There is a tradition in some professions to take a year off from one’s regular work to study something of your choosing called a Sabbatical. The idea is a great one! Focus on what you want, right? The theory is that one will return from Sabbatical refreshed and with renewed vigor and inspiration.
Why not institute that in your everyday life, regardless of your profession?
What an idea. To allow yourself to study intensely and intimately something that truly interests you.
I believe if we did this we would go far to really model a LOVE of learning and model the importance of renewal.
I have some friends that were put on a forced Sabbatical. They have used the time to renew their relationship, focus on what they REALLY want, where they want to live, who they really are, and what they want to do. And as a result of this forced Sabbatical, something they experienced as a painful change of events, they have developed a better, more fulfilling relationship with each other, their family, and life. You can see it in their eyes, their kindness toward each other, and their general demeanor.
How joyous to observe such a profound transformation.
It got me thinking: what impedes one to create this renewal and bring this spark and peace back into ones life? And how that space to transform be created?
From Wikipedia: In recent times, “sabbatical” has come to mean any extended absence in the career of an individual in order to achieve something. In the modern sense, one takes sabbatical typically to fulfill some goal, e.g., writing a book, traveling extensively for research. Some universities and other institutional employers of scientists, physicians, and/or academics offer the opportunity to qualify for paid sabbatical as an employee benefit, called sabbatical leave. Some companies offer unpaid sabbatical for people wanting to take career breaks. Sabbatical typically follows at seven-year intervals of full-time employment. The most common arrangement is for a half-year at full pay, or a full year at half-pay.
Okay so many of us don’t fall into categories that allow for a Sabbatical under these qualifications, but the idea of taking a time-out, a space for reviewing or re-evaluating or just a space to study, or create something different is something that may be very useful.
From a religious perspective, the sabbath is a time-out from work, to consider and connect with spiritual practices.
Creating a space for viewing, and reviewing your life is a way to enact mindfulness into you’re everyday life so that you can really effect change and maintain health, balance, and innovation.
The attraction of the idea of a Sabbatical is that it encourages a change in your thinking, being, and experiencing. It is like a cognitive head stand.
Engaging in mindful review of your beliefs, paradigms, goals, and relationships/agreements on a daily basis is like creating a sabbatical space incrementally.
For those of us not as fortunate as my friends and their forced Sabbatical or those who can simply create with their contract the space to re-view, focus, and investigate new vistas in an extended way, mindfulness and the sabbath may be our best shot at creating a space for this kind of activity.
If you allow yourself this incremental process you may find you too can find the rejuvenation that comes with a breather and adventure. Mindfully review and evaluate your way of being in the world. Create a cognitive head stand; feel all that blood rushing to your head – that could be a renewal and shifting experience that you could take back to refresh your everyday life and work experience.
See you tomorrow.