November is the one-year anniversary of GlobalJuliana.com. My blog embodies three passions – travel, writing, and spirituality – and is a testament to the transformative 15 months of my mid-life career break. As this blog was born to channel my evolving self-expression, to be featured in “Taking a Career Break for Dummies” feels like the manifestation of a deliberate reconnection with my soul’s desire to be self-expressed and leave a positive legacy for humankind.
Alex hands me a couple more marshmallows, and as I pierce them in the skewer, he goes back in time. At around age six or seven, while playing soccer in his small Mayan village, someone kicked the ball far into the jungle. He ventured into the woods to find it and soon realized he was lost. As the canopies closed in, blocking the sunlight, a two-foot-tall goblin approached him. “I was instantly paralyzed in fear,” he remembers. The creature had four fingers in each hand, and his feet faced backward. “When it was just 20 feet away from me, I passed out,” Alex flashes back, his eyebrows arched high towards his forehead.
“What else lives around here?” I ask with curiosity. “La Llorona,” they say.
Around the 11th month of my intentionally planned career break, I decided to rejoin the workforce. Fueled by confidence in my qualifications and professional networks, I anticipated securing the right job within a conservative three-month timeframe – a miscalculation, as events would prove. The landscape of discouraging job-hunt experiences accumulated, gradually eroding the spirited and empowered self I had forged during my enriching sabbatical. It was my dedication to spiritual and mindfulness practices that shattered the veil of scarcity thinking and negative self-talk. Through them, the tides shifted, and I found work that felt aligned.
Two weeks after ending my 15-month career break, I met Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love,” at the Art of New Creation workshop. You may have heard that you should never meet your heroes, but my encounter was a sobering experience in the art of gracefully setting boundaries.
My career break was a period marked by moments of sheer enchantment, heartbreaking sadness, mental confusion, wins, losses, emotional freedom, and spiritual awakenings. Here’s a wrap-up of the valuable lessons I learned.