After experiencing waves of COVID-related grief and loss (I miss traveling for work and teaching terribly!), I woke up last Friday morning, looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “Wow, you’ve aged. Look at those circles under your eyes; you look really tired.”
I WAS tired. Not “I didn’t get a good night’s sleep tired,” but tired from the emotionally intense rollercoaster called 2020.
Yet at the same time some self-judgment started creeping in, I thought, (lifting my chest and standing a little taller), “You are thriving, look at how resilient, hopeful and strong you are!”
I’m looking forward to celebrating my 55th birthday in January and I have much to toast and many exciting adventures I’m looking forward to. The media continually calls us to focus on how to be better, shinier version of ourselves. Personally, I want to cheer Renee on for making it through the last 10 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 serves everyone (read self-care is not self-improvement).
Is it time for you to pause and honor your journey? Here are 3 suggestions for getting started:
- 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 is invaluable to helping me access the 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 2021. I hope you’re with me!
COULD YOUR EMPLOYEES OR TEAM USE SUPPORT FOR FINDING BALANCE?
I’M SCHEDULING ONLINE PRESENTATIONS AND WORKSHOPS FOR 2021! Consider hiring me to create an online experience to help your team, organization or employees feel less stressed and more resilient, creative and focused. For 20+ years I’ve been working with companies/organizations like Merrill Lynch, the Center for Women in Law, the Hewlett Foundation and more. Whether it’s a workshop, keynote or custom retreat via Zoom, I’d love to discuss how I can support your team or organization. Learn more here.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness 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 Brevard, NC and Austin, TX with her husband and is enjoying being a recent empty nester. More on Renee here.