The truth - I was just drained.
I love my work, it's true. I've chiseled and carved a career for myself unlike any other for the past several years. I was quite literally "living the dream" that I was dreaming back before I realized it was possible to create a life I loved by following my heart.
That said, every now and then, we have to rebirth ourselves.
Entering into a process of personal rebirthing, when your job is as closely linked to your inner world as mine is, also means that professional rebirthing is needed.
Eventually, what had once been a dream felt like chains. And now, after the fact, I see that yes, as expected, what I'm actually doing won't be all that different than what I did before.
But for me, it will feel very different. Stepping completely away from everything for 2 months helped me refine and develop my focus, inspiration, intention, and approach.
Grounding was the word of the day, in this case.
My first stop on Sabbatical was San Diego, the city of my birth and early childhood.
I rented a little house with a sweet, grassy back yard, and every day I stretched out on the cool green lawn, a palm tree gently rustling above me as I cried great big sobs into the earth.
It was a happy crying - I felt like pieces of my soul were being returned to me that had been dormant or locked away in the thirty years since I moved away from that place. It was as if the land had been storing parts of my soul that were silently developing and growing, and that those pieces were returned to me on those long, sunny days, with my phone on airplane mode for all but one hour each day and nothing on my schedule. I felt the land whisper to me, tell me what I was made for, reflect to me the beauty of each person's inner spirit, and the uniqueness of mine.
I traveled up the coast, visiting family and talking to the ocean.
I wore a new crown of jade as I sat on cliffs above crashing waters, meditating at sunset, having visions of Yemaya and Poseidon.
I headed back east again, checking in with my various beloved friends across the country, exchanging love, inspiration, activation and healing, without an ounce of my energy being parceled off to check in with the online world.
I swam in living waters. I explored caves of ancient red rock. I sat talking in hot tubs until my fingers were pruny and my skin would smell like chlorine for hours afterward (worth it,) receiving gentle epiphanies about how I wanted to shift the way I interact with my audience when it comes to conversations in videos I shoot - no longer would I be "teachey." Now, I just want to chat.
I visited my much loved and deeply magical city of New Orleans, gaining other, ancient pieces of wisdom and consciousness that I realized had been brewing in my energetic field for years and lifetimes, waiting to be integrated.
I swept through Las Vegas in the height of summer. I slept and fasted in staggering heat, leaving my rental only once the entire time, mostly watching silly movies and playing with Lillithia.
It was truly an amazing cleanse.
For the first month, I felt my brain restructuring. I couldn't even think about work - any time my mind would move in that direction, I felt a foggy, uncomfortable sensation in the frontal lobes of my brain. I knew that whatever was happening in there was right on schedule. I could feel the symbolic "under construction, do not enter" signs posted on the gateways of my work-oriented mind. I had to trust it. I had no other option anyway.
For the second month, I began to gently rebuild, letting myself be guided by inspiration. My goal is always to tune in to the world around me and help in whatever ways I can, to give what is needed in ways that I am effective and enlivened in the doing.
And so now, fresh out of the sabbatical, I find that yes, I am just as esoteric as ever, but that I have an entirely new understanding of the way I want my work in the world to look, feel, and generally just be.
Back on the east coast again I ran away with a couple of kindred spirits to go camping in the woods for a few days. I read recently that "forest bathing" is all the rage in the health world across the globe from where I live, and I love that term. It fits. Forest bathing really does help with so many things. So does hanging out with soul family and, again, NOT tuning in to the internet.
Now that I'm back, I will definitely be approaching my online work in a new way. The internet "withdrawal" passed within the first week or two of my Sabbatical, and it is so lovely to interact on a deeper level with my here-and-now, physically present reality. I do love our technological age, it's true, but I love even more the fullness of experience.
So a new dance begins, as of today, where I intend to be present and helpful online, and in person, in new ways.
Of course I still want to connect and be around my internet family. Taking time away has also shown me how lucky we are to live in an age where we can have virtual communities that can hold our hearts and feed our minds in this new way that we've only been able to access for a few years.
And sometimes, on the other hand, I want to completely disconnect from pixelated screens and let my body be just as "real" to me. Being online too much turns us into floating brains and eyes and fingertips. There is a whole, rich, delicious world calling to us to play in it, to love it, to heal it, and to cultivate it, outside of our computers and smart phones.
Here's to doing all of the above.
It's good to be back.
charis melina brown
Oracle, healer, author, star person, beloved of this world.