It’s funny how what you really need will show up clearly if you just stay open to it. When I was first planning this sabbatical, I would have told you that I wanted time off to write. To try and sell my first book and to get started on the second. And I have been working on both of those goals, but I’ve discovered that it’s not the most important thing happening right now.
I often felt trapped in my life before. In fact, I’ve learned that one of my earliest warning signs of depression is when I start to look around as I go through my days and wonder Is this it? Just this endless cycle of meetings and traffic and what’s for dinner? I’ve always been the kind of person that needs more than just a pleasant routine. I need time to ask and answer big questions: what am I here for, what is the value in control or in an unbruised ego, what does unconditional mean? It doesn’t really matter how long it takes to get the answers, as long as I have time to engage with the questions.
Now I’m learning, in a way I never clearly recognized before, that most of my life had to fit into such a defined structure that I sometimes felt like I was trying to breathe only the air that fits inside a small box, and hoping that my creativity would turn on like a light switch when I could squeeze in a free hour.
I didn’t eat when I was hungry, sleep when I was tired, or create when I felt the spark of inspiration. Instead, I generally did all of these things when I was told to. And even though I was the one doing the telling, it still doesn’t quite translate to freedom. It certainly doesn’t translate into listening to my body or my spirit and providing the things these aspects of myself need in the moment.
Perhaps such is the price of living in an organized society and earning a living. Perhaps some level of coming back to myself required me to break the mold – even temporarily. It’s been an interesting experiment.
Right now, the thing that’s coming through most clearly is that I need to take some of this freedom into the next phase of my life – one that will include commitments to others that need to be kept. I’m not sure exactly how to translate that yet, how to make the two aspects of life work together, but I’ll keep you in the loop when I figure it out.