I’ve been talking this month about Winter wisdom and what we can learn by allowing fallowness to show up in our lives. Today, I want to encourage you to explore what it feels like to let your fallowness expand even more.
Fallowness can appear in a few different forms; rest, recuperation, lethargy, resistance. Sometimes, it is a welcome respite, and sometimes we want to push it aside and move back into action. You may have experienced this with a cold; at first, you are angry that you need to stop and get better, then you spend a few days giving in to the fact that you have a cold and try to take care of yourself, and often we are ready to get back into the world before our sickness has completely passed.
If you aren’t sick, you can play with this cycle. Find an hour to be fallow, even if you have things on your to-do list; pick a day where you can carve an hour to yourself and give this a try.
Do nothing for your hour of fallowness. Resist doing and deliberately don’t do anything. Make yourself stay still. Don’t go through your junk mail. Don’t write to-do lists for when your hour is over. Don’t even meditate. Just sit still and stare out a window. Do nothing.
See how long it takes you to get that itch to do something, and keep resisting it until the hour is over. You might “cry Uncle” and decide to give up after 20 minutes; but if you do, I challenge you to try this again. Try it until you can sit doing nothing for one hour, and then keep trying it once per month or so until you can enjoy sitting doing nothing for one hour.
Make friends with fallowness. Don’t resist it when it shows up. Just like we go to sleep every night, fallowness gives us a break from doing and allows us to just be. This is a rare quality in modern life, and one that should be cultivated, even though that’s an oxymoron: cultivate your fallowness!