I woke up Monday morning with a wild, overactive mind. I was ruminating about yesterday, forecasting into tomorrow, pondering various “what if” work scenarios and feeling into the chaos of fall 2020. At one point I took a side trip down an alleyway in my mind and had to pause and laugh: I was worrying about my sisters’ sons as teenagers and they’re only seven years-old!
I took a deep breath and let all the spinning plates come crashing to the ground. I exhaled, I returned to Byron Katie‘s reminder: “Don’t believe everything you think.” And I let go.
Last week I led an online class for our Self-Renewal Group Facilitators from around the U.S. After our centering and check-in, it was interesting to hear all our busy minds were dancing with polarities (“I know I’m Ok and I also feel not OK” … “Everything will be alright and things feel really scary” … and, “I feel an underlying calm and the sense that I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.”). As we connected, it was validating to know we’re not alone and helpful to explore how we’re each anchoring to the underlying feeling that we’re all ok in this moment.
One of my mentors, the beautiful Mary Earle, recently offered up the phrase, “Hello to here,” in a spirituality program I participated in. It landed well with me. It felt like a friendly, kind, accessible, easy invitation to return to the present moment–the place we’re always ok.
I know from experience that stress and anxiety are brought on by dwelling in the past or the future; if we can fully embody the here and now, we can access unshakable peace.
The daily practice that most helps me remember to embody the now and to wave on the worry train is meditation (here are some tips for getting started). Additionally, three things that really help our Facilitators and me embrace the present moment are:
- Breathing consciously and deeply; try breathing for ten rounds, in and out through your nose (mouth closed). Inhale for 6 and exhale for 8, this elicits a calming response in the body.
- Allowing myself to feel what I’m feeling (and not sweeping strong emotions under the rug).
- Inviting in self-compassion. I love placing a hand on my chest and asking, “What do I need?”
When I was growing up, my philosophical parents would often quote renowned meditation teacher Ram Dass and remind my siblings and me to “Be here now.” This used to annoy us to no end, but today, these words ring loud and true. Hello to here, hello to now, hello to feeling that everything in this moment is OK.
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- Consider hiring me to create a workshop to help your team, organization or employees feel less stressed and more resilient, energized and focused. For 20+ years I’ve been speaking to professionals worldwide on how to find balance through practicing the art/science of self-care. Whether it’s a workshop, keynote or mini-retreat via Zoom, I’d love to discuss how I can support your organization. Learn more here.
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Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/author/speaker Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art and science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 400 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead life coaching groups and women’s retreats based on her work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 18-year-old son. More on Renee here.