Rest and Recharge • How to Source from a Wiser Fuel

It's official: Cuba is the best place to unplug... because there is no plug. Internet is scarcely available at a teeny tiny handful of locations. You have to spend a few days scouring the city for internet vouchers, and even then the speed is más o menos 28.8k phone dial-up speed.

If you can't make it to Cuba to fully unplug, I've gathered my favourite quotes and wisdom gems here to remind us all to rest and recharge.

1. Rest AND Recharge

Resting is like turning off the car engine. Recharging is adding premium fuel to the thank. Rest alone won't suffice. Recharging is necessary.

Have you ever watched the frantic eyes of a laptop user, desperately seeking a power outlet? They know that if they don't charge their laptop RIGHT NOW, all their open tabs will shut down, all their work might be lost and all their calls will be cut off.

Have you ever watched the desperate eyes of a woman overachiever, swirling in busyness, saying 'yes' to everything, holding up all the skies, putting out fires everywhere and trying to be everything, to everyone, every second, of every day? Yet she never gives herself the courtesy she gives her laptop.

Every time the laptop is below 5%, it gets charged. Every time she is below 5%, she keeps going... until she is carried out in an ambulance stretcher.

Is that ok with you? Is that ok, that you treat your laptop 10,000X better than you treat yourself?

If you don't rest and recharge during the journey, you're not going to arrive at the destination you seek.

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.
– Anne Lamott

2. Pay back sleep debt

Research shows that teenagers need 8-10 hours of sleep. As the family Money Tree and Skyholder, I only got to slept 5 hours a night from ages 14-23. So I owed an average of 13,140 hours of sleep.

Young adults need 7-8 hours of sleep. I only go to sleep 6.5 hours a night from ages 24-29, working 10 full-time jobs at the same time. So I owe another ~1,825 hours of sleep, totalling 14,965 hours of sleep debt.

If today onward, I paid back one hour of sleep, by sleeping 9 hours a day, it'd take me (linearly speaking) 41 years to pay off my sleep debt. Around age 75, that's when I'll have paid back my sleep debt. 😱 🤯 

Thankfully, the soul isn't linear. Binge sleeping, silent meditation retreats, napping for 4-5 straight hours by the ocean, and "yin" locations exponentially paid off my sleep debt. It's been years of waking up without an alarm clock, feeling refreshed.

In Bali, I couldn't sit up straight. Horizontal was my modus operandi, either in bed, in a hammock or on a massage table. I remember being utterly unable to sit up, no less work. It required superhuman force to combat the horizontal. I wasn't willing to waste my energy on such forcing. So I surrendered to the yin energy. I let swallow me whole. It paid back my sleep debt within a year, not 41 years!

I realized that I had to purge the patriarchal indoctrination that "sleep = weakness." Actually, sleep is my superpower. Where do you think my crystal clear insights, abundant creativity, overflow of wise content and radiating joy come from?

When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
– Eleanor Brownn

3. Soul Maturation Requires Enormous Energy

You may be more sensitive than you think. You may be more of an empath than you know. You are being upgraded to alchemist and/or modern mystic. This kind of spiritual upgrade, aka soul maturation, requires enormous energy.

Am I narcoleptic? I googled this question this morning to get an "official" diagnosis from the World Wide Web, because I spent the last few consecutive days sleeping 14 to 16 hours. On top of that, I've been taking naps in the middle of the day.

The Mayo Clinic mentions "sudden attacks of sleep" in type 1 narcolepsy. My sleep tendencies don't seem as cataclysmic. They are more like a hypnotic lull into bed, like a moth to light.

I'm healthy and I've got outstanding mind-body-heart-soul well-being habits... what gives?

Then I realized... our soul is like an operating system. When the OS is being updated, you can't use the laptop or phone. You have to wait until the updates are complete before you can use it again. Same thing for the soul. You have to sleep and go "offline" for the upgrade to take place. Is it convenient? No, not in 3D earth. But is it necessary? Yes, completely.



That one time I asked my psychotherapist (who was also my #thedaringway certification supervisor) if we can find a neurosurgeon to slit and remove my #highlysensitiveperson and #empath from my brain and nervous system. 😢 You have no idea how much searing pain, time, energy, discipline, agony, focus, love, breathwork, and meditation I devote to alchemize your anxiety into peace, your fear into courage, your depression into light and you grief into joy. 🔮 You have no idea how many nights I prayed on my knees to God, to the Universe, to Life itself to end my life, so that I wouldn’t have to feel and endure your pain and suffering anymore. I remember wishing this since I was 4. 🐣 I feel your grief before you even know your loss. I feel your rage before you even name your wound. I feel your terror before you even know your trauma. It’s utterly exhausting and there’s no way to surgically remove this curse. 🦋 And so I carry on with #radicalacceptance of my #sacredcontract. I journal about the 10 years and $100,000 invested in healing, personal growth and #illumination. I wrap myself in the 23,000 #dailygratitude entries I’ve kept since 1999 (3 per day) and in my sisterhood / soul family‘s virtual arms. I’m as surprised as anyone that I’m still alive. I’m as shocked as the next person that I can even thrive. 😴 My point is: you may be more sensitive than you think. You may be more of an empath than you know. You may feel like you’ve been dumped on Earth School to suffer for others more than you care to admit. I don’t have all the answers but I can offer you THE FULLEST PERMISSION to sleep, sleep, and sleep some more! Especially during this pandemic. Most likely you’re being upgraded to alchemist, along with thousands of beings. It may suck big time, but believe me, the more you fight it, the more you’ll suffer. It’s not a gift/curse you can return for a refund. Spiritual awakening and #soulmaturation don’t work like that. But hey, at least you won’t be alone, I’m here, so is my sisterhood and soul family to welcome you to the club! #permissionslip #spiritualawakening #hsp #thealchemist #freedompreneur #guidetograce #lifestylemodel freedom #successcoach #overachieversdc

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4. Cultivate Play and Rest

In The Gifts of Imperfection, my teacher Brené Brown outlines 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living.

Number 7 is: Cultivating Play and Rest ➙ Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol.

Patriarchy, unconscious culture, and filial piety had us believe that busyness = worth. So if we're swirling busyness, even it it's random, useless, or lands us in the emergency room, then we have more worth. 🛑 ✋ Wrong!

There is no trophy for best burnout. Believe me, I tried.
Ellany Lea 

5. Joy Is More Magnetic

Who are you more likely to buy from? An entrepreneur who is burnt out, soul arid, with dark circles around her eyes (hidden under layers of caked makeup) or a freedompreneur who radiates rest, joy and freedom?

Rest until you feel like playing, then play until you feel like resting, period. Never do anything else.
– Martha Beck

Live fierce and free,

xo, Ella

(First Published Dec 14, 2016)



Having navigated 131 countries, 87 emotions, 46.5 traumas, and 16 careers, Ellany Lea inspires and guides phoenixes, overachievers, entrepreneurs and wayshowers to live fierce, fulfilled and free.