Remember, the entrance to the sanctuary door is inside you. ~Rumi
In my former life as a career strategist, I worked for years with successful men and women around career changes and aligning “who they are with what they do.” One of the things I would share at our first career coaching session is that even though it may feel like they’re lost or walking through a fog-drenched forest, they actually already know the answers to their biggest career questions.
Sometimes this created confusion on my clients’ faces (they’re thinking: then why am I here talking to you?!) but I’d gently explain that while they can gain tremendous value from reaching out and asking for support, having a sounding board and partnering with a coach who can hold them accountable for their actions– what we most need to do when we’ve hit a crossroad, is to become still and cultivate the ability to go inward and listen.
The answer–or at least our next baby step–is always there, waiting for us to get quiet enough to hear it.
This reminder came back to me Sunday morning. As I took in the heaviness of the past month (the Stanford rape, the Orlando shooting, the frenzied political rhetoric) I found myself looking around and wanting to seek out answers or wisdom from someone who could help me make sense of all this madness. I wanted to listen to an inspirational podcast, a comforting minister or read a new book that would make me feel less sad and confused. I wanted this craziness to be explained to me.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, my own truth is telling me that more than ever, it’s time to become still. To allow myself to be nourished from the inside out and to hear what wisdom wants to emerge from the deepest part of me.
Some of us are more comfortable connecting to our “inner world” than others for sure. If you already have a meditation practice (read more), return to this–or maybe try a new one. But if the thought of slowing down, quieting your body/mind and closing your eyes to see what wants to emerge sounds scary, grab a notebook and pen and try my “self-care journaling exercise” every morning for a week (I can’t tell you how many of my clients how found this practice to be incredibly powerful in helping them strengthen their ability to go inward for the answers):
How do I feel?
What do I need?
What do I want?
I’ve noticed over time, when you begin to cultivate your relationship to your inner wisdom (what I call your Wise Self-read more), everything shifts. And you find that you want to return to this well again and again for nourishment. You begin to trust in—and lean on– your innate ability to nurture yourself.
I’d love to help you learn to go inward at a retreat: I find retreats to be so beneficial as they offer a chance to connect with your Wise Self and soak in deep “to the bones” renewal and replenishment (read 5 Reasons I Take Retreats). I’ll be facilitating a soulful, nurturing self-renewal retreat for women at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (the largest retreat center in North America and my favorite!) July 15-17 and again Oct. 28-30. Join me for New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat: learn more. P.S. Lodging at Kripalu fills quickly and sells out months in advance-book now!
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/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.