Reap a harvest: making ‘fallow seasons’ work for you

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Photo by Isak Engström on Unsplash.

On a recent podcast, the guest talked about working through a “fallow” writing season. Fallow—meaning idle, unproductive or uncreative—describes the past five months of my life. In the article Why We Need to Be ‘OK’ in the Fallow Season, Ryan Fahey asks the question, “Are you in a season that doesn’t seem to be producing any results?” followed by, “Are you spinning your wheels…frustrated at not seeing the results you want?” Yet, the fallow season is actually the most important season of growth. In fact, it’s essential for producing something wonderful. Unfortunately, some of these seasons take longer than others to deliver the outcome we desire; i.e., not all fallow seasons are the same. But the good news: fallow does not equal failure. And if we focus on the process, rather than the outcome, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Are you in a fallow season? Let me know at chrismadayschmidt.com, and remember to sign up for my free monthly emails.

Gain vs. gap: realigning our focus

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I’m notorious for making things harder than they need to be. And often creating more work for myself in the process. Anyone else relate? <raising hand> Lately, however, I’m finding peace in that space between now and then. You know the space I’m talking about: the gap. Recently, I read an article written by a popular motivational guru who encourages readers to focus on the gain, rather than the gap. Loosely translated, I take this to mean we must look at what we’ve accomplished vs. what we have yet to realize. Consequently, rather than fight the process—of growth, of attracting abundance, of [fill in the blank]—I’m learning to go with the flow when necessary, and to identify when a means or a method no longer serves me before I wind up spinning my wheels in frustration. To quote my good friend KM: “assimilate; make connections.” And then trust yourself to know when to act.

What things do you usually make harder than they need to be?

Image courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Practice the pause

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practice the pause

While scrolling through Facebook the other day, I paused on a friend’s wall whose recent post read: Practice the pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray. The simple definition of pause is a temporary stop or rest. My post, “Sweet and simple…,” stresses my intent to simplify this year, including my speech. And I believe if we observe the art of pause—when in doubt, when angry, when tired, when stressed, whenever it would benefit the situation—while we rest in prayer or in silence during that temporary stop, we might be able to hear the greater needs of others. And then offer to meet those needs with our provisions. It doesn’t cost us anything to pause… except maybe a second chance we’ll never require. But it takes discipline to practice anything, even stopping or resting. It’s a process, this life thing. Be gentle with yourself.

How easy is it for you to practice the pause?

Image courtesy of Tuomas_Lehtinen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Living in the ‘ah-ha’ moment

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ah-ha moment

 

Ever know something in your head, yet it never reached your heart until you experienced an ah-ha moment? That was me the other day during Bikram yoga practice. While bending and stretching, healing my body from the inside out, something the teacher said, something I’ve heard repeatedly (and ramble about in my blogs), pierced my soul, brought tears to my eyes. I say it this way in “Maybe it’s about the story:” We’re told that in life, it’s about the journey, not the destination. The same is true… [in] yoga: it’s not about the final expression—it’s all about the process. I finally get it. To enjoy the journey—the process—removes expectation and allows us to live in the moment. To immerse ourselves. To treasure the person, place or thing with no attachment to the past or the future. And when we do that, we discover peace in the present. I just hope it’s not too late to practice what I’ve learned.

What’s your latest ah-ha moment?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.