February 21, 2016

The Unexpected Sabbatical



[suh-bat-i-kuh l]

Any extended period of leave from one's customary work, especially for rest, or to acquire new skills or training, etc.

On October 21, 2015, I finished writing a post titled Nailing Jello to the Wall, edited it, and hit the publish button - just like I'd done time and time again since beginning this blog. I walked away - fully intending to do the same thing one week later. Then a strange thing happened. I didn't. The week came and the week went and no blog post went with it.
At about the same time, I pretty much abandoned my social media sites - stopped tweeting - stopped posting on Facebook and even stopped reading other blogs and commenting on the wonderful insights gleaned. I stopped checking my phone constantly for emails, tweets, and texts too.

I'm a consummate reader and the only thing I love more than a good read is a good "write."
Writing frees my mind - but for a time, my mind has been otherwise engaged!

 Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.  - Henry Ford

In a previous post titled  The Power of the Purge, I mentioned that I'd taken part in an experiment of sorts with a friend who was learning a process called TEC which releases trapped emotions from our bodies. (Hooey! Yeah, yeah...that's what I thought too - until I saw some pretty amazing results from our sessions. You can read more about that at the link above.) 

I felt such a difference after those sessions in fact that I became fascinated with the whole process - to the point of researching it, and deciding to become a certified TEC practioner. (Didn't see that one coming - did you? Well either did I!) I felt if something so simple could release my demons, how outstanding would it be to help others find the same relief!

 Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.  - W.B. Yeats

To that end, I've been anxiously engaged in studying, practicing, and finishing up all that was required for certification. Now all that's left is to receive the certificate.

In the process of practicing with friends and family, I've seen some very interesting things. Some results were nuanced and some quite dramatic. Some of the sessions in my training were on behalf of animals. Yes, even animals (especially rescue animals) can benefit from releasing trapped emotions and they seem to get results even more quickly than their human counterparts.

I don't think there are many people that deny the mind/body connection. Studies repeatedly prove that stress wreaks all kinds of havoc on our bodies. Where does stress come from? It comes from our emotional responses to external stimuli. Trapped emotions occur when we feel any particular emotion with high intensity. It's sort of like the resonance that's left once a bell stops ringing. The energy of the emotion can linger long after the initial emotions have passed and if that energy gets trapped in our tissues, it can cause trouble for our physical or emotional health.

 I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led. - Thomas Jefferson

Ever had a bad break up? Go through some pretty terrible feelings? How did that affect your willingness to stick your toe back into the romance pool for a time? Did it color how you showed up in your next relationship? I'll bet the answer is yes. 

One of the aspects of trapped emotions that I found most intriguing was the concept of a literal, energetic, heartwall. We've all heard the cliche "I've put up a wall around my heart to protect myself." Well, it turns out that it's not just figurative. We can actually build an energetic wall around our hearts as a result of traumatic events, painful experiences etc. Those walls do, in some sense, protect us from pain. Like real walls, however, they also separate us from others. Anything that can keep out bad things, can also keep out the good. Heartwalls keep us feeling isolated and outside looking in.

 Stress is the trash of modern life - we all generate it, but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.
- Danzae Pace

The experience that I talk about in The Power of the Purge was just part of what I experienced when my friend finished removing my heartwall. My social anxiety also vanished. I no longer felt like I was "different" from others and didn't fit in. Instead of avoiding social situations I found myself seeking them out and actually enjoying them. Does that mean I've gone all extrovert on myself? Nope! Still need my alone time to decompress but I no longer ONLY want alone time. 

 There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.
 - Gordon B. Hinckley

I'm looking forward to this new adventure. I have no idea where it will lead and isn't that fantastic! Something to look forward to is as essential as continual learning for keeping our lives meaningful and staying engaged.

So I guess that it is possible for an old dog to learn new tricks. It's much more than possible! It's crucial in my opinion and I hope that no matter what your age, you're still finding wonder and intrigue around every corner. 

My sabbatical has been a time of learning, experimentation, mind expansion, and OK...a little break from social media. The result is I'm feeling refreshed and renewed. You know what that means right? You'll be plagued with more posts!  

How about you? Have you ever treated yourself to a sabbatical? What did you do? How did it affect you? I'd love to hear all about it! 


  1. That sounds fantastic, Anita! So glad you enjoyed a period of healing and discovery, and it's great to have your blogs back.

  2. It's good to have you back! There is no more important person to take care of than oneself! Nice blog!

  3. It's good to have you back! There is no more important person to take care of than oneself! Nice blog!

  4. Sounds fantastic! Yes, it is possible for an old dog to learn new tricks. I'm also looking forward to your new adventures. Let us know about how you feel!