It’s so easy to say yes to everything. I say that because I know first hand. When you say yes to everyone, you become nothing to yourself. 

One way that I protect my energy is by setting aside REAL time for myself. I share more about this in “The Internal Sabbath.” It’s an excerpt from “The Fire Inside You,” an e-book I recently published in collaboration with poet and publishing coach Scott Andrew James.

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The Internal Sabbath 

A year ago, I was hit in the head pretty hard by a sofa. Looking back, I’m lucky I wasn’t paralyzed. And I’m fortunate that the incident knocked some sense in my head. Pun intended. 

While that couch might have hit me on my head, it truly centered my life. I was forced to slow down and prioritize things and relationships that matter most to me. 

I also had to make decisions that I’d been putting off. 

I had to adopt some practices that I didn’t want to admit I needed in my life. I also had to say no to others to say yes to myself. 

After the sofa hit me, I had to stay home from work for quite some time. Though I totally hated it at first, I learned to rest (making friends with my own sofa!), giving myself the grace to have a slower pace and not depleting all of my energy each day. 

I realized that I was everything to everyone else but nothing to myself. 

I never knew the internal sabbath: the pause that fuels my soul, allows me to lead and gives me the space to be myself. 

So how do we create space where we can be still, find grace and rest? 

1.  Say “no” to at least one thing this week that doesn’t fulfill you. Get that off your calendar and strike it off your to-do list. 

2.  Say “yes” to turning off your technology, even if it’s an hour, you’ll feel lighter immediately. 

3. Create a clean, neat and comfortable space that invites you to relax or be less busy. I usually put on headphones and listen to some of my favorite relaxation tracks. Or I sit on a pillow and delete every thought in my mind. 

4.  Take a few moments to close your eyes, place your hand on your heart and breathe deeply to connect to inner peace. 

That’s how I now make and take time to pause. Instead of pushing myself to push out loads of online content or hurry to the next weekend meeting, I’m slowing down and reflecting. Thanks to that sofa, I’m finally okay with taking an internal sabbath.