Are you ready?

Chelsea MacMillan
4 min readJun 30, 2021



I’m taking a month off.

I’m taking a month off from work, from hustle, from expectation —expectation that I have to do or accomplish or produce. I’m taking a month off from extraneous noise — the noise of the city, my mind, social media, Zoom calls, from having to be “on,” from so many of the things that I’ve told myself are what it means to be me.

I’m taking a month to listen to the wildsweet desires of my heart, to let myself be surprised, to soften my belly, to quiet my mind, to listen more deeply to the mysterious voice within and without me. I’m taking a month to play, to splash in the waters of Lake Champlain, to gulp the rich oxygen from the trees, to listen to the breeze, to put my bare feet on the earth more often than I do here in Brooklyn.

I’m taking a month off to give my creativity room to fly free, unfettered by the frantic demands of this world. I want to sing and dance and write and dream of a new world. I want to say no to the tyranny of the possible and yes to that which lies beyond my wildest dreams.

I’m opening myself up to something. I can sense the tectonic shifts — mine and the collective’s — rumbling far beneath my feet. Who knows what they are or when they will rise to the surface? I am readying myself for a new world.


As with many Spirit-led life decisions, a lot of this doesn’t quite make sense.

There are voices in my head:
“You need to keep making money!’
“You don’t know what the future holds. You should keep working and be prepared.”
“A sabbatical from what? You don’t work a real job!”

Maybe you’re thinking similar thoughts. Maybe you’re thinking about how you’d like to take a month off but that you could never do that.

Certainly, being able to take a month off seems like a great privilege in many ways — I don’t have kids to feed, I don’t have a boss to please. This sabbatical is happening because of a monetary gift from a dear friend and fellow sacred activist. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford it.

At the same time, maybe I can’t afford NOT to take this month of rest.

Now, this is where I could but won’t justify this sabbatical by telling you when I last took a real vacation (I can’t remember), that even when I travel to see family or friends, I’m usually still weaving in bits of work or taking calls, that I cobble my income together from literally six different sources (not including odd jobs that I pick up). That I have little savings to speak of; in fact, I’m paying off debt. That the hustle is real.

Instead, this is where I will tell you that, in spite of the voices saying keep working, keep brainstorming, keep producing, there’s a clearer voice cutting through that says, “Take a rest. Slow down. Listen.”


It’d actually be much easier to listen to the voices telling me to stick to the status quo. Listening to Spirit takes effort and awareness. Listening to Spirit requires clearing away the distraction of what “makes sense.”

This is a question that has long lay heavy on my heart: when will saying no to the status quo — and saying yes to Something Else — become the only thing that does, in fact make sense?

As Bayo Akomolafe is fond of saying, “Times are urgent. Let us slow down.” Our Western way of life is pressing the accelerator on the destruction of water, air, soil, plants, animals, and quite possibly, even humans on this planet. We can only stop this suicide mission if we slow down and dramatically alter how we live and relate to ourselves, each other, and this living breathing earth.

In this way, taking a month off is not a privilege, it’s a practice.

It’s not an indulgence, it’s an act of defiance.


Questions I’m feel I’m being asked — and maybe we’re collectively being asked (btw, who’s doing the asking??):

Are you ready? Are you actually ready for a world that’s slower? Less convenient?

Are you ready for the kind of vulnerability and softness it takes to be more connected? To abandon the illusion that you are an independent, self-reliant being?

Are you ready to open yourself to joy? To delight, which requires a willingness to not know, to trust in the moment and give yourself over to surprise?

Are you building the supports necessary for a new world? Are you ready to do the work?

Are you ready for your life to change?



Chelsea MacMillan

Spiritual director and sacred activist. My favorite thing to do is ask questions.