This is seldom talked about in the area of ending a year and crossing over into a new year but so crucial, and the approach we take towards addressing this, needs to change because this experience is more common than we imagine and the physical and psychological effects of this are weighty. What is “this”?
“This” is an experience, of varying duration and time period, where one feels the pressure of the lurking expectation to “wrap up” a year (read: “end all on a good note somehow and at godspeed”) and “step into” the new year (read: “all ready and resolute to do better, be better, somehow overnight”).
“This” also includes experiencing feelings of anxiety and panic as if “it’s all on me”, or “beating ourselves up” for not being fast or competent enough to “resolve” in time, or feeling so worn out, weary and ashamed because we have not been able to meet the expectations we somehow carry around ending and entering a year.
That, somehow, “not being ready” for the new year is a badge of shame, incompetence and inferiority. To top that off, most of the approaches we have taken as individuals and societies towards “this” is bootcamp-ish or “fix it”-ish (quick fix or easy fix), or judge (by ourselves or others, spoken and unspoken).
Why do we do that? How come?
Because we do not realize that the chasm between this expectation and the reality of most human experiences is so wide that to try and bridge it, we risk having life sucked out of us – the weighty negative physical and psychological impacts on us and the people around us (yeps, we are so interconnected).
Farmers, seasoned with wisdom, experiences and time, would tell you the importance of allowing the land to lie fallow – because that is an essential part of the whole cycle of caring for the land and producing quality produce, to have a land that lasts and thrives. They know this is not about “wasting time”, “being backward” or not making use of the latest farming science and technology. It is because they know the nature of soil and land, and the organic processes needed to reap the produce with their glorious goodness within intact. The results? Get to taste the produce organically, realize that each of them tastes differently and receive the natural nourishment intended, and witness the land feed more generations.
Like farmers seasoned with wisdom and well-acquainted with the soil and growth conditions, let us give ourselves permission to slow down to get acquainted with ourselves – our unique “growth cycles” and the growth conditions we uniquely need.
Grow to accept how we are where we are when we are, and realize that perhaps this is your soil telling you that it is time to “lie fallow”. Wondrous things are happening in times of fallow.
Getting in-sync with ourselves in the new year – there’s nothing to fear, wondrous things happen when we allow our time of fallow.
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