a reflection on taking breaks & hello
In the moon of the budding trees— Nahko and Medicine for the People
I was gifted new eyes to see
All of the shifting shape and ways you can be
Wake the dreams into realities
We’re familiar with coveted coffee, lunch and bathroom breaks during work days. (Okay, maybe not our teachers – which is insane and has to change! I see you, teachers!) Alas, we’re also accustomed to the concepts of maternity leave and sick leave which, ideally, provide essential time for adjusting to new family dynamics and recovery. We soak up the restorative and celebratory time provided by mental health days, holidays, vacation days and retirement, too. How often do we take breaks from work because we intuit there’s something below the surface of our lives – a message, direction, download or perspective – that we simply need time to explore and clarify? Maybe we sense that doing this could lead to some radical and positive changes, but we’re also scared of the unknown. This kind of break from work doesn’t necessarily have a title or predetermined duration. How would we communicate with ourselves and others about what it is we’re doing?
Hi there! My name is Tiffany and I turned 34 years old yesterday. This summer, June 1st marked the start of my “exploratory phase” (credit for this terminology goes to my supportive partner, Thomas). I left my job earlier this year because Thomas got a position in another state. For months leading up to this exciting planned shift, I expressed uncertainty to him about how I wanted my day-to-day to look in terms of my future work. As a trained naturopathic doctor, did I want to continue with clinical care? If so, did I want to do this full-time, part-time, as an entrepreneur or employee? Were there non-clinical opportunities that could help me create the change I’m passionate about seeing on a greater scale? How could I best practice what I preach and not become overwhelmed or burned out by the energetic demands inherent to working in the healing arts? All of this and more led to Thomas suggesting I pause upon making our move and take an “exploratory phase.” I’m proud of myself for expressing my confusion and am grateful for his active listening and support in creating a solution that felt right.
Eleven weeks into this mysterious cauldron that is my “exploratory phase” and I can say a few things:
- Life is a mysterious cauldron and life is an exploratory phase. Right? I think it’s brave to acknowledge this truth and let it be what moves us. Sometimes, we let other forces, like fear or illusions of control, drive the ship of our lives. Approaching the unknown for what it is, again and again, takes courage. I love knowing that what comes out of this way of life may be beyond our wildest dreams.
- I don’t know exactly what I want to do in terms of my work in the world, but I’m starting this blog (thank you for being here!) because I love to write and have a lot to say. I’m enjoying building community and exploring opportunities that feel right.
- Sometimes we need guides, seen and unseen, to help us reorient, walk through fear, repair and catapult us into what’s next. My ability to trust the unfolding and right timing has been bolstered and fortified. Some links to healers I’ve enjoyed working with, virtually and locally, are listed below. Of course, I’ve also self-treated with my dear homeopathic allies.
- Emily Trinkaus – Soul Clarity Astrology Readings, https://emilytrinkaus.com/ (virtual private sessions and group calls at new and full moons and other potent astrological events)
- Sue Jones, PT, CST: https://innerbeingtherapy.com/ (somatic bodywork sessions, Sudbury MA)
- Synergy Wellness Center: https://synergy-wellness-center.com (yoga and meditation classes, especially with Holistic Psychotherapist Maureen Mann (http://maureenmann.com/index.html), Hudson, MA)
- Claire Gallagher: https://thebodyastrologer.com/ (virtual astrology-informed workouts and a kick-ass podcast)
- Kimberly Ann Johnson, CSP, SEB: https://www.magamama.com/ (I highly recommend her online course Activate Your Inner Jaguar, she’s also the author of The Fourth Trimester)
Have you taken an unconventional break, planned or unplanned? If so, what felt great about it and what was most challenging? Feel free to share below!