Since I’ve been back from my overseas sabbatical, I’ve had countless people telling me I make them want to pack their bags and go. But obligations stop them from doing so (or in my opinion, it’s often that they don’t see the choices they have and therefore the decisions they can make – check out my post Are you lucky or purposeful?).
For those who choose to keep their routine, is it still possible to go on sabbatical? In other words, how can you be away while still being there? (but without daydreaming!) There are four elements that made my sabbatical so enriching and I believe each of them can be reached in the comfort of your daily life…
1. ‘Me’ time
I chose to go travel alone, which gave me the absolute ‘me’ time I could ever ask for. Having that quality time for yourself at home is still possible. For example, lock in one evening per week to do something you like. Spend that time on what I call ‘heart projects’, that is projects you will love doing and lose yourself into. It could be re-decorating your house, reading a book, enrolling in a language class, playing Sudoku, whatever tickles your fancy and makes you happy! Also, go on mini breaks – alone! – as far or as close as you wish.
Relaxed. Positive. Open. That is how it ought to be. Easier said than done when you’ve got your boss pushing you to meet that deadline and your kids shouting and crying, right?! Luckily, your quality ‘me’ time will support the creation of this mindset – and help you remain sane among all the insanity! Visualisation, breathing, meditation, ‘tapping’ are all techniques that can help you relax in the moment. As for having an open mind, it means tearing your definition of normality to shreds; welcoming opportunities; seeing all the possibilities; being curious; letting things be and impact you; being open not only to learning, but most of all, unlearning…
The purpose of a sabbatical is to learn and develop yourself, whether that be personally and/or professionally (I believe one doesn’t go without the other). To do so, surround yourself with inspiration – people, places, movies, books, nature, music, art, quotes, courses, etc. Let them shock you, provoke you, motivate you. Take the time to self-reflect on the lessons you learn and how they can be applied to various aspects of your life. Write, tell or act out these learnings so they really become a part of you.
This is one you don’t need to take care of as when you are in the physical and mental space to welcome what may be, choices will come. I didn’t chase them, they simply showed themselves to me. Focus on taking the time and opening your mind to discovering what wants to be discovered and choices you had never thought of before will uncover themselves like a clear blue sky after the storm.
So now, when are you taking that sabbatical? 😉