Thursday, June 18, 2015
Looking back at many of my blog posts, there seem to be themes that I write about: self-care, authenticity, paying attention to your gut and the internal nudges, and not waiting for the time to be perfect to pay attention to those nudges (because chances are it won’t ever be perfect). Most of you probably recognize those as recurring themes that not only run through my blog posts but also through the work I do with my clients. Truth be told, I don’t always take my own advice and honor my own needs or internal nudges. I try to practice what I preach but sometimes I fall short.
Since last summer I’ve had a big internal nudge to start writing another book. In addition to that, I kept getting messages and signs from the Universe that I needed to take dedicated time off to write; not only write the book but to just write. I, like many of you, ignored that nudge and that calling when it first arose last summer. Why? Because there was too much going on and I had too much to do. I couldn’t think about dedicated time to just “write” – it seemed like a luxury more than anything. I pushed it aside.
After my Dad passed away last Fall, the pull in my gut to take the time to write was much stronger. It was a physical yearning I felt deep inside. I know enough from all my life coaching training and coaching certifications that these are things to pay attention to; yearnings like that which arise repeatedly shouldn’t be ignored. In good conscience, I would never allow one of my clients to ignore such a nudge without some serious coaching around it. We must heed those calls. Our instincts know more than our brains do. I began to contemplate if and how I could possibly take a “writing sabbatical”. I thought about doing it in the first quarter of 2015. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed impossible. It wasn’t the “right time”. I was “too busy”. There was “no way I could take a chunk of time away from my business to just write”. Again, I pushed it aside. However, the nudging was relentless.
I came up with an alternative plan; one where I could spend 75% of my time writing and 25% focused on my business. I even came up with a schedule that broke out my weekly hours based on this new 75/25 plan. You know what happened? Nothing. Leaving the door open 25% for non-writing allowed the door to be pushed all the way open to 100%. Writing wasn’t the priority but the thing I did when I had “extra time” (which was almost never). The call in my gut persisted. You need to write Andria. It’s time to take a writing sabbatical. There is another book to be born. You need to write, to heal, and to continue to evolve yourself and your business. It was a constant pulling and tugging that would not let up.
In early April I spent a day in San Francisco with my mentors, Lissa Rankin and Anne Davin. They are wonderful spiritual visionary businesswomen who I am honored to be working with this year. A big part of our day together focused on the “need” for me to take the writing sabbatical and to allow whatever needs to unfold in my life during that sabbatical time to simply unfold. It was about surrendering to the call from my inner being, knowing that is what would be best for me, and for everyone and everything around me, including my business. We also worked through a lot of the fears I have around actually doing this. I remember Lissa so kindly telling me that, in one way or another this sabbatical would happen. She didn’t want to “scare me” but said it would eventually happen whether I chose to do it or not. I believed her but was not yet convinced it could truly be possible, based on the many commitments I had.
I came home and pondered. I talked to Matt about it. He was in full support, as he always is. I meditated on it. The nudging did not stop. I finally realized that to remain true to myself, my brand, and all I coach my clients on, I must honor this call and take my own advice. I must pay attention to my nudges and instead of waiting for the perfect time (which would never come) make the decision that now is the right time. I must be authentic to myself and boldly take a scary step – a scary step of hitting the pause button on all things unrelated to writing for the next few months. I’ve never done anything like this before. I never even took time off after college or after I left my corporate job before I started my business. This is a place of uncertainty for me and yet a place I know I need to be. In a roundabout way it forces me to look at who I am if I’m not fully identifying with my business and my title of “business owner”. Certainly taking a sabbatical doesn’t mean I give up being the owner of my business but I gain a large amount of self-worth and inner-value from focusing on my business, running and growing it, and serving my clients each day. If I take a pause from this, who am I during that time? I have no answer to that right now. I know the next few months will be an interesting learning experience for me.
So the time is now. I finally pay attention to the nudge that’s been pulling at me for the past year and I embark on my writing sabbatical. What does this really mean? Well, it means that I will be hitting the pause button on all things that are not related to writing for the next few months. I am extremely grateful for the wonderful coaching and consulting colleagues and partners who are supporting me on this journey. My current clients already know how this impacts them (minimally, of course. I wouldn’t do it any other way); and now that all the ducks are in a row, all that’s left is for me to step into writing, healing, and restoration mode for the next few months.
I will likely be blogging on occasion, as I am inspired to, perhaps once a week but perhaps not and perhaps more than once a week. I am not keeping myself on a blog writing schedule like I currently do. However, knowing me, I will blog. I know part of this writing sabbatical is for me to fully experience “letting go” and allowing things to unfold as they are meant to unfold versus me making everything happen. It will be a transformative learning experience for me; one I am certain I will write about, not only in the new book but in my blog. This is finally about me truly allowing the Divine to take the lead – the last thing on my list of what’s in for 2015 and what I wrote about in last week’s blog post.
It won’t surprise you that, as I fully embark on this experience, I’ve been coaching myself on how to approach this time. I offer to you what I’ve been telling myself the past few weeks: Be present. Allow things to unfold as they are meant to; be kind and compassionate with yourself, and always remember you are exactly where you are meant to be on your journey. Onward!