The restorative, transformative impact of hiatus.
It’s been a while.
For a while, I wrote a blog and uploaded and sent it out in my monthly newsletter every month without a hitch. I had so many ideas, more than I could convey to you monthly. Writing inspiration came from all kinds of interactions: in nature, from readings and podcasts. In traffic, parenting and supermarket checkout lines. I took mental notes, jotted down ideas, recorded them on my phone. I have a Google drive chock full of ideas :)!
I love to write, and for a while it felt seamless and easy. Until it didn't and wasn't. At some point it started to seem as if my well of ideas had run dry. I was tired, burnt out, really, and not inspired in the usual ways. I found myself in a fallow period that was unwanted. I resisted it. I felt stuck.
Until I didn't. I decided to let go, and ride it out. I gave into the fallow period I was already in, and it dawned on me that it was actually exactly what I longed for! Thoughts like "I wish I had more time" and "I wish I had more space" would swirl around in my mind, but I would tend to push them away without a mere moment of consideration. I would plow through to dos, check things off my list, continue to be "productive", because this is how I rolled. Not just with this newsletter, but with my life. This doing, my friends, is a pesky habit.
I let go. I consciously entered into a hiatus. A period of rest or pause, intentionally. It started as an experiment. It helped that Summer was beginning, a time when the sharp deadlines in my life are more blurred and less often. A natural slowing down occurred and it was during this time that I consciously and willingly started doing less. Even more less than Summer invited me to naturally. I let go of the impulse to kick out a newsletter or work on any project that felt like a chore (and wasn't absolutely necessary). When the habit of doing for the sake of doing emerged, I would question it: "Do I really want to?" The answer was often no. I let go.
My hiatus motto was "space" and "deliciousness". I looked for space and partook in deliciousness. During my hiatus I began to relax. I thought about things that I longed to do, and did some of those things in my new-found time and space. I kayaked in the bay. I canoed in cedar rivers. I hung out on beaches with my family, ate boardwalk pizza and ice cream. I read. I watched TV. I puttered around. I looked at the sky at dawn and dusk. I pondered, "what comes next?" I didn't know. I relaxed my pesky urge to figure it out.
My hiatus was restorative.
I also became more aware of the nudgy part of my mind that nags "DO MORE!" I began to simply ignore it. It quieted down, a bit.
My hiatus was probably hardly noticeable by the outer world, but it was and is noticeable to me. Some of the sharp deadlines of my life have returned and my hiatus is not full-blown like it was in the Summer, but some of its benefits remain. Like more space for what is most important and less tolerance for doing that doesn't feel good and isn't necessary.
As a result of my hiatus, some new way of being, qualitatively different than my usual way, is emerging. Space, deliciousness and not-doing is opening the door for this burgeoning whatever-it-is.
My hiatus was—IS—transformative.
What in your life wants a hiatus? How can space and time support you? What would you do if you could? Share your hiatus longings here.