I feel pressure, and then I can turn that pressure on myself to try to motivate to do more. I was particularly struck by a recent video of a young mom finding ways to exercise in her backyard with her kids, utilizing them and their equipment as weights. It was creative and time efficient, and even engaging for her kids. Yet, I noticed this uncomfortable feeling rise as I watched it. And then it occurred to be. What about laying fallow? What about not filling every moment in life with something?
Farmers who want their fields to replenish in nutrients will refrain from planting on them for a season or two. Essentially, they let the earth take a break from working, from being worked. They give it rest, and this is laying fallow.
Times in my life when I am most productive are almost always followed by times of laying fallow. And what seems to be most important is the quality of my rest period. It often includes sleep. Going to be early. And doing some housework, but stopping when my son suggests that we run outside to fight off imaginary invaders.
Laying fallow is usually is a time of emotional exploration for me. I am often trying to figure something out by tracking and listening to my thoughts and feelings as they rise and fall throughout the day. And I am planning, planning for when I will plant again.
When I do plant, and I am motivated to take on that new project or finish that old nagging task, I strive for balance. Integrating what was just learned from the rest I took, I attempt to harness my energy and focus to get it done. But its never done, the cycles of life just tumble on and on. It could be maddening if I attached myself to the relentless race forward.
So, instead, I choose to ground myself in the cycles. I shall accomplish and then I shall be still again. And in the stillness, my senses will be heightened and I will be able to listen intently for the next step. Then I will motivate to do it. I won’t accomplish all the time. I will rest and reflect, and then start again.