Growing up with a parent who suffered from clinical depression and navigating a heaping dose of dysfunction, stress, anxiety and “not feeling enough” the first thirty years of my life, left me highly motivated to want to FEEL GOOD.
The primary drive for the work I do now –helping people enhance balance and inner peace in everyday life—is that I’ve tasted what it feels like to live with a sense of unease and always looking outside myself for happiness and self-worth. But when I eventually learned how to find my “home base” –through accessing the art/science of self-care– and tap into the deep well of peace that exists within each of us, I knew this was where I wanted to live as much of the time as possible.
Finding balance is not about attaining a state of perfection or having it all together (read more). It’s about feeling a sense of flow, harmony, resiliency–much of the time–and knowing the practices and tools that help you access this place of well-being regardless of what is going on around you.
The journey to experiencing more equilibrium and less stress is largely inner work; it’s about learning to live inside-out.
In my last 16 years as a life balance coach, author and speaker who has drawn largely on a background in leadership development/human potential/somatic coaching and mindfulness, I’ve heartily practiced, studied and come to believe in five key principles that can support us in letting go and embracing a new way of being.
Finding Balance in a 24/7 World: Five Principles:
1. Understand and truly embody the concept of managing energy (vs. time). This can be life-changing. In a world where we’re constantly doing too much, doing less can not only be our salvation, it can greatly enhance our ability to be creative, highly-focused problem solvers and idea generators.
2. Believe you’re worthy of self-care. I speak a lot on the transformative power of self-care (read more). But until you believe you’re worthy of attuning and responding to your needs and having the life you desire, you won’t adopt this most-powerful principle.
3. Be here now. Stress, anxiety and fear are brought on when we live in the future or dwell on the past. Breathing, embracing mindfulness and learning how to become more present in everyday experiences–washing dishes, walking to get the mail, making a phone call, eating breakfast–not only enhances our sense of joy and connection with ourselves and others, it trains us to access our innate resiliency and truth.
4. Ask for and receive help. When we feel we have a support system we can tap–friends, mentors, parenting coaches, support groups, neighbors–this has a profound effect on our emotional and mental health and our ability to weather crises. Most of us have had to re-wire to learn this concept, but learning to lean on and into others–which requires a good deal of vulnerability–can make all the difference in how you experience the journey.
5. Let go; practice good is good enough. Too many of us are trying to “hold it together,” to control everything and everyone around us, to keep all the balls in the air and to do so with a tea set on our heads. Research shows we’re happiest when we have fewer choices, when we embrace simplicity and when we put people first and things second. Just … let ….go.
Today as a mother/wife/sister, community leader/activist, entrepreneur/business owner I say “no” to requests for my time a lot more than I say “yes.” I am kind to myself, spend a lot of time in nature unplugged (the best antidepressant), make time with friends a priority, meditate in the morning, ask for help a lot and every morning reflect on, “How can I do less today?” I’m not trying to become a better person or Renee version 2.0. I do these things because I want to live a life of joy, connection and remember that as great as it feels to get stuff done, my real purpose for being here is to give and receive love.
TAKE ACTION: Book me for a Finding Balance in a 24/7 World workshop or presentation for your team, organization, conference or group. Or, let’s design a custom life balance workshop or retreat for your organization. For more than 25 years, I’ve been creating/facilitating transformational learning events and presentations for audiences around the globe; learn more.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teacher/author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Offering speaking, custom workshops, training, books/telecourses and individual coaching, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-care 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.
Photo: Pedernales Falls State Park (Texas Hill Country) yesterday. I find nothing resets my perspective like a wonderful nature immersion. Live in Texas? Join me April 24th at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for a magical one-day self-renewal retreat for women–learn more.