Last week my husband I were at a party with several other couples. Sam and Jessica were lamenting about how much their lives had changed since our potluck dinner a few months before. “Just a few weeks ago I was seriously contemplating buying a $90 yoga mat and struggling over whether I should get it in orange or blue. Today, after Sam’s layoff and my breast cancer diagnosis, we’re trying to figure out how we’ll cover the mortgage and health care bills next month,” said Jessica.
More than ever, thousands of us are hitting the pause button and reflecting on what’s really important in life. We’re realizing our external environment—our health, our jobs, our marriages, our homes, our finances—can change in an instant. We’re asking how we can create true feelings of safety and security. We’re wondering if our choices and actions are aligned with our core values and what matters most to us. We’re examining how and where we direct our energy and where we want to make course-corrections.
When you begin to cultivate an inner world that’s as big as your outer world, your life will begin to change in radical, positive ways. Living from the inside-out can look different for each of us, but some essential aspects may include:
- Living and parenting more intentionally, and creating circumstances that support you in responding rather than always reacting to events and crises (this is why self-care is key!).
- Living a life that is driven by internal values, as opposed to external or societal values; this means listening to your wise self, following your heart, trusting your intuition, and caring for yourself regardless of what others may think.
- Living from a place of peace and love rather than a place of fear, and making decisions from a place of compassion rather than judgment.
- Slowing down, practicing mindfulness and saying no to what drains you, so you can say yes to what matters most.
- Pausing to recognize your needs and desires; asking for and allowing yourself to receive help.
- Practicing self-compassion and cultivating the ability to be gentle with yourself.
- Consciously choosing to be around others who live inside-out and are more interested in who you are than what you do or have.
My favorite quote from the German philosopher Goethe is taped to my computer: “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
Do you live inside-out…or outside-in? Slow down. Surround yourself with reminders to connect with what matters most. Do less. Take time to consciously build a community of friends, colleagues, and mentors who also believe that living a life of meaning, service to others and authentic connection is what really matters. Check out our Live Inside Out movement (and hop over to my Live Inside Out FB page) for more ideas.
I’d love to support you this fall. Here are 3 opportunities:
- Schedule me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on work-life balance, resiliency or self-renewal. I’ve been speaking professionally for 25+ years and my clients include Fortune 500 companies, national conferences, nonprofits and organizations. Learn more and email me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com to discuss your next event.
- Renew, replenish and recharge with like-minded women at a fall self-renewal retreat. Women who attend my retreats always leave saying, “I had no idea how much I needed that!” View all upcoming fall retreats here. Photo above: Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, Lenox, MA.
- We’re hiring! Know an Austin-based college student or SAH mom who might want to work with our team? We have a fall women’s empowerment communications internship open (learn more). If you know an English, Journalism, PR or Communications undergrad who might be a fit, send them our way! We also have a part-time virtual communications assistant position available-ideal for a parent seeking meaningful work they can do from home.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness teacher author/speaker and Career Strategists president Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. She is the author of three books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 17-year-old son. More on her background here.