I was once at a workshop with mindfulness teacher Tara Brach where she shared a line about a son who sends his mother a telegram that reads, “Start worrying. Reasons to follow shortly.” I love this!
Have you ever found yourself in an endless cycle of worry, fear, irritation or frustration about how your life is (or isn’t) unfolding?
This past weekend my family and I snuck away for 48-hours to a lake house just outside of Austin for some deep rest and “to the bones” renewal. What surprised me most about this quick getaway, was the reminder of how powerful it is to step away from your predictable, scheduled life and drink in new perspectives. To see your life through a fresh lens; to re-frame.
Re-framing means reconsidering what you’re experiencing in a positive—or different–light. It can help us overcome adversity and open up to new ways of seeing things: whether we’re working through a career crisis, a relationship challenge or a parenting issue. And, it can be a powerful way to transform your thinking and explore mindfulness. Re-framing is not about going “Pollyanna” when things get rough or refusing to feel your feelings (read 4 Ways to Feel to Heal), it’s ultimately about cultivating resiliency–an incredibly powerful skill.
So often, when things get tough, it’s not the incident itself that troubles us. It’s our thinking around the incident that is causing our suffering. I love the Mark Twain quote, “My life has been filled with terrible misfortunes, most of which have never happened.”
Here are a few ideas to help you jump-start the ability to “re-frame” your life circumstances:
- Get out of town, even for 24 hours and ideally hit the trails–Mother Nature is the ultimate antidepressant! Many find being near water to be particularly transformational.
- Hire a coach or therapist for a session or two with the specific intent of opening up to new perspectives about your current challenge; this is more “laser” coaching as opposed to ongoing support, which is also helpful, but different.
- Give your brain a rest-go have fun: attend a bluegrass festival, a jazz concert, go salsa dancing, see a great comedian, dance boogie-woogie in the living room–stop taking life, and yourself, so seriously! When our brains relax-creativity and problem-solving flows.
- Do it different (read more); when you step out of your rote ways, you create new neural pathways in the brain and shake up your habitual thought patterns.
- Attend a retreat: nothing like dropping into an immersive experience in a new environment to challenge your viewpoint (check out my Austin April 29th one-day retreat and my July 15-17 weekend retreat (learn more).
- Move your body: anytime I can tell my thinking is skewed, the first thing I do is find time in my schedule for a yoga, Nia or qi gong class or a walk with a friend; the issues are in the tissues my friends!
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” said author Wayne Dyer. Has your lens gotten a bit dirty? Are you tired of thinking the same thoughts over and over? Maybe it’s time step back, pause and put on some new frames. Let me know how my team and I can support you (here’s all the ways we help our community cultivate balance and resiliency in everyday life).
READY FOR A FRESH PERSPECTIVE AND RENEWED CLARITY? Here’s your chance, invest in yourself! I invite you to join me all day Friday, April 29th from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal retreat in Austin, TX or July 15-17 for New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. Both retreats are almost sold out and early bird rates are good through today! I also love to create/lead custom life balance retreats for teams and organizations. Learn more about my speaking and reach out to me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com to explore this!
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance/mindfulness speaker, author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Renee’s 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-renewal group based on her award-winning curriculum. She leads workshops/retreats around the globe and is the author of several best-selling life balance titles including 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 14 year-old son. More on her background here.