Last Saturday while I was at Esalen–a beautiful, legendary 40 year-old retreat center in stunning Big Sur, CA–leading a women’s retreat, I participated in a writing exercise that I assigned to the women in my group.

As I lay on my belly on the grass with my journal and pen, listening to the ocean waves crash against the rocks 100 yards away, my attention was repeatedly drawn to a 200 year-old tree whose trunk was the diameter of a small yurt. It held court like a wise grandmother with outstretched arms, watching over me with wisdom and compassion. And I felt her quietly and persistently whispering a word to me: perspective.

Lying there on the lawn—-I saw my life from 30,000 feet up. All the tasks, to-dos, and deadlines I was juggling two days ago that had seemed sooo timely …no longer were. All the emails and calls that had seemed so urgent on Friday, were now distant memories. Even my biggest work projects—like completing my book edits for my publisher—-took on a different hue.

I felt a warmth spread across my chest and sitting with this, I recognized it as longing –for my husband and son. I missed them. And I realized what huge blessings they are and how much they enrich my life. Gratitude flooded my body and I dropped my pen and journal, rolled onto my back and rested my head in my hands.

Often when we’re gifted with a mile high view, we try to hold onto it for as long as possible. Grasping and wishing that this new, lighter, looser take on things could hang out with us for another night or two.

This morning in yoga, I anchored back to this higher perspective.  And what came flooding into my awareness was that this way of seeing things—where “people first, deadlines second” and “choosing love over fear” rule the roost—was my true state of being. My innate nature. My birthright.

Perspective is not a remote island I get to visit on occasion, but a large, vast, place within me that sees things as they really are.

I just have to let go and surrender long enough to let my boat dock, anchor and rest awhile.

A MOTHER’S DAY GIFT FOR YOU: In honor of dia de las mamas, we’re giving away a Year-of-Self-Care Package, which includes an all expenses paid trip to my Kripalu retreat (a $2700 value). Learn more.

I love to hear from, connect with and meet The Journey readers at our events. I invite you to:

    • Find Your Tribe: Join or become trained to lead Personal Renewal Groups for women
    • Attend a retreat/event including my June 8th Empowered Entrepreneur and June 22-24 Kripalu retreat;check out all upcoming events
    • Learn about Live Inside Out and receive weekly inspiration on our Live Inside Out Facebook Community
    • Pick up my life balance title The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal from the library or buy it here
    • Read past issues of my Life Balance newsletter
    • Take Action: Contact one of our career or life balance coaches for 1-on-1 support; receive an initial complimentary consultation
    • Empower Others: Schedule Renee for a private workshop or retreat for your company or organization
    • I Choose Love PSA: a reminder that when we come from love–one of the most powerful yet underutilized forces on the planet–we have the ability to transcend fear and remember what we’re really hear to do: give and receive love. Learn more.


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Photo: My tree at Esalen. Artwork on the path to our retreat space. The front lawn at Esalen, facing the Pacific ocean.



  1. What a lovely gift. I have been working on re-defining self-care as something other then self-indulgence. And now that I have a 5.5 year old I am learning how setting limits and saying no to myself and my child is an exquisite form of selfcare

  2. Self-care means that I, too (in addition to my loved ones) need attention, nurturing, creative space, and time. This includes appreciating the moment, unplugging and going off the grid, and enjoying nature. I am much more available to my little ones and adult ones when I consider myself as “valuable.”

  3. Self care—acknowledging that I am worthy of being cared for. Knowing that time for devotion is worth rising early every day. Nurturing the real me, my heart and soul’s need for quiet, creativity, and expression. Desiring, pursuing and working toward self care helps to make me the person God intended and allows me the freedom to give to those around me in an open and loving way.


  1. […] gain a shift in perspective. Intentional time away provides me with the “30,000-foot view,” and reminds me that, as author […]