Sit? or Tis? Thursday August 16, 2018
What on earth is she on about? Sit? Or 'tis? This cryptic title came to me when I was playing with anagrams of the words 'ruminate' and 'transmute'. Yes, dead giveaway that I'm a crossword addict. But please stick with me, even if you're not.
'Ruminate' is a familiar experience, I think, to many of us who have spells of depression, self-doubt, self-criticism, or anxiety. Sometimes I say something tactless, maybe offend a friend (I recently told a friend that I thought her partner was a nonentity – whoops! - frog out of mouth, again). Then I can find it hard to stop myself going over and over it. If only I had thought how it would sound on the receiving end... If only I hadn't had that second glass of wine that disinhibited me... Do these kinds of thoughts sound familiar to you?
'Transmute' is maybe not such a familiar word. It is something that a therapist friend told me happens for him when he meditates. Things that may have been bothering him in the last day or week somehow settle out, like sand in a bottle of water, when he sits still and lets his mind relax. When he gets up from his 'sit', those troubling things, or at least some of them, have magically gone away, or been changed (transmuted) into actions, or solutions, or new perspectives.
Why am I playing with these two ideas at the moment? I recently swapped some comments with Lex on the blog about the value of regular reflection time as part of looking after my mental well-being. I use journalling, meditating and co-counselling as some of my options to help me reflect. Lex mentioned the value, for him, of taking a walk in a beautiful place. And then I began to wonder, what makes the difference between using reflection time to ruminate, or using it to transmute? In ruminating, I go round and round the problem but it doesn't change ('Tis, or "'tis just how life is"). In transmuting, I "sit" with it, and it changes. But why? I would welcome your thoughts on this.
And the anagram? If you write down the two words 'ruminate' and 'transmute', and then knock out all the letters that are the same in both of them, what you are left with is S, I, and T. Sit. Or 'Tis ?
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Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.