What I Learned During a Sabbatical

I’m baaaccckkkkk!

You might not have noticed, but I took a year off for a sabbatical. How very grateful I am for the circumstances in my life that allowed me this incredible opportunity. I feel both a pull to return to writing and coaching, and also the tug to continue to play in the freedom of less structure. I am at a crossroads, standing with infinite possible choices in front of me. I am still sorting it out.

At this time last year I was reveling in the freedom of not being tied to a clock, having spent many years making sure the client I was with was well served and the session felt complete, all by the end of the hour, so that I could then be on time for the next person. Ahhhh, no watch! I was also highly engaged with packing up belongings for my move to a new town and setting up a new home.

What I most wanted was to luxuriate in the time and space of this opportunity and not to fill it up with “creating stuff I ‘had’ to get done,” which was a very old habit. And, I’m happy to say I took full advantage.  I spent many quiet hours meditating, journaling, taking spiritual/conscious evolutionary classes, sitting with my cat, working with a personal development book, and also, watching movies, walking, riding my bike, swimming in the river, and cooking.

Some areas of my life that I played with over the year included:

  • The call to “prove my worth” is very strong and it took awareness and willpower to stop developing an internal list of what I had done each day that could be considered “productive,” and, therefore, justify taking this “time off.” I had to break through the equation that doing = worthiness = self-acceptance. I found that noticing what is wanting to happen and then letting it unfold took both stillness and practice. Self-acceptance became something I took a stand for and not the byproduct of my “doingness.”

In what ways do you find yourself trying to prove your own worth? Does self-acceptance happen after you’ve done something to earn it, or can you accept yourself first, regardless of what you do or don’t do? Do others have to “do the right thing” before you can accept them?

  • big leapI played with concepts from the book, The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks, especially around the commitment, “I feel good, always.”  We have ways of “upper limiting” ourselves and create problems to hold ourselves in check at a status quo. The equation might look something like, feeling good = don’t deserve this = better dampen it or something even worse will happen. Having few responsibilities was a great way to illuminate my mental habit of worrying, often daydreaming of problems that didn’t even exist! The task at hand was to raise my level of awareness to “catch myself” going down a rabbit hole and then shine a light on how I was “upper limiting” myself. Having done tons of personal development work on myself, it was actually a bit mind blowing to see how much of a habit this was for me.

Ways you might “upper limit” yourself other than using worry include criticism/blame, deflection of positive energy, squabble, or get sick/injured. Notice how often these things happen when moments before you were feeling good. Raising your level of awareness is the first step to shifting your upper limit upward!

  • One last big sandbox I played in was that of letting go of identities, particularly ones having to do with work and career. I referred to myself as “being on sabbatical” and yet I was asked all the time, “what does it feel like to be retired?” Retired? That’s for someone that’s a lot older than me, who is through with working. I felt (and sometimes still feel) so much resistance to that word, maybe because there is a part of me that fears I am through, washed up, no longer of service. What I realized from this experience was how attached I was to what I did, what I accomplished, what I was paid for and whether I was being of service. I now play a game to see if I can have a conversation with someone without saying, “I am ….., marriedcoco on hike, a coach, a this or that.” It’s NOT easy!!! Even deeper, however, I have begun to feel the identities I hold as cords, and play with the feeling of unraveling and loosening the hold they have on me. My aging cat helped me with this when I became way too attached to caring for him. Energetically I felt the cord I had attached to him as his “caretaker” and together, at least it felt that way, we severed the cord. It was actually quite painful, both physically and emotionally for me, but it was such a clear understanding of just how bound to our identities we can be. I will always honor him for this precious lesson. I am still very much engaged with the prospect of what it looks and feels like to let go of attachments to what and who I think I am.

Notice your inner energy state whenever you hear the words, “I am [a]” come out of your mouth. Do you puff up with pride; do you feel shame? Is there a “need” to claim this identity? It’s the noticing of how tightly you feel attached to this identity that is interesting and how it might feel to let it begin to slide away, or even loosen its hold just a little bit.

Maybe what I most want you to know is that none of these things I talked about are “problems,” and I don’t think they need to be “fixed” or “healed,” for me or for you. They were the places I “played” while I was experiencing life without a lot of borders. I share them with you here so that if you notice these in yourself, you’ll recognize them for the “games that people play,” learn what you want to from the game, then let go of any attachment or identification with them. Where I always return after any “playful examination,” is that life is the most fun when you know yourself to be the Divine Spirit that you are, and allow yourself to fully incarnate on this Earth as Spirit having fun playing a human.

I look forward to sharing resources and writing about multi-dimensional living again. Please join me on my Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/ChannelYourHigherSelf, for fresh insights and upcoming programs that hold cutting edge opportunities for evolving your self and our world.

Heads Up!  My newest e-learning product and telecourse revolves around incarnating as Spirit!  Check out The Spiritual Explorer’s Path.  New class begins Tuesday, March 1.

Tell me, in what areas of your psyche are you playing with these days?

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