Finding peace through being with what is


An Afghan mother comforts her crying child moments after a dinghy carrying Afghan migrants arrived on the island of Lesbos, Greece. Arrivals have numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis.

As I along with so many others have attempted to digest all of the crises and atrocities we’ve been observing around the world, I have found myself vacillating between wanting to run out and take action and withdrawing from overwhelm to return to the  safety of my home.  Throughout this emotional roller coast I’ve continued to reflect on “What is mine to do?” but I also have been asking the best way to “be” with so much discomfort without succumbing to fear. I keep returning to this reminder: remember to breathe, stay present, feel what’s coming up  and continue to ask, “Can I be with what is right now … and be ok?”

Learning to accept my present state, practice mindfulness, and feel my feelings has been one of the most powerful lessons I’ve ever learned (thanks Kert), and it will always be a work-in progress.

Over time, I’ve come to realize three things: 1)if I can accept where I am without trying to change, it can provide a sweet sense of freedom, 2)I won’t die, drown or implode if I allow myself to truly feel what I’m feeling and it’s key to healing and 3)joy and bliss-just like pain and fear-come and go, too. Don’t get too attached to any one feeling–they’re all here today … and gone tomorrow. Kind of like the constantly changing weather.

Some of the things that have helped me learn to “be with what is,” include:

Having a strong support network, a tribe, that can provide support and validation for the incredible, messy journey of being human (check out our Personal Renewal Groups and consider joining a group or facilitating groups for women in your area as a RTA-Certified Facilitator; these powerful groups have had an enormous impact on my healing over the past 14 years).

Practicing self-compassion and being gentle with myself (especially when I know I’m “triggered” and navigating intense emotional terrain). Consider my upcoming retreats,  which are very focused on cultivating self-compassion.

Keeping the big picture (read cultivating a 30,000 foot view) and being around friends who can help me pull back and gain perspective.

Breathing and conscious movement: whether it’s through pranayama (balancing breath work), yoga, qi gong, energy medicine or walking with a dear friend–these practices really helps us navigate strong emotions, which are simply “energy in motion!”

More support for being with what is: Pick up a copy of my latest life balance title Nurturing the Soul of Your Family  from Amazon or anywhere you find books. I’d love to hear how navigate “being with what is,” on our Live Inside Out FB community.



  • Would you love to gather, support and connect women in your community who are feeling called to focus on their self-care while also reflecting on “What is uniquely mine to do?”  Find out more about our 14 year-old global Personal Renewal Group Program and consider becoming a RTA-Certified Facilitator and leading self-renewal groups/retreats for women in your area ($100 off training special through 2/28/17!).
  • Self-employed and live in Texas? I am co-creating a beautiful new community for business owners seeking a like-minded tribe called UNLEASHED ATX: Mastermind Workshops for Enlightened Entrepreneurs centered around “The Conversations You Wish You Were Having.” The March 31st theme will be Harnessing & Leveraging Our Energy. Learn more/register; space is limited. We’ll be meeting at the inspiring, luxurious, Austin JW Marriott in a window-filled space overlooking one of the most creative cities in the world!


Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teacher/coach/speaker and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Spirituality & Health 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 14 year-old son. More on her background here.