The goal from the first phase of the sabbatical is to find our Joy, to find the thick thread of desire that we pull on and which guides us to the next phase of our lives. But to do that, first we will have to quiet our stress-addled minds and the mimetic desires that we've been filled with.

As we have noted in The Structure of a Sabbatical, a sabbatical goes through three phases, sometimes longer or shorter depending on your circumstances -- the Entry, the Deepening and the Exit. Among these three, the Entry is the most critical. A poorly executed entry into a sabbatical can lead to problems during both the deepening and the exit phases.

The reason the entry is most crucial to navigate well is that this is also the time when you might feel the most anxious and nervous, suffering the most from withdrawal symptoms linked to your stressful environment and hence most likely to spoil your sabbatical by desiring an early exit.

The first point I want to emphasize is that such anxiety is perfectly normal. It's a common reaction to withdrawing from a stressful environment. As seen in the article "Junkie," your body and mind may create stress to obtain their cortisol and adrenaline fixes. This stress often manifests as fear for the future, low self esteem and so on.

This is when we should be glad that we have well-planned our sabbatical, consciously allowing ourselves the time to rest and recover. We don't need to succumb to these fears at this moment. However, it is crucial to bear this in mind as you navigate your entry into the sabbatical: you are likely to feel stressed. Quite stressed.

But recovery from overwork and stress is not the real goal of the sabbatical. The real goal of the sabbatical is to reconnect with your true desires.

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Over the course of our lives, and especially our childhood, we have been conditioned to serve the needs of others, most often our future selves, by sacrificing our joys of today for a 'better' future. This is by itself not wrong. Our parents and families taught us as they knew best and there is nothing and no one to blame for this. But we have to remember that 90% of what they taught us was meant for children. Now that we are adults, we need to drop the lessons that were meant for children and evolve our own code for life.

Maturity means dropping the lessons that were taught to us because we were children.

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