There’s a commercial from the ‘80s here in the US about a woman trying to manage a chaotic household. In exasperation, she calls out, “Calgon, take me away!” The next scene shows her luxuriating in a bathtub filled with bubbles — thanks to Calgon — as all her troubles seemingly soak away.
I’ve had a lot of those “Calgon” moments over the last couple of years though none have ended with me buried in bubbles. Although I’ve often needed a reboot (or better yet, a reset), I haven’t been great about making it happen.
OK, that might be an understatement. I can see my business coaches rolling their eyes and interrupting with, “Um, you haven’t taken any time off in almost two years!” That is certainly not practicing what I preach. I say to clients all the time, “When you feel like a break is the last thing you have time for is when you need it most.”
These past two years of writing of my book, sharing its release, starting my Hay House radio show, and working on our tiny house build has had me running on the hamster wheel pretty consistently. Even though I know full well how beneficial breaks are, I’ve let that “to-do” drop to the bottom of my priority list again and again.
Hell, even the program I use to send this email to you welcomed me with a screen that said, “It’s time for you to take a vacation!”
OK, universe, I get the message.
While my break will start with a couple days off here and there, my bigger plan is to move toward month-long sabbaticals. Or dare I say, multi-month-long sabbaticals.
How did you react when you just read that – the idea of a month-long (or multi-month-long) sabbatical? Let me guess. Was it something like:
- Must be nice.
- I could never do that.
- Wow, that would be amazing!
- What would I even do with a whole month off?
I had those same thoughts not too long ago, and I realized that my limited thinking was playing a direct role in that idea never becoming a reality. As Louise Hay always said, “Everything you speak is an affirmation,” so I’m paying closer and closer attention to my words and how they shape my beliefs.
Taking time away from your normal routine keeps things fresh. If life feels stagnant or blocked, or way too harried, this is a great way to see things in a new way. This space allows you to generate new ideas, tap into your creativity, and find solutions to blocks that have been plaguing you for a long time.
Although we tend to think of a sabbatical in academic terms, it actually relates to the Sabbath – the biblical day of rest. The modern dictionary definition of sabbatical reads: “A period of time during which someone does not work at his or her regular job and is able to rest, travel, do research, etc.”1
An unexpected bonus is that it also tests the waters of your regular life.
If you tend to over-give, for example, a sabbatical is a great way to see how life continues when you’re not around. It allows others to step up to the plate – mainly because they have to – and can show you that you needn’t do so much for so many. And it empowers those in your life when they have to do for themselves.
So, what is your resistance saying about all of this? How unlikely or impossible it is? Instead of dismissing it, make note of it and let’s unpack it a bit.
Play along with me and jot down your answers to the following questions:
- How true is your resistance’s story about why you can’t do it?
- As Byron Katie would then ask, “Can you absolutely know that it’s true?”
- What would others need to handle while you were away?
- What support would you need to line up to make it happen (child care, pet care, work coverage)?
- What do you fear would fall through the cracks in your absence?
- Where would you go?
- What would you do (or not do)?
- What is your ideal length of time to rest? A week? A month? Three months?
- How might a sabbatical be just what you need? What benefits do you imagine reaping as a result of an extended period of rest?
This week, I challenge you to play with this idea, even if it seems totally cuckoo and out of reach. The first step in any big dream ever becoming a reality is allowing yourself to imagine it and challenge your resistance.
Take a look at your answers to the above questions and see if you can identify one to three small steps you could take immediately to move the needle in the sabbatical direction.
Then, join the conversation in the comments below. I’d love to know your thoughts!
1 Miriam-Webster. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sabbatical