The other day I had the first ‘duvet day’ I have had in…well, decades really. The thing is duvet days are just not me. I am usually an early riser and up and doing with the lark, so this ‘lack of impetus’ really floored me.

Running out of gas

I think the emotionally draining impact of pre Brexit venom, post Brexit anger, angst and derision, a bereavement and emotional issues of those around me was overwhelming. This was compounded by being at the end of a very busy period and I hit a wall. I wasn’t depressed, sad or down. I wasn’t in need of positivity, gratitude journaling, input from friends or general uplifting. I was just ‘out of gas’.

Sometimes we just need to listen to our bodies and psyche and respond appropriately. My response was to engage in a significant amount of ‘mullativity’ followed by a dive under the duvet for a long snooze.

What is mullativity?

So what is mullativity? Well for me it is time to just sit and ‘mull’, ponder and just ‘be’. Mullativity for me is peaceful contentment, requires no energy, it is non-directed thought, non-judgemental thinking and it has no ‘higher purpose’. It is not mindfulness, there is no requirement to notice, or not to notice, anything. You can be in the moment, or lose yourself in your own thoughts. Nor is it ruminating, or planning, or wishing, or regretting.

Mullativity is a bit like opening a window in a room full of paper and watching the wind blow everything around and see where it all settles, what rises to the surface and what blows out the window and disappears. A sort of organic reorganisation of thoughts.

The dive under the duvet at the end was my way of accepting the reorganisation and I woke up feeling much more refreshed and ready to engage with life again.

Relating this to positive psychology

How does this relate to positive psychology? Well sometimes we caught up in the enthusiastic tsunami of positive psychology rhetoric. We feel we must be focusing on strengths, gratitude, mindfulness, meditation, happiness, positivity, flow and so on. The desire to analyse, label, treat and influence things (from a positive perspective) perhaps causes us to always try and put a framework around everything. Yet boredom can be a catalyst for creativity, discontent can spur great change and perhaps, just perhaps, ‘mullativity’ can recharge us.

About the Author: Una McGarvie lives in London UK, with her three (20 something) offspring, two cats, shelves of books and a cupboard full of jigsaws. She is the founder of MindSightUK providing management and leadership coaching and development to public and private sector organisations. She is also a contributing author to ‘The effective Change Manager’s Handbook’.


‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

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