Lissa goes on sabbatical - a winter hibernation

Lissa goes on sabbatical - a winter hibernation

Posted by Lauren Hertel on Wednesday, November 5 2014


Lissa Widoff

Each of us, in our daily lives, finds that sometimes a break from intense focus will offer the renewal we need to continue our good work, whether it is in our workplace or for an afternoon of hauling firewood (as in my case!).  In the professional realm, it is not often we have a chance to truly step back, reflect, evaluate, and adjust our paths. I have the good fortune to work for an organization that values my contribution and also understands that we are all in this work for the long haul. To sustain ourselves, the practice of taking rest and recharging, the “personal ecology” of how we manifest the important work we do, is just as important as the issues and tasks that compel us forward.

After 15 years serving as Executive Director, the need for a period of rest and renewall is upon me.  I will be away from my duties and on sabbatical from December 1, 2014, through the beginning of March 2015.  The organization’s ability to support this break comes from the collective dedication of our staff, board and Fellows, who have helped us evolve towards a more shared and decentralized approach in our work.  With your commitment, as well as a number of new tools that make it easier for us to connect with one another, the Network is flourishing. While things are humming along, it is a good time for me to take this break. 

During this time I will not be in contact with the office while I explore my preferred channel for inward reflection - enjoying a quiet winter in Maine, with storms and all. The stillness of the landscape after a snowfall is one of my favorite things, as it brings me to the present moment, often with startling clarity and beauty.  Winter arrived abruptly this week, with nearly two feet of snow in a nor’easter storm just a few days ago.  Taking my “retreat” in the depth of winter, when the season calls for sitting close to hearth and home, is what feels right to me. For you, the break that feels just right might be time off in the spring, or even just a yoga retreat, a day at a beach, or watching the sunset with your family. Take these moments when they present themselves, as there is work to be done for the rest of our lives.  If we take care of ourselves, we will more easily care for the earth that so desperately calls us to action.

Wishing you good tidings until I am back with all of you, in the many ways we are connected.  Please stay in touch with Erin, Don and Lauren during this time.  Your news means so much to all of us.


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