Tag Archives: #being

Be Fallow, Be Free

In the old days, farmers would let a piece of land be without crops for a season as it would regain its fertility. This land which was left as it is was called fallow land. There was another technique called crop rotation which involved rotating crops in a fashion to replenish the nutrients in the soil — for example, rotating between corn – heavy nitrogen user with Soybean – low nitrogen user. The farmers and people that time understood that sometimes you have to let things be so that they can be active again. Nothing is bottomless.

The farmers can, of course, ignore the above and continue to grow crops, but the land will have very low productivity and yield. And then there is the artificial hybridization for fast-growing plants or using fertilizers/pesticides which ultimately get into food and cause problems two-three generations down the line.

If you are wondering, how is this related to our lives? Think again! How many times in our lives have we just kept going without being fallow? The few instances we do talk about being ‘As it is’ is in terms of exceptions like sabbaticals. Or worse, sometimes it is forced upon us in terms of illness, injury – because we overused all the nutrients and now our body and mind are forcing us to lay fallow.

Yes, we do take vacation ts, but for it to be genuinely a vacation – it has to be an extended period. Imagine growing crops all year and then letting the land be fallow for a weekend or if we are feeling extravagant, it will be for the long weekend or ten days. Wow! Ten days to recover after years of toiling – we/society feel guilty about this.

What kind of a world have we created where doing nothing is considered worse than working ourselves to death. Now, doing nothing has a very sacred meaning which we have forgotten. Doing nothing does not mean mindlessly watching TV or giving up on your responsibilities or actively thinking (or worrying) about things that have happened or might happen. Doing nothing also does not mean actively doing something other than working – like pursuing a hobby or training for a marathon. It means no doing.

Then the question arises – if we are not doing something that what are we doing? We are being and not doing. There is a vast difference. Doing something from the space of being is enriching instead of just doing something because you exist. It is the inner stillness. Clarity arises from stillness only as confusion emerges from Chaos.

It is possible to maintain the inner stillness even when we are doing stuff. Still, to the first experience, the inner stillness – being fallow is essential, especially given how busy our lives are. Being Fallow is being free. And then can we be truly high performing, productive, superstars.

How will you experience and enjoy Fallowness?

Growth and Relaxation

Let’s imagine a conversation between trees: A baby Plant called Plant, Young Sapling called Sapling, Mature Tree called Mature.
Baby: I am tired of just taking in water and sunlight – I want to produce fruits. Producing fruits is so cool – it’s the coolest thing in the world.
Young: I want to grow up and become strong. I cannot wait to spread my roots even further – I don’t like relying on the Mature when there are strong winds and heavy rains.
Mature: (who is humming to himself enjoying the breeze – does not say anything)

Fortunately, nature is a very loving parent and knows precisely what is right for the tree. Can you imagine if the trees were all built to keep giving fruits all year long – even in winter? What if they shot up all of a sudden from a seedling to a mature oak tree – their foundations would not be secure, they might not even survive the first storm.

For humans, there are no such checks and balances except our inner awareness.

In today’s world sitting idle is a bad thing – you have to be always doing something. And in this world of iPhones, internet everywhere – there is no respite from “doing.” As soon as we are done with one thing – we are onto another thing. In most cases, we don’t even know where we are headed, but we have to keep moving even if it takes you in the opposite direction.
We want everything to happen faster – lose weight quickly, get rich in nine weeks, get glowing skin in an hour, learn a skill in a 12-week workshop – the list is endless. There is a reason it takes seed a grow into a sapling; there is a reason why it takes time for milk to turn into yogurt – it gives a chance for full growth resulting in an outcome which is complete in itself.
With all the information that is thrown at us – it is sometimes too hard to put the brakes, hang our coats, sip tea and chill out. Even chilling out is scheduled these days.

What we forget is we are harming ourselves if we do not take the time for introspection, to nurture oneself, permit oneself do nothing. I am guilty of it too – we are taught how to productive – nobody shows us how to relax. And it is a skill – relaxing does not mean avoiding work, procrastination or watching TV – it is a way to unwind every cell in your body so that your entire being is just that – BEING. If you think it is impossible to achieve that kind of bliss then start with smaller goals – If you had a terrible day at work, give yourself a break but a good one. If you spent the day being bombarded with external chatter – watching TV shows is not going to help.

If you ever given up sugar and then eaten a carrot then you know what I mean by the word “sweet” – sometimes doodling, meditating, relaxation yoga or just sitting and staring at the ceiling are better than instant mind-numbing activities.

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