Last Friday I led a one-day self-renewal retreat for wonderful group of women in Austin. It was a wise, creative, contemplative group. There were many insights and “ah-ha’s” shared, but one that stayed with me was, “I never knew a question could carry so much power. That really made me think,” from a woman in our group.
I love crafting, asking, exploring and sitting with questions … especially those that offer us the chance to pause, reflect on how we’ve set up our lives and invite us to course-correct if needed. Six favorite questions I often ask my clients and ponder myself are:
• What is most important to me at this life stage? (Ex: creative expression, balance, serving others, meaningful work?)
• What is uniquely mine to do? (This might be related to your career–or to how you serve in the world.)
• What would my Wise Self (read more) tell me to do in this situation?
• What is my heart’s greatest desire?
• What would my life look and feel like if I let go (around, fill in the blank: parenting, work, my partnership) and was more trusting?
• What is the conversation or dialogue that matters most to me in life–right now? (ex: politics, social justice, world hunger, mental illness in America–what keeps me up at night, makes me cry or stokes the fire in my belly?)
Our life stage (different than our chronological age) is always shifting and as a result, what’s most important to us changes all the time, too. Carve out an hour this week–c’mon, doesn’t your future deserve at least this much effort?!–to sit down with a notebook and pen and thoughtfully answer these questions. Then take time to share your responses with your partner, a dear friend or someone who holds the highest and best for you. Then determine if/where you need support (read more) and make it a priority to get the help you need. If you’re in a committed relationship, I encourage you to invite your partner (and teenage kids) to answer these questions and share their responses, too. Let me know how it goes, I’d love to hear your responses.
TAKE ACTION: Are you craving deeper level dialogue in your life and wanting support/guidance for how to gain clarity around what matters most to you? Explore our global Personal Renewal Groups for women (become a Facilitator or join a group), with groups meeting in ten countries around the world or if you’re not a group person, pick up a copy of my award-winning life balance book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family and work through Ch. 9: Breaking Free, Making Hard Choices.
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 focusing on self-renewal for women, 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 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 13 year-old son. More on her background here.
Photo: We were dining at one of my husband’s favorite restaurants in Austin for his birthday recently and this tiger -who was on the wall right above our table–stopped me in my tracks. I had to get her picture.