Hello, dear friends ~
I’m about nine days into my sabbatical, and I wanted to offer everyone in my immediate circles—close friends, people I’ve danced with, clients, whoever’s interested—a glimpse into what this is, and what it’s about, for me.
To begin, when I say I’m nine days in, that’s the time since I saw my last client at my office in, and shortly thereafter bid goodbye to, Seattle. Seattle had been my home for the past five-plus years, and undeniably the grounds upon which I grew up (I spanned 28-33 there; big years!).
And, long story short, after some big life changes last spring including a romantic relationship ending and my dad passing away, I flew back home to a city that no longer felt like mine. I loved it still, and actually do now probably more than ever, and yet there was this distinct feeling I had walking into my house, seeing all my stuff, going to my usual places … they had all felt like “mine” just days before, and suddenly (or so it seemed to me), they no longer did.
Within a week or so of this insight, I had written all of my bodywork and movement training clients, and all of my friends in Seattle, giving them the news: after five years, it was time for me to go. I wasn’t not sure where, or for how long, or if this meant I’d ever be back or not. What did, and does, feel very clear in all this: this is about following that quiet, clear voice in my gut/heart/conscience … the one that’s been here all along … and ride that wave where it takes me.
This doesn’t feel about needing time off per se, or traveling or shaking off the confines of modern life. Those are all beautiful things for sure, but this feels notably different. Whatever is happening now doesn’t feel like a vacation from life, but more like an access point into it.
I am curious about what iteration my work in this world will next take. Sometimes that curiosity is mild, like “oh, that’ll be interesting to see,” and sometimes, like lately, it burns at the seat of my heart, a kind of restlessness that feels something stirring inside but I don’t know what.
I do feel like it might well be bigger in scope than anything I’ve done to date (sort of a new thought in my head; here’s a pretty cool blog post a gentleman named Steven Pressfield wrote about my process applying for an internship with Seth Godin. The application SP talks about happened just before my dad passed away and, in some notable ways, was the birthing of this new, “what if I really, really went for it?” kind of energy.)
I’m quite open to working on the road, so to speak, and have come to really appreciate single sessions with people, i.e. “we have only this one hour; what’s really ready to change, right now?” using bodywork and movement.
As for a next big project, that might show itself in two years, or later tonight. I’m not sure. (And that said, my intuition says something about another big movement beginning this coming spring.)
I do occasionally feel fear, doubt and reservation. Interestingly, I didn’t feel much of this while making the decision to leave port—that felt like less of a decision I made, and more like an obvious movement that happened on its own—though I did some this summer and definitely have since I left Seattle. I’ve felt a fair amount of sadness around leaving my office and practice there, which I worked hard to build and was such a beautiful, solid and gracious gift in my life. Likewise around leaving some dear friends, and a whole host of people I love to play, dance and move with.
I also feel a clear, quietly confident clarity in my guts. It feels pre-verbal, and so far means thoughts like “oooh, you messed up … you shouldn’t do this” never really get any deep traction in my system. They just feel, as far as I can tell, untrue.
More than anything else, I also know that life is much too rich and nuanced an affair as to say either “You’ve got it, for sure, so never have a worry!” or “You’re doomed! Hang onto what you’ve got while you’ve got it!” It’s not so simple, in either direction. The truth does not seem to conform well to ideas about it. Thank god.
And so … I’m typing you this from my family home in Missoula, MT. I leave in a couple days to travel in California, for a wedding and visiting friends, before returning here for the end of October through mid-November. (I am also doing some work with clients while here, which has been a blessing, as it often if not always is). Mid-November I head down to Texas to see friends, and after that, as of now, I’m not sure.
I may visit a dear friend in Mexico, and possibly down south from there. I may stay traveling in the states. I may feel so tired of traveling and homesick that I move to Montana and start a family on a ranch, farming and teaching movement and bodywork, smoking a cob pipe on my porch in the sunset and watching the apples ripen. Maybe. As of right now, again, I’m not sure when and where my next more-permanent landing will be.
I do plan on continuing to write, and I think make videos, both as I feel inspired to (which has been my plan the past two years as well, and has worked out to one or the other being produced every couple weeks or so). I’m not going to create a personal blog, at least for now, because I don’t know how much I’d actually write in it, the kind of “I’m here now and doing this …” stuff. Facebook is almost certainly the best venue for following me in that way, aside from personal correspondence, of course.
Ways to connect:
My bodywork and movement newsletter, which I have really grown to love as a platform to share ideas and resources, is a few hundred people strong and comes out every two months or so. I very much subscribe to the mentality that you should only be on my list if you really want it, i.e. if you’d be bummed if you didn’t get it as opposed to mildly tolerant when you do, and so … If you’d like to give it a try, you can subscribe via this link.
My videos: these have been a big teacher for me to keep making—you know that kind of self-feedback that you get when you watch yourself speak, or teach something or perform?—and I’ve really loved it thus far. I also feel like I’m even more honing in on my own unique voice in this global conversation about what it means to be a happy, healthy human being. My YouTube channel for that, where I believe you can subscribe if you’d like, is here.
My blog, going strong for almost four years now (!), and which I also love and you can subscribe to, is here.
I’d like to end this with a big ol’ thank you to everyone who’s been a part of my life the past five (actually seven including my first two years of traveling a lot to and from Seattle, a sort of a semi-permanent residence then). You are many teachers, students, movers and shakers, deep questioners, very smart and sweet and kind people … too many to mention here.
From the wide open plains of existence, from emptiness unto emptiness, big love …
Hi Liam, when I read your posts I frequently smile for various reasons. Right now that reason is recognition of the joy I found in reading and re reading Siddhartha. Two years ago I gave it to a young friend. It was a perfect story to be read to as you traveled on. You are a unique soul, celebrate that as you continue your journey.
Good vibes, Mary
Thanks, Mary! I am and will 🙂 glad to hear from you … LB