Fallow Fields

Fallow Field - land that a farmer ploughs but doesn’t cultivate for one or more seasons to allow the field to become more fertile again.


2023 was not the year of Momentum. It looked like a year where I stood still for a large part of it. Dig below the surface though and a lot was going on.


Way back in the new year, I was torn between Boundaries and Momentum for my Word of the Year.

In the end, I chose Momentum as I really wanted to gain traction on the progress I had made in 2022 with my word Visibility. 


In the Spring, it dawned on me that I couldn’t sustain momentum because I was unclear about a lot of the elements. I retreated further into myself, as I tend to do when I lose my confidence. When I started to prune away at the tangle of reasons, realisation thudded like an apple to the ground.


Momentum is clarity of direction and the self-belief to keep going when it feels beyond reach. 

After much thought, the root causes were:

  • lack of clarity

  • flagging self belief 

  • an unrelenting inner critic. 

On the Summer Solstice, when I reflected on how 2023 was shaping up, I understood that what this year was really about was Boundaries. 


I spent a lot of the year quietly digging away at these issues, weeding out invasive, inherited beliefs, working out where they came from and making difficult decisions. 


Where do boundaries fit into all of this though? 


Last year, I came to understand that everything in my life keeps coming back to fundamental issues surrounding fear. It boils down to: 


  • Fear of failure 

  • Fear of judgment

 If dreams and goals don’t have deadlines attached to create momentum, then you can’t fail. 

If you don’t brave the discomfort of showing up and being seen, then you can’t be judged.

Or so I thought. It turned out that my inner critic carried on regardless.  


If I people-please my way through life, too afraid to have an opinion and rock the boat, too afraid to draw a boundary, too afraid to disagree, whose life am I living? 


Last year, I realised that certain situations in my life had continued because I struggled with boundaries. I had always struggled with boundaries because I didn't know how to establish them or how to hold them. Until I had my Issac Newton moment, I didn’t understand that boundaries underpin self-worth. 


It was only last year that I fully understood that I can’t live a wholehearted life if I can’t hold and keep boundaries. 


I inherited the belief that pleasing and meeting the needs of others before yourself was what you did and if your needs were in conflict with others, you sacrificed your own needs for the sake of those you loved. 


In many ways, 2023 was a fallow year.


I ploughed through some of my most entrenched limiting beliefs, learned how to draw and keep boundaries and safely carried my second child into 2024.


If you’re wondering how we’re nearly half way through the year already and you haven’t got anything to show for it, pause for a moment and and consider - is 2024 your fallow year?


There’s still time to roll up your sleeves and to dig into the hard stuff.


See this as your sign.

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