A few weeks ago I was one hour into a two-hour kickboxing session. This is nothing new to me – I do this a few times a week. I love kickboxing. LOVE it. It makes me feel strong, alive, graceful yet powerful. I can’t explain the feeling I get when I (a 5’ tall woman) punch and kick someone much larger than me.

That Thursday, after landing the perfect switch roundhouse, I heard and felt a tremendous POP! And then fell to the floor. That pop was my calf muscle tearing nearly completely away from my Achilles tendon. I left the gym with a grade 3 tear, immediate swelling, the inability to walk, and a deep dread in the pit of my stomach. I kept thinking, “I just broke myself.” I was so run-down I was breaking into pieces. I could no longer hold myself together.

Bodies are amazing things. They communicate with us all day about what we need to do to be happy, nourished, healthy, whole. When we’re babies, we listen to – and follow – these signals without judgment. When we grow into adulthood, though, other voices start creeping in, ones that we may value more than our instincts.

I realized that the leg injury that landed me in a cast was simply the latest red flag.  For a year now, my body’s been trying to tell me - at first subtly, then in more dramatic ways  - that I was exhausted, burnt out, and literally starting to fall apart.

I’ve been working nonstop since I founded Soapwalla 6 years ago. I work an average of 65 hours a week. In the last 6+ years, I’ve checked and answered work-related emails every single day. When I’m on vacation. On the weekends. Early mornings and late nights. Soapwalla is my passion, and I want it to remain that way. But the pace I set for myself is unsustainable. My body has been whispering to me for a year now; my mind finally caught up (it’s a stubborn thing).

So. After a lot of thought, I’m taking a sabbatical later this year, a month or so away from work to regroup, recharge, and reconnect with myself. While it’s scary to step away from this passion of mine – even for a short while – I know that the incredible, passionate Soapwalla team-members are equally committed to our principles. You, my dear amazing clients, will have the same quality of service during my time away.

My sabbatical will take place somewhere lush and green and perhaps by the water, somewhere I can learn about new plants and folklore. It’ll be a spot where internet service is spotty at best (doesn’t that sound delicious? A place where email and Facebook and CNN don’t exist…). 

This time away will allow me to recover and grow, enabling me to return to New York City with radical new ideas on how to continue transforming the natural beauty world.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you once I’m back. And I’d love to hear from you – have you taken a sabbatical?

Image taken by Rachel Winard, Soapwalla Chef and Founder in Costa Rica