Monday, April 5, 2010
From Where I Sit ~ A Sabbatical for the Soul
Somehow, when you are in the tropics, it's easy to lose track of time. There is a sense of timelessness that washes in with the waves, a whisper of "Just Be" that floats in with a warm breeze. I've been listening to those soulful notes and allowing them to take me deeper.
That's why you haven't heard much from me. We've finally moved into the little writer's cottage by the sea, the one I've been longing for for years. It serves as the perfect hostess for my creativity. And because it is, you'll be hearing from me less and less, for a while anyway. In fact, I've cleared my desk to take—for the first time in my entire life—a real sabbatical for 30 days of uninterrupted writing.
This feels like a luxury to me, but an essential one (oxymoron that it is). Creative people need creative space and vast expanses of time to honor the Muse. If you are a creative person, I wonder, do you allow yourself this "luxury"? I hope you do.
And sometimes, even though we are well-intentioned, we just don't make the commitment to honor ourselves in this way. It may take a nudge from a wise other to give our souls what we need to express themselves, to thrive.
My "nudge" came from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I fell in love with her work in the mid-90s. Her landmark book, Women Who Run with the Wolves, opened up a pathway for me to explore the deep soulful Feminine through myth and story. In doing so, for the first time I really explored my self.
An e-mail from Dr. E's publisher announcing her new book and on online series of fireside chats with her based on The Dangerous Old Woman (a work thirty years in the making) sealed my decision. Dr. E said this about her own choice to go "underground" and write:
"What you’ve heard over the years about my having disappeared and gone underground to work and write is true. When people ask where the heck I’ve been and why I so seldom come out when called by the “clattering world,” I often want to respond by saying that one can’t fulfill one’s calling by being called away. Rather one fulfills one’s calling by filling up . . . by studying, thinking, listening, looking at, living in the layers of life beyond the collective ones. Then . . . one can pour outwardly again."
Isn't her statement profound? She gave voice to what I've been feeling (but then wise woman others do that, don't they?). It is time for me to fill up again. I've not done so for an extended period since 1994. Do you think I might be due? I do. :-)
So for the next month or so, I will not be blogging for the most part. Not going to my computer until later in the day. Not taking phone calls before 4:00 p.m. Of course, no TV, but I haven't had one of those in five years. In other words, as few distractions as possible so I can hear the whisperings of my soul and, yes, put them down on paper. There are books to be birthed!
clicking here.) And I'm finishing up my Lovingkindness online retreat with Sylvia Boorstein. Two powerful ways for me to fill my energetic well. That, and plenty of beach walks, watching dolphins, and yummy dinners with my beloved.
Should you need to reach me, I'll be available by e-mail through the Contact Box here. And here's an early announcement for the only weekend retreat (so far) I'll be leading in Michigan, once I return home. Check it out. June 25-27, "Come Back to Your Center." A fitting subject, don't you think? And I will continue to offer Spiritual Direction to women long-distance, one-on-one, should that be something you're interested in.
It's all about the spiritual journey—yours, mine, and ours—and I hope you will create time and space in the next month for your soul to sing. To write, paint, draw, dance, hike, rest. To do whatever it takes, as Dr. E says, to "fill yourself up ... to live in the layers of life between the collective." Will you? I hope you do.
So, what would it take for you to create even a tiny sabbatical for yourself?
As always, I hold you in thought, heart, and prayer.
(Writing image courtesy of www.djcl.org)