I had been the Event Director at Hay House for a decade, without ever taking a week off. Spending an average of two thirds each year on the road – 213 days was my record, and 73-days straight with just carry-on luggage! – I didn’t long for additional travel. And when I was at home, working was an escape from whatever was going on in my personal life.
I had long since maxed out the allotment of vacation days I was allowed to accrue and since I hadn’t cashed any in, I was essentially losing time and money.
And then, in October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit.
After a couple of days being stranded in Pasadena where my last event had been, I made the executive decision to postpone our I Can Do It! New York conference given the excessive flight cancellations and significant venue damage. We scrambled for two days to reschedule 30 authors and 2500 attendees, and then found myself flying to the most unexpected thing possible – a vacation. I let anyone who needed to know that I was going off the grid. I flew to Fresno to meet my man who was just about to make his way back home to Colorado. Roadtrip!!! Spending the next nine days camping and hiking through four National Parks was medicine. Yosemite, Zion, Bryce and Canyonlands changed me.
That trip was a turning point, my first true stepping stone in learning how to let go. For so long, I feared that if I cut loose, I would completely lose my superpowers of being the one and only one who can get anything and everything done. And if I lost that, who would I be?
What happened is that instead of allowing myself to sink into the reprieve and truly enjoy it, I spent a lot of time – a lot of time – worrying about not wanting to do anything. And worrying about everything that had to be done once I got back to work. I just couldn’t let myself be.
Some days I really wondered if it would ever come back, that ability to plow full steam ahead into the “doing.” The truth is that I really can’t rally like I used to. Can’t just muscle through it if I don’t want to do it. Pretty much all of me thought this was a problem at first. But now that I know struggle and relaxation are critical stages of the flow cycle, I regularly allow myself time to fully disengage my “rally muscle” by embracing unplugged downtime. I’m clear that surrendering to my desires won’t cause me to abandon responsibility, it will help me to flourish instead.
As we head into Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to give myself the gift of a week off to rest, recharge and play! How can you relax your rally muscle too –– and spend some time being instead of doing for a welcome much-needed change?