Go with the flow in 2014

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I haven’t written out annual goals or a marketing plan for my business in two years. On purpose. Yet, I own two successful international coaching/consulting firms, supervise a professional team of eight, travel, am continually generating new programs and expanding our services and offerings globally and am deeply committed to work/life balance. Why would I not map out our firm’s direction and strategies (something I advised clients to do for years)? Because I’ve learned a new more natural, spontaneous approach to getting things done. I call this new way “going with the flow.”  Here’s what this looks like in my daily life:

  • Last summer our marketing manager took a new job and I needed to hire someone to replace her but the hiring process felt flat and no one seemed to be an ideal fit. So I put everything “on hold,” indefinitely (I call this releasing) and a new and better solution—which didn’t involve hiring anyone—emerged. One I had never considered before!
  • I received advice that a program I was creating needed an overhaul. The changes seemed too labor intensive and I decided I was ready to ditch it. So that night, I surrendered, gave myself permission to let it go and went to bed. I woke up the next morning crystal clear on what revisions needed to be made, spent 30 minutes making the changes and celebrated my renewed excitement and clarity about this new offering!
  • One weekend my adolescent son was in total disequilibrium. My old style would have been to try and figure it all out, gain control (hah!) and create and execute a plan. But when I softened, admitted I did not have the answers and received a reminder of how much of his behavior is due to his brain rewiring—I let out a sigh of relief and let go. And lo and behold, when I relaxed, the entire family dynamic shifted and everyone relaxed.

Do I always “go with the flow” in my home and work life? No. But I do a lot of the time. It’s my intention to live this way in every area of my life. To remain open and receptive to new opportunities, but rely heavily on my inner guidance system, intuition and ability to trust to steer me towards how best to use my energy, time and talents.

Do I sound like a slacker? Let me share a bit about my journey. As the oldest of seven children, the daughter of overachiever parents, a type A personality and someone who likes to live and work BIG, for years I pushed myself to accomplish and produce so I could feel more worthy (getting you on the cover of National Geographic was not enough—we also need you featured on NOVA!). Professionally, I was incredibly successful and I helped a lot of people and did a lot of good along the way. But in the process, I exhausted myself. I adopted many stressful habits and ways of approaching work and life –such as always raising the bar and never feeling “good enough,”– that after time, no longer served me. In my early thirties, several wise teachers entered my life and coached me on how to trust in the flow of life and l-e-t  g-o. These sages showed me by example that there is another way to get things done that is more spacious, natural, spontaneous and kind. I discovered that when you “go with the flow,”  (some call this working in “the zone,” being in an alpha wave state or for others it’s tapping into a universal or creative flow) you adopt a way of moving in the world that allows you to bring projects to fruition, launch big initiatives, navigate major life changes, serve in a way that feeds rather than drains you– and still be present and connected to loved ones and to yourself.

Ready to let go of stress (read more here) control, worry and constantly pushing to make things happen? Want to experience more success and freedom and strengthen your ability to trust and let go?  I’d love to be your guide and personally support you in entering 2014 with more ease and spaciousness than you ever thought possible.

P.S. The $99 early bird rate for New Way of Being: Learning to Go with the Flow telecourse (launching Jan. 9th) ends Friday, Dec. 20th. The course takes place over the phone (classes are recorded) with regular support via a private, optional Facebook group and is designed for men/women of all ages and life stages.  If you’re ready to go deeper with me, receive high-level coaching and enjoy a circle of support with like-minded men/women, join us! Learn more.

*GIVEAWAY!*  Want to win free registration for you and your spouse, friend, family member or co-worker for the New Way of Being: Learning to Go with the Flow telecourse (plus two signed copies of Nurturing the Soul of Your Family--my latest life balance title)-a $260 value?  Share in the comments section below what it means to you to live and work in flow. We’ll choose a winner and announce the name on Friday, Dec. 20th on our Live Inside Out with Renee Trudeau Facebook page!

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teacher/speaker, author Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping and more. Her newest release is Nurturing the Soul of Your Family. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 11 year-old son. More on her background here.


  1. Going with the flow for me means trying to let go of trying to take control. I am a control freak and whenever a situation gets messy, my control freak tendency rears it’s head. I’ve been really trying to stop, recognize what I’m doing, and let it go.

  2. I’m so intrigued that you have managed a successful career while going with the flow. Especially at this time of year I hear about goal setting & planning for the new year. I would love to hear more about how to blend success & flow.

  3. I have goosebumps! At our Thanksgiving Dinner this year, we asked everyone to share their 2014 WORD(after doing this in 2013, my husband is now a huge believer!). His one word for 2014 was Flow and with no prompting on my part- he explained that there would be an ease at every turn. Almost as if someone was walking next to him and handing him the perfect tool from the toolbag for each project that would arrive. He’s never done a telecourse before but am sending him the information now.

  4. Going with the flow has meant putting my prenatal classes on hold, even though there was a demand for them, so that I can be with my family, refill my well, and find a space where I can teach without compromising the quality of my offerings.

  5. Living and Working in Flow means that life becomes a dance – where I can gracefully move in and out of situations with family and work while still honoring and being true to myself.

  6. Interestingly, receiving your “go with the flow” email jarred me into knowing exactly what I needed to do for my own business. Although I had been dithering around thinking about what to do next, thanks to your email I knew what to do and got it done in an hour. When “go with the flow” works, it works beautifully!

  7. I keep my flow by not holding on to outcomes.

    Meaning, I can plan something amazing for my family and it won’t work. My reaction to the is more important than the initial disappointment.

    My intention is what is important…not always attaching to the result.

    This is hard for me, so I meditate often and keep my yoga practice strong. This allows life to flowwwww…

  8. Jessica English says:

    For me, going with the flow means stopping to breathe into whatever unexpected situations present themselves. There are always twists and turns, and I try hard to flow with them, rather than letting my adrenaline take over. For much of my life, I approached problems by beating them into submission. In my 40s, I’m working on flowing with them instead.

    • Hi Jessica-thank you for you beautiful share. Your name was chosen from the “hat” and you’ve won the package for a registration for two to the New Way of Being: Learning to Go with the Flow telecourse and 2 signed copies of Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life (a $260 value)! Congratulations–we’re so happy to welcome you and your friend to the class. Please email jessa at reneetrudeau dot com with your two emails and she’ll set you up with all the details. Hurray!! Renee P.S. Still time for friends to join us for http://www.NewWayofBeing.net launching Jan. 9th!

  9. Kristi Cleveland says:

    Balance and clarity of thought in day to day life, making it so that I am gentle with myself and take care of my needs while being able to manage my time and energies productively would be going with the flow for me. Try as I might, time does not stand still and I cannot stop precious moments from slipping away or due dates and deadlines from looming over head, but I can try and just flow with it and be aware of each moment.

  10. Great shares Kristi, Fanny, Marie,, Kathy, Jessica, Meghan, Nicole, Dianna, Eden–thank you. You inspire me to feel more trusting around my work and to keep exploring new ways to let go. I notice the more expansive and open I am around projects/goals–the more success and joy I experience. Here’s to “going with the flow” in 2014–hope you can join me!!

  11. Working and living in the flow to me means listening to my heart, and then my life flows with ease.

  12. I tend to be more “go with the flow” when it comes to my kids — I learn from them every day and if I tried to control everything with them, we would all miss out. I’m fairly good about it at work, although there are things here and there I want to control completely. My biggest need to let go is with my husband. He is always on his own timeline with his own agenda and it drives me CRAZY when he throws off my schedule and MY agenda. I sometimes think he does it intentionally because he knows it drives me crazy…lol. I need to learn a happy middle ground with him so we both get to enjoy the activities we love and I’m not so crazy when we show up everywhere late.

  13. For me, to live and work in flow means letting go of the “to do” lists, the thoughts cluttering my mind, and the inability to concentrate, and instead, focus on the present moment, being with my son, smelling his soft neck and noticing his hair curl around his ears. It’s being present in my work life, engaged in the process of creating, without worry about the time that passes. It’s seeking out the moments of peace that flow naturally from a mind that is no longer running constantly with too many thoughts. It’s ease that I can access by listening to my intuition, heeding its expert advice, and following my inner compass.

  14. Angela Ekvall says:

    To live and work in flow for me means to release the things we cannot control. One of my life mantras is “let it go.” There are just some things we have no control over, so in the end, we need to trust that the Universe, our guides are leading us in the direction we need to move. It’s a trust in something greater that will create a spirit of ease in our dis-ease filled lives.

  15. Christina Dunn says:

    Wow… Did this speak to my heart today!!

    I’ve been doing a really good job of taking care of myself after attending Renee’s retreat at kripalu in October. It’s been a very challenging journey to say the least. To take care of myself and be in tune with my own feelings, needs, and desires has been practically against the cultures that surround me. Though it has been so amazingly rewarding and fulfilling. I have had energy, love, and kindness to share with so many individuals around me. I’ve felt better than I ever have in my life. I’m living my life not letting my life run me. My flow happened today when I struggled with fatigue, traffic, snow, being late, housework… It all just caught up to me and got the best of me. My flow was so obstructed that it hurt. That is when a friend whom I’ve shared a lot with over the past few months of my journey returned back to me the kindness and gentle loving reminder that all was still ok. She acknowledged my pain and struggle while encouraging me to keep going with my journey. She told me she was returning the flow that I had given her during some difficult times she had experienced recently. That is what flow is to me. When lose track of our own flow but the kindness and love we have shown to others flows us back.

  16. Debbie Roberson says:

    Go with the flow means to me that I am able to make decisions based on what is important in the moment for me, my family or my clients. It means that I have the freedom to be flexible with goals, projects and other life issues, such that I don’t feel “boxed in”. This gives me confidence that I am making sound judgements for all interested parties, based upon the information at hand in that moment, and that we can all be in a winning situation. This leads to a final destination of no regrets, no remorse, and pure joy for living in the moment.

  17. Going with the flow….Today this meant surrendering to the present moment. I allowed myself to drop my to do list in order to show up and really be present for my young children. It also meant me honoring the whole lot of mixed, unsorted emotions that are popping up about big transitions that are on the way.

  18. Stephanie Hirchert-Walton says:

    Going with the flow means acknowledging “It is what it is”, not resisting what is presented, but rather noticing and let perhaps sleeping on it. I can have a “to do ” list and prioritize, and then be grateful for the synergy that happens when everything doesn’t happen like I thought it “should” the day before, but somehow unfolds to help me out. I would really like to really live this way more often–for myself as a first born and my younger sister. I’m a social worker and she’s a teacher…and we’re good at our jobs, but can also rally against the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of systems and in turn not harbor our energy for the best outcome–because we ourselves are drained…..off to take care of my kids….another reason this would be valuable for my whole family. Best wishes, Stephanie

    • Thanks Stephanie and all for the great shares. They have really made me pause and look at how I will be creating http://www.NewWayofBeing.net in a way that will best serve. Two more days to enter comments and a chance to win. We’ll draw a name on the 20th! It’s very encouraging and inspiring to me to see how many husband/wife, sibling, parent/child and coworker teams are signing up to do the telecourse together–talk about rich dinner table conversation! Sending good thoughts to all.

  19. Jacquelyn O'Donohoe says:

    For me, going with the flow is not trying to resist or take control over situations that don’t absolutely require it. It’s about taking care of myself so I’m in the frame of mind to forgive, forget, and make peace with the fact that I just can’t do everything myself. It’s finding humor in even serious situations and taking time to appreciate the good in the world. It’s about knowing when to be fully present and when to pause and look within.

  20. Stephanie D says:

    Going with the flow means letting go of expectations — a really difficult one for me as I’m always battling perfectionism.

  21. Going with the flow looks like softening, consciously, when things are not going my way. So hard not to get angry and figuring out, but change is needed.

  22. Going with the flow means not to say no to my family. when we are together because I’m am told I’m to controling so I’m not to say anything at all just need to ho along with what ever they say or want to do.

  23. Today going with the flow was losing my own expectations and embracing was is right now.

  24. I had Going with the Flow on my list of to do’s and then my normal go-go, working outside the home, 2 hour each way commute life came to a screeching halt. At that point on Labor Day, Going with the Flow moved from a lofty goal that I was going to get to someday to a necessity for my survival and rearing of my 2 young children. Sudden mental illness in my husband, divorce filing days before Thanksgiving and single motherhood. I lost friends and support as I anguished trying to control and solve the ramifications of my husband’s unforeseen mental illness. Then I broke and started Going with the Flow. It is the sole thing that got me and my kids through these 3 months, including the eviction notice that we received (and I calmly addressed) this week. For some religious belief or family provide the grounding they need to make it through difficult times. I now know that Going with the Flow is the only thing that provides me with the ability to survive. And when I reclaim my (our) life in 2014 I won’t dare drop it.

  25. Thanks so much to all for your beautiful shares on how you “go with the flow.” You inspired me.
    Our winner is Jessica English-her name was drawn at random last night. Congrats Jessica! There’s still time for you all to join us for the New Way of Being: Learning to Go with the Flow telecourse launching Jan. 9th (www.NewWayofBeing.net). This class will take place via phone for 4 Thur. evenings and all calls are recorded. You also will be a part of a private Facebook Group for class members–size is limited to make this an intimate offering. Other benefits are on the NWB page. I’d love to be your guide/coachh in 2014, I hope you’ll join me! P.S. A little birdie told me the $99 early bird price which ended last night, is still available today until the webmistress changes it on the site. Then it goes up to $129. http://www.NewWayofBeing.net

  26. My mentor has often encouraged me not to FORCE ideas, but let them flow. If I find myself forcing something to work its my sign to let it go and move on. Sometimes we want something to work, but its just not in the cards.

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