This week I continue with my Fall series From Squished to Spacious: How to Create a Schedule You Love by sharing how I plan my mini-sabbatical this time of year and easy tips for you. Also, I want to let you know I have a news for you next week. So be on the look for that in your inbox. Here is a hint – it is something fun to GIVE or to GET – and is a special opportunity to put a flourishing touch on your holiday gifting this year.
Can’t wait to share the details. 

Xo Courtney
From Squished to Spacious — How to Create a Schedule You Love

So far in this series we have talked about two important steps to creating a calendar you love:

Putting the fun FIRST and

Scheduling “White Space” around Demanding Activities.

But sometimes to create a schedule you love requires honoring that you crave MORE rest or renewal than can be found in your regular rhythm: enter the {mini} sabbatical.

What is a sabbatical? The root comes from the Hebrew “sabbath” or the Greek “sabbatikos, literally a “ceasing,” and is any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest or to engage in new learning. 

This for me is the difference between vacation and a mini-sabbatical. 

The sabbatical is about rest and time to lean into those things you want to learn but find it difficult to engage as part of your regular life. A sabbatical has a “time outside of time” quality and deposits you gently back in your regular life with a feeling of more space inside.

In fact it is like a retreat you plan for yourself, but usually longer.

(A retreat might be as short as one night but I think of a mini-sabbatical as a couple of weeks to a month.)

This winter break I am unplugging for two glorious weeks to play with my kids and make gingerbread  houses and read and rest and explore our new town together.

The truth is I am craving some downtime because y’all, this has been quite a year.

It has included some super high-highs like enjoying last Christmas and New Year on top of a mountain in Costa Rica and publishing my book, earning Amazon best-selling status and donating 50% of the proceeds of The Flourish Formula to some amazing Nica social ventures.

And it also contained some low lows like having to cancel a beautiful retreat and ultimately leave Nicaragua with our family because of the political and social metamorphosis which bubbled up in that country this spring.

And then the challenge of getting settled in a new city and buying all new furniture and household items and finding new schools, even as we are so happy to have settled in a co-housing community in our dream neighborhood of West Asheville.

So I am tired.

And I need more than just a little amount of white space.

I need mounds and mounds of it like the snow predicted this weekend. 

I need huge fluffy pillows I can lose myself in and a stack of books.

I need to sit under our twinkling tree and the stars which shine in through our skylights.

I need so much whitespace I can lay down all the “to-dos” and the shoulds and the LIST and feel the fullness of a big, juicy exhale.

I need time to talk to my soul.

To talk to the heart of my business.

To reconnect to the desires and longings which are stirring for this next season.

And to listen.
 So based on my experience planning this upcoming time here are some guiding concepts for creating YOUR mini sabbatical:

1) Choose Your Timing. For me August and Dec/Jan are good times for a mini-sabbatical. If you don’t work for yourself or in the academic or ministry fields increasingly even traditional employers value the sabbatical. (Visit your for more details.)

2) Ask What Supports Do You Need?  Prepare your life so you can really unplug — and engage help ahead of time or to babysit your life while you do. My virtual assistant is hugely helpful here, as she is gifted at created business systems which mean I can keep my biz flowing with just little periodic check ins over these weeks. 

3) Design Your Learning Can you gather those books or online resources ahead of time so that you can sink in? Right now I’m fascinated by the relationship between women and money as a soulful or spiritual practice and have about five books on this subject at the ready including this gem.

4) Consider Fasting From Social Media. This practice alone can create a sabbatical in your brain!

Now over to you — could you plan a mini-sabbatical over the holidays or in 2019? I would love to hear your plans or challenges!

xo Courtney

Courtney Pinkerton is a certified holistic life coach and the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Flourish Formula: An Overachiever’s Guide to Slowing Down & Accomplishing More. Courtney is a student and a teacher of the Enneagram who has helped hundreds of busy women slow down and accomplish and enjoy more in their life. She holds dual master’s degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School, is the creator of the eight-step Flourish Formula Coaching program, and hosts international retreats for women. After selling their house and all their belongings and spending a year adventuring in Nicaragua and being tutored by their neighbors in the art of slowing down and living more, Courtney and her husband Richard Amory and their three children are making a new home in Asheville, North Carolina.