Is it ever ok to be unfruitful? Yes ma’am. It seems that we as humans, especially in this modern age, feel like we always have to be producing, achieving, or climbing. We may feel pulled to always have something to show that we are contributing and prove that we are worthwhile people.
But what does nature show us? Few trees constantly bear fruit all year round. A tree without its fruit is still beautiful, worthwhile, and contributing. It brings shade, cleans our air, and can inspire us with its unique figure, even during its barren seasons. Can we also be given permission to have fruitless seasons? Friends, we sure can.
I don’t know about you and if you’ve ramped up a ton during Covid, but I have had very little fruit to show for myself beyond my day-to-day life. I’ve called it “My Rooting Season”. Early on, I struggled to know if it was ok to give in to what I felt I needed—reflection, relationship, rest, healing—these very yin activities in Chinese medicine, or internal and nurturing type of activities. I felt the pressure to stay yang, to push through and keep producing, work out more intensely, to stay focused and driven.
It was vulnerable to take off all the pressure. There was a quaking and shaking inside like when I move towards a ledge and I have a fear of heights but I want to breathe in and fully behold a majestic view. It takes courage to yield to what we really need. Often times, it means a shift into the scary or uncomfortable because we typically avoid it.
We don’t have to be producing or feeling like we’re in a great rhythm to be doing exactly what we need. It can feel awkward, clunky, empty, or uncertain at times when we’re giving ourselves permission to try out a new and unfamiliar pace that we need.
It does take self-awareness to understand what our pattern is and the shift we may need for a season. You may feel really comfortable focusing on your roots and find it more vulnerable to try out some yang practices and producing some new fruit. Or you may feel your worth only comes from being fruitful, and instead would really benefit from giving yourself permission to be yin and focus inwards. Whatever your pattern is, start with knowing that your tendency is your strength. At times, our strength may be stuck “ON” and going into overdrive. This is when we need to give ourselves permission to yield into a healthier pace for a season.
Knowing that your pattern is your strength and you have permission to try out a new pace is healing. If you’re struggling to know what your pattern may be or how you can adopt more healthy yin or yang habits to stay centered, our upcoming Fall webinar will have an empowering class to support you in these areas. In the meantime, you can be inspired by listening to the classic rock song influenced by Ecclesiastes 3, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and enjoy yielding to your different paces and seasons!