Permission granted to slow down


Ever since my son and I got back from our month off the grid in Western North Carolina–read What the Mountains Taught Me–I’ve been thinking about how speeded up we have all become: plowing through inhumane to-do lists, agreeing to crazy sports practice schedules and insane homework loads, staying up late glued to our online devices and then slugging through the week sleep deprived, commuting for hours in traffic to jobs we don’t love or events we don’t want to attend and just generally trying to do too much. And as I look at my own life and type-A tendency to always underestimate how much energy and time things take, I’m pondering what needs to happen to prompt us all to wake up from this hyper-busy madness.

Yesterday morning while in a downward dog at yoga, I realized the best place to start is at home, with my own family. So, Sunday night we met over Indian Rice Pudding and thought through what we each most need to hear to allow us to slow down. And the Permission Granted Manifesto was born. I thought I’d share it in case it inspires you to want to do something similar:

Permission Granted Manifesto ~ Fall 2014

The Trudeau family grants permission to ourselves and one another:

  • To practice good is good enough so we can focus on what matters most (example: having granola/fruit/soy milk for dinner one night or giving a school friend a b-day present a week late during a busy time so we can enjoy time together as a family).
  • To change our minds and back off from commitments when necessary (example: cancelling a weekend or day trip, changing our rsvp to a “no,” for a party because we’ve been going non-stop and need to rest).
  • To take a mental health day as dictated by our bodies (example: after a lot of travel, a super intense period at work or a week of exams, you feel your health is less than robust—call in sick and stay home and replenish, don’t wait to get the flu to slow down).
  • To do less so we can put our relationships first (example: there’s a huge school festival happening all day Saturday and we’re exhausted from the week; we decide to sleep in and only go for 2 hours instead of 6).
  • To skip outings and stay home as needed (example: we’ve had evening events twice in one week already and know that the Friday night school concert will put us over the edge—skip it, stay home for pizza night and let our friends fill us in!).
  • To schedule downtime when we feel the need for rest/quiet (example: my 7th grader has had a really challenging week at school and we’re supposed to be gone all day Sunday to see my family in San Antonio; he asks if instead we can stay home and read and rest all day– permission granted!).
  • To take frequent naps and to really relax on the weekends (example: we make the priority for Saturday and Sunday rest/renewal and ensure we don’t pack in so much that come Monday morning, we’re exhausted!). Read more here about the power of REST.

My personal theme for this fall—which is filled with a lot of speaking and travel– is simplicity. For me, this is about creating inner simplicity: a less busy mind, more internal space, a slower pace and a more focused purpose. So, granting myself permission to really do things differently (read more) and get the rest I need, when I need it, feels incredibly good.

INVITE: Join us at Omega Institute Sept. 22-26 for Putting Yourself First: The Ultimate Women’s Self-Care Retreat in Rhinebeck, NY. Learn more and register here.

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness teacher/author and Career Strategists president, 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-care groups based on her award-winning curriculum.  She is the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 12 year-old son. More on her background here.



  1. I absolutely love this. It is so in line with how I feel and thankful you put this into simple & concise words. Thank you Renee.

  2. How timely a message Renee – as I embark today on a “forced” break due to health problems. This is a beautiful message and one I am sending out into the universe by practicing what I preach – the “It’s okay to take care of me” manifesto. 🙂

    • Thanks Ginger, it felt so comforting to create this with my family–our collective exhale is still present 🙂 Appreciate you!


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