How do you nourish your heart?

Winter flora at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health; I'll be leading a retreat here Jan. 24-26.

Winter flora at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health; I’ll be leading a women’s self-care retreat here Jan. 24-26.

As a life balance teacher, I’m intrigued by how we can come into more harmony as we navigate work/life, family, relationships, caregiver roles and modern life.  Part of enhancing balance is learning to attune to our emotional self-care (ex: taking time for heart-felt communication with friends who care about us, asking for support from a counselor/coach when needed, allowing ourselves to feel to heal) as well as our physical, spiritual and mental needs.

In this vein, I’ve grown increasingly concerned about how we’re all communicating these days. Friends that used to regularly call me around the dinner hour to visit about our day, now only text. My son says he won’t use our land line to call his friends to plan a date because, “They just don’t do that, Mom.”  Our college communications interns are typically uncomfortable at the thought of returning phone calls to our customers or team members, they much prefer texting. When we rely so heavily on electronic communication, our exchanges become short, shallow and one-dimensional. We’re missing nuance, tone and this type of empty communication does little to feed our hearts, establish and build relationships and cultivate social and emotional intelligence.

And in a time when rates of depression and anxiety are skyrocketing, this is not a good thing.

I just started facilitating a new national class via phone focused on key practices that help us “let go,” (learn more). I was impressed and touched by how quickly our class members connected with one another in a deep, authentic, powerful way as we explored what it means to learn to release control and go with the flow. Their interactions clearly fed their hearts.

We’ve also been exploring how to nurture our inner landscape: our hopes, fears, needs and desires–and how key this self-care practice is to cultivating our ability to “let go.”

One of my favorite exercises for connecting to our “inner world” is the Quickie Journaling Exercise (from my new award-winning book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family).  It involves asking three simple questions and recording your answers in a notebook or journal. It often helps to write stream of consciousness–let whatever wants to emerge–and place a hand over the center of your chest while reflecting on each question. How do I feel?  What do I need (at this moment, at this life stage)? What do I want (what is my heart’s greatest desire)?  Often in just five minutes, you are able to unearth a treasure trove of insights.

We need each other (read my blog post on this theme) fully and completely: hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Not just through rapid fire texts or Facebook Likes. I challenge you this week to look at ways when you can make your communication more authentic and heartfelt. Try picking up the phone to call a friend you haven’t spoken to in months or setting up a girl’s or guy’s night out. I’d love to hear how it goes and hope you’ll share your observations here.

P.S. Like the Quickie Journaling Exercise and want to learn how to let go, go with the flow and access powerful tools/resources for enhancing peace in everyday life? Registration for New Way of Being: Learning to Go with the Flow ends this Thur. Jan. 16 at midnight, when our classroom doors close. The class takes place via phone and an optional private forum, all classes are recorded, the telecourse is for men/women at all life stage (perfect for those in career/life transition) and you can actively participate or stay on the sidelines–it’s all good. A few spots still left–is one of them yours?

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by work/life balance speaker/author Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning curriculum. 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. I spent an hour this morning talking–really talking–to a friend about all the things swimming around in my head. I don’t usually do that, and we could have left our conversation as it began, with catching up about what each of us is doing volunteer-wise at our children’s school and work-wise. But we crossed that threshold into the real. I hadn’t read Renee’s post then, but reading it now, it’s spurred me to thank my friend for being who she is, in herself, and who she’s been for me.

    • YES! Thanks for taking the time to share. These heartfelt conversations are like oxygen–essential to our well-being.