was green, lush, and beautiful, and I hadn’t been aware that springtime had been creeping up upon us. So why had I missed my favourite part of the year? Because I let my mind be caught up with what Putin was doing with Ukraine; his brutality, seen daily in the news – it stunned me. I couldn’t look out to my surroundings in March, April, and May; I wasn’t observing Nature, my attention was elsewhere, caught up in the horrors of war.
(If you haven’t read my last posting about Putin called ‘The evil of ‘Vine’ it is here.)
When I noticed that I hadn’t noticed spring coming, it got me thinking. What is the difference between worry and rumination? Rumination is the White Chestnut state where thoughts and problems go round and round in our heads without reaching a result. I wasn’t ruminating about Ukraine; I was in a continual state of tension and concern. It was like background static - a lingering threatening quiet tone telling me that the world is out of kilter. I experienced negative thoughts, but they were very diffuse, I was worried but not turning a specific problem over in my mind. Worry and rumination overlap in that they involve negative thinking, and yet they are distinctive.
My worry and concern were about the future. What about the bereaved and separated families? What will become of the 10 million refugees? How will Ukraine survive the Russian onslaught? In contrast, when I have a White Chestnut state; it is about something that has already happened, it is about the past. Intrusive thoughts can occur but that was also not an aspect of my Ukraine anxiety; I had no intrusive thoughts, more a steady background noise. The White Chestnut state can mean blowing up little things out of proportion, someone might say; ‘don’t be so overly concerned about xyz!’. There seems to be little danger of underestimating what Putin’s decision to go to war means to the future world and the stability of Western democracies.
Another reason I was so numb to Nature this year was my continued work on research about my family’s history during World War II. The Ukraine war meant past and present atrocities all fell into one sad space in my mind making me painfully aware of what war means to humanity. I did a posting on my family a few years ago called ‘Breaking Decades of Silence’, which is here (if you’re interested).
For now, I’m on Red Chestnut (for my worry about the refugees and people fighting), Mimulus (for my fear of the dramatic changes to stable world order), and Walnut (protecting me from Putin’s evil doings - so he doesn’t get inside my head). I hope the mixture and my personality remedies will help me regain my inner quiet; I’ve also decided to follow the news less. However, what gives me hope is the rapid growth of renewable energy that Putin is provoking as we free ourselves from Russian energy sources and the solidarity the Western world is (mostly) demonstrating. How are you dealing with a world out of balance? I would love to read your comments.
The Mimulus flower photo is from my colleague Simone Knorr, BFRP. Thanks to her :-)
Further training courses taking place this year, check them out: Marketing for practitioners
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