Digital sabbaticals do not come with automatic, built-in “A-ha!” moments.
I’ll confess that I wanted the “A-ha!” about managing workloads–some kind of blinding insight on how to do things differently that would mean I could juggle everything on my plate, without disappointing anyone (including myself).
I spent the first two weeks of my digital break obsessively thinking about work, and how to “handle” it upon my return. How to handle email and social media checking and responses, how to handle launching products, how to handle other people’s requests for help with promotion, and balance those requests with my desire to support everyone while simultaneously not wanting to turn YCL into the “promote everyone’s stuff” website.
I wrote down plans for 2012, and action steps to support those plans. Then I fretted about how even after two weeks, I didn’t feel rested or rejuvenated when I thought about coming back from the break and starting that work.
Somewhere around the two week mark, something shifted. I’d been meditating and taking vitamins and eating salads again and reading books and praying and connecting with friends and family, and I was feeling pretty good.
And I thought, “It’s more important to me to keep this feeling than it is to build my business.”
It’s not that building my practice isn’t important–it’s just that the mental switch flipped where I saw quite clearly that I was more important.
I was declaring sovereignty over my life.
What followed was this: my shoulders dropped, and I was able to spend the final two weeks of my break feeling truly rejuvenated.
Waffling = Suffering
When we spend a lot of time going back and forth, back and forth, wanting to do this, but also wanting to do that, adding in a lot of “But what about…?” phrases into conversations, waffling endlessly…we suffer.
I have no more or less work by declaring sovereignty; I’m just committed clearly to the priority of making sure that I’m okay before I work, whereas before I was trying to make sure that both myself and my business were okay, then not finding enough hours in the day to do that, and choosing my business out of fear, while beating myself up for not choosing myself.
That’s full transparency, yes?
But here’s another cool thing: I remembered the power of simply declaring the next step.
There were other decisions in my life that I’d been waffling on, big ones. “Do I want to do this? Well, yes, but what about….?” — and on and on.
Sometimes life just asks for some step, in some kind of direction. It doesn’t work to try and to sort out all of the feelings about the decisions before taking action.
It’s fine to spend some time in a space of “waffling” as you consider all options. That said, I realized that I had been in a space of waffling for too long over some decisions in my life. I needed to either be all the way in, or all the way out; the process of debating which direction to take had taken up far more energy than it would take to simply follow a particular path.
We can declare sovereignty over our lives when we simply say: Look, I don’t have it all figured out, but with the knowledge and tools and resources that I have right now, this seems like the next right step. I’m taking it.
And what happens after that?
For me, a space opened up where I was suddenly excited about all that was before me with that path, all the opportunities that it would offer me. I was aware of the downsides with that choice, but clear that they would probably not be very important to me in the long term–and willing to risk it.
This is how it can be to declare sovereignty, to decide to look directly and head-on at the places in life where suffering is happening, and simply decide that you’ll accept the inevitability of uncertainty as you step forward–because what else is there?
This is part of what it means to revolutionize your life, from the inside, out–to look at suffering and decide in a very conscious way not to stay there, anymore.
What’s the biggest cause of suffering, and how might you boldly and courageously look at it directly, without your Story about what it all means, and then allow the next right action to arise?