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Radical Sabbatical: Rediscovering the Gift of Presence

Sometimes you gotta take a break from all the noise to appreciate the beauty of silence.

~ Robert Tew

These days, it seems almost like a foreign concept to be unplugged even for 24 hours. Texts, emails, and phone calls that aren’t immediately returned are interpreted as being ignored. But what are the implications of that constant feeling of connectedness that binds many of us for as much as 16 to 18 hours per day? Perhaps it requires unplugging to take a true assessment of how far-reaching this technology has become in dictating our lives. We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the hours with our noses buried in our devices.

Looking Back

As the 10th anniversary since our virtual doors sprung open approaches, we look back upon 15 million+ Site visitors, the welcoming of 850+ writers, the publishing of 26,000+ Articles, the rapid growth of our massive Social Media Communities, the recognition of multiple International awards, the launch of GoodWorks 360° Foundation, the launch of 360° Nation Events & 360° Nation Studios, the release of 2 blockbuster streaming productions – HopeFest 360° & BucketFest 360°, and over the past year-plus —the undercurrent of a global pandemic. While it’s been a remarkable journey over the past decade and our passion for “doing more” prevails, we’re simply tired. So it’s time to step back for some long-overdue self-care.

Looking Forward

Unplug? Are you kidding? Far too many write about it, think about it,  talk about it, understand the need for and value of it. But few actually do it with conviction, even if for a few hours let alone a day, a weekend, a week, or more. Face it – we’re all addicted to our devices. Period.

un·plug
/ˌənˈpləɡLearn to pronounce
verb: unplug; 3rd person present: unplugs; past tense: unplugged; past participle: unplugged; gerund or present participle: unplugging
1. disconnect (an electrical device) by removing its plug from a socket.
“she unplugged the fridge”
sever the connection between a peripheral device and a computer.
“the only thing you can do is to unplug the RJ45”
2. remove an obstacle or blockage from.
“a procedure to unplug blocked arteries”
3. informal
relax by disengaging from normal activities.
“they’ve gone up to the cabin to unplug”

–Oxford Dictionary

Disconnecting to Reconnect – Our Radical Sabbatical

Well, it’s time for us to “walk the talk.” To actually step back, exhale, and smell the roses. It’s time for bringing real meaning to the notion of self-care.  It’s time for the entire 360° Nation team to disconnect so we can reconnect with each other and what’s really important. While our thoughts about disconnecting have been increasing over time, any remaining hesitation dissipated as we pondered these insights by Jackie Woodside ⤵︎

The Precious Gift of Time

And so it goes, our lights will remain on, but our active publishing will conclude on Friday, November 12th for 3 months —resuming Tuesday, Feb 15th. If you write for us, keep on sending your “good stuff”, as we’ll hold it for release over the weeks following our return. If you’re one of our many loyal readers, take advantage of any opportunity to stroll through the published archives of our amazing writers. While our publishing will indeed cease, we will continue to support our global nonprofit community via GoodWorks 360° Foundation, keeping our promise “for good”. It’s been a great ride and no doubt it will be a refreshing break, allowing us to rest, recharge, and renew our passion for “doing more, and doing more good”. And we’ll certainly look forward to seeing you all again on the other side of this upcoming rainbow…


Dennis Pitocco
Dennis Pitoccohttps://www.bizcatalyst360.com/
DENNIS is Founder & CEO & Reimaginator of 360° Nation, encompassing a wide range of multimedia enterprises, including BizCatalyst 360° —an award-winning global media digest; 360° Nation Studios —dedicated to reaching across the world in an effort to capture, produce, and deliver positive, uplifting messages via blockbuster global events, including HopeFest 360° and BucketFest 360° and; GoodWorks 360° —a pro-bono consulting foundation focused entirely on providing mission-critical advisory services to nonprofits worldwide. Everything Dennis does is carried out "for-good" vs. "for-profit", reflecting his belief that it’s time for a renaissance of pure, unbridled wonder. Time to renew in both our hearts and in our souls more joy, more kindness, more compassion, more understanding, and that magical sense of truly belonging to something greater than the status quo. And time to bring the spirit of “humanity at its very best” back to the forefront. More about his "backstory" HERE. Dennis is also a contributing author to the Best-Selling Book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change.

44 COMMENTS

  1. Dennis, you and Ali have earned a well deserved rest. Going to miss the Thursday call in. Thanks again for allowing me the opportunity to participate, making and meeting new friends, and for keeping my head on straight. You realize that with this sabbatical I will have a bigger honey do list for Thursdays. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and more importantly a Happy New Year(new beginning).
    Looking forward to February. Thank you again my friend. Enjoy.
    Semper Fi
    Tom

    • What a thoughtful message, my friend. Be assured that we will do our very best to do as little as possible – beyond rediscovering each other and all that really matters around us. Our best to you and Deb for a JOYful holiday season and a wonderful new year. Look forward to seeing you on the Bench in February, my friend. Ps. Providing your honey-do list has been completed :-)

  2. Dennis & Ali,
    Congratulations on this bold endeavor that you have bravely chosen. Times are such that it not only makes perfect sense, but is an example for the rest of us to “eliminate the noise and listen to the silence”.

    We will miss your daily posts but greatly anticipate reading what conclusions you will encounter in the coming weeks.
    Sending our best wishes and asking God’s blessings for you both.

    • “Dependence” is right on target, Susan. So many refer to it as an addiction, these days. Running on the “hamster wheel” of publishing virtually non-stop for the past decade creates a daunting challenge as we contemplate stepping back for three months. But a challenge we very much look forward to, and one that will no doubt serve us well, while hopefully inspiring others to take a similar leap – even if only for a day, a weekend, a week, or whatever amount of time they can commit to. As someone wiser than us remarked recently; “Self-care isn’t selfish” … We appreciate you, my friend!

  3. First things first and right now it is your state of mind and health are most important….for your wife as well! I work with burned out entrepreneurs all the time. One of the first things I advise (tell, really!) my clients and anyone else who asks, is to book time off. Period. Be it weekends, multiple weeks, months or multiple months. Without you both (and whoever is on your team), I would never have had my work published all over the world. Go, rest, play, have fun and know you are loved and appreciated.

  4. So happy to hear that YOU, “Dennis” is taking the well deserved break that you are so entitled to. Relax, reframe and refresh. ~Rest easy! Time to enjoy life, your lovely wife and all that makes you happy and whole.
    It’s so nice to be part of a group that actually recognizes the need for a pause now and then to recharge our internal batteries.
    I look forward to reuniting and igniting some new writing!! In the mean time let’s all be grateful for this world class organization we are part of and the gift of you. Much joy in the days ahead! ~ Blessings abundant, Loreexx

  5. Dennis, good move. Funny thing. The opportunity to write for BizCatalyst360 and to participate in the Shift Happens community were part of my Covid induced sabbatical. Now I’m diving back into some outside work made possible by what happened in the writing and conversations you and the community facilitated. When you open up again, maybe I’ll have new things about that to share. Meanwhile, rest and regenerate. You deserve that kind of break. Frank

  6. Dear Dennis,

    You have shone a light of supreme camaraderie and friendship for all lucky enough to be connected and part of your wonderfully humanistic enterprise. You are selfless, amazing helpful and give the impression you are available and on line 24/7 !

    You have stimulated creativity to an awesome level.
    You have created a platform of friends. Of like-minded individuals from all walks of life and have facilitated the harmony of true and genuine friendship.

    God Bless you thank you, Dennis my friend.

    Simon

  7. Dear brother Dennis & Ali-gal, your combined efforts creating bizcatalyst360.com that eventually became a wellspring for other endeavors of pure inspiration and “goodness” is a remarkable achievement.

    The Bible’s description of creation states that God rested on the seventh day. He pronounced that all that was created was good. Ergo, all that you and Ali-gal have created through God’s grace is also very good.

    Enjoy your “radical sabbatical” that when you think about it, it’s not radical at all, just well reserved! Coram Deo.

  8. I’m one of those loyal readers you mentioned, Denis, and during those three months, I’ll stroll through the published archives and comment on some articles I haven’t been able to before. Because of many new articles published daily, older articles are quickly forgotten.
    It is good to stir the content of the “barrel” from time to time so the articles at the bottom can get a new chance. :)

    I wish you and your team a good rest.

  9. LOVE this idea. I just did a 6 month Radical Sabbatical to focus on my own healing process, following a life-awakening diagnosis. Happy to be back on board again AND, by the time you return, I will have lots of reflections to share about my own R.S. Wishing you an inspiring get-away/BE away time.

  10. AMEN, Dennis. I’m a little late to the conversation because I’m just returning from my own sabbatical, partly intended, though it went on a few months longer than expected. And, I will say that the way I’m experiencing Presence and spaciousness is definitely expanded. I wish you well, and know you will receive more than you can imagine from this intentional time of disconnect to re-connect.

    Live as if every day matters. It does. With grace & gratitude, Sor’a

  11. Dennis/Ali,
    I admire you for stepping into a role most only speak about, as you say “few actually do it with conviction”. While I’m able to walk the talk with teasing out negative self-talk and owning your value, I admit the radical unplugging is both exciting and terrifying. Your words have done exactly what a well constructed essay is to do, caused me to think. Pause. Reflect. Evaluate. What is important in my life? Am I living my values? How do I live a life that is authentic?
    Though I’ve only been with you a short time, you’ve made a positive impact on my life. It’s because of your encouragement that I’ve learned my writing is worthy of publication. It’s because of you that Byron & I are collaborating on a book that will inspire and change the lives of many. It’s because of you that, now, I’m taking a closer look at what ‘it’ is all about. To add a bit of levity here, it may very well be the Hokey-Pokey indeed.
    Consider the end and the choices we’ve made along the path. Have we chosen the important threads of our lives, the ones that are woven into the very fabric that will wrap us during our final hours? We are, after all, just walking each other home.
    Journey Well my friends,
    Mariah

    • We really appreciate your thoughtful perspectives here, Mariah. Although our intent to disconnect is so we can reconnect for the sake of self-care and beyond, we’re equally hopeful that it might inspire others to simply step back and consider the notion, regardless of length. As you know our particular business has every justification/excuse for just “soldiering on”, which (perhaps) makes our sabbatical even more meaningful to us and hopefully, to others. Grateful for your support and indeed, your very kind words. …

  12. While I confess I will miss the lively engagement with my fellow writers, I completely honor the importance of connecting within-to our inner wisdom, to nature, and to beloved ones with presence and passion. Nothing replaces in person conversation, hugs-those energy exchanges rejuvenate like nothing else in all of life.

    Thank you, Dennis, for creating such a rich, wonderful place for many perspectives to be celebrated, even cherished. I wish you an early peaceful three months off.

    And In the meantime, I plan to continue to engage from my heart/mind-from the tapping on the keys-through words, emojis to connect with some of the best people I have ever known between now and November 15th!!

    With heartfelt gratitude always,
    Laura

  13. Heartiest Congratulations, Dear Dennis Sir, Mrs. DenAli Pitocco, as well as the entire Bizcatalyst360 TEAM! Time does really fly, especially in creative pursuits, and these ten years have been no exception. Wonderful decade, full of many a pleasant surprise, lots of personal interaction with the exceptionally outstanding TEAM @ BC360 and all the wonderful writers, readers, thinkers, and change-makers! Personally, I have been on a reinvigorating sabbath of my own, and that makes me agree 100% with your ‘Unplug’ initiative. I’m sure each one of us will be very keenly looking forward to a re-energized BC360 back in full swing.
    Best Wishes with Warm Regards, and a Prayer for All!

  14. That sounds wonderful Dennis. One day I want to be like you! :) It is a great time to go back and read older articles since we seem to only look at the new ones and not even that with the pace of articles come trickling in. Have a wonderful time. We will miss your presence for sure.

  15. Wow! From where Bizcatalyst360.started to where it is today? I don’t think it could shine brighter or serve more compassionately or network more broadly. Your list of achievements are not only impressive, they are deserved; earned with thousands of dedicated hours of you and your team. No matter how vast your community you still make your writers feel like personal friends. And by the way…..850 writers. That’s …. well what adjectives even cover how awesome that is?

  16. Dennis,
    It’s a pleasure to be in your company,
    In the absence of digital, we are still People, we need to rewrite and edit our stories direction in order to make it worth reading
    I’m all for taking the necessary break to rejuvenate and just want to say thank you for leading the way in helping us who need to be not only reminded, but to be lead by an example to see.
    Absence is not permanent when you know in your heart the impact of true friendship.
    You my friend, are permanent in my heart.
    Thank you for making that mark.

    The world will go on without you, but never be the same without you too.

    Digital time is nonstop, human time needs you to stop
    We are breathers that need to breathe and with that need time to reprieve
    No one can keep up with the digital, and thus should not let it control you
    Rest is necessary for all of us

    I see the positive in unplugging and salute your awareness and choice
    I wish us all the best Happy sabbatical 🙏

    “Sometimes it helps
    To turn the world off
    And spend some time
    Where there are no thoughts”
    #Opism

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