Change your environment, change your perspective

This past weekend while I was leading a women’s self-care retreat at Esalen–a beautiful, legendary 40-year-old retreat center in stunning Big Sur, CA–I was reminded of the power of changing environments to shift perspective.

As I lay on my belly on the grass journaling and listening to the ocean waves crash against the rocks a hundred 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. I could hear her quietly whispering a single word to me: perspective.


Lying there on the lawn—I saw my life from 30,000 feet up. All the tasks, deadlines, emails and calls I was up against two days ago were now distant memories. Even my biggest work projects—like overhauling our website—took on a different context and hue.

I felt a warmth spread across my chest and sitting with this, I recognized it as longing for a deeper connection with those I love the most. I realized what huge blessings my relationships are and how much they enrich my life. Gratitude flooded my body. 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.

Two days later in Austin during my morning yoga class, I anchored back to this higher perspective. What came rushing back into my awareness was 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 rather 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.

Want support for gaining a fresh perspective?

  • Attend one of my self-renewal retreats and receive high-level support and mentoring for new ways of being. P.S. My Oct. 27-29 Kripalu retreat has just a handful of spots left (lodging is almost sold out).
  • Schedule me to speak to—or organize a retreat for—your organization, company or team on resiliency, stress management and mindfulness. Learn more.
  • Explore the idea of facilitating or joining our Personal Renewal Groups for women (in 10 countries worldwide); becoming a RTA-Certified Facilitator can be a great way to support your own growth, empower women locally and learn the art of self-care. Our online training is $100 off through Oct. 31st and includes private coaching with me!

Join me here in the Berkshire Mountains of Western MA at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health Oct. 27-29 for New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat.

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by coach/speaker/author and self-care evangelist  Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about living intentionally, 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 Personal Renewal Groups based on her award-winning self-care 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 15 year-old son. More on her background here.