Languish, Dormant or Fallow? For me, it’s been all three.

Languish? Dormant? Fallow? Contemplative?

Languishing, Dormant or Fallow?

I love looking up words in the dictionary because understanding their deeper and broader meaning often helps me understand myself in deeper and broader ways as well.     These three words: languish, dormant, and fallow have come to my attention over the last few weeks, and I’ve realized I have been experiencing all three.

The dictionary meaning of this word is: to grow weak or feeble; to live in a state of depression.  Adam Grant, in his Wall Street Journal article “There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing” instead defines languishing as: feeling joyless, aimless, stagnant.

Okay.  Yes. During the last 1-2 years, and especially while in my own “Covid Cage” I have certainly felt joyless, aimless, and somewhat stagnant.  Yet these feelings did not lead to depression.

As a response to Grant’s article, Austin Kleon wrote:  “I’m not languishing-I’m Dormant.”

“Yes, dormant! That’s what I have been feeling,” I immediately thought.  Kleon continues with: “… the reason I’m not languishing is because I am not trying to flourish in impossible situations…”  He compares his reality with a gardening metaphor of simply being dormant, waiting patiently for the right time to plant seeds,  nourish them, and expect a harvest.

Coined by psychoanalyst Masud Raza Khan, fallow space is defined as an interval resting period that is necessary before moving forward. It seems Covid has allowed many of us this unanticipated, but much-needed fallow space to slow down, rest, recover and redefine what matters most in our lives.   Seasoned farmers have utilized the technique of fallowing to allow portions of their land to remain idle and unplanted so that the soil can become revitalized thus increasing its fertility.

There are some good suggestions in Adam Grant’s article on how best to overcome languishing, and I suggest reading his article.    From an HSP perspective, I’ve found what has helped me challenge feeling languished is to actively seek out, nourish and relish what I have come to call “HSP Interludes of Happiness.”   I define an HSP Interlude of Happiness as :

“A unique moment in time when all your senses are delightfully engaged in what seems to be a symphony of emotional and spiritual well-being.  This may be a moment alone or a moment which shared with others.”

You can read more about HSP Interludes of Happiness and the neuroscience behind this from a past 2016 article in my newsletter, HSP Highlights & Insights.

Languish, dormant, fallow  &  the HSP Gathering Retreats

Most of you know the 37th HSP Gathering Retreat planned for 2020 was postponed due to Covid and all plans for HSPs to gather in person became dormant.  Coming out of dormancy, I have decided to slowly acknowledge my HSP inspirations with smaller, yet just as meaningful HSP retreat opportunities.  Thus, I am pleased to say I am moving toward co-creating with you an opportunity to move from feeling dormant to hopefully feeling a sense of well-being and inspiration by inviting you to the 3rd and/or 4th HSP Colorado Retreat to be held here in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

The dates are:
June 14, 15, 16 *with an optional Nature as Teacher & Healer day on June 17, 2021
September 27, 28, 29 with an optional Nature as Teacher & Healer day on September 30.

Our Retreat House for the 3rd & 4th Colorado HSP Retreat

* My apologies for this short notice — the retreat house we have enjoyed in the past just unexpectedly became available and inspiration won out over dormancy.

Find out more and register here:

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2 Responses to Languish, Dormant or Fallow? For me, it’s been all three.

  1. Patricia Dias says:

    I loved this, Jacquelyn! The fact that we we have been dormant… like in nature, waiting to blossom again. Thank you!

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