Sometimes in life, we need to go against the norm and do what's best for us instead of what everyone else is doing.
Pause, rest, and reflect
I won’t say that one is totally worse than the other, at least in my opinion, because it truly depends on the person and their situation. I can tell you that for as long as I can remember, I have simply pushed through what felt like everything regardless of what was happening. I felt like I didn’t have have a choice. I felt as if I would fail myself. I felt as if that was the worst thing I could do. I felt as though everything would fall apart the moment I chose to “rest”. I believe that our reaction during these times, trials, and rough patches do the following:
Says a lot about the outcome we want
How we view/treat ourselves
How we tackle adversity and overcome obstacles
So here's where a sabbatical comes into play. What does Sabbatical mean?
The term sabbatical actually is derived from the biblical Sabbath which serves an ancient human need to build periods of rest and rejuvenation into a lifetime. Traditionally you’ll find sabbaticals in academic careers, but they are not just for teachers anymore. Anyone can take a sabbatical and travel. A sabbatical is simply getting an extended leave from work to pursue a break. Granted, your company might not have a formal sabbatical program, but you can lead the way in requesting a sabbatical and having them start such a program. You get nothing if you don’t ask.
People traditionally take a sabbaticals to fulfill a goal, build a skill, or do research. You don’t necessarily have to stay near your home to do these things, you can easily travel the world and accomplish your goals; the key is to get away, renew, refresh. - Meet Plan Go
So with that being said, I'm taking a sabbatical off from accepting new clients, social media, and will spend this time intentionally doing activities that allow me to pause and rest. The other part of my time will be spent completing other goals that are taking priority at the moment in my life. Read more below.
Why I’m Taking A Sabbatical: The Emotional Stuff
So when things happen in life we aren’t only affected by our jobs and families but also our businesses - whether it’s a side hustle or not. In the last couple months, I’ve dealt with some health issues, a breakup from a committed relationship, a move, and more. Is all of this the worse that could happen? Definitely not. But see …. My life has been filled with lots of transitions, tragedy, pain, and there have been blessings too. God has truly had my back all these years. What I’ve learned though is that throughout a lot of it, I simply pushed through. And though I’m not dealing with anything “tragic” so to speak right now, I still feel the need to give myself some space to grow through this and lean on God.
Why I’m Taking A Sabbatical: The Good Stuff
Although the past couple months have been a tad bit of an emotional roller coaster, I also recognize the blessings that God is pouring into my life in very small ways. I have a great job, a business I’m scaling, a new idea, an event, and so much more happening that needs my attention. I’m usually the goal driven, work-a-holic who hardly makes time for herself and only makes time for those who matter. I’d like to say I’m really good at balancing it all and yet sometimes even I drop the ball.
With that being said, I wanted to move a few things off my plate to create more space for what matters right now to create the future I want.
It was really important to me that I choose goals that matter to me in a few different categories.
I could probably add a couple more categories but these are what matters most. So these are the categories I typically use when creating goals for the year before breaking down into quarters. I love this method because I know that I am not neglecting any area of my life by doing this. So here’s what my goals will look like for this sabbatical.
For health and wellness, I will be focusing on finally implementing a big goal for this year which is to start eating better and being more active. I already meal prep weekly but now I’d like to mix in some recipes from my Whole New You Cook Book by Tia Mowry. I already start this week and feel really good! :) The active portion will be consistently practicing yoga (which is already a big part of my life but I haven’t been consistent since my surgery back in April), getting a YMCA membership, and as of last weekend attending 5 cycle classes over the next 6 weeks or so.
For spirituality, it’s important to me that I draw closer to God personally. That will include Bible studies, using my Write The Word Journals by Lara Casey, praying more, attending church, and tithing 10% of my income. I also would like to start back meditating before bed and throughout the day to ensure I’m always in tune with how I feel and taking a moment to myself.
The professional category is really important to me. I’m in the process of going through some changes at my job that were previously quite stressful. Thankfully things are better and looking up. It’s vital to me that I finally complete my PMP, Agile-PMP, and PC classes during this break. It is truly my #2 priority during this time. This is for my 9 to 5 and my baby, Bella Creative Co. It is also my goal to attend more networking events, and build more relationships.
Business is a category that is also a priority during this break for me. So it’s been my goal for the last couple months to refine and tune my business plan for Bella Creative. I wanted to spend some time brainstorming + fixing little things in the business that will prevent me from being able to scale when I am ready. I also realized I was ready to work with a business coach or strategist to accomplish this. There comes a point in business when you can no longer do it alone. So I will spend some time fine tuning Bella Creative + working on another idea and prepping for Quarter 4 of 2017 and Q1 of 2018.
The Length of My Sabbatical + The How
At first, I tossed around the idea of taking a break. In that moment of first thought I truly just wanted to drop everything and give up to some extent. Mainly? Cause I was drained. Of course, I would come back but I knew that wasn’t the way to do it. So after a conversation with a friend of mine who was considering doing the same thing … I knew this could work and I really needed it. Sabbatical comes from the term Sabbath and means rest. I needed to rest my heart, mind, body, and hands. I also had pressing items that I needed to tend to and there was no way I could do it successfully with everything else on my plate.
I decided it would be a summer sabbatical and when I realized just how long that would be - approximately 12 weeks - I just knew this was it. I prayed to God SO much about this. I brought it to him. He was moving mountains in my life in the past few months, pushing me out of my comfort zone and yet blessing me at the same time. I didn’t understand it … I had no clue what was coming next … but I knew what was happening in front of me and what was placed on my heart.
I immediately started brainstorming goals, intentions during this time and planning out on a Trello board that I created. It was really important to me that I knew what this sabbatical would look like. This wasn’t going to be a “Tessa gets to lay around for a full 3 months” kinda sabbatical. First of all, I’d go crazy, and secondly, I wanted to accomplish things during this time while I rested and I knew it was doable. Needless to say, once I brain dumped and continued to chat with my friend and prayed, I felt like God had this all planned out before I could even think of it.
So as of June 5th, 2017, I will be on a 12-week summer sabbatical. I will document this process and journey along the way so that I can share it with you here and reflect back on it later. If you are interested in following along. Subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Instagram. Have you ever taken a sabbatical? If not, would you?