#projectmama: A self care sabbatical
Before the winds start to whisper what I’ve begun to share in selective groups on the internet…let me tell you that it’s true.
I’m taking a 90 day sabbatical. The objective? Self-care ‘till 2017.
Much as it felt scary to make the decision, it feels equally exhilarating to share it with you, officially.
You know, not one of my online business buddies told me this was ‘business suicide’. They know me. They understand why I’m doing this and more importantly, they trust that I know what I’m doing.
After all, I am known as the Freedom Seekers’ Business Mentor. Take out the word ‘business’ and the rest is still the same. Ultimately, that’s what the freedom-based, lifestyle business journey is all about. Freedom and doing whatever it is that brings you closer to it.
Unfortunately, over time, Freedom Base Business has become synonymous with making more money. I’ll be totally transparent here, in my last year of full time work before part-time maternity leave I earned 6 figures, working just 15 hrs/week for the second half of that year. That’s pretty good going.
Why would I ‘let that go’?
Well, for starters, I don’t see it as a ‘letting go’, because the Freedom part always comes first, that’s what I lead my clients with: What feels good, what’s calling you, what is most fun for you right now?
And who wants to replace the 9-5 with an online version of it? What’s the fun of having your own solo business if you can’t give yourself the freedom of time when you want/need/can?
And, on a more practical level, once you have an established business you can allow yourself to take some time off, as long as increasing your income isn’t your top priority of the moment.
Why am I doing this?
Because I’m a mum to two little girls (1 and 4), and for the first time in a year, they are both in childcare.
I’ve been running my own business for quite some years now and lately, two businesses.
We’ve travelled from one end to the world and back as a family with many trips in-between and yes, though our lives are slow and simple (I don’t do busy, really, I don’t, even at the peak of my business I was working around 25 hours/week), being on a conscious living and parenting path means being full-on aware all the time of what you’re doing and saying.
Add to that that I’m a highly sensitive introvert empathic.
So, the truth of it is, I’m tired.
So many of the business owning mama friends I’ve spoken with are exhausted. Many of us don’t have family around for support as we travel. The reality is that it’s tiring running a successful business (two) and being a present mum and girlfriend. It is. And, more often than not, there ain’t no village!
My body is tired and it’s time for me to give it some TLC. My heart and soul have been through the deepest level of transformation and personal growth that I have known to date (and I’ve had more than one dark night of the soul). I have been through a tremendous amount in my life and this last year and a half has been an intense ride, to say the least. Realisations, letting-go, setting boundaries, acknowledging and deciding, and life in-between all of that.
And so, because I can, I’ve decided to gift myself, my body mind spirit some time. After all, isn’t’ that what freedom based living is all about? Having the courage to follow your freedom wherever it takes you.
‘Self care is a divine responsibility’
‘And like, self care as a divine responsibility is more than a monthly pedicure or treating yourself to your favourite pint on Fridays (though both are fab’.) But let’s think more highly of our cosmic selves. Self care is taking the time to recover. It’s sabbaticals to clear your head and chart your course. It’s leaving. It’s investing.It’s asking for more. It’s being protective and tender and limitlessly compassionate with yourself.“
– Danielle Laporte
I could highlight the whole of Danielle Laporte’s paragraph because it’s just so spot on. It’s about recalibrating. Who am I?Where am I going? Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? Which pieces haven’t I given time to? How do I want to show up? How do I want to serve?
In essence, What do I want?
Sometimes the only way to answer that question is to give yourself the space for the answer to come.
How am I able to do this?
I mean, we all need money to live, right?
Yes, we do. We chose to downsize our lifestyle. We absolutely love where we live and feel filled up by it every single day. My heart sings when I look out our window at the harbor. So we are downsizing where we spend our money – trips, needless spending, ‘stuff’, that kind of thing.
We are very much into simple living; constantly de-clutter (meaning we don’t have to de-clutter as it’s just the way we live) and prefer to buy second hand no matter what we’re earning so that we minimize our consumerist footprint. That’s just who we are.
And my second business is a residual income one that doesn’t take up much of my time and that I absolutely love. It permeates my day whether I’m doing it as a business or not. So that helps.
What am I going to do exactly?
This is the question I am asked the most.
Well, I’m not quite sure. I pick our 1 year old up around lunch time so it’s not like I’m on a 24/7 sabbatical. When you’re a parent everything is just part time!
What I’ve done already done is upgrade my supplements. I’ve found a new yoga studio near me that I’m going to try out. I’m getting all my doctors/optician/driving licence renewal/embassy registration appointments etc booked in and done (yes, this is also self-care. It’s not all about massages and manicures, in fact, that’s just the details, it goes way deeper than that). I’ve started spending time looking into topics that mean something to me.
I want to cook more for my family.
I want to read.
I want to do creative things (huh?! That is so not me of years gone by).
I want to do the deep inner work.
I want to meditate more.
I want to go for walks.
And yes, I do want to spend time sitting with where I’m going to next with my business(es).
And I don’t even know what else I want at this stage.
It’s scary even writing some of this stuff down because, well, what if I don’t get around to it? What if the days are too short? What if after the 90 days I still don’t feel fully refreshed and ready to go full out?
Well, what if…And, so what?
I plan on documenting my self-care moments on social media. Just to share. I’ll try to at least share a picture every day, but then again maybe I won’t.
Maybe I’ll write blog posts about thoughts and realisations that come up, maybe I won’t.
That’s the whole point. I can do what the heck I like.
But you see, how easy it is for expectations to raise their head? “I should really make the most of this time”. The whole point is, it’s a sabbatical. I could disappear for 90 days if that’s what I wanted. But we’re so used to making everything useful in our businesses, that it’s even trying to take over my break.
You see, on our summer holiday this year I was offline for 2 weeks. We had intermittent access when we went to someone’s house, but otherwise, nothing. It was bliss.
I didn’t have to think about taking selfies or posting about what I was up to. My life was my own.
I kind of miss that.
I also know that I love to inspire others whilst I’m on my natural, simple living journey. I love to share that.
What I’m really saying is, despite the fear of taking this time off and publicly announcing it, I’m rather pleased with myself that I’m actually doing it – and I’d love for you to come along, or not – your time is your own. Always remember that.
As life would have it, just after I’d finished editing this and ready to hit the ‘send’ button…the childcare we had for our youngest didn’t work out. So now she’s home with me again and the irony of my 90 day self-care sabbatical makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time, except I’m too tired and seriously over it all.
So we’re enjoying our days, way more than before actually as I’ve let go of expectations. Being in ‘work sabbatical’ mode helps a lot. Meanwhile, calling in the most fabulous childcare imaginable and I’m not even putting that into pictures, the feeling is out there and that’s what I’m going for for now…talk about releasing control…
Come and follow over on my Facebook page where I’ll be sharing what I can about my self-care sabbatical as and when it actually looks that way!