The poet David Whyte says that "Rest is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be." I believe we often get this wrong, thinking the moments of true rest are mental and physical departures from the unrelenting demands and logistics of our lives. But Whyte rephrases rest as moments of conscious reconciling with doing and being, and I found this to be true for my sabbatical.
My seven months of unemployment were less an escape from any work and more of a reconciling with who I was, what I loved, who I had become through my work, and what becoming was still ahead. It was an opportunity to listen patiently and—to paraphrase Mary Oliver—slowly beckon the soft animal of my body out into the open, to give it the room to love what it loves.