There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein
This has been a life-changing summer for me.
I’m on a writing sabbatical working on an exciting new project focused on enhancing the emotional and spiritual health of families and I'm receiving wheelbarrows full of insights daily (take the 5-minute survey here; results to follow soon).
As I’m writing about themes related to how we can enhance our sense of harmony and peace in the everyday --Do Less to Experience More, Breaking Free and Making Hard Choices, Unplug to Plug In-- I'm also living them.
Last month over the 4th of July weekend, we gathered with a small group of friends for a Freedom Fest. Austin is in the thick of a drought and 103 temps; the current burn ban is causing us all to get creative!
No fireworks, hot dogs or Tchaikovsky. Instead, we enjoyed a lively international potluck (each person brought a dish from a favorite trip they’ve taken) and we asked our guests to write down and bring one thing they want to be “free from” this fall: a habit, a worry, a situation, a concern, etc.
Curious what people said? The most popular unwanted house guests included our friends anxiety and worry, debt, overwhelm, fear about the future, taking on other people’s “stuff,” resistance to self-care, obligation, and pain and suffering.
As I was preparing for the party and sitting with the question, “What do I want to be free from?” what first came to mind was email (like many of you, I’m overwhelmed with the hundreds of requests coming at me daily and am trying to tame the technology dragon).
But as I peeled away the layers of the onion and went even deeper, I realized that all of my “busyness” is caused by the underlying need or addiction to produce or create. Because we all know, we’re only worthy if we’re productive … right?
I understand we all have the drive to produce and there are positive and negative aspects to this ingrained behavior, but some of us are in “over-drive” around creating, bringing things to fruition and delivering outcomes (even if it’s for a good cause, for family, in the name of service/healing/world peace or to create community and foster connection). There are many noble reasons to get busy, but it’s costing us. We’re doing too much and often those closest to us are the ones paying the price.
And, when we turn into human doings rather than human beings, it’s easy to forget the deeper truth that “Our ordinary selves are enough,” as my wise friend and author Carol Orsborn reminds us.
During the soiree, we passed around a basket of freedom questions: What would happen if I was free from ____________? When was a time I felt most free? What does being free mean to me? What would feeling free at work (or in my marriage or key relationships) look like? We had some great conversation and heard some fascinating perspectives around the theme of “breaking free.”
Before we all said goodnight, we wrote down all the things we wanted to be free from and burned these outside in a clay pot near our outdoor fountain as a symbolic release.
Since then, I’ve been thinking about the theme of “breaking free” and keep coming back to the realization that what I believe we all truly desire is inner freedom. Freedom from our stressful thinking. From our own reoccurring negative thoughts. We want more interior space. We’re tired of living in a shanty with our own fears and insecurities. We want to live in a mansion---a wide open space where we roam free, react less and respond more. And can breathe. Deep, long, spacious breaths.
Interior freedom. Ahhhhh. Yes, I want to experience more of that for sure.
And, for me and where I am in life, the only way I know how to taste this is to meditate each day—-no matter what.
Dropping into stillness, staying with my breath. Surrendering to the present moment. Because even when my 20 minute sit feels like watching a race car circle madly around a track, I still finish feeling better than when I started. And more and more often, my interior space feels more like somewhere I’d want to actually hang out--somewhere I’d like to live.
What do you want to be free from this fall? How would you feel if you were free from _______________? What would it look like to be free from ______________? Share your thoughts on our Live Inside Out Community, I’d love to hear your perspective on this theme.
And look for more to come on my new Birthing a New Way of Being programs this fall, where together we’ll explore a different way.
Let us know how we can help you experience more freedom and spaciousness in your career and life this fall. We look forward to connecting soon.
Take good care--Renee and the RTA Team email@example.com 512-459-6700
P.S. Interested in hearing weekly tips on how to live more intentionally? Want to connect with Renee and other like-minds? Subscribe to and share your thoughts on Renee’s blog, The Journey and join our tribe on the Live Inside Out Facebook page! Also, watch a new video exploring these themes: “A Conversation with Renee on Living Inside Out.”
Upcoming Events and Training:
August 1-31 DOWNLOAD AND LISTEN NOW: Monthly Live Inside Out Teleclasses. Listen in the comfort of your home or office to Renee’s recent Life Balance Teleclasses. Download these inspiring, interactive calls; themes include: The Power of Self-Care, Owning Your Personal Power and Staying Connected to Your Partner. Free for a limited time.
August 1-31 Personal Renewal Group Online Facilitator Training Are you a therapist, coach, parent or birth educator, women’s empowerment advocate, leadership consultant, or perhaps you just love to support women in nurturing their emotional well-being? Join an international community and facilitate self-renewal groups/retreats for women based on the award-winning The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal. Learn more.
*NEW* Fall 2011 national telecourse and group
Birthing a New Way of Being: Let Go, Embrace Flow and Love Your Life led by Renee Trudeau Are you done with overwork, overwhelm and ready to discard your old habitual ways of working and being? Would you like to de-clutter, simplify, learn to leverage the power of self-care and step into a more spacious, free work/life flow? Join Renee as she supports, guides and coaches you into a new way of being and helps you access greater peace and harmony in your everyday life. Details TBA soon! Email firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Birthing New Way of Being” in the subject line if you’d like to be among the first to receive details on this exciting new program for men and women.
- September 8 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. CST
Live Inside Out Life Balance Teleclass with Renee Trudeau. The theme this month is:
Finding Your Flow: Balancing Being vs. Doing While Still Getting Things Done! 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.
- October 14 - 16 , 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. Our last Kripalu retreat sold out; register today!
November 2 Austin Women’s Conference, Austin, TX:
Renee presents on The Transformative Power of Self-Care and provides the closing keynote/wrap-up. A daylong event designed to inspire and empower, motivate, encourage you to take action, experience change, and transform. The Austin Women’s Conference & Show is the opportunity of the year for you to join other women in the Austin area for an exhilarating day exploring what success means to you in your professional and personal lives. Learn more.
- Private Customized Retreats: Renee is masterful at creating/facilitating empowering half, full day or weekend workshops or retreats for companies, organizations and groups. You can learn more about private retreats here or about her speaking/workshop topics, here. Email Sara Bogan, events manager at email@example.com or call 512-459-6700 to check Renee’s availability.
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.
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