On a scale of one to ten - ten being, “I’m so stressed, I feel a nervous breakdown approaching” and one being “I feel really calm, centered and in the flow of life,” - where are you living most of the time? Sure, we all experience some stress on occasion, but what is your general state of well-being?
Do you feel like the master of your life or a slave to it? Do you have enough time for those things in your life that are most important to you? If you compared the “speed at which you live” to a mode of transportation, would you be driving a horse and buggy? A Honda Accord? A NASCAR speedster? Or maybe you’d be on a mountain bike?
Fourteen years ago I was working as a PR/media relations representative for a large international biotech corporation. The culture was typical of most large companies: they expected long hours, work/life balance was never discussed, I rarely exercised, ate lunch at my desk most days and vacations were few and far between.
I had not had a vacation in two years when my girlfriend suggested we take a trip to Europe for two weeks. We were both single and I badly needed a break. At the last minute she had to cancel, so based on a recommendation, I signed up to join a Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door group in Amsterdam (highly recommended!). Rick believes travel can change who we are if we’re open to seeing life in new ways.
Ten days into the trip, we stopped in Munich and visited Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp. The experience was chilling, to say the least. As I walked through the barracks, I picked up mental postcards that will remain etched in my mind forever.
After the walking tour, I left the group with my journal in hand and settled under a large shady tree to write. I reflected on the question,”What is one word that encapsulates my experience at the concentration camp?” And recorded this in my journal.
Almost immediately, the image of my job in Austin flashed through my mind. Suddenly my body was wracked with nausea and I became sick. Reeling from the intense experience, I sat, stunned. What in the world did my PR job in Austin have to do with Dachau, and why was this connection making me ill?
I slowly looked down. Written in my journal across one page in huge block letters was the word OPPRESSION.
I had made a visceral connection between how the prisoners must have felt at Dachau and how my current job made me feel. (I recognize there is no way to compare the two on an intellectual level—this was just my emotional response.)
A week later, while flying back from Paris to Austin, I heard an interview on National Public Radio with Carol Orsborn, author of Inner Excellence: Spiritual Principles to Life-Driven Business. The day I got home, I bought her book, stayed up all night reading it, went in to work the next day and (to the great surprise of many) quit my job.
(Read what happened next as well as related exercises in Chapter Eleven, Reclaim Your Life: Strategies for Balanced Living, from The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal.)
My life had become so out of balance—on every level—that I felt I had no choice. It was time for me to move into the driver’s seat and reclaim my life.
Since that time, I have developed and honed—through my personal life, working with clients and while facilitating Renewal Groups--- a powerful Balanced Living model which uses a four-legged stool approach to creating enhanced peace, emotional well-being and greater alignment in all areas of life. The model includes four simple, but life-changing principles:
Renee Trudeau’s Strategies and Insights for Balanced Living
Know your top priorities and effectively manage your energy. What is fueling you, what is draining you and how good are you at saying “no”?
Make your self-renewal a priority. The art of self-care is about learning to attune and respond to your deepest needs and desires on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level.
Build a personal support system. Learning to ask for and receive help can literally transform your life. Are you ready to embrace a new way of interdependent living?
Be more present in all that you do. Stress and overwhelm are brought on by dwelling on the past or living in the future. When we spend more time in the present, we experience a greater sense of equilibrium and well-being.
Click here to read more about these strategies and download the Nine Ways to Say No.
Ready to take action? I invite you to consider joining or becoming trained to lead a Personal Renewal Group for women if you’re interested in “living” and practicing these strategies with like-minded women or learn more about working with one of our amazing life balance coaches.
And, please join Christine Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow, and me September 9th from 12:30-1:30 p.m. CST for our FREE life balance teleclass as we collectively explore Reclaim Your Life: Strategies for Balanced Living on a deeper level (details below).
I’d love for you to share your thoughts on my personal blog The Journey, on how you create more peace and equilibrium in your life. And, in September, we’ll choose two participants from our Live Inside Out FB community to receive a beautiful green, vintage soft Live Inside Out t-shirt when you write in “How you enhance balance in your life” on the Live Inside Out FB page.
We need each other’s stories, insights, revelations and fresh perspectives to keep finding new ways to Live Inside Out and support one another and our world in achieving greater harmony. From my heart, I thank you so much for all of your support. Please know I wouldn’t be here without it!
Note from Sara, RTA Events Manager: Renee is masterful at leading private, customized half, full day or weekend workshops or retreats for companies, organizations and groups (her recent Kripalu retreat sold out and had a waiting list!). You can learn more about private retreats here or about her speaking/workshop topics, here. I’d love to help you schedule a Fall or Spring event. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-459-6700 to check Renee’s availability.
Upcoming Events and Training:
September 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.
September 1-30 PRG Online Facilitator Training **Special Offer** Lead self-renewal life coaching groups for women around The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal. Back-to-school special offer: use the code 100 OFF for September only and receive a $100 discount off the cost of your training membership. The fall is a great time to launch Personal Renewal Groups!
September 9 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., CST. FREE Live Inside Out Teleclass (via telephone). Theme: Reclaim Your Life: Strategies for Balanced Living. Join author/life coach Renee Trudeau, guest Christine Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow, and women from around the world in a "virtual living room" as we explore how to slow down, live more intentionally and be more present. Register and receive details here.
September 21-November 30th: Self-Care as a Spiritual Practice: A Women’s Group. A small, powerful group coaching “mastermind” experience led by Renee based in Austin. For information and to inquire if there is still space, email email@example.com. The Group is limited to 8 women and is ideal for those who are birthing a new way of being or wanting to bring forth a creative project or idea.
November 5 Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A One Day Self-Renewal Retreat (Location TBA) with Renee Trudeau. 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.
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.