I searched for a word to describe how I feel. That’s it: barren.
When I write the word, it looks funny. I don’t use it often. Here’s what it means:
1.not producing or incapable of producing offspring; sterile: a barren woman.
2.unproductive; unfruitful: barren land.
3.without capacity to interest or attract: a barren period in American architecture.
4.mentally unproductive; dull; stupid.
5.not producing results; fruitless: a barren effort.
6.destitute; bereft; lacking (usually followed by of): barren of tender feelings.
I had no idea the word had so many shades of meaning, but I think it captures the feeling well.
I risk sharing this because often I hear back from readers that my posts resonate personally.
Are you feeling barren?
I speak not of the inability to bear children. Imagine a field in winter, lying fallow. There is no visible promise of spring. Even here, where snow is rare, grass hardly grows in winter. A few hearty weeds thrive, of course. If you’re feeling fallow, maybe “weedy,” the question follows:
“What should I do?”
My answer is: do nothing. Be like that field, and be still. Release those expectations you have of yourself—at least for now.
Winter is a season with a purpose. That purpose is drawing in, resting, reflecting, and allowing the slow sustenance being given to your seeds.
Spring will come. More ideas will arise. Projects will come into being, grow, and bear fruit.
But for now, it’s OK to be barren.
Whether you feel barren or something else, mindfully breathe acceptance in to what IS in your life. Don’t try to change it. Accept it. Even better, do as my friend Dawn Nocera teaches: Appreciate it. Appreciate yourself.