The tree outside my study window is almost bare now. I feel bare now too, hollowed out by too muchness of life. It’s as though life has been pressing in, taking up all the inner space, leaving not enough room in me for me.
I write a lot about seeking balance, obviously because this is a spiritual practice I am still learning.
Years ago when my children went to a Waldorf school, with its focus on the rhythm of the seasons, winter was welcomed for the coming of the dark: a fallow time for rest, renewal and rejuvenation. Even then, I was very clear how at odds this was with our cultural expectations for “the holidays” which usually involves an increase to the already frenetic pace of our lives. I loved the idea, but had no idea how to live it.
This year, there is also for so many, a heightened sense of suffering and dread in the world around us. This makes it even harder to choose to allow the fallow time to happen.
I know that I need the fallow time more than I know how to allow myself to have it – and use it in a way that will give me what I need. And of course there is no way to discover how but to live into it.
I’m quite aware of the paradox that feeling that I ought to do something “productive” (i.e. REALLY rejuvenating and restorative) in the “nonproductive” time I do allow myself makes it harder to take such time at all. This makes me uncomfortable. Often it just feels easier to get back to ticking something off the to do list.
What has occurred to me is that I need more time to wallow (fallow?) around in. (Maybe that’s an expression we need. “What are you doing this afternoon?” Oh, just fallowing around.”) so that the fallowing can unfold and discover what it wants to be.
So this December I’m going to try fallowing around more. Just stopping and turning within.
This means saying no to some things I would otherwise do. For one thing, unless a wild inspiration hits me (could happen) I’m planning not to publish a new blog post until after the new year. I am also planning to bring more attention to the spiritual practice of Holy Listening – mindful attentiveness, sitting with silence, noticing what’s actually arising within without expectation or judgement of what that will be.
I want to bring Holy Listening to conversations with others as well.
Perhaps that’s the only barometer of how “well” I’m using my fallowing around time that matters. Am I in touch with the Inner Voice that will always let me know what’s needed next?
I want to give myself time and space to deepen that spiritual practice and act on the Guidance that arises. The hollow feeling inside will pass if I feed my body and spirit what they need.
That is a blessing I wish also for you.
With You on the Path,