I met Licia on New Year’s Day 2010 at the “Begin Again” retreat I attended. I really enjoyed her leadership at the retreat that day. She is a healer, intuitive, teacher, artist, and writer among her many other roles. At the retreat in January she talked about coming back after a sabbatical. When I asked her to write a click for me, I requested she write about the sabbatical. She answered my request just beautifully. If you would like to learn more about Licia visit her website here and her blog here.
A Larger Logic
By Licia Berry
May 17, 2010
When I heard the word “sabbatical” in my inner guidance time, I was delighted. Oh, I get some time off? Goody, maybe I can read all of those books on my night stand I’ve been meaning to get to!
Indeed, initially the idea of a “sabbatical” brings to mind some time away, a respite from the usual life, maybe even a bit of rest. I also had vague connotations of taking leave to learn something, to dig deeper into one’s studies, to expand one’s awareness in the world. This is always an intriguing idea for me, since I love to learn and enjoy a break in routine…it keeps me interested!
Here’s what it really means:
Sabbatical- any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, esp. for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.
1605–15; < Gk sabbatikós (sábbat(on) Sabbath + -ikos -ic) + -al
Notice that the root of the word sabbatical is in the greek “sabbatikos”, meaning “on the Sabbath”. How interesting that there is a spiritual context for taking leave of absence from one’s usual life in order to grow!
Accustomed to moving on my inner guidance, I asked some questions. What should I do with my thriving website and readership around the world? What about my client practice? How long? I didn’t hear a clear response on that last question. The assumption I made was that it would be a short time away from my usual work life; when that assumption was severely challenged, no one was more surprised than me.
I was guided to stop writing for the website (I was allowed a “goodbye” letter), and my client practice dried up within a week. Astonishing; okay the universe really means it. As things got quieter and quieter in my work world, I waited. What was the reason for my sabbatical? Would I know when it was over? When could I get back to work?
After 6 weeks of watching the numbers dwindle on my website readership and doing absolutely NO client work, I was very antsy. Can I come back to work yet? I have spent a few years building this business…Can I please step in and save the sinking ship now? My fears turned into resistance quickly, and I jumped in on my website to try to revive the numbers. All to no avail….Spirit was not going to cooperate.
It was then that I was shown a chrysalis, or cocoon, in my inner vision. I was told that I was undergoing a major metamorphosis, and that I may as well let it happen because it was going to whether I cooperated or not. I was also shown that my work in the world was going to change somewhat…I was close in many ways to authentic expression, but there were a few faulty ideas I was carrying around that were impacting my ability to be truly expressive of my unique soul and viewpoint.
And so I backed away again….and left my beautiful website and business to erode with time. As my resistance gave way to acceptance, my life became fuller with my family and my own process. I started to see things in my life that didn’t match with my heartfelt convictions, noticed beliefs I had tried on that no longer fit. I had been a bit heavy on the intellectual side prior to this enforced time off. I got in touch with my feelings, my body, my heart. I saw I had been building my business persona on an imperfect foundation. Thank goodness I was stopped before it got too big. It was a great cleansing process, and a refining of who I truly was.
My sabbatical wound up lasting a year and a half. Over that time, I changed drastically in some ways, but not really so much in some others. I am still an alternative practitioner (healing/intuitive) and artist/writer, but I am more clear about how I am delivering those services now. They radiate from a more healed center, a wholeness that I have not experienced before. I am much more grounded in my life and connected to all of the various facets of it, which helps me keep them in balance.
I came out of the starting gate with flying colors on January 1st of 2010…after the official word from my infamous inner guidance! And the super cool part was that I felt it was the right time. It wasn’t forced, it just was the natural emergence of the real Licia Berry. I had come out of my cocoon and beautiful butterfly.
And my business? It is going gangbusters! After only 5 months back in the work world, I am doing better than I ever did in my previous work life, and it is building fast with a momentum and support from the universe that I have not experienced prior. I lost some folks from my email lists, but many more stayed on. My understanding is that this is the way it works when we get clearer about who we are….there is a natural erosion of all that doesn’t fit anymore, and what is left is the good stuff. The REAL stuff.
So, I am an advocate for following that nudge from Spirit to take the time off, whether you can hear it intuitively like I can, or whether it shows up in evidence like losing your job, ending a relationship, being diagnosed with an illness, or some other major course correction in your life. If we can overcome the fear and uncertainty and simply trust that there is a larger logic involved, it makes room for amazing, magical things to happen, and we are happier for it.