8 Nov

I’m trying to limit my screen time. Trying to step back for a while. I’m a little burnt out, a little tired, a little sad. None of that properly encapsulates my feelings or reasoning, but I guess I’m feeling like I need to simply exist for a while. And if no one sees me doing, reading, cooking, making–well, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. So much of what I do nowadays, my brain is converting it into blog fodder or some kind of “content” as I’m doing it. And I’m trying to turn that off for a couple of weeks. I suppose I just…I need to sit with myself and see who I am while I’m not expecting people to watch.

Typing that out sounds so ridiculous, I know. I am not an “influencer”, no one is “tuning in” to see what I’m up to. And yet…sometimes I find myself moving through my day like that’s exactly what is happening.

Here’s a pile of shawls that I knit! I said to myself, Sarah, I think you’re just hanging on to these shawls because you want to pile them all up and drape them all over each other and see what all that work looks like together, and enjoy the fact that you made these things.

So that is what I did.

Charles Rochussen, In the ruins

The compulsion to draw inward. The urge to dream. The need for silence and slowness and …the relentless fear of those things, too. I go-go-go. But I’m going to stop for a while. And the world will keep spinning and a lot of stuff will pass me by and I am going to worry that it’s stuff that really matters, but it’s probably not.

I think maybe the things that matter are the things that I will find when I sit with myself, away from all the chatter and nonsense for a while. Maybe I’ll crawl deep into the darkness of me and find thoughts and things that were always lurking there, but that I never saw or heard because I was too busy listening to everything else in the world. Maybe I’ll bring a little light. Maybe I’ll find a little light! Who knows what’s down there?

I will probably still be posting over on the blog for the next month or so because I like writing little reviews and sharing my cooking triumphs, and so on! But I am specifically trying to keep off of Instagram.  I start scrolling over there and I see people being creative and productive and doing all of the things, and it pulls me out of this “rest and be still for a while” mode because I start feeling a lazy, useless, lump. I’m really trying to sit with these feelings. Like what is my life all about if I’m not doing things while people are watching me do things?

I was sharing this with a friend last night, how there’s probably something a lot deeper here that I need to suss out and sit with. I have some ideas about what that might be, but I really need to take a deep dive. And I really don’t know what that means exactly, but I think cutting out extraneous distractions is a big part of it.

I feel like people talk a lot about shadow work but no one ever gets into what that really looks like or just how you go about doing it. Just tell me how to do it, already! I feel like I’ve read two or three or 4 or 10 books and I still don’t know! But I guess this is intensely private work and it looks different for everyone. I don’t know!

Anyway! Don’t look for me on Instagram for at least a month or so–and if you see me over there, feel free to slap my wrist*. But gently, I am a sensitive soul and you might hurt my feelings! For those of you who peek at me here (see! there I go again! just who is even peeking at me, right?) feel free to stop by, I’ll still be here.

* I am going to be putting together some Stacked book reviews soon and I am making an exception to share those on social media, because that’s part of my little process! But other than that you can metaphorically slap my wrist if I slip up.

Jennifer says

Just wanted to say you are not alone regarding the whole shadow work thing. I hear/read about it all the time, and yet, and yet. Nobody actually talks process and I have no idea if it really exists, how to do it or what it will do for me. I'd like to give it a go, but it's so nebulous.

S. Elizabeth says

Yes! Process! Instructions! An ordered list, 1-10, please! Otherwise, all I can figure is that I sit in a closet with the light turned off and call to my shadow like it's a lost pet or something. I want a dang instruction manual like I'm putting together some IKEA furniture, no room for guessing!

Emera says

Thanks for the lovely, honest post; I do hope you enjoy your quiet time. November is a perfect time for hermiting, I think.

I feel like I've seen one or two workshops about shadow work flit by, and now you're making me curious whether anyone does one that's on the more concrete, step-by-step side of things.

S. Elizabeth says

You know...it never occurred to me to look into workshops. I think hearing people talk about it might even be more helpful than reading about this. I am going to look into it, and if I do find anything interesting, I will definitely report back :)

Susan says

This all makes so much sense. I truly enjoy and am inspired by glimpses of what you’re making and thinking, but can also see how it could be spiritually expensive for you to share it with us. There’s so much noise and glare out there these days. Hoping you find a little shade and quiet to rest in. 💚💚💚

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