- Meditation is practically becoming mainstream, no longer a pastime of hippies and gurus.
- Health and fitness experts are suggesting that time off from your training regimen is actually good for your muscles.
- Professionals are beginning to adopt the concept of taking sabbaticals to rejuvenate their careers and lives.
If you’re thinking of slowing down to smell the roses; good for you! You’ll plan it, schedule it, and do it — just as millions of people have done before.
Recently, I decided to change my evil ways and start “being there.” While I didn’t exactly come to a full stop, I did switch tracks enough that I felt the blip and am starting to see real, positive benefits. Most sabbaticals involve working toward something different for awhile; not indulging in months of aimless rest. Something tells me only the most driven people take sabbaticals.
While I wouldn’t exactly call this a sabbatical, I’m definitely onto something different. I’ve been doing this writing businesses for years, but I was a slave to my work and admittedly only having fun when I was working on someone else’s project. I’ll never forget the time my child put a piece of paper in front of me with a handwritten note that said “When are you done?” and I realized I would never be done, even though I could lie, as I often did, and say, “Just a few more minutes” or “Can it wait for an hour?” or “Please…not now!” Most times I had no intention of finishing anything to turn my complete attention to something or someone I loved.
Work-Love confusion is perfectly exemplified by the hamster on a wheel. You believe you are special and needed because of all your hard work and dedication, a heady feeling that can keep the rev in your rotation. But you also fear the lights will go out if you slow down.
When you’re always trying to earn your seat at the table, you don’t enjoy your work in a relaxed, spontaneous way. It never occurs to you to work differently. You might even start to believe that your friends and family don’t get you, anyway… not like your coworkers, or customers. At that point, you, dear hamster friend, are finished.
If the idea of taking a break, resting, or enjoying some quiet space fills you with dread, you’re not alone. If you can’t even see the point of it, then you need it more than everyone else.
This sabbatical, if I can call it that, looks a lot like the work I was doing before. Only now I’m writing for myself. Writing more than ever, writing just because I can, and I need the practice; writing a couple thousand words per day for no one, for everyone, and for myself. I’m writing in the moment for the first time since college.
The big bonus is barely perceptible from the outside looking in, but I can feel it in the way I appreciate things these days. Now, when I say, “in a minute,” I really mean:
- “…in a minute, I will drive you to the skatepark, and enjoy the time in the car with you, not use the time to make phone calls, or listen to a podcast.”
- “…in a minute, let’s make something to eat.”
- “…in a minute, I’ll watch you do a trick on your bike, or watch your FIFA replay, or watch the YouTube video you want me to see.”
- “…in a minute I’ll just push myself away from this desk and go read in the room where you are. Just to be seen, available. etc.”
- “…in a minute, after I put the bullet points down on my draft, I will find a stopping place. Then I will look you in the eye, kid, and let you tell me what’s going on in your life right now. I will participate in your day.”
- “… in a minute, I’m all yours.”
I know of a lovely way to get into that place where we driven types don’t tread easily or willingly. It’s called Oil of Geranium.
I bought Young Living Geranium Essential Oil because I wanted to make a facial blend of geranium, frankincense, tea tree oil, and lavender (equal parts of each). I like the way my skins looks, rosy and light-filled. Dare I say, younger? What I didn’t realize was that I would start using geranium when I wanted to “feel like a girl.” Sounds silly I know, but the scent is so girly and feminine to me, that I would sometimes peer into my bag of oils and wonder which one to put on, and there she was, just smiling up at me. So Geranium, then.
First, don’t confuse this perennial Geranium with the annuals you see in containers in summer. The species Pelargonium graveolens, found on the Reunion Islands in South America, yields the highest quality oil. Some of geranium’s standout benefits:
- It’s exotic, floral, slightly spicy aroma has an intoxicating effect, much like the sensual aroma of rose. In fact, perfumers often use Geranium as a substitute for the more expensive rose.
- It is relaxing to the mind, it brings security to a nervous and anxious misdemeanor, and it nourishes feminine creativity.
- It helps you remember pleasure and enjoyment, which is unusually refreshing for someone who’s always working toward perfection.
- It makes you more receptive to feelings and emotions. If you’re always “the giver,” in control of every exchange of communication, geranium allows you to feel impressionable and sensitive. If you’re not fond of intimacy, try Geranium to break down your barriers. If you think the smell is a little too sweet at first, that’s a clue that you may be someone who can benefit from this oil the most. (I was!)
Somehow this lovely little perennial works for me as I’m making this transition in my business working from home and being more present. The two areas I’m focusing on these days — trusting God to take care of things for me (security), and enjoying my family more (receptivity) — feel easier when I breathe in Geranium oil.
Curious about learning more? I’d be happy to talk with you! Get in touch and let’s chat.
*The FDA has not analyzed this statement for accuracy. This statement is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or heal any known or suspected disease. Consult your doctor.