As I write this blog, I am looking out onto a gorgeous sunny Monday, there’s a hint of spring in the air, and I’m feeling joyous.
Despite the world chaos, threats of nuclear escalation and chemical warfare, I’m doing my best to curb the chaos around me.
A well-meaning friend told me to stop trying to control things I can’t.
On Sunday, February 27th, as I was busy sketching, my favourite me time, I heard the news that Putin had publicly ordered his minister of defence and chief of the general staff to transfer Russia’s nuclear bases to special combat readiness.
I froze as I listened to my innermost fears coming true. As I walked back to the house, I felt sick with apprehension.
A hundred what-ifs swam in my head as I processed what appears to be an escalation in Putin’s war of words.
As we sat down to Sunday dinner, we talked about what we would do, could we do anything to save ourselves should the unlikely happen.
How everything pales into insignificance, COVID vaguely mentioned in passing seemingly unimportant in the scheme of what might lie ahead.
My muddled thinking meant ideas, scenarios, fears, everything unimaginable whirred inside my head, and I couldn’t calm my mind.
After a bottle of red wine and a few days away in the Lake District, I returned tired but optimistic.
Long fell walks coupled with stunning scenery despite the cold, wind and rain helped me understand that the chaos surrounding me/us is out of our control and not of our making.
Increasingly with age, when I have a great idea or need to solve a problem, I create a mind map.
The process stills a restless overthinking mind and restores it to a calm and peaceful one.
I tried to figure out a bit of tech; even with the online FAQs, a guide and a google search, my brain couldn’t process how to solve the problem.
The following morning I doodled a mind map, and my creative answer to the problem was resolved.
John Cleese talks about the same problem in his book Creativity; he sometimes gets stuck on an idea while writing.
No matter how hard he tries to think, he can’t find a solution.
Rather than furrowing his brow as he describes, he sleeps on it.
The following day, just like that, the solution presents itself.
How often do you forget a name only to recall it a few minutes later when you’ve been distracted by something else.
The harder you try to remember, the less likely you can recall it; being distracted and taking your mind off somewhere else brings back the memory.
I’ve alluded to the benefits of keeping a journal.
Writing whatever you want and describing what you are feeling in the present is a great way to process thoughts, worries, hopes and fears.
We continue our daily work, while inwardly many of us are secretly worried about the current situation.
Breathing deeply, yoga practice, and walking helps clear my mind and ensures I try to make the most of every day.
Maybe with a bit of luck, a cup of tea, and some mind mapping might provide a solution to this seemingly never-ending conflict and help the parties find calm, common ground, and peace.
The book I’m reading is The Madness of Crowds – Gender, Race and Identity – Douglas Murray
I love Molton Brown’s Cypress and Sea Fennel shower gel