ENewsletter: October 2007

 Renee Trudeau & Associates

“Retreats don’t change our lives as much as they change where we stand in relationship to our lives—and our capacity to see the hidden possibilities there.”  --Stephen Cope, MSW, author/psychotherapist/yogi and director of Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living


Dear Friend:

Lately, do you feel hurried, out of synch or overcommitted? Do you feel unsettled and yearn to experience more peace in your life? Do you feel as though you’re being called to explore “what’s next” for you—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 overwhelmed, overscheduled and overtired. It’s a great time to hit the pause button and consider taking a retreat.

A retreat is defined in the dictionary as:  A period of withdrawal from the world.

Consider setting 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).

You might think about making a list of what activities fuel you (which ones give you energy, nurture you, fill you with passion) and what activities drain you (those things that 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 project that has been on the back burner for too long.

I like to approach these items with an aggressive housecleaning mindset, giving myself three options to eliminate these drains:

(1) I can do it—set deadlines for completion of the project

(2) I can delegate it—ask for help if needed or outsource the task

(3) 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 sections at the end of each chapter for recommendations), work on exercises, journal, draw/paint or create a collage that represents your vision for how you want to experience the next three months. Do whatever motivates you and helps you gain clarity.

A primary goal of this mini-retreat is to give your analytical thinking a rest and give your creativity and your inner compass the opportunity to have a voice.

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.
  • 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 two to four times a year, 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’m taking a retreat in two weeks and I can’t wait!  Let me know how your retreat goes and what comes up. I’d love to hear about your experience. Warmly--Renee

Renee’s Favorite Retreat Spots

Kripalu in the Berkshires, The Omega Institute in upstate NY, Esalen at Big Sur in CA, The Crossings in Austin. I also really like retreats with www.planetsark.com and www.jenniferlouden.com.

Upcoming Events and Training:

  • Nov. 2nd: 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 christy@reneetrudeau.com. Only two spots left!  The workshop package includes more than $500 in Career Strategists support services.
  • 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 RTA and Mother’s Guide 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.