ENewsletter: February 2008

 Renee Trudeau & Associates

Dear Friend:

Several months ago, I reserved the last two weeks of January 2008 for a writing sabbatical to explore a new idea I’ve been playing with over the last year (more to come on this).

Life threw some curve balls and not a lot of writing occurred, however, I received many insights from this 14-day retreat from my normal busy work pace. By far, one of the biggest was the absolute importance of starting my day intentionally.

Just about every spiritual practice stresses the importance of starting your day with some quiet time. In fact, Marianne Williamson, internationally-known modern mystic and best-selling author of Return to Love says that devoting as little as five minutes every morning to your inner life is all you need to set a positive course for your day. (As someone who has been trying to meditate for 15-minutes every morning with little success, this really spoke to me. Five minutes is about all many of us can find on those busy school mornings.)

Below are Five Tips for Creating More Peace in Everyday Life through dedicated morning time:

Decide when you’re going to have your daily morning time. For many of us (me included) it works best to do this the minute we wake up, before my child wakes up and the house gets noisy. This is when our minds are most quiet/clear. (If you’re not a morning person, later in the morning might be better for you.)

Start by creating/identifying a sacred space in your bedroom or home for your practice—somewhere you can go that elicits peace/healing and is nurturing (maybe it’s a special chair with a candle next to it, a creativity altar or low shelf with items on it that are special to you, a hammock in the backyard or a spot under your favorite tree). If this seems impossible, your “space” can even be in the car alone, radio/car off, right after you arrive at work or drop off kids or at your desk before you start your work day.

Find a source of comfort/inspiration: a book or teaching you love, www.dailyword.com or www.dailyom.com, the bible, self-care/inspirational cards: www.cherylrichardson.com/postcard/ or www.louisehay.com, or poetry from a favorite writer to draw from and set the tone for your day.

If you’re feeling anxious or “to do” lists are running through your mind, begin your morning time with some deep belly breaths, this gets blood flowing to your brain, helps make you more present and calms your mind (one technique I use is breathing in very slowly for three, holding for three and exhaling for three—all through your nose with your mouth closed). Keeping your eyes closed while doing this helps focus your awareness inward.

Create ritual and flow for your morning time. For example, you might: 1) light a candle, close your eyes and feel the silence, then 2) enjoy a short inspirational reading or choose a self-care card (see above), afterwards 3) pray, meditate or reflect on what you’re grateful for and close by 4) setting an intention for the day, asking for guidance on an issue or help releasing something that has been bothering you.

For this practice to have the greatest effect, you need to keep your ritual simple, short, and personally meaningful. And, really allow yourself to be present and become comfortable sitting in silence. (But, be easy on yourself. Even just starting with setting an intention before you begin your day, would be huge!)

I have been staying with my new morning time ritual for a month now and it has had a HUGE effect on how peaceful I feel throughout my day (I have always had some type of morning reflection, but really formalizing/committing to this practice has made all the difference in the world).

February Self-Renewal Challenge: Beginning on Valentines’ Day, I challenge you to start practicing morning time before you begin your day and to continue this for seven consecutive days. And, notice any shifts* that start to happen. I think you’ll be amazed. Let me know how it goes.

P.S. Check out *Shifting, my latest blog posting on this topic.

Upcoming Events and Training:

  • February 15 : Finding Your Career Mojo Workshop from 9-11:30 a.m. in south Austin. For more information on this empowering, nurturing and supportive interactive seminar, email renee@careerstrategists.net. Only a few spots left! This popular workshop package includes more than $650 in Career Strategists support services. GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE.
  • March 7:  The Ultimate Job Search Workshop from 9-11:30 a.m. in south Austin.  For more information on this engaging and supportive workshop, email renee@careerstrategists.net.
  • IN THE NEWS: CBS KEYE aired a great piece on the Personal Renewal Groups/book: click here.  The Austin American Statesman (2/3) ran a wonderful article on the power of self-care and Renee’s work: click here.  Also, read more about The Transformative Power of Self-Care, this month in Austin Woman (page 54), Austin Family (January issue) and look for articles on our work this spring in Mothering, Pregnancy and Newborn, Divorce Magazine, Ladies Home Journal and many other national women’s and parenting publications.
  • Are you a therapist, coach, doula or women’s empowerment advocate who truly enjoys supporting women and helping them nurture their emotional well-being? Learn more about becoming a PRG Facilitator and join a national community of leaders who are changing women’s lives through powerful life coaching groups centered around The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal.
  • Visit our online calendar to learn about upcoming self-renewal retreats and events.
  • Would you or your organization/company like to host a Self-Renewal Party and have Renee come and speak about creating balance from the “inside out” and the national women's initiative around “The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal?” If so, email christy@reneetrudeau.com for more information.