This morning as I prepared to head out to my usual Saturday morning yoga class, I remembered hearing about a modern dance class in a nearby town that sounded interesting. I’m an avid movement fan but I haven’t done any type of dance in decades. But, spurred by my desire to try something new and get out of my comfort zone, I went. And LOVED IT. Was I a bit intimidated at first? Yes! But choosing to do it differently made me feel alive and invigorated!
What does doing it differently mean? Shaking up your life and patterns, looking at old issues upside down, challenging your normal routines and habits and trying on new ways of being.
Whether it’s small (driving a new route to or from work or school or changing what you eat for breakfast) or big (walking after dinner each night with your partner or kids instead of watching TV, or taking up the guitar in lieu of drinking wine)–”doing it differently,” makes us feel more vibrant, alive and grateful for the gift of life.
There’s a lot of research available on how our brains benefit when we step out of our routines. We actually create new neural pathways and enhance brain performance and memory when we mix it up (ever wonder why your 72-year old friend who is always signing up for new cooking classes, taking up tai chi and learning how to salsa is sharp as a tack?!).
Much of our life is rote. We’ve fallen into habitual, unconscious ways of doing, being and seeing (from what we eat, read, watch, say, and listen to– to how we respond to family, co-workers and others we meet throughout the course of our day). Author and neuroscientist Joe Dispenza says we have about 60-70,000 thoughts a day and 90% of today’s thoughts are the same ones we had yesterday!
I love The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and In Business right by Charles Duhigg (highly recommended). Charles says we basically move through our days—like rats in a maze– in an endless cycle of “cue-routine-reward.” Most of the time, we aren’t making conscious choices or doing things because they work, they’re the best for us or because they bring us joy–we do the same things over and over because they’re familiar.
In my work/life alignment seminars, I challenge men and women by asking, “If we dropped our old ways of thinking and seeing and released habitual ways of being, what would a higher, more evolved version of who we are– look like?” I’m not saying we’re self-improvement projects or trying to fix ourselves—but am encouraging us to cultivate curiosity for what it would feel like to come into the highest expression of who we are.
In Breaking Free and Making Hard Choices, Chapter nine from my book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family, I share, “In essence, habits are nothing more than a choice we make over and over again until the new behavior becomes automatic. “ But as author Robert Puller said, “Good habits, once established, are just as hard to break as are bad habits.” We have to be willing to wake up from “Groundhog Day,” –and question why we’re doing what we’re doing. Every single day.
I’m looking forward to “doing it differently,” this summer and seeing where I can keep challenging myself to step out of my ruts and start embracing more freedom and joy. Wanna join me?
WANT TO MAKE YOUR SELF-CARE A PRIORITY? HERE ARE THREE OPPORTUNITIES!
- **Download today ~ Available for a limited time** Creating the Summer Your Soul Desires: A Mini Self-Renewal Retreat (Virtual/Self-Paced) ~ What’s your intention for this summer? Join me for a virtual mini-retreat to design the summer your heart, body and soul desire. Learn more/register here. (Only $59.) Each registration includes my two books, the popular Sovereignty Retreat which includes a deep relaxation Yoga Nidra session.
- Want to empower your employees to experience work/life alignment? Schedule me to create a balanced living workshop or presentation 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 such as Kaiser Permanente, Ernst & Young, Women in Conservation, the Council on Family Violence, Bank of America, the Center for Women in Law, the Hewlett Foundation and more. Email workshops at reneetrudeau dot com. Learn more here.
- Oct. 14-16 ~ Awakening Your Wild Soul: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (this one sells out FAST)! Learn more. P.S. If you live in Western NC, join me for Wild Souls Nature Adventures. Or have me design a custom Wild Souls Blue-Ridge Mountain nature-based adventure for your team or friends Read more and sign up to get notices!
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, Renee has been facilitating transformational, high-impact workshops for Fortune 500 companies, national nonprofits/conferences and organizations worldwide for 25 years. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Fast Company, 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 self-care curriculum. 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. Her latest venture is Wild Souls Nature Adventures. More on Renee here.