I joined a women’s group in 2007 and made 120 instant friends. It’s a business women’s group, by invitation. Most of the women live in New York or on the Eastern seaboard and are heads of corporations or active in Corporate boards. At first I thought, “Oh, my gosh, who will I talk to?” In looking over the official Facebook, I could not spot a spiritual one in the bunch! I found after meeting them for the first time and sharing my work in a general session that looks can be deceiving, and there were many closet spiritual people in the group. They were interested in The Secret and Orbs and any other ideas I shared. These were interesting women, and they felt like “my people”. It’s sometimes hard when you own a company to find other women that share the same experience. Here, I found many that did share that experience, and our bond is very strong.
We offer our talents and resources to the group, and several years ago four of the women approached me at our annual retreat at a wonderful tropical spot in the Caribbean. They asked my advice about a book they were working on. These four women were all highly accomplished and had all chosen to take a sabbatical during their career. They also sensed that other women and men could benefit from their advice. They called themselves “The Sabbatical Sisters”—Rita Foley, Jaye Smith, Nancy Bearg and Cathy Allen.
I felt that the book was a good idea, but it didn’t really fit our current publishing program. I shared my advice several times in their publishing process, and they successfully published Reboot Your Life in 2011. The women did a really good job of executing the publishing of the book, and all four enthusiastically promoted it as well. They continue to receive feedback that the book is helping a lot of people.
I had lunch with Rita Foley in New York in the Fall of 2011 where we shared our lives and all that was going on. Our meeting planted a seed in me to consider taking some time off. This was reinforced by a suggestion from someone I trust that a year off might be a really good idea. I started thinking about when I last took time off and realized it had been in 1982! That was thirty years ago. Oh, my God, how time flies! When I finally started throwing the idea of a sabbatical out, my author, Charlotte Tomaino (Awakening the Brain), who is a neuropsychologist and former nun, suggested thinking of my sabbatical as a pilgrimage instead. She had taken one for a few months after her mother passed. She also suggested a wonderful book called The Art of Pilgrimage, which I devoured! So, in January of this year, the plan was hatched with a lot of planning on the part of all my partners at Beyond Words, business coaches, and many friends and support network.
So, you have it in a nutshell, all of these experiences helped to form my decision to take this pilgrimage. Is there a sabbatical in your future? It doesn’t have to be a year or six months. How about even a month off?
PS. It looks like we are off to southern Oregon this week, so will keep you posted as things develop.