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My Creative Sabbatical (and why I’ve been gone all year)

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“Why don’t you ever write about us,” he said in a text message to me the other night.

And in that moment, an entire year’s worth of complex, complicated feelings flooded to the surface. I know you guys are used to hearing from me A LOT more than you have this year. A lot of you have been here since my very first blog post in January of 2010. And have been with me through my last major breakup and all the little heartbreaks along the way.

You’ve come to Costa Rica with me. Gotten into an RV with me for the first time and saw the country. You might have watched as my friend Natalie and I drove across the country doing random acts of kindness and filmed the experience as webisodes as Girls Gone Moto or followed along as the Travel Channel “pimped our RV ride”, and went with me on my solo road trip, culminating in my very first hunting trip.

You cried along with me when I moved to Montana and bought my very first pair of red and tan fuzzy Sorel winter boots. You followed me to the bar to go country dancing and went with me on the back of a flatbed truck to play bass with my new country band. You went to festivals and concerts with me. Climbed the mountain tops in Montana with me. You’ve gone on motorcycle rides with me. You’ve seen me create The Wildheart Revolution (my private coaching and lifestyle tribe), create custom jewelry, sell out Montana retreats. You’ve seen me sing songs in my bedroom and be guests on Podcasts.

So why is it that there is an entire year missing in our lives together? Why have I been so quiet?

Today..I hope to shed some light on everything and let you know what I’ve been up to this year, and what’s to come.  

In the beginning of being a coach, I was also going through a ton of personal transitions. Writing about them on my blog was a form of therapy for myself. I’d learn stuff, and then share it. Not paying a ton of attention to “growing my business.” To me, the growth always happened organically. It seemed to be a result of just living my life, and sharing that with everyone. I seemed to keep getting clients and I was able to make enough to live the life I wanted to live.

And then something shifted. I wanted my business to “GROW.” I had a vision that came to me in a lightning moment, winter in 2012-13. The words Wildheart Revolution flashed through my mind and I knew that something big was wanting to happen. I also knew that I wanted there to be amazing and affordable coaching available to like-minded and dynamic people in a way that hadn’t ever been done before. And so Wildheart was born. It happened slowly at first, and then snowballed very quickly.

In 2013-14, my business grew a lot and really fast. So much so that I couldn’t keep up with it. I scrambled to hire the right people to stay on top of everything with all the major changes happening. I didn’t do a great job. And found myself completely overworked and overwhelmed.

I had a big big vision for Wildheart, I wanted to help facilitate big changes, but most of the time I felt stressed with the amount of work I was doing alone. So much so that the joy and vision of it started to wane. My life stopped being about adventure and fun and sharing my stories and creating and growing the Revolution, and started being about 17 hour days, launch schedules, hiring/firing, troubleshooting payment malfunctions, and holding it all together.

And in that moment, the business that I had created so that I could be creative, and help inspire change within people, became the box that I had previously rebelled against, and I was just…TIRED.

Tired of the hustle. Tired of the game. Tired of being solely responsible for everything.

“If this is what having an empire looks like, I don’t think I want  it” I thought to myself.

And found myself just about completely unable to keep it going. Or rather…unwilling to continue growing it in the way I had. I questioned…EVERYTHING…

“Why am I doing this?”

“Is this creating the kind of impact I want to create?”

“Do I even like being a business owner?”

“Why do I have these money goals? Are they even important to me? And if so…why?”

“Do I want to be spending my time doing all of this?”

“Is it all worth it if my relationships are falling by the wayside?”

“Does having all this money even matter?”

“What are my true priorities in my life as a whole?”

As these questions were forming, so was a new relationship. In 2014 I struck up a relationship with an old flame from college and decided last December to give it a go and see what could happen for us.

We’ve spent the year, learning, growing, giggling, cuddling, loving and learning how to be in a relationship with each other. My focus went from solely myself, my adventures, and my business, to a new relationship, in a new place, and with an entirely new situation since he has three kids, a huge family, and is very involved in his community.

My life literally could not have looked more different this past year than it did any of the ones previous to it. And in the meantime with that, I was growing and shifting. Wanting to be a bit more private, not just because there were now kids involved, but because I wasn’t sure I wanted to be “Sally Hope, Renegade Life Coach, and Leader of the Wildheart Revolution,” as much as I just wanted to be Sally Hope. A person. A person who was discovering, at this point in time, what she wants in life and what’s important to her.

I felt my role shifting. I felt my desires shifting. Nothing that was known before was known now. Everything was up for grabs, including whether or not I even wanted to have a business.

And within these thoughts and changes, my life started to feel private to us. And since so much was shifting in my business and my life, and my emotions, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to share, I shared almost nothing.

Not because I didn’t want you to know, but mostly because I wasn’t really sure how I felt. I had so many complex emotions swirling inside. Questioning my business was like questioning myself and my self-worth.

“If I’m not Sally Hope, Leader of the Wildheart Revolution, then who am I?”

“If I’m not doing something really cool and exciting, what do I have to offer people?”

“If I’m not building an amazing business, what am I going to talk to my friends about?”

It’s kind of hard to explain, but questioning these things was not just like questioning whether or not I want to eat dairy in my diet, but more like it was questioning everything I thought to be true about myself, and my world.


I am and always have been an ambitious person with very big visions, but I started to question why I wanted the things I thought I wanted. Why I had the money goals I had. Why I had the business goals I had. Why it mattered. Were those visions still “mine”?

I just want to live my life and figure it out. And so that’s what I’ve been doing this year. I’ve been questioning all my thoughts and desires. I’ve been evaluating all the people and things in my life and deciding whether or not they are fulfilling. I’ve been falling in love, not only with my guy, but with his amazing kids and family. I’ve been having a lot of Netflix nights. I’ve been getting better at cooking. I’ve been hiking. I’ve been changing. My heart has been expanding. I’ve been challenged.

I’ve been getting to know myself and my new life and here’s what I’ve discovered: Creativity is really important. Business is amazing but it’s not everything. Online life is great, but it will never replace sitting around the fireplace with your loved ones. You can create it however you want it, but sometimes you have to rediscover how you want it, and that’s ok. Sometimes you’ll change your mind, and that’s ok. I adore Wildheart. 
And given all these discoveries, here’s what I’ve decided for myself…

I’ve decided to go on a bit of a creative/business sabbatical. I recently shut the doors to the Wildheart Revolution private coaching community, and only take on one on one clients every once in awhile so that I can have some time and space to rediscover what I truly want to create next. I will only be doing things that feel creative, fulfilling and fun. I am not really sure what’s next, but I’m dedicating my sabbatical time to taking the pressure off of figuring it out.

I will still be posting publicly and will still be keeping in touch with you during this exploratory time. I’m not sure exactly what that will look like, but since this all started with sharing life and creative stories, I imagine that’s what I’ll be doing this year too. I will still be taking you all along for the ride.

So far, just making this decision has been amazing. I’ve had doubts and fears. A LOT. But overall I’m excited. I’m excited to go back to basics. I’m excited to write to you guys because it’s my favorite thing to do, not because doing so is part of my marketing plan. I’m excited with all the creative ideas that are bubbling up since I decided to take my sabbatical.

And even though I’m not sure what will come out of this pause and creative time, I did want to share with you some of the things I’ve been thinking about that might make their way into your inboxes:

  1. Kundalini Yoga – this powerful and transformative style of yoga has changed my life. I’m getting my teacher training certification this year. I’m spending the next seven months in training. YAY!
  2. The Wildheart L.O.V.E. Technique. I created this technique a few years ago that helps people handle and get rid of really really tough emotions. I would like to develop and expand on this.
  3. An idea I’m working on: Sacred Exploration Time (S.E.T.) a practice in which you give yourself time and space to discover what you truly want (I’m currently in a SET time right now)
  4. Creativity. Writing. Telling stories. Sharing for the sake of sharing.

If you are still reading…thank you. I know this is a bit long winded, but that’s sort of how I roll. :) Thank you for being a part of this journey. Thank you for still being here. Thank you for being a part of this Wild Ride.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions and please let me know if you’ve experienced anything similar. Have you ever been going down one path and then realized you’re not sure why you’re still walking? Have you ever changed your mind and had to re-evaluate everything? If so…I want to hear about it.

Also…in my “time off” I got super inspired to create a fun worksheet for the New Year. Look for that in your inbox next week.

Happy Friday Dear Friends,

Sally

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9 Responses to My Creative Sabbatical (and why I’ve been gone all year)

  1. Karen says:

    Sally, your courage to take a sabbatical and figure out what is most important to you is so inspiring. Wishing you peace and joy as you allow yourself to just be. xo
    PS – love the photo, so sweet

  2. Karen says:

    Thanks for the beautiful honesty, and for sharing your lovely man… Loving, changing, going forward, sitting still, seeing with the heart. You’ve my respect for holding back on sharing, and for your man ASKING to be seen. Sacred boundaries counter the chronic over-sharing and ‘everyone’s stuff is fair game’ approach of the online world. Bravo! So happy for you, and look forward to whatever the future and your desires bring next! xx

    • Sally Hope says:

      Wow…thank you lady for these acknowledgements. They hit me at my core. Thank you for respecting and understanding why I didn’t share everything and acknowledging Kevin for asking to be seen. I thought the same thing when he did that. Also…SACRED BOUNDARIES. YES. That is so perfectly said. Thank you for your message. Truly.

      <3

  3. Tracie says:

    THANK YOU for sharing your heart. It meant a lot. I’m struggling in similar – but different – ways (isn’t it ok to just be a mom to 3 kids for crying out loud????!!!).

    Sending you peace, joy and a beautiful New Year.

    X0

    • Sally Hope says:

      Hey Tracie…thank YOU so much for reading. That means a lot. And girl…OF COURSE it’s ok to just be a mom to 3 kids!!! To me, Wildhearting is all about doing that which is most fulfilling, whether that be a stay at home mom or a CEO of a company doesn’t matter. Fulfillment is what matters most so my take is that if that’s what fulfills you right now, DO IT!

      But I SO get the feeling of it not being ok to want what you want. It’s confusing!! Sending lots of love.

  4. Gunilla says:

    Thank you for sharing these deep feelings with us. I much relate as I am in a similar situation. Deeply passionate about my business and think BIG but also cherish my little family of 4. Being Danish but raising my family here all the while running a business, I have to remind myself that we “work to live,” not “live to work” but it gets blurry. Particularly because of the overwhelm of technology in our lives. We never stop. I think passion is important but I was recently intrigued by listening to Jim Rohn who talks about success starts with personal growth and taking care of your inner circle and I have to agree that comes first. Wishing you much peace, love, transformation and support as you grow in 2016. I look forward to hearing more from you and I love that you are bringing out the authenticity of you! <3

  5. Lindsay says:

    Sally,
    I love this, every minute of this. It’s so important to take the time to figure out what you want. Congratulations on your new life, it sounds very satisfying and love-filled. I’m excited to follow along on your journey.

  6. Suzi says:

    Love this post! So excited for this intentional pause to rest your hustling muscles and breathe into exploring what you really want your life to feel like. I took my sabbatical last year and although there are some moments of uncertainty, I’m learning to trust the process of being guided by a deeper compass as I create this new season of life. Happy Trails Sally!

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