“Once in a while, you have to take a break and visit yourself.” ~Audrey Giorgi
It’s been many months (nine to be exact) since I’ve blogged or otherwise put forth much energy out into the world. I’ve been on a healing sabbatical. This has meant rest, rest and more rest…along with many visits to practitioners of various healing arts. The path has been primarily focused INWARD — a psychic, emotional, spiritual, healing journey. My aim has been a return to inner harmony, health, wellness and vitality with increased clarity and commitment.
This sabbatical was chosen (and also very much needed) following a long period of widespread pain, dis-ease and struggle. This struggle actually began years ago and was brought about by several major life stresses, including the death of my beloved chosen-family member, Geoph Kozeny (The Johnny Appleseed of Intentional Community), and my first job layoff in summer ’08 from the Northern California Land Trust. As an aside, that layoff (and resulting forced sabbatical of several months) inspired me to attend a retreat with Joanna Macy to seek and find a new vision, then to finally embrace my Inner Entrepreneur and start my own practice — Femme Fire Productions and Lotus Peace Retreats.
Sabbatical or a sabbatical (from Latin sabbaticus, from Greek sabbatikos, from Hebrew shabbat, i.e., Sabbath, literally a “ceasing”) is a rest from work, or a hiatus, often lasting from two months to a year. […] In recent times, “sabbatical” has come to mean any extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something. In the modern sense, one takes sabbatical typically to fulfill some goal. [Wikipedia]
There are many different types of sabbaticals, and the decision to take a sabbatical is driven by uniquely individual motivations, such as career or life enhancement, volunteering, family-related, emotional and/or physical healing. Or the sabbatical can result from a combination of motivations and desires. Each sabbatical is as unique as the person taking it.
Usually a sabbatical is chosen intentionally, either as a break from one’s current job with a planned return or a break after giving notice and leaving a job before starting a new one. Increasingly during these troublesome economic times (and like what happened to me), the sabbatical comes unexpectedly after a sudden job layoff and is initially felt as uncertainty, distress, chaos… with a strong urge to fill the gaps by rushing to find a job (any job) to replace the one lost. With the huge competition for jobs, it can be difficult and challenging to be suddenly and unexpectedly in the job market again.
However, when faced with this situation, the best solution might be to take some time off to self-nurture, reassess, and get clarity about what to do next before beginning the search for a new job. The likelihood of finding a position that is enjoyable and rewarding is greatly increased by taking a sabbatical. The sabbatical will provide numerous personal benefits and may also give one a professional competitive advantage.
Is it time to purposefully take time off work and seize the opportunity to reframe, refresh and boost your life and career? There is a growing need in our busy, fast-paced world for sabbatical and retreat from the working world. Maybe you need to reset the balance in your life? Perhaps it is finally time to surrender and allow a creative dream to fully unfold? Maybe you wish to make a difference in the world and give back to society? Possibly the unexplored landscapes of your life are calling to be explored and more fully understood?
Fears also stand in the way and keep us stuck and unfulfilled. To fully enjoy the gift of sabbatical, one must let go of any fears standing in the way. These fears take many faces: fears about not having stability and security, not having enough money, not finding the next job, being out of the “game” and loss of social status, or having to reconcile one’s self-image from what it may have been before. Or we may need to confront the dominant “lack and scarcity” paradigm that is engendered by our materialistic society and do our inner work to reach a place of enough and abundance with WHAT IS. These fears and old conditioning keep many of us from expanding our horizons and finding our true and most-flourishing purpose in life.
Sabbatical brings many gifts. One of the greatest gifts is the gift of time. Do you know how to take advantage of and enjoy the gift of time? Many of us don’t know how to do it. Or we think we can’t do it. Or we don’t give ourselves permission or believe that someone else has to give us permission. Give yourself permission. You deserve a rest. If you’d like help planning your sabbatical retreat contact me. Blessed be.
Retreat Coach Lotus Allen | Femme Fire