Many of us think that in order to experience peace, we have to head to a Zen monastery, a retreat center, or carve out an hour a day to meditate. But one of the teachings I am most passionate about is helping people learn to enhance their sense of harmony and well-being in their everyday lives: while they’re unloading the dishwasher, replying to emails, driving carpools, meeting with co-workers or helping their kids with homework.
Two years ago, this passion led me to begin researching the topic of everyday spirituality and this past fall I led a beautiful small women’s circle focused on Self-Care as a Spiritual Practice.
The experience was connective, rich and soulful for all involved. My intention behind the group was to actively “play” with the idea of Self-Care as Spiritual Practice (the theme for a new book I’m working on) and to see if others found this topic as worthy of exploration as I do.
In the second meeting, after we laid the groundwork for the concept of self-care—attuning and responding to your deepest needs and desires—I challenged the group to put on their laboratory coats, grab their notepads and pens and spend the next two weeks observing how and when they felt God in their everyday lives.
The results? We were all surprised by how many different ways—and how often--we connected to Spirit throughout our day. We discovered that when we slowed down, attuned and responded to our needs and really practiced self-kindness and self-nurturance, it was much easier to notice the sacred in our daily interactions.
- Mary, a single mom, observed how her parenting shifted and became “Zen-like” when she became more present and really took time to “see” her kids.
- Kathy found that when she slowed down to connect with the checker in the grocery store—without mechanically rushing through the line-- it completely changed her perspective and the tenor of her day.
- Elizabeth observed that when she practiced compassion for self and others and reached out to another parent on the school playground--who was clearly having a hard day--she could feel an expanse of positive energy flowing through her.
- Erin noticed that when she focused on gratitude during her work day and really took time to acknowledge her co-workers’ innate goodness, she felt much more connected to humanity.
- Julie discovered that when she danced—for pure pleasure—she could feel Spirit alive in her body and bones.
- Alisa said when she walked outside at night to gaze at the stars, she felt perceptibly closer to God and more connected to her essence.
Overwhelmingly, the predominant feeling we all experienced during these moments was a heightened sense of interconnectedness—to ourselves, to others and to the world we live in. Through this exercise, we connected with that sense of “One-ness” that most of us have tasted at one time or another (read more).
I’ve come to believe that when I love and nurture myself, it’s an active expression of loving and honoring God, the sacred, Spirit … whatever your name is for Source.
I’d love for you to share how and when you experience God in your everyday life on our Live Inside Out community (more on this topic on The Journey). And, if you’re intrigued by this conversation and interested in learning more about Self-Care as a Spiritual Practice, please join me at one of my upcoming self-renewal retreats (the next one is January 28). I’d love to see you there.
Warmly—Renee and the RTA Team
P.S. Winter is the season when we’re called to go inward (read more). That’s why it’s an ideal time for taking a retreat or spending time reflecting on your career or life direction. I hope you carve out some time this month for planting the seeds that you want to flourish in the spring.
Upcoming Events and Training:
January 1-31: News-You-Can-Use: View two January FOX-TV interviews with Renee on Tips for Keeping New Year’s Resolutions and Steps for Launching a Career Change and read this timely article on Authentic Networking Renee contributed to in the Jan. 3rd Austin American Statesman.
- January 20, Thursday: 7:30-8:30 p.m. CST Live Inside Out Life Balance Teleclass with Renee Trudeau *Free* Theme: Harnessing the Power of Emotions with special guest Kert Peterson, Qi Gong teacher and leadership coach. A fun, interactive coaching circle via telephone. Join women from around the world as we reconnect with who we are, cultivate self-compassion and learn to live more intentionally. Learn more and register here.
January 28, Friday 9:00 - 3:30 p.m. Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A Winter Self-Renewal Retreat at The Crossings. Nurture and nourish yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Tap into new sources for ideas/inspiration/energy in the coming year. Enjoy the beautiful, contemplative grounds on this 200-acre nature preserve. Led by nationally-recognized career/life balance coach and author Renee Trudeau. Ideal for women in career/life transition. For more details and to register click here. Retreat package: $199. Register by 1/21 to ensure a spot!
February 8, Tuesday: 10 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Reclaim Your Life: Creating Balance from the Inside Out, a private women’s retreat in Fredericksburg. Click here to learn more about hiring Renee to create a customized retreat for your professional or civic group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
February 19, Saturday: 9 a.m.-noon The Empowered Entrepreneur. Are you a small business owner who desires to work less, make (and experience) more and be the master–not the slave-to your business? Join us for this highly popular, interactive small group coaching experience. Workshop cost: $175 (early bird rate of $149 good through 2/10). Register and learn more.
March 4, Friday: 9:00- 3:30 p.m. Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: One Day Self-Renewal Retreat with Renee Trudeau at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort and Spa. Nurture and nourish yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Led by nationally-recognized career/life balance expert, coach and author Renee Trudeau. Ideal for women in career/life transition. For more details and to register click here.
April 29-May 1, Friday-Sunday: Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A Women's Self-Renewal Retreat , Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, The Berkshires, MA. Nurture and nourish yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Tap the Transformative Power of Self-Care. Led by nationally-recognized career/life balance expert, coach and author Renee Trudeau at beautiful Kripalu. Ideal for women in career/life transition. Details here.
Are you a therapist, coach, doula or women's empowerment advocate who loves supporting women and helping them nurture their emotional well-being? Learn more about becoming a PRG Facilitator and join a national community of leaders who are changing women's lives through powerful life coaching groups centered around The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal.
Private Customized Retreats: Renee is masterful at creating/facilitating empowering half, full day or weekend workshops or retreats for companies, organizations and groups (her recent Lost Pines Self Renewal Retreat and her Kripalu retreat sold out and had a waiting list!). You can learn more about private retreats here or about her speaking/workshop topics, here. We’d love to help you schedule a spring or summer 2011 event. Email Sara Bogan, events manager at email@example.com or call 512-459-6700 to check Renee’s availability.
Visit our online calendar to learn about upcoming self-renewal retreats and events.
- You may reprint this newsletter in its entirety provided you include at the end: Renee Peterson Trudeau is a life balance coach/speaker and author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. You can download free book chapters, receive life balance tips or learn about upcoming events at www.ReneeTrudeau.com. Facebook: liveinsideout.