Last week my husband I were at a dinner party with several other couples. Henry and Amy were lamenting about how much their lives had changed since our potluck dinner the month before. “Just a few weeks ago I was seriously contemplating buying a $90 yoga mat and struggling over whether I should get it in orange or blue. Today, after Henry’s layoff and my breast cancer diagnosis, we’re trying to figure out how we’ll cover the mortgage and health care bills next month,” said Amy.
More than ever, thousands of us are hitting the pause button and reflecting on what’s really important in life. We’re realizing our external environment—our health, our jobs, our marriages, our homes, our finances–can change in an instant. We’re asking how we can create true feelings of safety and security. We’re wondering if our choices and actions are aligned with our core values and what matter most to us. We’re examining how and where we direct our energy and where we want to make course-corrections.
When you begin to cultivate an inner world that’s as big as your outer world, your life will begin to change in radical, positive ways. Living from the inside out can look different for each of us, but some essential aspects may include:
• Living and parenting more intentionally and creating circumstances that support you in responding rather than always reacting to events and crises (this is why self-care is key!).
• Living a life that is driven by internal values, as opposed to external or societal values; this means listening to your wise self, following your heart, trusting your intuition, and caring for yourself regardless of what others may think.
• Living from a place of peace and love rather than a place of fear, and making decisions from a place of compassion rather than judgment.
• Slowing down, practicing mindfulness and saying no to what drains you, so you can say yes to what matters most.
• Pausing to recognize your needs and desires; asking for and allowing yourself to receive help.
• Practicing self-compassion and cultivating the ability to be gentle with yourself.
• Consciously choosing to be around others who live inside out and are more interested in who you are than what you do or have.
My favorite quote from the German philosopher Goethe is taped to my computer: “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
Do you live inside-out … or outside-in? Slow down. Surround yourself with reminders to connect with what matters most. Do less. Take time to consciously build a community of friends, colleagues, and mentors who also believe that living a life of meaning, service to others and authentic connection is what really matters. And, check out our Live Inside Out movement (and Live Inside Our FB page) for more ideas.
TAKE ACTION: Being in the company of like-minded people who also desire to live more intentionally is a powerful catalyst for change. Consider signing up for one of my powerful & affordable self-renewal audio classes or if you’re in Texas, check out our upcoming April 24th New Way of Being one-day self-renewal retreat at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (stunning!).
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining Personal Renewal Groups based on her award-winning curriculum. She is the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 12 year-old son. More on her background here.