Everywhere I go, people are echoing variations of the same song: 2020 changed how I see and feel about everything. I don’t want to go back but I’m not sure what direction I should head. Now what? While things are definitely shifting, we can’t escape the reality that we’re all swimming in more chaos and uncertainty than we could have ever imagined was possible.
I’m feeling a wide range of emotions and revisiting my life purpose and what makes me come alive (read more). Every day I ask myself, “How can I best serve?”
While I have many self-care tools/resources to help me find my center, the practice I have found most helpful in times like these is cultivating the ability to be with what is.
When I trust and “let go” of expectations, timelines, outcomes and my endless incoming texts–even for a bit—I am able to relax into this vast sense of peace. And the reminder that right now, connected to my own breath, I am well.
One of the main reasons I meditate before I begin each day is to gain perspective. My perceived problems don’t vanish after 20 minutes of silence, but they take on a different hue and diminish in their sense of urgency. And, more than anything, I become more comfortable being with what is. (Read my tips for starting a meditation practice and consider joining me for my REBIRTH Retreat April 24th.)
Over time, I’ve come to realize three things: 1) if I can accept where I am without trying to change, it can provide a sweet sense of freedom, 2) I won’t die, drown or implode if I allow myself to truly feel what I’m feeling; it’s key to healing and 3) joy and bliss–just like pain and fear–come and go, too. Don’t get too attached to any one feeling; they’re all here today and gone tomorrow. Kind of like the constantly changing weather. Everything is impermanent.
Some of the things that help me learn to be with what is, include:
Having a strong support network that can provide help and validation for the incredible, messy journey of being human. It’s key right now to stay connected and to reach out daily via phone, Skype, Zoom, for walks, picnics and to be choosy about who you spend time around. Connection = medicine for the soul.
Practicing self-compassion and being gentle with myself especially when I know I’m “triggered” and navigating intense emotional terrain. I often place a hand over my heart when I need to invite in self-acceptance and ask, “What do I need?”
Keeping the big picture and doing things can help me pull back and up to gain perspective. I remind myself I’m fortunate to have a safe home and office space, friends and family who believe in me and opportunities to serve and make a difference–all things that are very important to me.
Breathing and conscious movement: whether it’s through pranayama (balancing breath work), yoga, qi gong, Nia dance or walking a labyrinth–these practices help us process and release strong emotions, which are simply “energy in motion!”
When discomfort arises (which it will, again and again), I keep returning to this reminder: remember to breathe, stay present, feel what’s coming up and continue to ask, “Can I be with what is right now and be ok?” Yes, I can.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT YOU? HERE ARE TWO OPPORTUNITIES:
- *NEW!* Join me Sat., April 24th from 1:30-5:30 ET for REBIRTH: A Soulful Self-Renewal Retreat ~A live online experience. Connection+community with like minded women in a nurturing & supportive environment. I’d love to support you in finding more clarity/focus and joy around “What’s next?” Space is limited; check out our limited time bring-a-friend offer. Learn more here.
- I’m booking 2021-2022 workshops and presentations now: Consider hiring me to create an online balanced living 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 life balance 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.