I started a six-week writing sabbatical–basically dedicating 4 hours/day to writing about and exploring a theme that has been sitting with me for over a year–on Monday June 30th.
I have been planning since January–moving client appointments around, tightening our company overhead this summer, arranging for neat summer camp experiences for my son, making sure my staff were prepped and ready to step in for me–in order to make this time possible. (I am still running two businesses during these months, but did say “no” to a lot of new business/clients, events and speaking gigs so I could dedicate this time to my new writing project.)
I swore when I started that I was going to release any stuff around “goals” for this sabbatical (i.e. a book, a CD, a “product”) and really just play with this theme–conducting some informal research, doing some interviews, playing with mind mapping and creativity exercises, selecting some new reading around my chosen topic and journaling, journaling, journaling. And, having a lot of fun with my family during my downtime.
I’ve been “goal-less” for the most part, but man, it can really be hard to release attachment to outcome. I guess I still have some overachiever tendencies lingering in my bones! (Ha ha)
One of the things that has become very clear is that now, less than two weeks into this, I’m discovering that this respite is more about me and my personal/spiritual growth and moving into a new way of being, than a writing project. It feels as if all of the stuff that I’m processing through intense nightly dreams, conversations with close friends and daily revelations are part of my seasoning–preparing me for my next big life stage. (I recently learned about the phrase “seasoning”–a term the Quakers use to describe a period of waiting, where action is not taken because the”way” has not yet “opened”–through Your Soul’s Compass, a book I’m reading by http://www.joanborysenko.com/.
I couldn’t stop laughing, I told my husband recently, as I envisioned the really powerful (yet humorous) image of myself standing in a tall high rise office building outside of a conference room filled with men and women in suits sitting around a table working very fervently on something that appeared to be very important. I knew I was not to enter and the sign on the door say “Renee’s Life Purpose-Keep Out!” I’ll know when I know and not before. :).
I’ll share more later on the insights I’ve been having on work pace (mine and our collective), the price we are all paying by working at brake-neck speed AND the theme I’m exploring this month and next.
Marianne Williamson, author/teacher (http://www.marianne.com/) says “Every change is a challenge to become who we really are.” I think that describes perfectly the metamorphosis that I’m experiencing right now.