When we think of incubation, we typically view it from a negative vantage point. It gets a bad rep because most of the time it is linked to depression and overall bad mental thoughts. But, the truth is that there is a lot of validity in choosing to practice isolation as self-care, and there are possibilities that allow us to come out the brighter side of the tunnels that sometimes plague us.
Small and strategic doses of solace can be achieved by taking "social media breaks", "phone timeouts," quiet periods of time with nature, working out, and through meditation. It's hard to step back from apps, people, and overall noise when our world is nose deep in it. Especially for both our budding and established entrepreneurs who are disciplined to "stay in the loop." Sometimes incubation periods aren't just for a few hours or days, sometimes it lasts weeks or months long, and usually your current state effects the needed length of time.
I personally had an incubation period that lasted months. The beginning was not that refreshing, because I was isolating out of fear. It was not until I found a healthy balance of isolation and outward living that I actually enjoyed it. I have grown to learn that this practice should not be to run from your life, but to self-reflect, realign, and start anew. It took a long time for me to realize I was just prolonging my healing.
I had to get honest with myself and say, "Hey, if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it right. No more hiding."
I cannot say I did not enjoy my little bubble, because who doesn't enjoy not having responsibilities? That being said, I was abandoning my sole responsibility to take care of myself in the process. Silly me.
I knew and still know that I'm not all the way ready to dive into all the noise, but I now know how I want to balance it. I learned that I wanted to have a balance of the two (social & non-social) after realizing the cut off I had brought upon myself from the outside world. The things, people, and news I wanted to remain intact with was barely in arms reach. My cut off was so undermined and sudden that I didn't notice the good doses of love, conversation, and vibes I'd lost.
Though I do not agree fully with all the text, 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greeneexplains Law 18: Do not build fortresses to protect yourself- isolation is dangerous.
This law resonates with me deeply, because I realize that I had built a fortress but forgot to build a door when I wanted to leave. I didn't even communicate with my friends the same, all my words were hidden by fear. Once I saw the damage I was bringing upon myself, the weening off of incubation seemed more crucial. I didn't want to get lost in myself. I wanted to heal, not run away.
Ironically a number of my friends, my tribe, had been in their own incubative holds as well. I could never really tell because they seemed to still be halfway there; one foot in the world, the other in their own. I wanted that but I had to do the work. I could hop back on social media, smile, and make posts about my day, but I wouldn't be happy internally. I had to dig deep, figure out why I was hiding, and then remind myself that I have nothing to fear.
Then I had to figure out what could be considered a healthy dose of incubation for me. What was enough and what was too much had to be my decision. To be honest the realization of my "fortress" halting some personal goals made me wake up. I'm that scared that I'm gonna reduce my quality of life for some temporary security? No.
I started by setting some routine communication with my tribe, some family members and myself (journaling). It helped take the anxious feeling of "OMG I've been M.I.A., no one will want to talk to me," feeling. Once it became natural again I just kept at it. Social media is still 50/50 for me. I want to be present but not fully out there yet. Baby steps.
The main cutoff that effected me was the communication. When I stopped communicating I found my patience to receive it had decreased and my sensitivity skyrocketed. It had made me fragile.
The slow and steady doses of communication, social media, and light night life kept me balanced. I can't lie, isolation can filter out a lot of nonsense. It's refreshing to choose what you will allow in your life, your fortress. Just make sure that you make a way out for yourself. I'm in the process of doing that now. Join me.