Let’s walk together. These woods are oh so quiet. Can you hear the birds calling? And this path!.. it’s so spongy you can feel the cedar roots underfoot. Long, white shafts of sunlight filter through the huge, green canopy, highlighting all the little bugs missed by the naked eye. Carpets of fern come to life, shaking and dancing as the dog chases down a scent. It is beautiful in here. No other humans, no cars, no concrete; just you, me and god? In this moment, such a gift, all your senses are attuned to the here and now, the scent of the pines, the gentle brush of the breeze on your face and the hush of the wind as it keeps its focus high in the tree tops.
Hey you! I’m talking to you! Where did you go?
Ah, ruminating. With heart and mind so intricately interwoven, when something impacts your heart, your mind will grab hold of it and play it over and over again. I don’t know why we do that. It’s called rumination. Rumination can take a relatively slight incident, somebody rejected your friendly smile with a contemptuous sneer and build it way out of proportion; I’ll never smile at a stranger again! You work that moment around in your mind like a big chunk of Hubba Bubba, until all the flavor is gone. The saddest thing about rumination is that when you are so engaged, you are missing the life that is right in front of you; all the subtle nuances that would be enriching your life, if you were attuned to them … all the friendly faces trying to smile at you! But nooooo! You’re locked into that one scene, looping in a mind gone wild. How do you get out of that loop? I mean real injustices have been done unto us!
Conscious Meaning, Taking Charge
One conscious thought is all it takes to break the cycle. In the midst of all the churning and fuming, toss in one positive thought… just one; “how lucky am I to have this forest right now?”. Do that and you will rise above. Do that and you will be better prepared for the larger, heavier ruminations that come when real fear and grief strike. While caught in that vicious loop, we are useless to assist in a situation that could sorely use us. When we break free, by taking charge with deliberate positivity, we are already in the act of healing a situation.