Take a break? What does that mean?

The last 4.5 months have been very busy, stressful and transformative. I have been looking for a new job, working full-time, trying to care for my kids and clean out my mother’s four bedroom home that is absolutely cram-jam filled to the gills with clothes, shoes, boots, jackets, coats, scarves, knick-knacks, glassware, photos, photo albums, journals, hand-bags, backpacks, suitcases, electronics, files, mail, dishes, cookware and smells that trigger vivid memories which trigger intense grief. Somewhere in there I have also made time for self-care in the form of a regular Bikram yoga practice and I process the loss and grief as it comes. I also managed to plan a funeral and write a eulogy. Throughout much of this time I have felt profoundly lost despite my commitment to gratitude and manifesting the life of my dreams. I haven’t slept well in months. I feel tightness I my chest and almost constantly overwhelmed. Where is the pressure release?

Part of my commitment to gratitude and manifesting relies on my asking the universe for guidance and remaining open to opportunities. Guidance and messages come to me through many forms. I pay attention to any synchronicity in my path – this could be a street sign, a license plate, a passage in a book or words coming from a friend’s mouth….or a yoga instructor….or a colleague. I am so grateful for these messages and synchronicities because they seem to come to me when I need them most – which is actually quite often.

One of the most important messages I’ve received in these last 4 months came from a dear friend of mine who is coincidentally on a parallel path of discovery and transformation. She actually recommended the book I am currently reading about manifestation, called “Manifesting Made Easy,” by the Queen of Manifestation herself, Jen Mazer.

This dear friend and I were out to happy hour one Tuesday evening. She and I don’t get to catch up often so when we do we typically spend several hours together filling each other in on every detail- outlining the good, bad and the ugly. We are those type of friends. No limits. No judgement. Brutal honesty and endless depth of vulnerability. Thank the universe for friends like this – those people who know you through all the shit and not only do they still have your back and genuinely love you, but their love and loyalty seems to grow through each phase of life’s journey. I was spilling my guts to my treasured friend, recounting the most recent of events dripping with emotion of fresh loss when she looked at me and said,

“Summer, why don’t you just take a break?”

“Excuse me, what?” I paused, perplexed.

“Why don’t you just take a break after your position ends and not look for a job right away? Give yourself a certain amount of time, like 3 months or 6 months or whatever, to just….be…..grieve…..finish up your mom’s estate…..do whatever you need to do.”

“Ummmm, huh? I don’t understand,” My brow furrowed with confusion and contemplation.

“Like a sabbatical,” she explained.

“A sabbatical?” I said with hesitation while nodding my head.

The more she spoke, the clearer the message became. She talked about how she had recently been able to take a sabbatical – how she had taken a “lump sum” of money instead of a dispersant over time. She said multiple times that she really, truly, in her heart believes that my mom would want this for me. She would want me to have this time with my kids and to not feel stressed.

It wasn’t as though a light went on over my head. It was more like the light was dimly lit – a low glow. I was still clouded with fear and couldn’t wrap my head around living off of my savings which is my mom’s retirement money- that I for some reason chose to take out as a “lump sum,” without much thought. But, I heard this message from my dear friend and I took note.

I slept better that night than I had in months. I felt lighter. I felt a weight off of my shoulders. I felt like I could breathe. I felt awake. I was more present at work than I had been in months. I was smiling again. I felt alive.┬áThat was when I knew this was a true message for me. The fear was also a good sign. Taking time off and not working is a little crazy. Living off of my nest egg don’t make no good sense. Yet, it is exactly what is right. I know this because I am listening to my heart and my gut. I am releasing the fear and choosing peace.

My job should be ending sometime in March/April. I plan to take 3-6 months off. During this time I will take a couple of trips related to my mom. I will scatter some of her ashes as part of a road trip. I will celebrate her life with my extended family who couldn’t attend her funeral. And I will sleep. And I will grieve. And I will be with my children. And I will practice yoga. And I will allow myself the space to do whatever it is I need to do. And I will try my hardest to NOT worry about wtf comes after my sabbatical – to remain present and trust that my path will continue to reveal itself.

All I have to do is remain open and receive the messages.

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