Sabbatical Stories

Bency Heals and Grows Through His Creative Sabbatical

“Although my sabbatical took place in externally beautiful natural wonders, it was mostly an inward journey of painful searching, healing, and ultimately liberation – toward a new and richer life.”

From Tech Startups to Wilderness Meditations

I was kind of forced into my ‘creative sabbatical’ as I called it, through the closure of my startup company, as well as my personal burnout after not taking a holiday for nearly four years. The timing was perfect however as I needed to attend to strengthening my recovery from addiction and improving my mental health using more natural and holistic methods. So there was defintely a large part of it dedicated to personal well-being and development.

I called it a creative sabbatical because I was going to focus on my long-lost artistic side – the side I nearly pursued 10 years earlier. It was a creative rebirth or creative recovery of sorts (for this I may recommend the Artists Way by Julia Cameron). I essentially fast-tracked what I was going to revisit after retirement or after my first exit. Ten years earlier I had attended a prestigious theatre school in NYC and was seriously stuck between a career in the arts or in business. In the end I chose business for many reasons but namely because I always planned to build a family and the probability of ‘making it’ through film-making or screenwriting was too low, compared to business.

Ironically, now I was left starting all over again, and completely uninterested in business, with energy only left for artistic creativity.

I also took the opportunity to spend as much time (alone) in nature as possible, particularly the English countryside and the African wilderness, reconnecting with nature, myself, and deepening my meditation practice.

These extended moments of quiet (which included a social media detox), combined with intense journaling, and coaching – produced life-changing insights that helped me to forge my new authentic path/life ahead.

Activities you engaged in during your sabbatical:

  • Nature travel
  • Reconnect with friends and family
  • Creative projects (documentary/blog/standup/podcast)
  • Self-development / healing work
  • Reading
  • Meditating
  • Fitness
  • Courses
  • Ideation/market research

How long was your sabbatical (in weeks)?


Did HOW you work change at all, post-sabbatical?

Returned to totally different work and committed to taking significantly more time off

Describe any changes you made in your life post-sabbatical:

In addition to career pivot and new lifestyle business, I vowed to dedicate time to play more intentionally and to practice and build on my creative talents despite work obligations. I also re-designed by daily routine inspired by various wellness experiments I conducted during the sabbatical.

Nothing short of life-changing. Repurposed my life purpose. Career and personal.

Why do you think others should (or shouldn’t) take sabbaticals?

I think pivotal moments when there may be an opportunity for pivoting / transitioning, and clarity is needed before moving on to that transition.Or perhaps when feeling empty and unfulfilled with one’s current situation.In order to reset, we need to recharge. Modern humans are good at forgetting this until we are forced into it.

You can connect with Bency Goldman here.

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