Let’s lift each other up!

women's retreat

“One of the greatest gifts we can give another woman–and ourselves–is to seek out opportunities where we can help one another shine. Every day I look for ways to support and elevate the voice of my sisters. When one of us shines, we all shine.” Renee Peterson Trudeau

I once spoke at a girls empowerment conference to a group of three hundred ten to thirteen-year-olds. As I was waiting to go on stage, I overheard a small group of tweens talking about their day. One of them was really on fire after learning about civil engineering, and she was inspired to share her career dreams with the others. I could see her face quickly shift from a state of open excitement and joy to one of embarrassment and withdrawal as the other girls subtly expressed their discomfort at seeing their young friend so clearly own and express her personal power. And just recently while attending a networking event, I saw a zealous young marketing consultant get pushed to the periphery of a conversation by more senior consultants  –dismissing her very right  to be seen and heard!

This is so not ok. Not on any level. Not ever.

Growing up, I don’t recall being around women who modeled true “sisterhood” for me. But when I was in my late twenties, I took a leadership course with a woman who ended up being a life-long sister and mentor to me. Margaret modeled some beautiful ways to “be,” but most importantly she challenged me to stop playing small and she held an oceanic space for me to blossom into the fullest expression of who I am. And slowly, I learned to do this, not alone, but with many incredible women by my side.

Today, as a wife, mother, business owner, mentor and community activist, moving in the world with the support of my sisters, is the only way I know how to be.

What does sisterhood mean to me?  It’s a way of being with other women—both young and old— where I:

  • Hold the highest and best for them and see them as their “future selves”—especially when they’re going through a rough time.
  • Encourage vulnerability and authenticity in our relationship and communication (I’m a “get real or go home,” kind of woman!).
  • Practice forgiveness and generosity (with myself) and others and model this freely.
  • Accept them exactly where they are right now and mean it when I say, “Come as you are.”
  • Allow my sisters and myself to show up in our relationship “warts and all,” and fully exhale (unbuttoning the top button of my jeans helps here!).
  • Derive joy and exhilaration from sharing my sisters’ wisdom/gifts with others and delight in seeing them shine big and bright.
  • State my needs AND ask them on a regular basis, “How can I support you?” and really mean it!
  • Freely share my successes and don’t feel I need to shrink or dim my presence when I’m with them.
  • Enjoy reciprocity—giving and receiving in equal measure and serving my sisters in a way that “feeds me rather than drains me.”
  • Invite in a level of intimacy—with a chosen few—that allows me to share the deepest parts of myself.
  • Am willing to lovingly “truth tell” and acknowledge what’s not being said or seen—even at the cost of having someone not like me.
  • See their innate worthiness and remind them that “their ordinary self is enough” (thanks Carol).

Last month while facilitating a women’s leadership retreat I heard–as I always do at my retreats–“I was so amazed at how comfortable I felt in this group … how quickly we dropped into ‘real, heartfelt’ conversation … how healing it was to have dialogue with such depth … how powerful it was to be with other women and to feel so supported.” And, “I have never experienced anything like this; I didn’t even know being with other women in this way was possible!” (Hear more from women at this retreat and from clients.)

I really took these words to heart.  For many, this IS a new way of being with other women. It’s a courageous path that requires us to practice extreme self care AND fully show up willing to be both seen and heard. Shine on sisters. Shine on.

Sisterhood~take time to explore the following questions this week:
-What does sisterhood mean to me? Who in my life models this for me?
-Do I have women in my life that provide a soft place to fall and allow me to show up “warts and all?”
-What would it feel like to interact with other women in a more vulnerable, authentic way?
-What do I perceive as barriers to experiencing a deeper sisterhood in my own life?

TAKE ACTION +WIN A WOMEN’S RETREAT (CALIFORNIA) FOR YOU AND A GIRLFRIEND!

  • *FREE* RETREAT GETAWAY FOR YOU + A FRIEND! Want to win registrations for you and a girlfriend to join me in the California redwoods April 20-22 at 1440 Multiversity near Santa Cruz, CA for Embracing the Wild Unknown: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat? Share your answer to: What does self-care mean to me in 2018? in the comments section below. We’ll announce a winner on April 1st (a $650 value-you just cover your room)!   Note: this gorgeous new retreat center –nestled in the CA redwoods offers an easy 20 minute shuttle ride from the San Jose, CA airport. It features a healing spa, expansive forest trails, amazing CA cuisine, mind-body classes and more.
  • Craving authentic community and want to find (or create) your tribe? Learn more about our global sisterhood of RTA-Certified Facilitators  and empower/support women in your community!  More here on how to become a RTA-Certified Facilitator  ($100 off through 3/31!) or locate Personal Renewal Groups in your area.
  • Once a year I offer a Texas one-day self-renewal retreat on Mother’s Day weekend (but they sell out quickly!). We just announced our May 11 New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat (check out our bring-a friend special and reserve your spot today). Learn more.
women's retreat

1440 Multiversity near Santa Cruz, CA is the newest retreat center to join the legends. Nestled in ancient redwood trees, it’s stunning, expansive & restorative. Join me here April 20-22 for Embracing the Wild Unknown; reserve your room today & check out the giveaway above!

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/speaker/author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women experience balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning self-care curriculum.  She is the author of three books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 16-year-old son. More on her background here.

Share

Comments

  1. Maria Kalin says:

    Self care to me means singing with “my sisters in song” in a 100 women accappella chorus, working out with a group of women and being challenged by a very encouraging coach, meeting monthly with my women spirituality group, working with a spiritual director. I am so blessed to have all those women in my life. I worked hard to gather them around myself.

  2. Allison Wade says:

    Self-care means acknowledging my needs and stop putting everything else above my needs. It means self-compassion, especially during hard times and when I make mistakes. It means loving and caring for myself, recognizing that my voice matters, my thoughts matter, that I matter. It means that I am good enough right now, not once I reach a certain goal or level of personal growth. I am good enough just as I am period. It means caring for and talking to myself as if I am my best friend. Self-care, formerly an elusive concept, now a transient dream I can’t seem to hold onto but desperately seek.

  3. Sara Brand says:

    To me, self care in 2018 means envisioning exactly the life and day I want to have every day and being grateful for it to come through before and while it does.

  4. What does self-care mean to me in 2018? Empowered embodiment of self with daily sacred ritual, uphold boundaries that honor my deepest intentions, feminine and pleasurable movement and nourishment of mind, body and spirit. And expanding joy with living in gratitude.

  5. Self-care for me in 2018 is a whole shift in my perspective. After years of taking care of young children, they are now a bit older and self sufficient (um, kind of). I have time to focus on my needs, which is daunting after years of serious neglect and burnout! I’m taking time for self -reflection and creativity. I’m still finding my way and understanding the next chapter of my life. You personal retreat suggestions and check-in have been helpful in guiding me!

  6. Dear Renee
    I knew I had to learn to take care of me or I wouldn’t live to a ripe old age.
    I knew living the life I was doing was going to make me sick and I had to stop .
    My favorite place in the world is where I started, so I took myself to Esalen
    as a birthday gift to myself. I joined your Personal Womens retreat for a weekend.
    I was so happy I was able to actually spend that money on me. I fell in love with our
    group and you and your assistants. I wanted that glow, that joy and ease of giving
    to yourself not selfishly but in a nuturing kind way.
    I indulged all weekend at Esalen and was most powerfully moved when we did
    the reading of the letter to ourselves. I loved learning from you so thank you.

    Taking care of myself in 2018 is an assortment of goodies I’ve learned along the way
    most importantly for me is space for being. Allowing myself the time to sit and meditate
    and contemplate is the key to remembering what is truly most important which is being
    in a state of allowing the calm and ease to protect me from the busyness of the world .
    I realize a soothing hot bath complete with mineral salts, music and candles is more
    than getting clean. It is a ritual of loving self care and I emerge a kinder and cleaner human being
    that brings a joyful energy to the world!
    ps Thank you Renee- your emails remind me to do so xo

  7. For me, self-care going forward this year means listening to my own needs and desires while continuing to go through a very challenging situation in my marriage, which likely has no ideal solution. I would love to build a true support network to counter feelings of isolation, reconnect friendships I’ve neglected, and nourish my soul by committing to doing the things I love. Basically, giving myself permission to have my own identity rather than solely existing as a support for someone else in crisis.
    Thank you for your inspiring words and thoughts!

  8. Andrea Fereshteh says:

    Self care is something I learned to do the hard way after overextending myself and trying to be everywhere for everyone after the birth of my second child. I learned to set boundaries with my children, to tell my husband honestly how I was feeling and ask for help, to learn that it was ok to break patterns set by my mother and grandmother and establish healthy routines and boundaries for myself – and that included returning to work part-time, putting my kids in daycare and giving myself a day each week to get errands done and go to yoga, take a walk in the woods or just wander the aisles of TJ Maxx! And the most important thing is to take a moment for a daily “sadhana” – even if that’s reading Renee’s emails and reflecting for a moment on the message – to take a breath, stay grounded and aligned with Source in order to stay sane! Thank you Renee for all your wisdom and offerings!

  9. Luisa Vargas says:

    In 2018 I hope to be more accepting of where I am at the present moment. Constantly working to change something about myself is not only exhausting but also unhealthy for my mind and body. For me, self-care this year is not necessarily about doing but about accepting myself no matter where I am in life, knowing that I am doing the best that I can.

    • so beautiful Luisa–“accepting myself no matter where I am in life” –you are exactly where you need to be right now 🙂

  10. jaNmeyeR says:

    Self care
    Thinking of self care
    Triggers subtle messages
    From childhood.

    The faint voices who
    Still live in my head whisper
    Broken promises.

    Yet the morning haze
    Is lifting as my spirit evolves
    With new awareness.

    Learning to listen
    My heartsong rises with joy
    And fresh melodies.

    Caring for myself…
    Radical celebration
    Of who I am now.

    Creating a life
    Filled with conscious gratitude
    For small miracles.

    A ballet of peace
    Surrounding each circumstance
    With gentle breathing.

    .

  11. Tiffany Hammond says:

    This year a facet of my self-care looks like challenging myself – in the right ways! As a guide for when it’d be beneficial to step outside my comfort zone, I want to become more in tune with what I’m needing and be real with myself. Sometimes comfortability isn’t the best option, but fear blinds me from the possibility of anything being better. However this year I feel ready, if you will, to step out into the unknown. In addition, to take on positive challenges, I hope also to reclaim my energy – spending more time doing activities that fuel me and stepping back from doing things or surrounding myself with company that consistently drain me.

  12. Peggy Hammond says:

    What does self care mean to me in 2018…. to love and accept myself. I am not my past I am my present and for this I am grateful. My tribe of women is important to
    Me as judgement free loving accepting friends. My happiness is no longer in somebody else’s pocket from the past. I have that control and that’s empowering. I can live as I choose . I have been broken now I shall blossom,

  13. Becky Poulson says:

    Going easy on myself and not feeling like I have to “get it right” all the time whether it’s work, relationships, or parenting. Letting go of the guilt from ending an unhappy marriage. Getting 7 hours of sleep every night and incorporating spin, meditation, and yoga on a regular basis. Making time to do the things that bring me joy. Remembering to be grateful for the people who love and support me. And an occasional massage would be nice!

  14. Rebecca Brindley says:

    In 2018 self-care means excusing myself at least one weekend a month from driving to my parents’ home to care for them and their needs. I work full time and need this gift I have given myself to decompress from being someone for someone else-and just be me for myself (whatever that means at the moment.) It isn’t easy-at 89 my mom is a great guilt trip driver-but I try to stand firm for me-and ultimately for she and my dad.

  15. Shaillee chopra says:

    Self care to me means embracing my vulnerabilities and my imperfections with compassion and kindness. Giving myself permission to revel in just Being, while taking a break from the constant hustle of Becoming. My intention for self care in 2018 includes practicing mindful awareness and self love.

  16. Jessica Shiok Maher says:

    Self care in 2018 means continuing to connect with myself. By asking “What do I feel? What do I need? What do I want?” And truly listening for the answer to these questions. I tend to skip over the “What do I feel?” question, which then makes knowing the What do I Want? and What do I Need? questions difficult to answer accurately. I’m not good at the What do I Feel question. I’m getting better at it. I’m working at it. My mantra from the June Kripalu retreat was “Feel more. Think less”. Self care for me in 2018 is to continue practicing this way of being.

  17. Self-care in 2018 to me means deepening my connection with myself and listening ever more intently to what it is that I need and desire day to day, moment to moment. I have realized that self-care is my life blood and the foundation of all else, and so it is what supports and sustains all else; therefore it is unselfishly my number one priority! (and I’d be beyond thrilled to win a spot in this retreat for me and a friend! Thanks for the chance!)

  18. Self-care for me in 2018 means letting go of trying to make everything perfect, and just going with the flow in this new season of my life.

  19. Christine Hightower says:

    As I reflect back through my life I’ve had so many wonderful “teachers/guides/sisters” whom have taught me to honor myself yet life gets in the way and I forget. I experienced loss this past year and as such have awakened to the reality of a different way of being. The journey thus far has only been possible through the practice of extreme self care. The loss of my soulmate/husband has thrust me into the inward journey back to myself, back to remembering who I am. Through this loss I have learned that I must love myself and honor the person I am, this will be a lifelong practice but the art of extreme self care is the pathway to achieving that. If we don’t honor ourselves and our needs than we offer nothing to the rest of the world. After all, we are divinely connected and part of a collective energy.

  20. Chrystal Broyles says:

    What does self-care mean to me in 2018? … It means EVERYTHING!! Setbacks in my career and personal life have shaken my self-worth and esteem. I feel I’ve given to others and to my work, even when I really didn’t have it in me to give… at times when I was overwhelmed trying to balance work and my personal life. 2018 started out with a major life change, a divorce from my significant other of 14 years. Now as a single (working) mom, I want to be the best mom for my kids. Yet, I still feel wounded from my setbacks. Self-care hasn’t been a priority, because family, work, and other outside commitments have come first. However, I’m learning that taking time for YOU, helps you help others.

  21. Annette Berkowitz says:

    Self care to me means..becoming more attuned and listening in, it means taking the time to stop living in my mind and everything that that entails, and instead connect to and trust the vast expanse of intelligence all around us, for guidance and love….

  22. Barb Price says:

    Self care has taken precedence for me this year (“kids” got their roots and spread their wings so have moved on) and it’s made such a difference in my life. I starting practicing meditation in October and while spotty at first, it is as routine now as brushing my teeth. Twenty minutes in the morning and twenty in the evening and it’s been amazing. I also LOVE to crank up my music and DANCE, so I do that everyday, but one of the most gratifying things that began as self-care has turned into my “secret sand dollar project”. I collect sand dollars while walking the beach and have for years, and some years ago, my daughter and I began painting them and making them into ornaments to give to loved ones. As the new year rang in, I found myself feeling like all the letters, phone calls and emails to legislatures about the insanity going on in our country was taking a toll and I needed a break. I started painting sand dollars – in bright vibrant colors; then I hand letter messages on them “Let your light shine” “You are enough” “wisdom, courage, strength” “rise and shine” “kindness is free” “choose love”…etc….and once I have a decent batch done, I will go out and leave them in random spots for people to find. The self care in not just the love of painting/lettering, but it’s also nourishes my soul to think that something I love to do may also wind up being a bright spot in someone’s day. <3

  23. Caroline Brenner says:

    Self care for me looks like….continuing my yoga practice so I can develop my intuition more. Be my own best friend and accept who I am. Practice random acts of kindness to those around me. Being grateful 🙂

  24. Sarah Beavins says:

    Self care in 2018 looks like giving myself permission to do things for me. I often (like many working women and moms) put myself last. I don’t do it consciously, but I realized I do it often. I also need to allow myself time to dream and to plan, rather than be so reactionary to what is happening around me. Giving myself space to do this is a challenge and something I am actively working on in 2018.

  25. Sel- care to me is a new-ish topic. I have spoken to other women about the need to take care of themselves. I have told some friends how important it is because others depend on them and they can’t take care of others if they don’t take care of themselves first. Then I leave and run myself ragged for my family. I don’t have peace in my body to sit down and “chill”. There is so much to be done and not enough hours in the day. I have been a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to four children. One has flown the coop and given me a granddaughter, one has turned 18 this year and I still have two young boys, 9 and 10. I just finished RN school in December and I am taking online classes for my BSN. I am waiting to work until next year when I finish my BSN and t give the boys another year of me helping them before taking on a job as well. My husband is an over-the-road trucker so I do have a lot on my plate. I have been trying to slow things down more and tell myself that it will still be there tomorrow. I have been taking my coffee to the front porch for some alone time and reflection before I begin my day. I have been making time for working in my garden because that is self-care to me. I enjoy working with the earth and growing things with my hands. I have also been taking time to visit my people at the local nursing home too. I used to work there and still try to find time to visit them. I am a servant-type person so by doing for others is another way that makes me feel good. I have thought about the future as an empty nester and it scares me. I don’t know who I am as an individual yet and I am forty-three. I have centered my life around caring for my family for so long I have never discovered who I truly am. I am trying to begin that discovery process. Thanks for the great read. I love reading self-help stories but I need to learn to do more than just read them.

  26. Self care for me in 2018 is asking for help, talking walks during my lunch break, trying a new meditation class, seeing friends regularly, going to yoga, calling my sister to tell her my feelings were hurt, and remembering that now is the opportunity to make the right choice for me to eat right, stay in, reserve judgey comment.

  27. Claudia Goedde says:

    Self- Care to me means Self-Love sprinkled throughout my day, especially during hard times when I feel so so low. It means showing up for myself with more presence and self-compassion. Taking the time when there really doesn’t seem to be any and allowing myself a time-out and just be.. It also means yummy tea, warmth, birdsongs, humor and hugs. Just bringing more sweetness and joy into my life even when I feel undeserving. Saying Yes and doing it anyways:)

  28. For me self-care is very much about the moment. Couple weeks ago I lost my mom. I was honored to be there at that sacred time when she passes over to the other side. My heart is broken and I’m grieving deeply but for me self-care is very much around listening to what I need in responding. It means this extrovert spending a lot of time alone, journaling and creating without intention of showing a soul. For me this socially active woman is going inward. I’m dealing with things as I can being extremely gentle without judgment to this journey. It means that yes, I Spill plates of food Accidentally, at parties. My usual together self is messy and welcoming of what comes. And self-care for me means allowing my closest people to reach out and in circle me with love

  29. Keren Trylesinski says:

    This year I want to learn the kind of self care that works for me. The one that helps with my anxiety and negative thoughts.
    I’m new to self care and looking forward to find ways to love and take care of myself!

  30. Self care for me in 2018 means letting go of the guilt I feel when I take time out for myself. Allowing myself to do the things that fulfill me and not worrying about the kids, chores, etc.

  31. Deborah Bussewitz says:

    What does self-care mean for me in 2018? Self-care allows me to recognize and welcome my essence and in that space of recognition to respond to my world with compassion and tenderheartedness. I am entering a time of my life where I unabashedly and intently recognize and honor my needs and most especially my desires and wants. How does this unabashed self care look? I am creating spaciousness and time in my life to know me and to know what I like and love and act on that knowledge. I am meditating, journaling and reflecting on my needs, wants and desires. I am playful and open to possibilities. I am creative and creating. And in that space, I am living and giving to myself and others. Self-care is not a stand alone for me that is either giving to myself or giving to others. Self care is both because I get nourished by living fully in my world–all of it. Self-care, when rooted in “essenceness” is nourishing a space in me that allows me most fully to be the me I was created to be and in that marrow of my being give to me and those who are in my world in a “wholefully” way. It is not an either/or. It is a both/and. Self-care, rooted in essence, inspires wholeness within myself and with others. This is my vision of self-care for me in my life in 2018.

    Thank you for the opportunity to name something that has been meandering in my mind by requesting that I respond to what self care in 2018 looks like for me. I appreciate your work, Renee and the spark you give to so many to understand what self-care is for them.

  32. Christine Portman says:

    Self-care for me in 2018 means so much more than ever. I feel so blessed to have encountered my first Mother’s Renewal Group in 2012. Now reading the Guide over and over with other moms has put many more components in place in my practice. Just before the New Year my mom broke her ankle so she and her dog with a herniated disk moved in with my family. Along with my partner and two small kids we are getting along just fine thanks to constantly coming back to center, slowing down and refining priorities. My mantra for 2018 is “I am doing what I am doing.” When I have a moment for a cup of tea, reading, chatting with a friend, or watching tiny desk concerts, I savor that time to be me. Thanks Renee! I so appreciate your reminders and validation to dream, to seek authenticity, to grow.

  33. Cindy Stellato says:

    Self care this year means connecting with people that value lifting others up when they are able.
    It also means not sacrificing myself to the point where I can no longer lift myself or others up.

  34. Jennifer says:

    Self care for me in 2018 means shedding my defensiveness. I am working on being open to myself and trusting myself so that I can stand in my own power and not feel inferior. Feeding my soul with yoga, quiet time, playfulness, pedicures without any guilt will lead me to a better me.

  35. Sally Gruman says:

    Self care to me this year is being reminded that I’m an actual person, my youngest of 3 is 4 years old now and I find myself lost and struggling to remember who I was/am. This is my year to find her again.

  36. Self care for me in 2018 looks like physical care. I’ve adopted a mantra of “Skin Care is self care, “ to remind myself that, if done with intention, simple things like taking a shower and thoroughly completing my skin care regimen each evening hold great power. Because I’m mostly a work at home mama right now, and the evenings are my downtime, it’s easy to fall into lazy habits and neglect myself. But by choosing a simple approach, and holding the magic of my intention, daily tasks become nourishing ritual.

  37. Donna Shands says:

    I plan to try to pull out the “sucker roots” that some have planted in my psyche & untangle my emotions with those I love & care for and to find a healthy balance between helping them, doing what needs to be done & protecting myself. I find that I’ve lost me over the years & need to discover &/or regain my wants/needs….I don’t even know at this point what they are. I want to laugh more & have fun.

  38. Colette Ruff says:

    Self care to me means doing the best for yourself everyday and loving yourself exactly where you are without guilt of not exercising, eating that slice of pie or just relaxing with a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. There is always time to do everything, we need to listen to ourselves as to what we need in every moment and being okay with the outcome.

  39. Want a sense for what my retreats feel like? Watch this 3 minute clip: https://www.youtube.com/embed/X7OY-lZCBOo. We’ll be drawing/announcing a name on Sunday the 1st on the winner of our retreat giveaway!

    PS for all who entered–make sure a)you and your friend are free and available to attend April 20-22 at http://www.1440.org (you fly into San Jose airport or drive to Scotts Valley, CA) and you can cover the room/meals which start as low as $280 for the weekend. Your registration and your friends ($650 value + some special gifts) are covered! This new retreat venue is gorgeous http://www.1440.org

  40. Amanda Ayers says:

    Self-care in 2018 is getting my voice back. Showing up as myself in my marriage has been a tricky road. I haven’t always felt that I can be authentically me. I have felt small, squashed, and my light has been dimmed for a few years. A girlfriend once told me that I am sunshine. This made me realize I hadn’t been living fully. I was not thriving the way I had been previous to my marriage. Self-care has been singing more, dancing, moving my body in ways that feel good. Self-care has been meeting girlfriends for coffee dates, going on long walks along the Charles River where we talk and truly connect. My light is brighter already, even in just these first 3 months of 2018. I can feel the life coming back to my body. My voice is louder and I feel stronger. I hope to continue my journey, this process I have started to being fully myself again. I never again want to feel small in comparison to someone else. I want to stand tall and be proud of who I am. Self-care is now my way of life, it is part of who I am, part of my being and for that I am forever grateful to have learned.

  41. Renee,

    Self care begins with self compassion. Yes, I should meditate and walk and do yoga and eat healthy, journal and allow quiet time for me. I do those things from time to time. Some days are better than others! The most important self care tip for me is… it’s ok to start again!!! I do my best and if I have missed a day or so I start again. I work really hard on letting go of judgement and the self critic and instead find gratitude and self compassion for what I do and all I am!
    Thanks!
    Lisa

  42. Dorris Welch says:

    Renee,

    Self care in 2018 for me! It begins with waking up each morning and taking the reflection time to put a big Chesire Cat smile on that travels through my whole body as I do a gratitude prayer for having my health and all the love I have and share with family and friends. Self Care #1 is Putting my health first meaning I really do eat well and wisely and get exercise every day – if only a 20 minute walk. I make the time to reach out to friends and plan time each week fostering relationships. I make sure I do something I love almost every day – like playing music or hiking. I slow down and take time for reflection and just being with me and being absolutely fine with that! And lastly, I do something every day to foster my future – mentally, professionally and spiritually. This makes every day a fine and fulfilling adventure!

  43. rochelle porzio says:

    Self care, as I look at the year ahead is to be kind and gentle with myself. Radical self-acceptance. To give myself permission to fill my soul and heart up with what makes me feel whole-body, mind and spirit.

    What if I could tend to myself, half as well as I tend to my 8 year old daughter?

  44. Beth Dyer says:

    Self care sounds so simple. For me, it’s learning when to say, “yes,” and when to say, “no. After attending Renee’s retreat last fall, I have started a serious meditation practice. I have started writing creatively again, and I am learning to honor my needs as being just as important as anyone else’s. Everyday, I have to say, “yes,” to myself, which often means saying, “no,” to my desire to do something fun. I like to write in the mornings and meditate in the afternoon. This means, I sometimes have to saw no to appointments, even fun ones, and yes to my desire and need to write and meditate. Since I started saying, “yes,” to those two needs, I’ve noticed some changes in myself. I’m eating healthier, feeling happier, and getting rid of clutter! Thanks to Renee’s wonderful retreat, I’m blossoming again.

  45. Janice Weekes says:

    I learned long ago that “you can’t pour from an empty pitcher.” I need to take care of myself, restore my strength and energy if I want to be there for others. If I am going to give with joy, I must create a space in myself for that joy. Taking care of myself allows me to regenerate joy and gratitude.

  46. Self-care for 2018 means LISTENING to my body for the first time in a long time, and following my bliss. This means tuning in to what I need, sleep, food, movement, touch, quiet, nature. The term beauty-hunting is what my self care looks like so far this year. That means that I buy myself flowers, that means that I light a candle while I am writing, that means that I snuggle with my son extra long in the morning even though I need to get to work, that means that I reach out to the person that I feel intuitively needs me, instead of ignoring that inner voice, that means that I make a green smoothie at 10:42pm because that is what my body is craving, that means that I wear the clothes that I slept in the night before and don’t care. It is permission to feel good, to feel like myself, to extend the kindness and grace I extend to everyone else, to myself, to appreciate the things I love and to seek them out and celebrate them, because they make me ME. 🙂

  47. Audrie Gonzalez says:

    To me self care means letting myself want what I want and allowing time and focus to get there. I’ve had ideas of a business in my mind for years but am afraid of actually building it. I’ve been resisting in so many ways and letting others decide next steps….I want this year to be about releasing that fear and letting myself shine.

  48. Jennifer Bradley says:

    Self-care in 2018 for me is about presence–constantly checking in with myself when I notice I’m out of presence–and simplifying (lots of saying “no” and setting needed boundaries). I am also starting to adjust others’ expectations for me moving forward (e.g., I have warned my daughter that this year was the last elaborate themed birthday party I’ll be throwing for her, giving myself permission and letting others know my intention to take more inward/alone time, etc.).

  49. Melanie Watkins says:

    Saying yes to self-care this year. My oldest daughter graduated and moved away in June.
    We took girl scouts off the list after 12 years. My friend and I have taken our girls on trips every year throughout Texas, to the Grand Canyon and even to London. I would love to take her on a retreat to say thank you for all she has done for us. The Texas retreat is only 30 mins away so that is on my list. I realize time is going by and I need to slow down some. And to prioritize what I really want to do next for myself and with my youngest daughter who has behavior issues. We need to reconnect. I enjoy your email reminders about meditation and these retreats look like the perfect way to de-stress and regroup. I have been asked to be a leader of Faith group at work and I need to spend time alone to be calm so others will look to me.

  50. Nancy Redfield says:

    Self Care for 2018 – Just the topic I’ve been working on!
    This year my goals are:
    More restoritive sleep and less screen time.
    More exercise – I’m back to a daily walk or hike of at least 2 miles.
    Continue eating clean.
    I’ve left a job I’ve been unhappy with and taking 2 months off in between that one and the next position which is a dream position.
    Generally keeping things SImple.

  51. My notes from January remind me that in 2018 I decided to be: FREE to go inward all the days. Be quiet, be authentic, be REFLECTIVE. To be available to myself. It sounds oh so simple, but it takes much and frequent reminding – when my family, who I also intend to be available to, rely on me.

    To summarize, I claimed (and still do) that 2018 is a year of availability and of words. That it is my year to fully embrace the spirit that dwells in my skin. To fully express the good and bad, to develop my inner knowing, to write the words that I have inside and to be an inspiration for all people I love, know and meet.

  52. My word for the year 2018 is ‘Embrace’ which to me has meant focusing on self acceptance, softness and more loving self care. For me, this change of attitude has been harder to adopt than I expected, and one I sometimes feel guilty for, but having this word does help remind me to shift my attitude towards myself and my body and that it’s ok to take care of me. I need to remind myself that it isn’t going to happen overnight and not beat myself up over it. So far this year, I have started meditation and gratitude practices again and try to keep up with physiotherapy exercises as ways to take care of myself.

  53. Jill Johnson says:

    Self care looks like doing the things my heart loves while making room for my work, my family and balancing it all. To fill your life with the best you deserve and can give yourself a hug when you are making progress. It’s all about caring for yourself so that you can care for others.

  54. ‘This year I am doing something new. I have been meditating pretty much every day since I was 32. I am 64. When I was studying to be a minister, I meditated 2 hours every day for 2 years. (That is really too much, I think!) And this year, I am taking that practice to a whole new level. In February, I did my 1st 6-day silent retreat. No speaking AND no listening. It was a profoundly deepening experience on so many levels. I am going back in April and I am going to find other venues for this kind of departure all year. Now I know I will also do at least one silent retreat a year from now on…..2018 is the beginning of this beautiful practice for me.’

  55. Dear Giveaway contestants–thank you for your heartfelt shares! We’ll draw a winner Sunday night (make sure you can get to 1440 April 20-22 and can cover the $280 for room/board!). I wanted to share a radio intv I did yesterday on the power of self-care –this one was for parents, but applies to us all. I think you’ll enjoy it-it “gets real!”:
    https://juliecusmariu.com/2018/03/julie-in-conversation-motherhood/renee-trudeau/

  56. Corey Blake says:

    For me, self care in 2018 means living intentionally – looking deeply at my personal values and shaping my life around those – instead of letting my life shape me in a way that conflicts with my core. I am inspired by the words of Daniel Goleman who said “Starve your distractions, feed your focus.” It is all too easy in life to get swept up in the distractions that the world becomes and lose sight of the things that bring joy and love.
    This year self care for me means not only listening to and hearing what my heart and intuition are telling me but, being brave enough to trust that and act on it. Part of that self care for me is cultivating an awareness of the weights that I have allowed the judgement of others to lay over me. My goal is to get to a place where what I think, what I say, and what I do are aligned in a way that lets my compassionate, kind, and loving wise self be visible, proud, and comfortable with who I am.

    Lofty goals I know. But I think I’m up to the challenge.

  57. Elif iyriboz says:

    Self care in a culture that values continuous productivity and multi-tasking, with no organized social support and time for leisure is a challenge. I’m surrounded by brilliant, caring and loving women who are all stretched to their limits physically, mentally and emotionally while juggling everything. Setting boundaries and recognizing that all of this giving, caring and juggling has a price is a conversation I’m often having. We often don’t have the support of extended family that makes life easier in developing countries nor do we have the social support that is provided in many European countries, making life more balanced with maternity/paternity leaves, longer vacations and shorter workdays. So, given all this, what does self care look like? I think it mostly revolves around setting boundaries at work, at home and with relationships. As women, we often take on much more than we need to. For me, it has been about this… getting real about what I’m willing and not willing to do. What is a priority and what isn’t. Recognizing what I need and making it be a priority was hard but if I did not do this it was not going to happen. Self-care looks like sitting on my porch with a glass of wine & listening to Nina Simone while I reflect and contemplate. It looks like reading a book and a cup of tea or time with my girlfriends. It looks like a getaway with my amazing mom or traveling solo. It looks like a long walk on a beautiful day or maybe a conversation with a stranger.

  58. Corisa Smith says:

    Self-care to me means reminding myself regularly that outing myself first sometimes doesn’t mean that I’m selfish!

  59. Self care for 2018 has been ultimately more consistency. By being more consistent in the things that I do, I will be looking after myself and allowing myself to have some precious me time. It started in January. I wanted to get up early to train. First I had to get my daughter to stop coming into our bed at 2am…as one of us was ending up on the couch! That complete I started doing the Whole30 on Feb 19, still going (good food, healthy happy mind and body), I haven’t had a drink since Jan 1. March 1 I started getting up at 4-4.30am to train. I feel amazing for it. I am so much more productive and have so much more energy. Self Care is also about me reaching fitness goals. So I have a couple of triathlons in the calendar for this year which I can’t wait to cross the line on. This year is about filling my soul with strength. xx

  60. Debbie Zapata says:

    My mantra this year is, “My choice has power.” I do a minimum of one self-care item a day. It could be a yoga class, a run, a massage, but most importantly it is listening to my own voice, speaking my voice and stepping forward regardless of who listens but I am listening to my own voice. I am strong. I am strong because I care for myself. I lead by example. When I fill my cup up first, I can do what I am called to do.

  61. Self Care in 2018 for me:
    Truly inhabiting my body, especially when I work with others;
    Arranging my schedule so I am driving less and staying put more;
    Arranging my schedule to allow for more long chunks of downtime, so I can easily take hikes in nature;
    free-flow dancing when no-one’s looking;
    pausing and checking in with myself before saying yes to any more volunteer work;
    eating a clean, healthy, diet; and getting plenty of rest.

  62. Self-care in 2018 … Pushing my ear to the soft earth, I remember that just like my friends the trees, I have roots that are submerged deep in the ground. When I remove my shoes on a regular basis, I am reminded that my roots are available to me anytime I need them. Sliding gently up the trunks of the trees, I remember to stand tall, to breathe deeply into my belly and high into my chest to open up the full structure of my body to light and breath. Rising up into the branches of the trees I dance and play with the rustling leaves and remember to stay light in my personal and professional activities and create space for spontaneous movement, fun and laughter. Looking more closely, I notice that the trees in my woodland do not exist in isolation… ivy grows along the branches…grasses and bulbs proliferate at the base of the trees…and I commit to a balanced co-existence with my extended fellow humans and animals …I remember that if if I do not understand other creatures, I can still extend trust and love in their direction. Finally, rising above the sacred woodland towards the sky, I connect with the infinite space surrounding all living things and I resolve to remain humble in my day to day activities and give up my challenges, confusion and struggle to the great unknown…I commit to live my life as prayer in this year of 2018. Blessed be.

  63. Emily Martin says:

    Self- care will look like defining, vocalizing and then actively practicing my work-life boundaries with my community. Each time I speak to them or follow them through, I’m committed to doing so completely unapologetically.

  64. My word for the year is Alive. So, self-care in 2018 is about diving into my aliveness with more swimming, more dancing, more nature time, Camp Gladiator workouts, time with my lady friends, and more putting my foot down with my boundaries at work and with important others.

  65. Michele Hamilton says:

    Self Care in 2018: Patience with myself, loving and embracing my imperfections, creating time and space to understand and honor whatever is really calling to me and allowing others to be who they are without judgment or questioning whether or not I “fit in” with them.

  66. Self care to me is going to bed on time, speaking positively to myself, drinking water, listening To soothing music, meditating, being present with my husband and son, and being grateful for all that I have in this world. It’s not always easy and definitely not perfect,

  67. It’s probably too late to post, but I’ll try anyway!
    My goal for self care in 2018 is to seek out more ways to get myself involved in my own life again. My kids are getting older and I’m in that strange lonely time where I poured everything I have into them and their lives and neglected myself. I’m ready to set a good example and take good care of myself, mentally, physically, and spiritually. It is time! 🙂

  68. This year self-care is stopping the busy work and distractions I use to quiet my inner voice and ignore what my body is feeling and trying to tell me. Self-care is getting to know myself and finding love for myself. It is listening to my voice and feelings to see what they are telling me so I can take action on them. It is taking care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally, something from a young age I have been taught to put at the end of my to do list which I never get to.