A Self-Imposed Sabbatical – Extraordinary Alignment

Inspiration found me at 6am today.  On our daily morning walk, my friend Jane confirmed she’s leaving her job for what she’s calling a “self-imposed sabbatical.”

Layoffs were running rampant at her company and when the news came that they would affect her department, she did the unexpected and welcomed its arrival. Instead of finding a new role, she’s grabbing at the chance of taking a deep breath and finally figuring out how she wants to raise her family and have the life she wants to lead along with a career that fits into and supports her life, not consume it.

Many of you know someone like Jane or maybe you even see yourself in her.  A young, intelligent, rising star that was always full of energy and ideas to change business as usual.  She lit up a room and had the natural grace and insight that drew you in and made you determined to find out her secret.  A quick rise up the corporate ladder, national leadership roles, keynote-speaking engagements and a growing family – nothing seemed to stop her.  Or so it seemed.

About a year ago, her light began to fade. You could see exhaustion in her eyes; hear a bit of forced cheer in her voice.  Restructuring had pushed her into a role she no longer had passion for and the economic downturn seemed to close any door to change. The silent questioning had begun – is this what life is all about?  Does the company I work for support what I value?  Can I really make a difference?

Yet something got in the way of leaving the job before this point.  A “friend “we all know and love – Fear.  Its voice was strong – “you need this job.  You have to pay the bills.  You’re lucky to have a job.  Do you know how many people would kill to have what have?  You’ll never find another job making this much money or flexibility.  You’ve only ever worked at this one company, after more than a decade at one company, you won’t be successful anywhere else. Its too hard to start over.”

When I asked her about what happened and how she found the courage to face the layoff with hope, she shared that the day had simply come and she knew it.  The risk of staying was growing greater than the risk of going. And the risk of jumping into a new job right away was greater than the risk of taking some much-needed self-care. She was burnt out and to continue on the way she was would lead only to more exhaustion.  Taking time to care for herself, to re-evaluate what was most important to her and align her life in a way that honors those values was the way she could find her light again.

When in alignment, the extraordinary is possible.  There is an ease and grace in all you do.  Work becomes an authentic expression of who you are and what you’re passionate about.

Aligning Your Life for Extraordinary Results

What are your top 5 values?

Who are you and what can you accomplish when you are aligned with your values?

Where is your life out of alignment?

What 3 things can you change in your work or life to honor your values?

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  1. June 19, 2009 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Hello passion! Hello authenticity!! Hello heart. Carly, do you read your own blog posts ’cause this is it, my friend!!! All I can say is WOW! I mean really…WOW!! :-)

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