Everything about my upbringing--being raised by a heady physician and an emotional musician; living in highly conservative neighborhoods and in yoga ashrams; being equally gifted at business strategy and heart-centered coaching; and enjoying cooking and nesting as much as traveling and speaking—points to the theme of balance.
And, when I’m out in the world and tell people I teach, write and speak about life balance for a living, the most common reaction I hear (or sense) is: balance is bunk!
I get it.
Most of us think of balance as a state of perfection or absolute equilibrium—frustratingly unattainable. And the majority of us think of balance only as it pertains to juggling work and life.
But as humans, innately, we’re always trying to come into balance. On all levels. Balance between ease and effort; thinking and feeling; being and doing; initiating and allowing; giving and receiving; moving fast and slow; and of course, between work and play.
I’ve seen it hundreds of times when I speak on “work-life balance” at corporations, in organizations or at conferences. People settle down into their chairs with pen and paper (or laptops) poised and fully expecting to take notes on the latest, greatest time management strategies.
They’re surprised when they hear me share my definition of work-life balance: having enough time, energy and resources for those things that matter most. And reflective when I challenge them to examine 1)how they manage their energy and if they’re comfortable saying “no,” 2)how present they are in their daily lives, 3)how good they are at asking for and receiving help and 4)how comfortable they are attuning and responding their physical/emotional/spiritual needs (read more about self-care).
It always throws them for a loop when it begins to sink in that THEY are responsible for creating balance … and it comes from the inside out (read more on creating balance).
We all love a quick fix. But, downloading the newest organizational app or online course on how to “do more in less time” is not sustainable. It’s a band-aid fix.
I remember being on a yoga retreat with Shiva Rea when she shared that at any one time, there are more than 1000 systems (lymph, hormonal, etc.) within our bodies that are striving to come into balance. She says we inherently crave balance. It’s our desire to return to our natural state. (“Hatha,” the most popular form of yoga, means balancing two opposing forces. It’s no wonder yoga has become so popular over the last few years as our need for balance has escalated.)
As you move forward into March, the time of rejuvenation, rebirth and often one of the busiest months of the year for many, reflect on what area of your life or daily experience most needs balancing:
- Is it the goliath (work-life balance) that’s calling for an overhaul and re-invention?
- Maybe it’s time to change how you approach others by getting out of your head and moving into your heart as you begin balancing your thinking and feeling nature.
- Are you pushing too hard at work or in your business? Is it time to stop constantly initiating and start allowing good to flow to you? (Read more about the dance of the yin and yang.)
- Are you too serious? Is it time to let your hair down and allow some silliness into your daily experience?
- Are you always volunteering, helping others and the “go to girl?” Maybe the time has come to start balancing this with receiving help and support from others.
- Is your life a blur—are you moving too fast? Would it serve you to slow down, re-wire how you do things and re-adjust your body’s rhythms?
- Do you take care of your body but ignore the care and feeding of your heart (your emotional well-being)? Read more.
Balance looks different for all of us depending on our life stage, our individual needs, whether or not we’re navigating a career or life transition and whether we’re caring for kids or parents. And, it changes constantly.
But isn’t is comforting to know that our emotional and physical bodies DESIRE to be in balance? That being in harmony is our natural state of well-being? (Thank God. It seems like a lot less work when you look at it that way!)
OUR job is to pause and get quiet enough to hear what it is we most need, and to respond.
Does this theme call you to action? I’d love to support you through weekly inspiration via my blog The Journey, through our Live Inside Out Facebook Community or consider learning about our Personal Renewal Group Program. Explore our other balanced living resources, here.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com or 512-459-6700 and let us know how we can support you.
Warmly—Renee and the RTA Team
P.S. We hope to see some of you at our Kripalu Retreat April 29-May 1 where you’ll learn how to take the themes outlined above into your everyday life.
Upcoming Events and Training:
- March 10 10:00 a.m. Long Center RISE (Resource & Information Series for Entrepreneurs) Austin Event/Women’s Track “Balance and Your Bottom Line: 4 Strategies to Help You Reclaim Your Life and Work Less and Make More” led by Renee Trudeau. FREE. Learn more and register at www.riseglobal.org.
- March 25 Friday 9:00-1:00 p.m. Envision, Align and Expand: A Business Planning Retreat for Empowered Entrepreneurs. Casa de Artistas, south Austin. Gain clarity and focus on your business goals, receive laser coaching/feedback, tap Renee’s favorite, most powerful exercises and tools, leave inspired, focused and ready to move forward with renewed passion and clarity. Led by small business coach Renee Trudeau at a small, quiet, private retreat center in Austin. Limited to 8 people. Cost: $249. Details/register. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability.
- March 31, Thursday: 7:30-8:30 p.m. CST Live Inside out Life Balance Teleclass with Renee Trudeau. Theme: Reclaim Your Life: Strategies for Balance. Join women from around the world as we reconnect with who we are, cultivate self-compassion and learn to live more intentionally. Learn more and register here.
- April 9 9- 5 p.m. First Annual Conference for Mothers of Special Needs Children, Austin, TX Renee to present “The Transformative Power of Self-Care” Register/learn more www.specialmomsheal.com
- April 29-May 1, Friday-Sunday: Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A Women's Self-Renewal Retreat , Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, The Berkshires, MA. Nurture and nourish yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Tap the Transformative Power of Self-Care. Led by nationally-recognized career/life balance expert, coach and author Renee Trudeau at beautiful Kripalu. Ideal for women in career/life transition. Details here.
Our last Kripalu retreat sold out; register today!
Are you a therapist, coach, doula or women's empowerment advocate who loves 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.
Private Customized Retreats: Renee is masterful at creating/facilitating empowering half, full day or weekend workshops or retreats for companies, organizations and groups (her recent Lost Pines Self Renewal Retreat and her Kripalu retreat sold out and had a waiting list!). You can learn more about private retreats here or about her speaking/workshop topics, here. Email Sara Bogan, events manager at email@example.com or call 512-459-6700 to check Renee’s availability.
Visit our online calendar to learn about upcoming self-renewal retreats and events.
- You may reprint this newsletter in its entirety provided you include at the end: Renee Peterson Trudeau is a life balance coach/speaker and author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. You can download free book chapters, receive life balance tips or learn about upcoming events at www.ReneeTrudeau.com. Facebook: liveinsideout.