Last week in the middle of my NIA class, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “Wow, you’ve aged, you really look tired.”
I was tired. Not “I didn’t get a good night’s sleep tired,” but tired from the emotionally intense rollercoaster I just stepped off of (challenging relationship dynamics with family members was my classroom for 2018).
Yet at the same time this self-judgment started to creep in, I thought (lifting my chest and standing a little taller): And you survived, look at how resilient, healthy and strong you are!
Yesterday I celebrated my 53rd birthday, and I had much to toast and many exciting adventures to look forward to. The media is calling us to focus on how to be better, shinier version of ourselves in 2019. Personally, I want to cheer Renee on for making it through the last 12 months — not only intact, but hopefully a bit wiser and kinder. We are not self-improvement projects, and when we remember to meet ourselves where we are and honor our journeys, it benefits everyone (read self-care is not self-improvement).
I’ll offer up three suggestions for helping all of us honor our journey:
- Carefully choose friends/mentors who have the emotional and spiritual maturity to hold the space for what you are sharing; they should both allow you to show up “warts and all” while also seeing the highest and best in you. Be choosy.
- Remember one of my favorite mantras: many things are true at once. When looking at big life stuff, it’s easy to get in an all-or-nothing mindset. This rarely serves us; try and cultivate the ability to see more than one perspective (read how to become comfortable with polarities)
- Journaling can become a great tool for self-awareness and insight. Even just taking a few minutes each morning to reflect and write your answers to: How do I feel? What do I need? What do I want (read about other tools for self-awareness). Writing almost always helps me access a 30,000 foot view.
Your journey is sacred. It’s unique and provides you with opportunities for enormous transformation. Our greatest growth comes from staying awake, alert and present to what is unfolding moment to moment while standing in allegiance to ourselves and inviting in self-compassion. I look forward to developing new ways of being in 2019 (read how do you want to be in 2019?)
- In transition and asking, “What’s next?” Winter is an ideal time to reflect, replenish and re-assess. Join me Jan. 25-27 for New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Western MA) for a deeply restorative winter self-care retreat focused on self-compassion. Packages at Kripalu start at just $500 and scholarships/commuter options are available; reserve your spot today learn more.
- Hire me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on life balance, resiliency or self-renewal in 2019-2020. I’ve been speaking professionally for 25+ years on work-life balance, self-care and resiliency. My clients include Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit agencies, national conferences and women’s organizations. Learn more and email me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com with questions.
- Feeling called to empower/support women in your community in 2019? Learn more about our global sisterhood of RTA-Certified Facilitators and how to lead self-renewal groups/retreats! More here on how to become a RTA-Certified Facilitator and join our inner circle ($100 off through 1/31 for online training+ includes private coaching with me).
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teacher/speaker/author Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women experience balance through the art and science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning self-care curriculum. She is the author of three books on life balance and mindfulness including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 16-year-old son. More on her background here.
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