We just got back from a family vacation on the WA Olympic Peninsula (stunning, one of our favorite trips). This nature immersion was just what we needed. Now, I’m looking forward to a new school year and a fresh start for our family. For me, September–which I’m told signifies the start of the New Year for Native Americans–has always felt like the true beginning of the calendar year.
The other night my husband and I got to catch up with good friends over a glass of wine. I commented to my friend Eric, a software developer, that the Austin job market is one of the hottest in the U.S. and it’s a great time to cast a wider net and see what’s out there. His answer, “No thanks, I’m happy with the status quo–my job at the state is good enough,” shocked me. But I also felt compassion and understanding for where he is.
It’s so easy to fall asleep, to move through our days on auto pilot, to keep doing what “seems to work”– rather than finding the energy to stretch and come into a higher expression of who we are professionally and personally. But our lives are in large part, a series of habits, both good and bad. And if we keep doing the same thing, we’re going to keep getting the same results. (Read more about why it’s important to do it different.)
I share this not because I never succumb to unhealthy habits and ruts, but because I desire to evolve. To keep exploring new ways of seeing and being. And to keep shedding my old, bulky “skin” so I can make way for what wants to emerge and what makes me come alive.
One way I’ve been leaving behind the status quo is by consciously doing less (read more on how this affects stress) and releasing control. And it’s felt GREAT! Every morning when I wake up, I scan my schedule and ask, “How can I be less ambitious today and let go … more?” This is a huge departure for me; after all, I’m a dyed in the wool type A!
Another thing that helps me depart from the “same old, same old,” is by continually asking, “What helps me stay awake to my life and my purpose?” This fall my list includes attending a professional conference in CO on mindfulness and meditation, getting a new perspective on my business from a seasoned coach, changing how and where I work, attending a new yoga series and looking into taking a pottery class on how to make pinch pots.
Once after speaking at a large conference on how to say “yes” to your life, a woman came up to me with tears running down her face. She was a very successful executive, mom of three and her list of accomplishments was dizzying. But, she lamented, “I’ve done so much, yet for so long, I’ve been performing. My actions have been robotic–doing what I think I ‘should do,’ rather than what makes me come alive. For the first time, I realize I haven’t been present to my own life–I haven’t been present to me. Now I’m wondering … what have I been missing?”
INVITE: Ready to stop hitting the snooze button and wake up? I’m very excited to be offering a *brand new* 6 week online interactive class with Hopeful World Publishing Sept. 16-Oct. 25: The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal Online Experience. This exciting on-demand program is the perfect solution for busy moms seeking to reconnect with who they are and dive deep into the power and energy immediately available when we bring our focus back to self-care. Learn more and sign up now; space is limited.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teachers/speaker author Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping and numerous media outlets. Thousands of women in ten countries are participating in Personal Renewal Groups based on her first book, the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. Her newest release is Nurturing the Soul of Your Family. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and son. More on her background here.