Blog Break: What I Did, What I Learnt + Why You Totally Need to Lose the Guilt!

Hello, hello!

I’m back after my week off, and although I’m sitting here with a lovely neck/ shoulder sprain (eck), I’ve had an awesome week that has been as productive as it has restorative. Definitely feeling significantly more refreshed and on top of things!

I knew it was time for a digital hiatus. You just know… you know? Inspiration was lagging, I felt continually swamped and the same old story was replaying in my head: “I just need to get this done and then {insert flimsy promise to take a break}.”

Stepping away from my blog meant I was able to create space to wrap up some loose ends – you know, the stuff that gets transferred from to-do list to to-do list – and slow down the pace so new thoughts could find their way out through the noise.

This is What I Did

 

Reading. I read Susannah Conway’s tender memoir This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart – a book that shoots straight for the soul – and was left feeling peaceful, contemplative and moved. Her book is described on Amazon as “a cosy blanket for your heart” and I couldn’t think of a better description. It’s seriously like a deep conversation or a tight embrace from your best friend – the friend that’s been dragged around the block and back again and has truckloads of wisdom to impart because of it. I love reading books of people who I follow online – it’s so nice to feel that you already “know” them before you dive in.

I also tucked in to Marcus Buckingham’s Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently which is brilliant. I first heard of Marcus Buckingham in B-School, as Marie Forleo recommended his book Now, Discover Your Strengths (sitting on my bedside table, begging to be read) and really enjoyed this book, partly because he talks about striving for imbalance and fullness instead of the mythical notion of ‘balance’ that we’ve all heard about one too many times (spoke about that in my video here actually).

Immersed myself in Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday videos. Have you had a chance to check out Super Soul Sunday? If not, oh darling, do you have some inspiration coming your way! Straight after reading Cheryl Strayed’s incredible book Wild, I jumped on to the SSS site to watch Oprah’s interview with Cheryl (awesome and insightful) as well as her chats with Wayne Dyer about his ‘miracle’ healing, Caroline Myss about trusting your instincts and Marianne Williamson, 20 years after a Return to Love. Powerful stuff.

TV time. My attitude towards TV is pretty neutral, and while I’m not one to watch sitcom after sitcom as not many take my fancy, I also learn a lot from the type of TV I choose to tune in to. Documentaries get a solid run at our place (along with sport – Ramai is a huge fan) and over the past week I’ve enjoyed some ‘lazy time’ watching a Nat Geo doco on Russia, a music doco on Patty Schemel, drummer from the band Hole (I may have spent most of it sighing at Courtney Love) and a few episodes of Damages (rad show).

I’ve also enjoyed getting all patriotic and flicking on the Olympics on a regular basis. Have you been watching?

Planned Life Reset 2.0. Remember the Life Reset? This break has been the 2012 version of the life reset and today I kick off a two week health program/ gentle detox that entails super-easy-to-implement things like starting the day with warm water and apple cider vinegar to aid digestion, plenty of green goodness and taking supplements that support the liver and bowel and more challenging things like no sugar/ dairy/ wheat/ alcohol/ caffeine.

So need this at the moment and can’t wait to be bouncing off the walls in two weeks’ time. I’ma ready for some reckless radiance!

Deepened connections. This past week has been seriously delicious on the connection front. I’ve had hour-long Skype chats with my gorgeous friends Tara from Such Different Skies (our first chat “in person”) and Kim from Dream. Delight. Inspire. (live from Europe!) and I was also beyond thrilled to meet a vibrant group of beautiful ladies at the QLD B-School “graduation” dinner. We ate raw avocado and cacao pie and sipped coconut water, and it was so lovely to finally meet Jess from The Wellness Warrior, Susana from Deleriously Deep, organic gardener extraordinaire Nicola Chatham, Hannah, Kylie, Maria and a bunch of other gloriously inspiring women in person. I was buzzing the whole way home!

Guest posting. Speaking of Jess, I wrote a guest post on opening yourself up to receiving more in your life on The Wellness Warrior this week. Check, check, check it!

Creative pursuits. I’ve been writing a fair bit. I changed my idea for my e-book so I’ve essentially started from scratch (which I’m feeling great about). Juicy words have been scribbled in my Magic Moleskine, I’ve written lists of people I want to work with over the next year (coaches et al). A site redesign has been roughly planned – and I’ve decided to hold off for a little while. It’s amazing what insights bubble up when you give yourself some breathing space! Also answered a bunch of interview questions that really got me thinking and I can’t wait to share the link with you once the Q & A goes live this week. It’s a revealing one, I tell ya!

From words to video, from inside to the great outdoors, Saturday was spent shooting some footage with my man, and while we definitely have a lot to learn, you have to start somewhere right? For kicks, we edited a teeny vid using footage Ramai shot around my hens weekend/ our engagement shoot, shown below. FUN!

This is What I Learnt 

 

A break is a gift you give yourself. No one else knows your schedule and how hard you’re pushing quite like you do, so when you need respite, the decision has to come from… you guessed it… you!

I’m calling it: enough with the guilt. Let’s join hands and yell our goodbyes to blogger/ mother/ uni/ entrepreneur/ whatever guilt right this very second, shall we? We’ve all got enough going on in our lives not to add lugging a big ol’ bag of guilt around on our backs, so I propose we stop apologising and start making space for creativity to flow by stepping back, lowering expectations and turning the volume down a notch.

A big revelation for me on my time off was that I NEVER feel guilty taking my four weeks annual leave in my full-time job (in fact, I always know I deserve it) yet I feel this ever-present, nagging guilt if I miss a few days here on the blog, which is all completely self-created of course. It seems to be an affliction that runs rife amongst bloggers (the ones I’ve come into contact with anyway) but the irony is that the pause always comes with surprising benefits and everyone is better off.

As I look towards working for myself one day, this lesson has been a really important one to learn. The off-button is there to be used on occasion and unless I slip up (in which case, please alert me to it) I’m promising myself that from now on that I won’t say sorry for taking a few days off here and there when I need them do avoid the dreaded burnout.

I’ve noticed saying sorry puts me on the back foot – energetically, it’s like saying “I’m failing” – and that’s not the type of energy I want to bring to my down time, which is all about recalibrating and rejuvenating. If you need the nod yourself, this is it – you deserve some time out, gorgeous, so please schedule it in – unapologetically!

I’m changing. I’m being cracked open. My attitude towards earning potential and business is shifting in major ways at the moment, and I definitely have B-School and the women who are part of it to thank for that. Things I thought I wanted to do with my life aren’t appealing to me so much anymore. Other things have come to the fore. Most of the time, it’s in looking back that we realise our outlook on life has changed, but it is certainly interesting to observe the shifts as they’re happening. Totally diggin’ it.

It’s all about women. For me at this juncture in my life, anyway. My female friendships are expanding at a ridiculously exciting rate and I’m loving the variety of people who are entering my life. I’ve always enjoyed lots of lovely female friendships but the depth and breadth right now is kinda electrifying. Feeling super blessed that there are women out there doing incredible things with their lives and showing me what’s possible. More, please!

+ Your turn. I’d love to know what you’ve been up to and have to ask: do you get the guilts? What is it about pausing and taking time off that brings up such resistance for us all? Spill the beans in the comments!

Images: Mammoth & CompanyWords Over Pixels

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17 Comments to “Blog Break: What I Did, What I Learnt + Why You Totally Need to Lose the Guilt!”

  1. I love everything about this post! And standing right beside you as we say goodbye to harbouring guilt. Absolutely loved meeting you in person, and can’t wait to hang out more!! xx

  2. Thank you gorgeous! Catching up was THE. BEST. and I can’t wait to surround myself in your joyful, shiny energy more!! Much love x

  3. What a lovely post to read! So glad for you that you took some time off for yourself without feeling guilty… It is such a hard thing to do but so so important.

    How amazing with all the changes/inspiration/exciting things you have happening – I love seeing you (and other online friends) achieving such great things and following along in your journey.

    I feel the same guilt about neglecting my blog, but even more, my uni work. I know that it is so important and I always have a million things to catch up on, but to keep my sanity I have to take time for myself. It was so good today to jump in the car and head to byron to spend some time in the sunshine, shopping the markets, drinking coffee and eating delicious food. Just what I needed to prepare for the week ahead!

  4. Rachel, your words never fail to inspire. Since I discovered your blog I constantly find what you have to say really resonates with me. I often find myself thinking “yes this is me, this is exactly how I feel!”. I have been thinking about the things I want to do before I turn 30. Tonight I think I will expand on that and create a mind map of the things that I not only want to do, but how I want to FEEL. The mental changes I want to achieve and where I should refocus my time. No more guilts. No more people pleasing. Being less superficial. Focusing on connecting body and soul and my personal set of values. Thank you for sharing!

  5. omg i luurve your blog. I read your post on the wellness warrior and it was spot on, especially with my life right now and what i want to do with my art (attempt markets – eek!). It’s funny because everything you say is stuff we all know, but you always need to hear someone elses perspective and a refresher.
    anyhoos enough babbling, you are so inspiring and i love reading your posts. keep going, and i can’t wait to read some more of your life adventures!! xox Kat

  6. Love your work Rach!!

    I’m letting go of guilt too, this post came at a great time as I’ve decided to drop out of law school… Need to remember that I should trust my gut instincts and follow my heart. No guilt! :)

    Thanks for the reminder! xxx

    • Tash: Brilliant, isn’t it! x

      Jas: Thanks lovely. Likewise, I love following your journey and seeing all the fantatic things you whip up. Good on you for getting down to Byron (perfect weather for it) – so essential for your sanity! x

      Rose: Sounds like a terrific plan – and I love the “How do I want to FEEL?” component, so powerful for visualising. x

      Kat: GO FOR IT, GIRL! Launch your art out into the world. x

      Emily: Look at you go! That’s incredible and only good things await honey. x

  7. Good on you Rach for taking some time off the blog, I admit I did notice (and missed you!)…

    The video came up well! Was this shot on your SLR camera? I am about to tackle the video from our wedding… eeek!

    I’m with you there on the mini detox, I have been indulging in some carbalicous meals lately and feeling a little urrgghhh.

  8. Monika: Yep, we shot it on our Canon 5D and then edited in Final Cut Pro X. Good luck with your vid – and the healthy eating! Winter definitely makes it easier to O.D on carbs, doesn’t it? x

  9. Rach. Good on you for taking time out for yourself. It’s crazy how we work ourselves up thinking that we ought to be blogging, working, making oodles of money, exercising etc when in all reality if we just let go for a moment life happens effortlessly. We’re not put on this planet to battle with ourselves or feel guilty an thanks for reinforcing that:)

    • LOVED it Susannah… and, you know, waiting (im)patiently for another from you ;) x

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