Cultural Gloom

I woke up this morning, looked out of the window and said to myself ‘It’s a misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather…’ and felt a combination of joy and sadness. I miss my dad! Someone asked me yesterday if I liked poetry. It would be hard to be my father’s daughter and not like poetry – he was always reciting bits and pieces, whatever the situation

‘I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea in the sky’


‘Out of the night that covers me……I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul’

My father was a man of words.

It got me thinking about our Frame of Reference FOR (Shiff et al, 1972). The way we view the world, the stories we tell and the attitudes we create for ourselves. These can be useful, positive and life enhancing or they can be destructive, negative and not serve us well. We have choices about how we view things but often we follow well-trodden neural pathways. A very high percentage of the things we think today will be the same as the things we thought yesterday and the same as the things we think tomorrow.

I wonder if your Frame of Reference serves you well. Did you greet the day with joy and richness of experience this morning? Did you take pleasure in the misty moisty-ness of it?

This time of year in the UK is often quite grey and my experience is that we go into a cultural gloom. There is a short respite at Christmas, when we become immersed in tinsel, shopping and parties – but as a nation we don’t really come out of the gloom until about March.

We know that the weather does have a biological impact; our bodies need sunlight and air, but in the autumn and winter months, we don’t get much. In fact I recently read a report about how many toddlers are Vitamin D deficient because of this.

There is also a psychological element. Studies have found an enormous power in ‘group think’. People do things, say things, think and feel things that they would not necessarily experience on their own, if they were not in a group/society. If others around us are viewing the world negatively, complaining about the weather, moaning about life, we are more likely to feel the same and join in.

When shopping yesterday I overheard a conversation –

‘I can’t believe it, November already.’

‘I know, this year is going so quickly.’

I am sure this is a familiar conversation to most of us but what an interesting FOR. Why are they surprised? Why do they think time is passing quickly? November always comes at this time of year. Time always passes at this speed.

We do have choice – even with the power of the’ group think’, we have choice to conform to it or not.

My dad had a joyful FOR most of the time; he loved life, nature, people, words, music, food, laughter and many things. His favourite after dinner ditty was-

The Lord be praised my belly’s raised a foot above the table,
And I’ll be damned if I’m not crammed so full as I be able.

I love misty moisty mornings and I invite you to join me in celebrating the richness of our lives. I feel a warm glow of love and pleasure as I say the words to myself.

One misty, moisty, morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
There I met an old man
All clothed in leather

All clothed in leather,
With a cap under his chin.
How do you do?
And how do you do?
And how do you do again?

Why was he dressed in leather? I have always wondered. I wish my dad was around to ask, he would have known – he knew everything!

by Leilani Mitchell

These are my random ramblings today; tomorrow I might change my mind

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