This post was originally published on one of my older blogs in December of 2013 at www.creolemagnoliacafe.com.
I was feeling tired, drained and depleted. I was pouring into others, like I always do, without finding ways to pour into myself. Yes, me…the Inspiration Specialist–the one who has built a platform on uplifting, motivating and inspiring–was feeling exhausted, burnt out and flat out uninspired. And so my heart–and coincidentally, my fortune cookie, which I don’t believe in, but found rather ironic–told me I needed to write. But my heart also told me I needed to sketch. And so I was obedient.
Being a Giver can sometimes catapult you into a place of uncertainty, struggling to find Clarity. In assisting others on their journey, it’s easy to become lost and confused while navigating your own path.
At first glance, the nature of The Giver can seem like a curse. Constantly pulling fruit from your harvest to give up as an offering to others can become tiresome over time. If you fail to replenish, you find you have not only nothing left for yourself, but also nothing left to give. Your blessing of being a source of nourishment for others thrusts you into a place of feeling barren, fruitless and unproductive.
I’ve been in love with trees my entire life…captivated by their statuesque beauty. They have become one of my greatest inspirations, and I have seen my life mirror their influences in many ways. As the seasons change, the tree becomes bare and fruitless, seemingly lifeless. No longer full of sweet, delicious fruit or covered with a thick blanket of green. No longer capable of providing shade, its leaves fade and wilt and, eventually, fall away. Yes, even the tree, with all its splendor, takes the time to rest and replenish. It still gives…albeit differently, it still gives.
So, I took a moment to rethink this phase of feeling empty and ineffective. And I have learned that, much like the tree, in order to be productive, it is necessary to enter into a season of rest. However, a season of rest does not signify a season of emptiness. Quite the contrary. I appreciate and gain just as much from the tree that is verdant and abundant as I do one that is leafless and dormant…equal, yet different.
“The Giver” By Donloyn LeDuff Gadson
As a Giver, I am a tree. My strength is deeply rooted. My friends and loved ones swing from my limbs and lie comfortably across my branches. They sit beneath my bountiful boughs for coverage and protection, trusting I will shield them from harm. When life’s season is warm and bright, I am at my best, providing beauty, fruit and life. As seasons shift, and they always do, what I am capable of providing is altered. When my leaves transform in color, from vibrant to drab, what I can offer is refashioned. Although my focus has turned within, know that I am still here for you. The shade you once knew may be no more, and the taste of the delightful nectar from my fruits may be a fading memory, but my presence will always remain strong, steadfast and faithful. And when you are weak, you may lean on me…and I will hold you up.
What do you do in order to replenish during your season of rest? Read, write, sketch, eat fortune cookies?
Share your inspiration in the comments below.