At the World Domination Summit this summer, I attended the premiere screening of the documentary Indie Kindred, by Jen Lee. The film features 10 independent artists talking about creativity and collaboration. These women are singer/songwriters, painters, writers, and magic-makers. I fell in love with each of them as I watched them be honest and vulnerable on the screen.
Sitting in the audience, tears streaming down my face, I knew what I had to do. Now, after months of thinking about it, knowing that it felt both crazy and essential to my well-being, I am about to launch into a creative sabbatical.
From October 1 through December 31 I will be spending my workday writing, reading, dancing, painting, taking photos and generally getting reacquainted with my creativity. There will be no blogging, no teaching, and no newsletters until January.
This is my oxygen mask. After years of putting others’ on first, it’s my turn to breathe. I want to use this time in the most heart-centered way, so that come 2014 I’m rested, filled up and on fire. There are a thousand things I want to do with my life, with my particular gifts, but doing them from a place of depletion…well, it just doesn’t work. As Lisa Nichols says, you’ve got to serve from the overflow.
I’ll be pulling some of the most popular posts from the archives and sharing them here while I’m away, and there’s a remote possibility that I might sneak in and post something. (I’ve been known to change my mind on a dime when feeling inspired) But life has been telling me to turn inward this last year and though it took me a while to catch on, I’m listening now.
You can still find me on Facebook and Pinterest. I’ll be unsubscribing from lists and blogs for a while, but I’ll always answer email. And I’ll be checking in here too, so you are welcome to leave a comment. I just won’t be pressing publish on anything new.
And now, I’m wondering…what’s your oxygen mask? What do you really need to do this fall to take care of you?
Tell me in the comments, shoot me an email or let me know on Facebook. I really want to know.
with so much love,
P.S. Click here to find an Indie Kindred screening near you.
P.P.S. You have no idea how hard it is for the over-achieving, people-pleasing little-girl-inside to allow this kind of a decision. But I’m standing in trust and in the truth of what I preach, not knowing where it will take me but believing it will be good.
Lately I often get the question why on earth I continued blogging after Kenji was diagnosed with leukemia. Because I had a great example, I tell them, a courageous woman who wasn’t afraid to show her grief, her soul and her heart online. Yes Alana, who else could that be but you?
You’ve been my example then, and you are it now. Put on your oxygen mask and inhale! I cannot wait to find out what life is showing you.
As for your question: this fall I need to trust my own two feet, more than ever, trust that they will show me the way. Moving forward, re-establishing my business and finding the courage to let go of what was.
You brought tears to my eyes beautiful friend. I love you. Yes – trust those feet. They will carry you through.
So proud of you. Cheering you on and can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. YES!
YES! (I can’t wait to see how it unfolds too). Thank you for cheering me on.
Lisa Myers says
You are an inspiration!!
Lisa, thank you! You are inspiring to so many yourself.
Marie Ennis-O'Connor (@JBBC) says
Alana, I just had to comment and applaud your bravery – for bravery comes in many forms and to face your fear of becoming invisible when you have built up your presence online is brave in my eyes. I couldn’t see myself taking that step, but your bravery has inspired me to ask deeper questions of myself. I also want to say that I first came across you when I lost my mother and my baby within weeks of each other almost two years ago and I reached out to you. I will never forget your compassion and kindness to me at that difficult time. I wish you all the best with your creative sabbatical and I will be eagerly awaiting your return. Warmest thoughts to you all the way from Ireland, Marie