BRB: Sara Goes Off The Grid

Written by Founder and CEO, Sara Potler LaHayne

To My Friends of Move This World,

This weekend I was walking with a friend who showed me his phone revealing 278 unread text messages and said, “This should make you feel better about your life.” It didn’t.

Whether writing a Broadway musical (in his case) or attempting to normalize emotional wellbeing across school districts and companies (mine), life is perpetually busy. When did the notion of being busy or unavailable serve as a sign of success? Since when does busy equal value, creativity, significance, building something special?

For the last 9 years I’ve been supremely busy building Move This World. Busy nights spent working with too little sleep. Busy days filled with conferences, planes and trains, speaking engagements to the right and wrong audiences, meetings with clients, early morning curriculum edits, discussions with researchers about the overhaul of a program, fundraising galas, dinners with investors, hiring and building organizational structure, training and cultivating a team that would be poised to make this dream real. You get the gist.

 Since I launched this organization almost 6 years ago, my time has been defined by intentionality and focus. The past 8 months, I’ve quietly been talking with some of you about my plans to intentionally pause in 2016. Over these last 6 years, we have reached almost 150,000 individuals, helping them to strengthen their mental and emotional wellbeing.

The time has come for me to embrace the power of pause.

Starting this Friday, June 4, I am taking 6 weeks of pause to strengthen my own mental and emotional wellbeing and ensure that I continue to authentically and meaningfully lead this organization into the next 6 years and beyond.

 This means zero emails, texts, social media, or calls. I will not be skyping into meetings from abroad. I will not scan my inbox or my news feed. In fact, I will not even have my phone. That’s right. I’m going off the grid.

I will be exploring two pieces of both myself and the ethos of this organization- contemplation and creativity. I will spend the first month in India, participating in a 12 day silent retreat studying Buddhism and philosophy. Followed by treks in the Himalayas; being in the mountains has always fueled my spiritual strength.

 Chapter 2 of this pause will be to reinvigorate the artistic and creative part of myself at a dance intensive in Italy. I was terrified to assemble an audition tape (I hadn’t done that since college), and to submit it to a conservatory made up of young, talented dancers. Thankfully all of the anxiety paid off;I was admitted. The week-long institute is made up of dance classes, improvisation, choreography, and a performance showcase.

Yes, these 6 weeks will be a journey of reflection, writing, creating, and making space for what the next 6 years will hold for Move This World. This time is also intended for the team, our clients and partners, and our advisors to continue to embody the Move This World movement. The leadership team of Move This World is ready and able to truly lead with me stepping back from the helm for a short while. Move This World belongs to the hundreds of thousands of individuals who engage in our daily emotional management tools, and I leave it to you to help Team MTW make the program stronger.

These last 6 years are just the beginning of what Move This World will offer school districts and companies around the world. Throughout the years, one constant has been my love for discovery, for learning, and for growth. I intend to take full advantage of this time away by learning more about myself and how I can continue to build this movement with intentionality and creativity every step of the way while wholeheartedly embracing the true power of pause

P.S. To share how you incorporate the #powerofpause into your life and work, join Move This World’s online conversations over the next 6 weeks. How will you find the #powerofpause?


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