Updated: Oct 18
Winter Solstice we rest our selves.
Spring Equinox we plant our garden.
Summer Solstice we activate our energy.
Fall Equinox we harvest our feast.
I hope you were able to spend some of your Spring planting your seeds, your ideas, goals, and intentions. It’s the
season to activate our energy, to execute these intentions. Words that should come to mind for you Summer Solstice: engage, encourage, activate, burst, shine, burn, abundance, extravagance, light, community, rejuvenate, excite, manifest, celebrate, energy.
“all this good energy got you all in your feelings” – Beyonce, ENERGY 2023
We love a RENAISSANCE reference right now!
So how do we activate our good energy this Summer? How do we transition our action to nourishment and abundance? How do we nourish what we planted this Spring? Nourish that garden for the abundance it will bring this Fall.
Before I talk about all that, I want to share some major gardening I did this past Spring. If you’re less interested in reading about my 30-DAY SABBATICAL IN PARIS WITH MY DOG then skip ahead to the part of the article where I discuss Summer Solstice activation things (skip)
What is a sabbatical and why did I take one?
A sabbatical is biblically known as a year of rest for the land observed every seventh year in ancient Judea. Modern day it is an extended period of time away from work for rest, travel, or research. It comes from the word Sabbath which refers to a day of rest, and its etymology comes from the Hebrew word shabbath which literally means rest.
So I took a month to rest. I chose April because it’s my birthday month, and because it’s during a time in the year when filming is slowing down after awards season so lower risk of missing out on projects. I like the idea of a full month because it felt complete, the first day to the final day. I chose France because it’s a country I’d like to call home someday, and France is one of the most dog-friendly countries in the world, up there with Japan.
For those who don’t know, after college, I served in the Army for six years, and after the Army I moved to LA to start my actor-writer career. I’ve lived at a very non-stop pace for most of my life and was really starting to feel the burnout. With encouragement from my dad and this Brene Brown Article on Creating Space, I decided to take a sabbatical. I made my decision about 12 months in advance, and I booked everything six months in advance. Literally booked my Flight and AirBnB in October of 2022 for my Sabbatical that would be in April of 2023. I was locked in and committing this time to myself no matter what.
How did I prep myself and my dog?
So what do people do on sabbaticals? I wasn’t sure, but I wanted to be intentional about even what my rest would look like. I only packed black clothing so outfits were easy to figure out. I brought hella books so I could get back to reading. And I brought my dog so I knew I’d be dedicated to daily outdoor adventures.
For Those Traveling with Pets:
When booking my travel I included my dog in my reservations for both my flight and AirBnB. As soon as reservations were confirmed, I contacted the AirFrance and the AirBnB Host to notify them I’d be bringing my dog, a 60lbs black pit-lab mix. Expect a response that includes paperwork for you to fill out about your pet.
Traveling internationally with a pet requires specific animal import approval specific to each country (link). Find the country you’re traveling to and follow the guidelines. Some countries have quarantine rules, and most have vaccine requirements so be prepared to see your vet for a travel exam. France has no quarantine requirement, but they do have microchip and vaccine requirements that must be met no earlier than 10 days before travel.
I took Nike to the vet 10 days before our flight, the vet must be accredited, and they provide the pet passport or the EU Health Certificate.
That Health Certificate is then mailed to the USDA Endorsement Office in your State for their stamped approval.
Then the USDA mails that paperwork back to you, all within 10 days to bring on your flight.
I have a service animal so she can travel in cabin with me. If you have a service animal be prepared to fill out further information for the airline specifically.
So what do I have to say about my Spring Sabbatical in Paris, planting my seeds/goals?
It was perfection! I slept a lot, I read seven books, watched no TV, stayed off social media, and devoured incredible food. Nike and I spent a lot of time doing nothing but also a lot of time aimlessly exploring the city. We walked miles, enjoyed random art in window displays, countless window displays. I felt so inspired, probably the most inspired I’ve ever been, was walking with my dog and my music, just taking in my surroundings without too much thought or concern.
Over the past three years that I’ve been out of the military I’ve been in sort of an introspective state, very focused on my inner self, working on her, discovering her, enjoying her. This sabbatical felt like my bridge to coexist in an extrospective state. A bridge from one journey to another.
I hope you feel inspired to take a long sabbatical.
31st Birthday Photoshoot by Daniel Dorko
How do we activate our energy this Summer?
Write. Down. Your. Goals. Write them somewhere; a notebook, a sticky note, a wall, a journal, a mirror. Write those ideas, goals, intentions down. Write them down for accountability, write them down to give them energy, give them life. Turn thought to word and word to action.
Nourish. How you give your seeds water and sun to grow into strong plants, give your ideas, goals, and intentions the same nourishment. Visit them in research. Revisit them in thought. Add them to your daily or weekly or whatever schedule. Nourishment is consistent not sporadic, and it’s not just mental, it’s physical.
Execute. You can’t just write it down and thoughtful approach your goals, you must DO THEM. Your goal is vulnerability, you have to do vulnerability, practice it with yourself and your people. Your goal is health, you have to do healthy, practice it with your meals and your exercise. Your goal is love, you have to do love, practice it with yourself and your people. Your goal is promotion, you have to do that work, the work of the those at the paygrade you’re aiming for. Put effort into your action and execute with what you’ve got.
In my Spring Equinox article, I listed my seeds:
More mindful time spent with my dog
More focused energy and time on myself
Maintain health and fitness for myself and my dog
More writing, acting, and book sales
I planted that firmly with my dog, even watered it a bit. We went on our first international trip together. Being alone with my dog in a foreign country was great for our bonding, our shared foreign adventures. We learned a lot together, and are becoming more confident in each other. Continuing to activate this seed through my summer, more hiking adventures, more forehead touches, and couch cuddles.
I literally spent 30 days figuring out how to dedicate more time to myself, and what I want that to look and feel like moving forward. For me, more focused energy and time looks like; reading, dancing, eating, sleeping, and exploring. Another practice of energy and time on myself is candle-lit aroma-therapy showers, thanks to my friend Ashleigh! I highly recommend you try one, turn off the lights, light a candle in your bathroom, add drops of your favorite essential oil, and OH MY GOSH! Heavenly.
Yep, I’ll practice maintaining my health and fitness by maintaining. Doing the work. Taking the walks with my dog. Cooking us both healthy meals. Consistency. Discipline. Practice.
Writing to me could be journaling, so I’ll be encouraging myself to journal more often. Writing is also screenwriting, so I’ll be encouraging myself to do research on the story I’m telling. Acting is to me includes auditions, networking, and studying. Acting is also reading and observing. Book sales is just that, so this summer I’ll be encouraging myself to think of more ways to get my books to their audience.
I hope this read helped give you some guidance on how to activate your energy this Summer.
Write down your goals. Nourish them. Execute them.
Happy Summer Solstice & Thank You for Reading
The Animal Pad is a non-profit, all breed dog rescue that focuses on saving dogs from high kill shelters and the streets of Mexico. We get them vet care, place them in foster homes and then find them loving forever families. A few years ago, we turned our attention to the street dogs of Mexico as there is very little help for them. Since then, we have developed a large rescue network in Baja California and we have a sister shelter in Ensenada that we focus on taking dogs from whenever funds allow.