Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river.
Lao Tzu, author, Tao Te Ching
Throughout my twenties and most of my thirties, I pushed myself hard.
After securing media coverage for a client on the TODAY Show, I barely stopped to breathe before I was pitching their story to National Geographic or lining up a meeting for them with the French Embassy. When it came to generating results, I was convinced if I just “forced” the outcome, it was bound to happen!
Sometimes this worked, often it didn’t. But, invariably, this over-aggressive mode of operating always left me feeling frustrated, over-worked and depleted (not to mention hugely deficient in the fun and joy department!).
Over time—and as a result of a lot of personal growth work—I came to realize these stressful feelings were a sign that my energy (how we get things done) was out of balance and too heavily weighted in the masculine. I had not yet learned how to tap into my feminine strengths, such as the abilities to ask for and receive help and be willing to pause and reflect before I take action.
We all possess both feminine (“yin”) and masculine (“yang”) energies. Yet, in our Western culture where results and outcome are so highly valued, most of us—both men and women-- are out of balance and we have come to overly-rely on our yang strengths.
The danger of this imbalance is physical and emotional exhaustion (envision pushing a wheelbarrow full of rocks up a mountain and the long-term affect this will has on your body), you risk burn-out and more importantly, you miss out on the many gifts that come from accessing your highly intuitive yin-oriented talents and gifts.
Both masculine and feminine energies are important. I could not have birthed my first book without tapping my yin strengths—accessing my intuition and waiting until I was fully inspired to begin writing—and my yang strengths—calling on the fire in my belly to execute the timeline and get the book to the publisher by the required deadlines! But real power comes when we learn how—and when—to call them both forth.
ENERGY BALANCING HOMEWORK:
Reflect on the short list below of a few yin and yang strengths. Then, 1) observe how your body feels as you read first the yin list and then the yang list; 2) make a list of some of your yin and yang strengths that have supported your personal and professional success thus far, and 3) jot down a few specific ways you could begin to allow more of your yin qualities to surface (ex: carving out time to take a personal retreat, calling a mentor of for support, “sitting” with an idea or strategy for a week before taking action on it).
Then, over time, try cultivating an awareness for which energy could best serve a given situation.
Envision effortlessly weaving your yin and yang attributes—as you feel guided in the moment—to create a beautiful, strong, sturdy yet supple and flexible straw basket.
Yin (or feminine) Energy
Yang (or masculine) Energy
This is a huge topic, and an important one. Take some time to really explore this theme (read a few tips here to get a sense for how this imbalance affects us on all levels).
Some of the ways I balance my yin/yang energies are through dance, yoga, qi gong, tai chi, creative writing, drawing, taking retreats and journaling. Also, pick up a copy of my book The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life at your local library (or you can purchase it here) for additional guided exercises around this topic. You might also consider joining us Nov. 5th for our One-Day Self-Renewal Retreat where you’ll get the opportunity to practice accessing your yin/yang strengths through insightful exercises.
And as always, be easy on yourself. If someone would have suggested this concept to me when I was in the middle of leading a press conference ten years ago, I probably would have thought they were crazy.
But, we all know, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” My gratitude is boundless for all the teachers that have come into my life to help me learn this principle. And the journey to coming into balance on all levels, continues.
Take good care, I hope to see you soon.
Enjoy this beautiful video (created by Chelsea, our communications assistant) highlighting our upcoming One-Day Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat, and visit the Live Inside Out Community FB page for a chance to win a FREE Retreat Package ($225 value). We’re drawing a name on Monday Nov. 1st from the comments posted, so move fast!
Upcoming Events and Training:
- November 1-30 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. Sign up here to join us for the January class.
November 1-30 PRG Online Facilitator Training Lead self-renewal life coaching groups for women around The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal. **Special Offer** Use the code 100 OFF for November only and receive a $100 discount off the cost of your training membership. January is a great time to launch Personal Renewal Groups.
November 5 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. CST Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A One Day Self-Renewal Retreat at Lost Pines Hyatt Resort and Spa with Renee Trudeau. Nurture and nourish yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Enjoy special presentations from authors Deb Kern and Dianna Amorde. Ideal for women in career/life transition. Cost: $199 for the retreat package. Learn more here; download flyer here. Watch a short video 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.
Did you know Renee travels around the world speaking to corporations, organizations and at national conferences on Creating Balance from the Inside Out (and other related topics)? Learn more about having Renee speak at your next event, workshops or conference. We're scheduling spring and summer events now.
Visit our online calendar to learn about upcoming self-renewal retreats and events.