California Sabbatical – Update


Exactly five weeks ago, yesterday, I landed in California for my three month sabbatical. How has it already been five weeks? Where has the time gone? What have I done? What do I have to show for the past five weeks? These were just some of the questions charging through my mind. And then, because I am really good at generating panic and anxiety about things to come, I started to freak out about repacking and shipping everything I carted out to California back to NYC at the end of September. I started getting worked up over planning the retreat I’m leading in Costa Rica later this month, even though I have been jotting down notes and planning for several months now. And then the real kicker, what if I don’t accomplish enough during my three months away?!?

When I arrived in California I was in desperate need of down time, I also had a long to-do-list of self-imposed projects I thought I had to get through. Transitioning from NYC to a small town that runs at a slow pace on the central coast of California was challenging. I got horribly homesick. I missed my friends and the city. I felt like a fish out of water. I didn’t know what to do with myself. The cold, fog that wraps itself around the town where I am staying left me depressed and craving sunlight and warmth. I missed my regular yoga students and struggled to adapt to teaching new students at new studios. I missed my yoga teachers back home. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, and yet, the motivation to do anything was nowhere to be found. I needed to spend time doing nothing. I needed to drop the to-do-list and projects and plans (something I am not very good at doing). I needed to let go and simply let things unfold on their own. I also needed to acknowledge that I was working, just not as much as I was in NYC. I needed to remember that the whole point of this sabbatical was to slow down, re-ground, and re-evaluate things, not to get a ton of stuff done.

I struggle with change and transitions. I need more time than I often admit or allow myself to adapt to changes. While five weeks may seem like a huge chunk out of a three month long sabbatical, it really isn’t all that much time in the grand scheme of things. I feel as though I have just started to settle into my new surroundings and life as it is here. I am working on letting go of the need to accomplish anything in particular, focus on what I am doing, as opposed to all the things I think I should be doing but am not, and give myself the space and time to simply be and relax. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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About djunapassman

I teach yoga, write, and edit. I live in a Brooklyn neighborhood that is changing faster than I can, or care to, keep up with. Manhattan still beckons me to her island a few subways stops away, reminding me of when I lived amongst her daily hustle and bustle.
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