Living with Intention: a Little Pep-Talk
I've contemplated sabbatical for some time. A longing to shed normality for a year (or more) and venture into unknown territories because they're there. Because they're exactly what I'm not used to. Sabbatical comes from the root sabbath: in Hebrew, shabbat, meaning "a ceasing".
"To cease" sounds so final and yet companies grant sabbatical leave to employees in order for them to refresh themselves, learn something new, or explore new career paths. It's not necessarily and escape from a job but it can lead to new pathways and open doors.
Sounds like a dream, doesn't it? Someone actually giving you permission to leave your normal life in order to immerse yourself in another culture. Someone saying it's OK if you leave behind your day to day in order to learn a new skill or language. Yes, a dream, for most of us a vapor. And yet, I wonder, have wondered, is there a way I could give myself a sabbatical? Not a total uprooting (although that would be nice); more of a shifting in intention. Permission to pilgrimage and discover new roads.
The word "pilgrimage" is usually associated with a religious journey yet it is also defined as a seeking of significance. We find significance through living on purpose. A pilgrimage, therefore, could be defined as intentional living. A means to discover our purpose through a journey outside ourselves.
How do you live "on purpose"? How do you intentionally live? For starters, you make decisions based on your dreams by turning those dreams into goals. Attainable goals. The key word here is attainable. Little by little a mountain is climbed or, as my psychology professor told us, "You eat an elephant one bite at a time". In other words, if you want to visit Canada but don't have the money you don't take out a loan, mortgage the house and head north. You determine what it will take to get there through research, saving money, sacrificing unnecessary things and devoting every bit of your free time and energy to making your goal a reality.
All you really need is creative thinking and a healthy dollop of determination.
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What would your sabbatical look like? Where would your pilgrimage take you?