I have been reading a book by Catherine Allen called Reboot Your Life. Apparently, I am not taking time off the right way. She suggests that we go through 4 phases in order to guarantee we gain from our sabbatical. Here are the 4 phases:
Phase 1: Clearing out – Take time to clean your life from all the physical, mental and emotional clutter that has accumulated over the years.
Phase 2: Reconnecting – Reconnect with yourself and others to discover who you are at this moment in time.
Phase 3: Exploring – Take time to research and explore all the different possibilities for your next chapter in life.
Phase 4: Re-entering – This is the transition phase back into the mainstream. Tasks like sprucing up your resume and focusing, planning your next goal to make it happen.
I have been officially off since April 13th. In this time, I went from phase 1 to phase 2 and 3 and back again to phase 1 instead of allowing myself to naturally go through each phase. I think I have flunked out of sabbatical school! Seriously though, it has been challenging for me to let go in order to have the time needed to recharge and regroup. I still feel a little burnt out despite my one month off, and probably because I’m not allowing enough time off before getting back to it.
Right now I am researching and exploring other business options, but after a conversation with my new friend, Ron Evans, I think I may need to start researching for what is going to make me happy and fulfilled. I have been getting this piece of advice in different forms. “Think of yourself first this time.” or “Think about what you want to have happen to make yourself happy.” The advice is all coming from a place I am not very familiar with. Most of my life has been spent helping others achieve their goals. Taking time to explore what I want and need? Well, easier said than done, but well worth shifting to this way of thinking if I can.
So, yes, this month I have discovered that I am a little out of balance at the moment. There has been too much giving and not enough receiving. The good news is that I have been working on the receiving part of the equation through a strangely, oddly, never would have thought about it exercise. I have been reading the book 29 Gifts by Cami Walker and started my own round of giving for 29 Days. For someone who naturally gives, I don’t have a problem with coming up with gifts. Often, I can simply record what I already do during my normal days. What this exercise is doing for me, it is making me focus on my gifts to acknowledge that what I give is a gift. It is also teaching me gift giving boundaries.
The book mentions that the Universe will provide and you will start receiving during this process. I can happily say that I have been receiving in weird and wonderful ways. Gifts of advice from others have popped into my life. We received a free dumping fee at the waste disposal depot since they forgot to weigh us at the initial weighing station (should have just said it was a free dump which I happily yelled during the fact, “We got a free dump!”). I was gifted a free plant at my favorite garden nursery. I also am realizing how much giving my friends and family naturally do too. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the month. I am half way through this round.
What this all comes down to, after giving myself to the arts my entire life, maybe I need to focus on the arts giving back to me and take time to recharge through my own artistic goals and plans as well as partaking in arts events without any work objective.
I sometimes write about how we get hung up on the negatives and forget how lucky we are to have all the positives in our lives. One post in particular comes to mind about losing and gaining our passion. We can all stand to enjoy ourselves more and focus on the positives in our lives by stepping back and giving ourselves time to recharge, rethink and to find our current passions.
The one decision I have confirmed is I no longer want to be a consultant in the same sense as before. This means that ADS will be different or replaced by another business, job, or path. As I mentioned to Ron in my conversation, I will always be an advocate for the arts, but I now know that I have to be more of an advocate for myself.
Time off will continue with spotty posts for a little while longer. I’m allowing everything to unfold in due time. Thanks for listening, and I know you, dear reader, are a gift as well.