“Are you listening to your life--what is it trying to tell you?” Renee Trudeau
Are you having difficulty focusing or perhaps you feel overwhelmed or out of synch with your needs and desires? Are you feeling restless and yearn to experience more peace in your life? Are you being called to explore “what’s next” professionally and personally—but unable to find the time or energy to devote to doing so? Are you craving time to just “be” without a to-do list breathing down your neck?
If yes, you’re in good company. More than ever, many of us are feeling overcommitted, overscheduled and frankly, exhausted. We’re trying to do too much.
Now is a great time to consider taking a retreat and to hitting the “reset button.” Impossible? Well, if not now, then when?
A retreat is defined in the dictionary as: A period of withdrawal from the world.
I challenge you this spring to set aside an entire day or weekend — completely void of all distractions — for a personal retreat. Use this time to rest, reflect, write and nourish yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Or, you may want to spend this time getting clear on your life priorities and thinking about how you want to allocate your energy and resources over the next ninety days (much less overwhelming than looking at an entire year).
From Chapter Four in The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal, I recommend making a list of what activities fuel you (which ones give you energy, nurture you, make you come alive) and what activities drain you (create a physical tightness or discomfort in your back, belly or neck every time they cross your consciousness). Often these drains are things like a financial issue that must be handled, a tough conversation that has been postponed, a disorganized space at work or at home or a career or job issue that needs to be addressed.
I like to approach these items with an aggressive housecleaning mindset, giving myself three options to eliminate these drains:
- I can do it—set deadlines for completion of the project
- I can delegate it—ask for help if needed or outsource the task
- I can dump it—make the decision that I’m ready to walk away from this task and release that it just isn’t going to happen (at least not this year!)
During your personal retreat, you can revisit old goals or dreams, enlist books for inspiration (see The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal resource section at the end of each chapter for recommendations), work on exercises from the Inspiration Café, journal, draw/paint or create a collage from magazine images that represents your vision for how you want to experience the next three months.
You can also find resources and inspiration for your retreat on my life balance blog The Journey (search by topic), through past Life Balance newsletters or by signing up for the New Way of Being self-paced tele-course. Do whatever inspires you and helps you gain clarity and focus.
A primary goal of this retreat—whether it’s a day or a weekend—is to give your analytical thinking a rest and give your creativity and your “inner teacher” the opportunity to speak.
Some tips to help you get the most from your retreat:
- Spend at least eight hours away (a weekend--or longer--would be ideal).
- You may want to make this a personal retreat and be alone or you may decide to attend a guided group retreat (see resources below), it depends on your personal needs and life stage. I personally get tremendous benefit from guided retreats.
- Choose a location that is inspiring and conducive to contemplation—a quiet park or natural setting; a friend’s vacant house; a retreat, yoga or spa center or even a quiet coffeehouse are good places to go (but get out of your own house!).
- Focus on what you want to create for the next ninety days of your life.
- Get the time on your calendar NOW! Otherwise it won’t happen.
I recommend taking personal retreats each quarter, if at all possible. These respites are a wonderful, nurturing way for you to invest in yourself and your future. They may just be one of the best gifts you’ll ever receive! Have fun, and make this your own.
I’ll be leading Women’s Self-Renewal Retreats at Esalen in Big Sur, CA on the Pacific Ocean April 27-29 and in the cool Berkshire mountains of MA at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health June 22-24. I also have a couple of spots open for my Envision, Align and Expand: Entrepreneurs Small Business Retreat on June 8th. I’d love to have you join me. I’ve been creating and facilitating transformational retreats and events for 20 years and love holding the space for others to connect with their Wise Self.
Let me know how your retreat goes. If you like, you can share your experience on our Live Inside Out Facebook Community. And, in celebration of Mother’s Day, we’re offering an all-expenses paid retreat at Kripalu; learn more here on how to win a $2500 Year-of-Self-Care Package.
Warmly—Renee and the RTA Team (Sara, Sarina, Angela, Brooke and JaneMarie) firstname.lastname@example.org 512-459-6700
P.S. My favorite retreat spots are Kripalu in the Berkshires, The Omega Institute in upstate NY and Esalen at Big Sur in CA. I have heard Feathered Pipe Ranch in Montana and Mount Madonna in CA are also wonderful! What are your favorites?
Upcoming Events and Training:
- April 27-29 Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A Women's Self-Renewal Retreat, Esalen, Big Sur, CA Nurture and nourish yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Tap the Transformative Power of Self-Care. Led by nationally-recognized career/life balanceexpert, coach and author Renee Trudeau at beautiful Esalen. Ideal for women in career/life transition. Details here. Complete packages start at $555.
- April 1-30 Personal Renewal Group Online Facilitator Membership Are you a therapist, coach, parent or birth educator, leadership consultant or women's empowerment advocate who loves supporting women and helping them nurture their emotional well-being? Join an international community and facilitate self-renewal groups/retreats for women based on the award-winning The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal. Learn more. Or, click here to find a Personal Renewal Group in your area. Spring special! Enter 50 OFF in the coupon code field to receive
$50 in savings through 4/30/12.
- New Way of Being™: Let Go, Embrace Flow and Love Your Life A national telecourse for men and women led by Renee Trudeau. Are you done with overwork, overwhelm and ready to discard your old habitual ways of working and being? Would you like to de-clutter, simplify, learn to leverage the power of self-care and step into a more spacious, free work/life flow? Join Renee as she supports, guides and coaches you into a new way of being and helps you access greater peace and harmony in your everyday life. REGISTER HERE (Class downloads/materials will be sent to you via email).