Last week, I had one of those days: double booked appointments, a miscommunication with a vendor, tech gremlins gone wild, a lost check and the list goes on. Suddenly everything felt like it was going from bad to worse. My torrent of negative thoughts around what was happening was slowly morphing from a small dust devil into a powerful full-scale tornado. It was not a pretty scene.
Then something surprising happened. After stewing for a few minutes on all that had gone wrong over the past few days, I paused (one of the many benefits I’ve received from a regular morning meditation practice). Within that pause, I recognized this familiar emotional terrain and could feel my body constricting and tightening. I put the brakes on and asked, “Renee, do you really want to succumb to this downward spiral of negative thoughts? Is this really where you want to head right now?” The answer was a big fat no. I wanted to be open, loving, spacious and compassionate. I wanted to be kind (to myself and others) and generous. What I really wanted was to just let go of all my negative reactions.
And so I did.
Actor Larry Eisenberg reminds us, “For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.”
How do we start to let go when we’re used to managing every aspect of our lives (read Are You Over-Managing Your Life)? It’s a moment to moment process. For me, often it looks like:
- Committing to keeping self-care at the top of my list, especially when I feel stretched too thin
- Surrendering my relationships with my partner, child and extended family to Spirit—a source much wiser and larger than myself
- Trusting that I will listen, allow synchronicity to unfold and be guided exactly how best to use my talents, energy, time and resources to serve others
- Allowing myself to hit the “reset” button as often as I need to, apologize with abandon and begin anew each day (every breath can be a re-set!); retreats are great for this, join me April 24th!
- Being kind and compassionate with myself. I’m a former control freak who adopted “over managing” as a way of creating safety for myself when I was young
I’m not always able to let go so easily and not every situation ends this successfully. Sometimes the allure of a good argument (cue tape #47, track number three) takes me down an old worn path. But increasingly, I’m learning to pause, check in with myself, to challenge my old patterns and make sure I like the destination this particular train is headed. If I don’t, I wave it on and consciously choose to LET GO. More and more I’m learning, peace of mind is only a thought away.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT YOU? HERE ARE TWO OPPORTUNITIES FOR COMING INTO BALANCE:
**JUST ANNOUNCED: A SPRING RETREAT** Mark your calendar and join me Sat., April 24th from 1:30-5:30 ET for REBIRTH: A Soulful Self-Renewal Retreat for women. What seeds do you want to plant/nurture? Learn more/register (and check out the limited time Bring-A-Friend special offer).
Live in Western NC and are self-employed? Join me for a small in-person Mastermind Group this spring in Brevard, NC (just south of Asheville) for self-employed women or women who are birthing something new. We’ll meet twice a month; I’ve been coaching women entrepreneurs for 20+ years. To receive details on this invitation-only experience email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist 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, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 400 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups for women based on her pioneering work. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. She and her husband live in Western North Carolina and Austin, Texas and are enjoying a new empty nest. More on Renee here.