During the winter, here in the Northwoods, the bear slumbers in dens covered with thick snow. Many other animals hibernate or torpor, lulled into the depths of dreams as the ice forms and thickens on Lake Superior.
We can be so busy during the spring and summer and autumn of our lives. We can run to and fro, caught in cycles of busy-ness. We so often keep creating, creating, creating our active lives without a complimentary cycle of down-time, rest, incubation.
Three years ago–in January, 2008,–I decided to focus inward. Besides doing my two part-time jobs, I spent much of the month in meditation, silence, prayer. The usual days of busy-ness turned into contemplation and deep inner peace. By the time the bear rolled over in his den (also known as Heikkinpaiva around these parts) I felt renewed and content. I also felt no need to move outward toward people ever again…fully convinced that my own company was finally enough.
Of course the Universe always laughs at pronouncements such as these! Within a month or two after this winter retreat, I discovered Blogging. All those years of wanting to share my writing with others, of feeling sometimes stifled in our forest-world, of deep-winter restlessness, suddenly found an outlet.
I blogged. I blogged! I blogged some more. For three years you couldn’t shut me up. Years of pent-up creativity burst through hundreds of inner seams. Energy flew helter-skelter into the world, delighted to be freed, to be heard.
Last year I wrote 365 posts in an outdoor blog, a year-long commitment to spend time outside. During two years on Gaia.com, I probably wrote a couple hundred spiritual blogs. The blog you are reading now is #295 from Lake Superior Spirit. Add another forty-six blogs on Simply here. (OK, you could also add twelve more on another now-defunct blog about non-duality…)
If you do the math–that’s about 918 blogs in three years. That’s a lot of blogging, folks!
Bearyweather of Bear in Mind recently lamented about bloggers who leave the Internet without a formal word of goodbye. One day they’re chatting away about Snowmen and Santas, and the next day they’re gone, without a word. It hurts sometimes to feel the empty space where our blogging friends once shared their lives. He said that the average blogger blogs for two years before ceasing. If that’s the case…I’m probably overdue for a blogging rest.
My inner bear (or perhaps my inner owl) has suddenly decided it’s time to hibernate for a while…to turn more steadily inward…to quit focusing outward in huge bursts of creativity as the magic of silence and contemplation works its renewal.
Therefore, I am saying goodbye to blogging and Facebook and other internet pursuits for an extended stretch (except for daily checking of email). Maybe a few weeks? Maybe a month? Maybe longer?
I want to listen deeper to the Spirit within and determine which direction it wishes to turn as 2011 unfolds. Does it still want to blog? Does it want to turn directions in blogging, or stay the same? Does it want to focus more on photography? Does it want to do something else?
This feels exciting, this turning inward. If any of you have the time or space or inclination, never hesitate to give yourself days and days of silence and contemplation. Amazing fruits can be discovered in the dens of our winter muse.
Wishing you all the best. Your reading support has filled me with a deep appreciation and joy. You will never know how much this has meant! May 2011 find you closer to your own inner peace, connection and love. Blessings to all…until we meet again. Maybe when the bear rolls over in the den? Or when the owl swoops, silent, through the frozen forest?
Kathy, you brave girl. I wish you all the best and a merry Christmas too. xoxoxoxo
Dear Amy-Lynn…It feels easy to be brave right now–going into the unknown–because I feel guided in this decision. It’s easier to feel like the Cowardly Lion when we don’t have that sense of being guided by something beyond ourselves. Blessings to you and your family!
I’ve loved every word and then some.
And then some! Oh Susie Q, you are wonderful!
Enjoy…I will be hear waiting if you decide to return. Anyway, you know how to reach me if you need a question answered. Aloha!
Scott, I would be seriously surprised if I don’t return. It may happen–but it’s unlikely, don’t you think? I have your email address and will gladly email you with photography questions. Thank you!
I would be surprised, too. 🙂 Let’s call it a sabbatical then.
Scott, I am using that term from now on. Sabbatical. Sounds good!
Kathy – I oh-so-respect and admire your decision, for it’s in our space that we find direction. And you’re creating space.
I love your posts — look forward to them, in fact — but I fully understand. As I was sharing with Terrill over on Creative Potager just yesterday (or the day before?), I am down-shifting my blogging schedule in 2011 to Tuesdays and Thursdays.
May you and yours dance in the LIGHT of a joy-filled New Year.
You’ve stated it so clearly, Laurie. That desire for space feels so strong these days. I have another desire to continue blogging–every day!–but the space desire has gotten almost insistent. Your Tuesday and Thursday schedule will also give YOU more space to create more of the beauty of what you share with the world! Dancing with you in that returning LIGHT!
I’ll miss your posts, especially the pictures. You’ve taught me a lot about photography.
Hope you’ll be back. I only blog once a week partly because I plan on doing this for a decade or so (I’m entering my third year).
Why thank you, Ms. Gigi. (I’ve taught myself a lot about a photography, too…) Wow, a decade of blogging?? I’ve never even thought on that scale. Usually the Inner Blogger just wants to blog every single day because she loves it that much! But the Inner Space person has suggested something else…so we’re off to see what Magic lies within. Blessings to you.
Looks like the inner spirit is thinking about travel. Whatever you decide to do it will be something Verrrry Interesting . . .
Ha ha, Gerry, do you think? TRAVEL? Wow, that would be wonderful! (We do have a couple trips planned for later this winter…one to San Diego to visit Christopher and one to Georgia to visit Barry’s parents…) Guess we’ll wait and see what the Inner Spirit says. Happy blogging!
I will enjoy reading all the posts I have yet to read. Best of luck on your new venture, whatever it may be.
Jane, I had to look up “Slainte’.” What a cool toast! Thank you. Will enjoy this time of retreat I think–and hope to see you again when the bear rolls over in his den. 🙂
Wishing YOU all the best, too!
Thank you, Ms. Emma. You know what I am looking forward to? Watching the birds at the feeder without telling a story in my head to share with others. Just letting watching the birds in the feeder be enough…for a while…
As a lover of solitude and turning inward, I salute your decision and this new season you’re entering, Kathy. Oh, yes, I shall miss my daily delight, stepping into your words and photos … but there is joy in knowing that you are pursuing YOU. Plus, I know I can email you and actually see you, in person. Thank you for all you give, have given, for feeding the spirit, soul, mind … and tickling the funny bone, too. I love you. Blessings on your quiet quest…
I know you have this love of solitude as well, Susan. You are my guru in solitude! Call (or email) when you would like to get together, any time. Please! I may not be reaching out so much, but will be standing with open hands when the Universe says what to do next. Thank you so much…
joining you in the “dens of our winter muse” . . . spinning my cocoon as quinta storm winds gale to fill the thirsty swales & quinta owl songs fill the solitary nights. i love you , kathy–thank you for so much beauty & inspiration ❤
I am heartened by the thought of you in your Quinta Cocoon, Victoria. We shall watch our dreams spin and spin and spin as the owl songs serenade through the trees. Loving you too, my friend.
I have also made a promise to myself to go deeper into meditation and practice my Yoga with more dedication. May you find renewal and calm in your time away from us. Stay well, Kathy. I’ll think of you.
Barb, we shall be going together into the depth of our practices. I wish much peace and contentment for you, as well. Our ears will be listening to that which shares beneath the spoken word.
I feel like a little kid who just got hooked on a certain flavor of ice cream and then found out the company is discontinuing it. May all the pictures, insights, smiles and discoveries you’ve shared with us come back to you in a multitude of blessings. Hope I run into you in town some day.
Oh…John…I am sorry! Hopefully this “sabbatical” won’t be for long. I know you liked looking at U.P. pictures so much. Dreaming of the time when you would someday live among all the scenes. I DO hope we run into one another around town. Or we can have lunch at the Nite Owl. How ’bout that?
Dear Kathy, To begin, I want to say how much I will miss your beautiful writings and photos. However, I think you are so wise to take this time to tuck back into yourself and renew. It could seem that in time a blog might become more of an obligation to your “audience” than to yourself. That you are so wisely stopping for a time in order to maintain this authentic view of your inner self leaves me with an even greater admiration for your gifts. I also think that you deserve this healing time from your surgery. You have given us so many stunning images (both visual and verbal) to carry us. Thank you for that. I will be here should you decide to return. In the meantime, I will picture you in the beautiful north country I love so well. Blessed holidays and a healthy and happy New Year!
Susan, this is so lovely. Really, truly, lovely. I do hope that when (if) I come back…it would be with the most authentic desire to express whatever comes out of the healing time. (At this point I can’t imagine quitting blogging at all. But am not ruling it out.) Thank you for enjoying the images. Blessings to you and your family as well!
Ah yes, what a lovely gift to give yourself, Kathy. It is wonderful to feel free to write or not, whenever one wishes to do so. Your blogs are such a source of beauty to so many readers. I think, though that your heart will keep sharing, and as Laurie says, we’ll keep listening with the heart…
In silence is the message heard, Far clearer than the spoken word….
Lots of love
Meenakshi, I often ponder over your words about silence, you know. As someone who loves words passionately, I wonder what it would be like to live beneath them. Don’t know if I am expressing this well, but feel this need to move from the body’s wisdom, from something essential, rather than the lively movement of words. For a while. But we shall see… Love to YOU, too.
Once again, it seems that all the things I would have said have already been said by others, so I’ll keep it short. I’m planning to decelerate myself this winter–maybe post a couple times a week. More fiction writing, more time outdoors, more housework (yes, it’s time I took even that seriously for a while, lest our winter “coziness” turn to squalor!)–but thank you for letting us know what’s happening with you rather than simply disappearing on us, and I wish you a most fulfilling new year, whatever direction you take.
Pamela, first–guess what book I am reading now? Season of Water and Ice by Donald Lystra. Kiah gave it to me for Christmas. I am interested to see how many of us feel a similar calling to decelerate. Let me know how your fiction writing progresses. Also, I can’t imagine disappearing–even for a few weeks or a month–without explanation. That would seem downright rude! Wishing you also a fulfilling 2011.
If I tried to write a post or more every day like you, I would have burnt out and quit a long time ago. I scaled my blog way back, I am lucky to get one post a week … but, my hope is that at that slow pace, I will still find it fun with no pressure. I also hope that people appreciate quality over quantity and will remember to visit and discuss with me … because I just don’t have a post a day in me. After your blogging vacation, you might want to consider a slower pace?
Wow, it really seems to be the season to quit … I very much need to clean up my blog roll … If/when you come back, is this where you will be – should I keep this address in my blog roll??
I will miss hearing about your area of the world. Thanks for the goodbye warning. When you come back, I hope that you wake me up with a message of some kind.
(by the way … bearyweather is a “she” ;0) … and my 2 year blogging statistic actually came from another blogging site … I just can’t remember where.)
Best of luck with your blogging hibernation …
Bearyweather is a “she”!!! Oh my goodness! I don’t know how I missed that…so very sorry.
As for the slower pace, I have had so many people suggest that over the past three years. I even keep suggesting it to myself! But so many nights the passion for expression would rise without inhibition and INSIST upon creativity and sharing.
When/if I come back (and I can’t imagine NOT coming back) I will be right here at Lake Superior Spirit. I think. lol! Please keep me in your blogroll…at least for another month or so!
So glad to know that you’re a she-bear. 🙂
I will miss you, not just your writing and your photography…but YOU. Live well, learn much about yourself…be happy. I’ll be around if you come back.
Dawn, that is a lovely sentiment! To be loved for our being–not for our doings. Thank you! And I am delighted to know you will be around…just around the corner. Blessings for a wonderful January!
I can’t really say anything that hasn’t already been said – but I agree with it all! I have very much enjoyed your writing and photos! You have definitely earned a rest – take the time, and enjoy it!! We will be here if and when you decide to come back! If you force yourself to do something when you’re not really up to it, it stops being fun – you stop looking forward to it, and it becomes a chore. Take a step back, and collect your thoughts…. either for your next post sometime in the future, or just for yourself!! Have a wonderful (and safe) New Year!!
Holly, you are so right. If we don’t feel totally committed to our sharing, it can so often become drudgery. I have some mixed feelings now, so need this sabbatical. Thank you for being a faithful visitor. Have a wonderful month of January!
Kudos to you and your creative self….
Thanks for sharing and bein you!
I geuss I will just have to travel north and pitch a tent to hear more….
Withdrawal can be challenging…
I am grinning, Kim, thinking of you pitching a tent in our woods. You might not want to do that until it gets a little warmer! Blessings for YOUR January. Blessings as you care for your parents…
Thanks for saying goodbye…for now. Blessings to you and all you do in your pursuit to move forward! And I think you Dr. Seuss quote would be appropriate here 🙂
What was that Dr. Seuss quote, Karla? Hmmm…thinking hard…a ha! “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Sure ‘nough! I know you’ve taken blogging breaks before, and returned. You will be my inspiration!
Kathy, first off I am so glad the surgery went well and you are recovering…I will continue to send prayers up for you and your family. I will miss reading your blog but I understand the need to go inward, for I have spent time in “hibernation” as well. Enjoy the respite, listen to the murmurs from deep within and quiet yourself enough to know where to go next.
Godspeed my new friend!
Thank you for the prayers, Brenda. They are so appreciated! It’s been nine days since surgery and I am feeling really good–except a little bit tired. The doctor says people often say they are tired 6-8 weeks after surgery. That seemed another good reason to turn the energy inwards for a while. Heading for those “murmurs from the deep”…starting tomorrow! (We just got our daughter on the plane a few hours ago.) Godspeed to you, too.
Kathy may your retreat into inner quiet fill you. Thank you for your words and reflections and your sharing over at Creative Potager this past year. I shall miss you and breathe into your new direction at the same time. Warm hugs. Terrill
That is a lovely sentiment, Terrill. To be missed, and yet breathe into a new direction. I have a deep desire to feel and be more connected to the senses right now. Thanks and warm hugs to you, too.
Oh no, no, no, no, Kathy!!!! I’m being very selfish here but I will miss my regular doses of your insight and humor! And our new-found “twin-ness” in blog style and camera ownership. First Brian at FS Photography and now you. I’m very sad.
I think I will have to go back to reading Opening the Door, Stepping Outside to get my fill for a while.
I hope you feel refreshed soon. Will miss you much! I’m clicking “send me site updates” today in the hopes I will be surprised with news of your return in the not-too-distant future.
Oh sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, dear Karen! Darn it all! Just when we think Life is predictable, we have to go and do something like this. I truly suspect you have not heard the LAST of me. LOL! Although, I am also going to take a break from reading blogs, as well. Looking forward to this time of renewal. Blessings to you and your lovely family!
The inner writer is always there…
You’ve got that “write”, wolfrosebud! 🙂 (Although sometimes she seems to get a little quieter…that’s the aim…)
I will miss your friendly, upbeat blog posts as well as the wonderful photos. I will miss the comment interaction with you too, Kathy.
Funny you should mention taking time to go inward. I’ve decided to give myself another 100 day challenge beginning Jan. 1. Three one hour periods of daily meditation. I’ve chosen the meditations now and I’m doing a practice run before the actual kick-off. I have to blog about it to keep myself accountable.
Take care, Kathy.
Marianne, this comment interaction has been one of the gifts of blogging. I can’t imagine NOT responding to people in comments…even though half of ’em may not even come back to read the response. Oh my goodness, girlfriend, your new 100-day meditation commitment sounds like me! Three one hour periods of daily meditation…I’ve done that. It was challenging. Really challenging. But so worth it in the end! I will be meditating a lot…so maybe we’ll catch glimpses of one another? I also understand about blogging to keep oneself accountable. That really helps.
(One of the reason I announced this sabbatical from blogging was to hold myself accountable to this time. Otherwise it can all get confusing and muddled.) Please feel free to email any time if you want to talk about meditation or anything!
Thanks Kathy. I will.
Kathy, I will MISS you, so very much…..your thoughts and your words, your wonderful self, your wisdom. I was surprised by the wave of sadness that came over me when I read this post. You and your blog came into my life at exactly the right moment in time and on the other side of this sadness is a sense of overwhelming gratitude for this time spent together. I also understand your pull to go deeper, to turn inward….and the great joy and renewal that comes with this.
Warm hugs, many blessings and much gratitude to you. Rest well my friend.
Colleen, maybe we shall have to speak on the phone again?? I would like that very much some time in January. (However, probably have misplaced your phone number…) Even though you’re sad about my inward time…you just gave me a big smile to think that you will miss me. Love you, Collen!
I love you too, Kathy. And please know that my sadness wasn’t about your inward time. That makes me very happy…..for you, for all of us, for the world. My sadness was in the letting go and the many opportunities that the universe has been offering up (lately!) to understand this on a deeper level.
I look forward to talking sometime in January. Very much 🙂
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Bless you in your stillness. I wish you a time of peace.
Thank you so much, Tammy! After two or three days, the mind is starting to quiet down and a feeling of much more peace and stillness is arising. Wishing you peace, as well…
Enjoy your hibernation and your winter dreams, Kathy. Wishing you serenity and joy in the new year.
Thank you, Robin. I love this feeling where everything starts to become very clear and peaceful. Non-essentials begin to lose their grip. Peace rises… I wish this for you, too, dear blogging sister!
Hello Kathy. Well I can only imagine that you might feel a little burnt out. That’s a lot of blogging. We will miss your posts. Thanks for sharing . I hope that you continue sharing in some fashion, maybe a book? your’e certainly capable. Between your photography and musings you certainly have plenty of first rate material. Good luck in the new year , Jeff and Mary
Jeff and Mary, there is a part of me that was ready to start blogging yesterday already! However, the majority of me is enjoying the quieter space for a bit longer. A book is always a possibility, thank you! Blessings in 2011 to both of you and do call if you’re ever in the area.
Kathy – Robert Mirabal wrote a song about how the pueblo in which he was brought up has a ‘quiet season’ every year, away from outsiders, away from tourists, just to be, to rest, to recuperate, and I think that’s what you’re doing, what you’re needing. I understand. I’ll miss you (even though I comment only sporadically here these days and my apologies for that) but I do understand that you need this time for your inner life. A lot of us are unable to function in the outer world without a strong inner one. I go through this myself every few weeks (though my ‘meditation’ is far different, I tend to play inside myself with memories instead) and one time I took a full year off blogging.
Here’s a video of ‘Quiet Season’, hopefully you’ll be able to listen to it.
Be well, and have a wonderful and healthy New Year, however you spend it.
Rest well, sister bear.
Val, the Native Americans here would also speak strongly of the need for times of rest, renewal and inner attention. Love the concept of a “Quiet Season” in which we regenerate, so we can turn our attention back to the outer world in a renewed way. Usually I meditate each day, but it feels right to stretch this into a short “season”. Blessings to you, Sister Bear. Stretching in the den…feeling the cozy comfort of it…
hardly anything i have known you. I wish you have a great inner peace and I appreciate your brave decision towards moving closer to your own self which is very much necessary for one. but, from within I felt a little sad that you’l be gone for a while. I hope you are back soon. I want to hear more from you. so, waiting for your return eagerly!
And here’s wishing you a wonderful joyful happiest New Year ever!!! 🙂
Hello, Sonali! Don’t worry…I’m sure I’ll be back… It is quiet and peaceful in our woods now, even though yesterday was a very busy day. I had to work in the morning, followed by 2 1/2 hours waiting for the surgeon for my post-operation appointment, followed by a township meeting. Wishing you a delightful 2011, as well. Hugs, and hope to see you soon!
What a wise decision, Kathy, I admire you for this. You only know how you feel and what is better for you right now. Inner peace is too precious to let it go. There is a time for creating and one for just “being”. Maybe this is what you are longing for at the moment ? You gave a lot, you reached out to so many, now it is time find your inner peace. I have always enjoyed reading your inspiring thoughts and words. Au-revoir Kathy 🙂 which is not as definite as adieu. Enjoy the present time. Thank you.
Isa, it is both so nourishing AND challenging to go inward and simply “be”. It has been a good decision, but some days my “outward” part simply wants to start turning outward again. Must keep it reigned in while the “inward” part rests. I am glad you say au-revoir, because I can’t imagine not coming back. Thank you! And Happy New Year to you and your family…
With respect and delight that you are following your guidance, I’ll say I will miss you. But then, I’ve missed you before, LOL!!!! Since, say, about March of last year……
As long as we can stay in touch, I won’t feel totally bereft. And I’m most happy you will get what you need from this phase of your life.
Be well, be.
In the Love We Are,
Hello, Ms. OM! Yes, my guidance was loud and clear about this one! I have been able to be quite inward-focused on certain days; not so much on other days. Yesterday it was such a deep and quiet morning…so beautiful…and then in the afternoon it got all crazy…and by evening everything was calm and peaceful again.
The blog-writer side likes to re-surface during the craziness and say, “WHY are you punishing me? Why can’t I be writing blogs?” lol…shhh, blog writer. Be quiet. You will have your turn again…
Hugs to you!
I’m late to this post – but wish you the best. You signed off last December too! Be well – see you in the future! Dawn
I thought about you yesterday, Sahlah, and here you are! Yes, you are right. I signed out for ten full days last year. Thinking I couldn’t stand to write another blog for a long, long time. And then scurried back after ten days! It’s been nine days now…am about to break a record, methinks. ha ha! Happy New Year, Ms. Dawn. See you when the bear rolls over in the den.
Hey, you stole that farewell speach from Larry King, didn’t you?
ha ha, favorite brother-in-law! Yes, I consulted with Larry for an entire day. 🙂
Just checking. 😉 No need to reply.