I suspect for many of us who dwell in the land of caregiving it is hard to imagine what idle time would look like.
In agriculture lying fallow means the land is left for a period of time without being planted with crops. In this state, the land can regenerate.
For caregivers, however, taking time to lie dormant can feel greedy, create guilt, feel wasteful, or lazy.
We are spending most of our time on work mode whether it is caretaking, at our job, the house, the children, family, or our commitments. If we aren’t visibly busy producing, we are told we aren’t working hard enough. We are encouraged to do more by all the media, to buy more, to be more. Whew! How exhausting.
Lying fallow is a way to renew ourselves, our thoughts, and our spirits.
Usually when we are stressed and overwhelmed the last thing we think about is taking time out. We rush from one thing to another with no space in between. The best time to take a fallow moment is when you think you don’t have time to.
I encourage you to take those few moments a couple of times a day. It can take as little as five to fifteen seconds. You can try it for yourself right now.
- STOP: Close your eyes if possible or focus downward and bring your attention to your breath.
- BREATH AWARENESS: Begin to notice the rise and fall of your belly as you breathe in and breathe out.
- EXHALE: Lengthen and amplify the exhale of the breath. Do this for several breaths.
Fallow time is just as important as the planting of the crops. We, too, need to regenerate and connect to ourselves and the sacredness of the moment.
Reflection: What might get in the way of your taking a breathing break?
Today’s Practice: Take 5 to 15 seconds at least once today to stop, breathe and exhale.