One of the most impactful lessons I have learned in my twenties is that time off leads to happier, more fulfilled time on.
I am writing this from my favorite low-key coffee shop in small city Athens, Georgia. My work is my passion.... aka I literally (and frequently) get teary-eyed while teaching yoga classes. I've created a life that gives me life, which comes from a lot of work and a lot of manifesting intentions... more on that another time. But I say all of this to say that work is still work, and it's important to remember that...
Giving without any time to receive always always always leads to burnout. ALWAYS.
I first started taking Sacred Days right after I graduated from college. Then, it was Tuesdays. And on Tuesdays, I made zero plans. Friends would ask me to get drinks or lunch or go to yoga, and I would say, "That sounds great. And I'd love to. But I just don't make plans on Tuesdays. So I'll let you know on Tuesday what I'm up to." And you know what happened? Nothing really. No one was offended. No one questioned my Sacred Day. No one thought I was a bad friend or person. And in fact, everyone eventually knew my answer without asking and respected it. And you know what happened for me? I always felt fresh, ready, and in tune. I learned what it felt like to set boundaries and become a better person because of it. I learned the power of listening, receiving, and acting from my own intuition.
I started to learn how to nourish myself.
Fast forward through the 3 years between then and now, and the day of the week has changed a few times and sometimes Sacred Weekends once per quarter replace my Sacred Days, but the concept has remained and sustained. In fact, I recently got back from a Sacred 2-week Retreat in the Sacred Valley (appropriate name for a place) of Peru.
In fact, I feel so nourished by taking time off that I also started holding space for others to do the same. Which should be noted, was not my original idea. One of my girlfriends who was around when my Sacred Days began saw what I was doing and after about 6 months said something that sounded a lot like this, "Ruby, this is important. You should lead women's retreats. I love you." And I said YES.
And just as gratifying as taking my own time off is seeing others value their own worth enough to do the same. That's what it's about... valuing your own worth.
We busy ourselves to the point of fatigue and then wonder why we are burned out, unhappy, and pissed off. It's just not worth your worth to live this way.
You have to remind yourself, "I am worth taking time off. I need to nourish myself. This is a priority in my life. I trust this. I trust the process. I trust that everything will be ok. Who I am is sacred, and I am worthy of Sacred time away from my daily hustle. Period. It is time to reconnect."
And then you have to be proactive about it. You have to set boundaries, make choices, commit, and trust. You have to invest... your time and money and resources. You have to show up for yourself.
When I see this play out for people, a beautiful magic unfolds. I see people regain their power, their presence, their poise... just from taking 2 or 3 days off. And the investment for that is priceless.
This past retreat (the 2 weeks in Peru) for me was the best thing I've done for myself in maybe ever.... Partially because I made it happen all on my own. Partially because I forced myself to trust the universe that my little world in small city Athens, Georgia would keep turning without me (sounds silly. feels big. always true.). Partially because, well, PERU.
This was the longest vacation I've taken in my adult life, and it was first exciting, then calming, then I freaked out a little, then I settled back into the calm. And oh my goodness was it impactful. And nourishing. And the perspective gained is invaluable. And it came because I chose to take time to take time. Sometime in April or May I reminded myself of how much I love and value myself and my work. And I told myself to take this retreat. To make it happen. To prioritize it. To trust and to let go and to not back out. And I am so glad that I listened to my inner wisdom, because here I am:
Sitting in 1000 faces coffee writing this...settled back into my day-to-day after a 2 week retreat to Peru... recharged, reconnected, re-inspired... a better me, a better girlfriend, a better friend, a better yoga teacher, a better business owner, a better person.
Here are 5 reasons you should take time to take time:
1. You are worth it. This is what it always comes down to, and your worth is never less. You are in charge of your life, and you get to choose how you spend your time. Notice if you self-shame for taking time off, and remember that your worth is inherent... and your worth is definitely not contingent upon your busy-ness. No way. Not even close. You are worthy on your own.
2. It will make you a more productive, happier, and all-around nicer human. I promise. When you restore, you re-store... your energy, your brain power, your niceness. Don't believe it? Try it and feel for yourself.
3. You'll give less %#*$s about things that don't matter. When you prioritize your self, happiness and all, you will notice where you are giving energy in your life. You'll notice where that's working for you, and you'll notice where you could probably be caring less. Newsflash: Not everything is the most important thing. You do not make the earth spin on it's axis... THANK GOD.
4. Your boss will (eventually) thank you. Or at least they should, because you're going to be a better bomb-ass employee when you return recharged and reset! And if they don't thank you, maybe get a new boss? And if you're depleted again within a week or less... maybe get a new boss? Seriously. This is a bfd barometer for job happiness.
5. Never feel burned out again. Never is a really big word, but burnout will significantly show its nasty head less if you learn to take time to take time consistently. Whether it's 1x per week, 1 weekend per quarter, 1-2 vacations per year, it's worth figuring out what works for you. And then do it. Schedule it. Prioritize it. Say no to other things. And take. time. off. It's the only way to create the space you need to keep showing up day-to-day 100%.
Peace out and Shakti Love <3
*Did this post really resonate with you? Shakti has 3 retreats before the holidays... check them out. (October 27-29 // Lake Lanier, GA ; November 3-6 // Gulf Shores, AL ; November 17-19 // Chickamauga Lake, TN) We want it to work for you if you want it to work for you, so reach out if you're interested.