Following a rich, connective one-day self-renewal retreat I facilitated on Friday, I attended and volunteered at GenAustin’s statewide We Are Girls Conference at the Ann Richards School for Girls all day Saturday. It was an emotionally intense weekend and one of the experiences I can’t shake was during a self-care workshop I led for high school girls and mothers Saturday afternoon.
At the end of our interactive workshop session where we explored the concept of self-care and what our portals are for self-nurturing and nourishment, I gave each woman a juicy Clementine orange.
I invited them to close their eyes and “fill” the orange with whatever it is they most need right now –support, the ability to say no, peace/well-being, self-acceptance, courage,etc. After this reflective meditation, I asked them to slowly smell, peel and then very mindfully, eat their imbued orange—symbolizing the act of fully “receiving” the qualities they had just bestowed upon themselves.
All of the moms in the room—except for one—were single, working women juggling a thousand daily obligations.
After the exercise, they shared how difficult it was to slow down and become that present (I could relate—I had a hard time eating just one section of the orange at a time!). One woman remarked that in her day to day life, she was afraid to slow down that much. She was so tired that she worried if she ever stopped and really allowed herself to become present and feel her feelings, she might not be able to get up to speed again to her normal ninety to nothing pace.
I think most of us resist being present much of the time. It’s hard.
But I also know from personal experience, that it’s one of the secrets to experiencing more peace, well-being and harmony in our day-to-day lives.
I’m going to keep a sweet baby Clementine orange on my desk this week at work as I move into an overly-busy schedule and back-to-back events Thursday through Monday.
I’m hoping this visual will help remind me to slow down, to be more conscious, present and remember that overwhelm happens when I live in the future and anticipate all the things that lie before me.
And, the opportunity to feel peaceful exists when I stay right here, right now. In this very moment. And, then the next moment. And then, the next.
“Something wonderful begins to happen with the simple realization that life, like an automobile, is driven from the inside out, not the other way around. As you focus more on becoming more peaceful with where you are, rather than focusing on where you would rather be, you begin to find peace right now, in the present. Then, as you move around, try new things, and meet new people, you carry that sense of inner peace with you. It’s absolutely true that, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Richard Carlson, author, “Slowing Down to the Speed of Life” and “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff …And, It’s All Small Stuff.”
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The Journey, a blog about coach/author/entrepreneur Renee Trudeau’s personal journey to life balance and living life from the inside out, comes out weekly.
Photo: Renee Trudeau–one of the juicy Clementine’s from my self-care workshop.