Finding balance in all that we do is a journey. Every part of our being—physical, emotional, spiritual and mental— desires to be in equilibrium. It’s our natural state. And our job is to listen to our deepest wisdom, that more than anything in the world, wants to help us return to this natural state of well-being. Renee Trudeau
Because I write, speak, train and coach people around the world on experiencing balanced living, I get a lot of calls from journalists at the end of each year asking for “life balance wisdom tips” for January articles (balance always makes top ten lists for New Year’s resolutions).
This can feel like a lot of pressure; try coming up with a 150 word sound byte meant to inspire thousands to reclaim their lives!
Ultimately though, I practice what I preach and let “good be good enough,” and trust that when I speak from my heart, whatever needs to be heard, will emerge.
And what surfaced this year, were not recommendations for an amazing professional organizer, snazzy new software or expensive PDA or time management system, but insights on how to create balance from the “inside out”--the only approach I believe is truly sustainable.
Based on the inside-out model, in 2009--a particularly rough year for many--I learned and shared that:
1. It’s essential to be willing to pause. To assess where we are in the moment (day/week/month) and know that course corrections are necessary to the journey.
2. Self-care is a non-negotiable. Regular self-nourishment should be like oxygen. And, it’s more essential than ever to commit to the practice when you feel you can’t take time for yourself—this is when you most need to.
3. Start your day with stillness. Whatever that looks like for you. When we come from a place of being fully present, we are wiser, more effective and more focused in all that we do.
4. Be gentle with yourself. Probably the most life-changing words ever spoken to me (read more). Release perfectionism, self-doubt and self-criticism and know that “your ordinary self is enough” (Carol Orsborn).
5. Take time to reconnect with who you are. This is not something you check off your to-do list, but a regular practice. What do you need now (not last month)?
6. Slow down. We’re human beings not human doings. We’re all moving too fast and trying to do too much (myself included). As my seven–year old often tells me –“Mom, slower is better.” More and more research is highlighting the ineffectiveness of excessive multi-tasking.
7. Become comfortable living with polarity. Coming into balance is realizing we can hold joy and possibility at the same time as sadness and frustration.
8. Live intentionally. This year thousands of us embraced the Live Inside Out movement as we collectively responded to the call to live a life that is driven by our internal values—as opposed to external or societal values.
My favorite quote by Goethe still inspires me (it’s taped up at various points around my home): “Things which matter most should never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
What matters most to you in your life and what changes are you willing to make to ensure this precious thing remains at the top—rather than the bottom—of your list this year?
Take good care and let us know how we can support you in 2010.
Upcoming Events and Training:
- January 21 7:30-8:30 p.m., CST. FREE Live Inside Out class via telephone with Renee Trudeau. Topic: Managing Your Energy/Saying No. Join author/life coach Renee Trudeau and women from around the world in a "virtual living room.” Register and receive details here. And join the dialogue on our Live Inside Out Facebook community and receive weekly tips on how to live more intentionally—every day.
- January 29 9:00 - 11:30 am: The Career Strategy Workshop: Find a Fit, Create a Plan, Love Your Work in South Austin. A small, dynamic group-coaching workshop focused on helping you strategically map out your next steps and find work that is a "fit" for you. You will also receive support via Renee’s online Career Center and a subscription to the Career Strategist’s job leads service. Register by 1/20/10 and receive a free DIY Job Search Toolkit (a $99 value). Class size is limited. CLICK HERE to register online. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- January 1-31 Receive online training to lead self-renewal groups for women as part of your business! Email Sarina at email@example.com or call 512-459-6700 with questions.
- April 23-25 Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A Woman’s Self-Renewal Retreat. Join us at the world-class spa and resort, The Crossings to reconnect with who you are and take time for deep self-renewal. For women at all life stages, especially supportive to those in career/life transition.
- August 13-15 Reflect, Reclaim, Re-Balance: A Woman’s Self-Renewal Retreat. Join us at Kripalu, the internationally known yoga retreat center in the MA Berkshires to reconnect with who you are and take time for deep self-renewal. For women at all life stages, especially supportive to those in career/life transition. The format will be very similar to the April Crossings retreat. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Are you a coach, parent educator, birthing professional, counselor or women's empowerment advocate who wants to grow their business and loves helping women nurture their emotional well-being? Learn more about becoming a PRG Facilitator and join an international community of leaders who are changing women's lives through powerful life coaching groups centered around The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal.
- Did you know Renee travels around the world speaking to corporations, organizations and at national conferences on life balance, self-renewal (and other related topics)? Learn more about having Renee speak at your next event, workshops or conference. We're scheduling 2010 events now.
- Visit our online calendar to learn about upcoming self-renewal retreats and events.