Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What Grounds You?

I just returned from a wonderful Intuitive Arts weekend retreat led by my fabulous colleague Diana Amorde. I came home feeling so much passion/clarity and focus around my work and life. I couldn’t wait to dive back in and start implementing some new ideas for our national Personal Renewal Group program.

Then Monday hit. And as I moved into an overscheduled week, navigating technology challenges, coordinating staff and intern responsibilities, working on my kid’s summer camp registration deadlines, juggling clients, media and meetings and fighting off feelings of collective overwhelm, the question surfaced “So Renee, what are you going to do to stay grounded this week?”

Regardless of what our days look like I think ALL of us are finding it increasingly easy—especially right now--to get swept up in the collective chaos (and yes, fear) that pervades our American culture these days.

And we’re being challenged to be extra mindful about separating what we’re feeling from what others are feeling.

A recent survey on attitudes towards the current economic crisis reported that 75% of all American felt stress/worry around the current economy, yet 75% also reported that personally, they were doing fine financially! Read my tips for navigating these times.

So this morning, I refused to get swept up in the wave that apparently 75% of Americans are riding and I paused to remind myself of what helps me to stay grounded, including:

*Starting every day with meditation/stillness and making this a priority no matter how busy I am or how much my son needs me to help him re-organize his Pokemon cards
*Making my self-care a priority, especially getting enough sleep, eating well and staying hydrated and claiming time for self-renewal (check out my upcoming April Spring Self-Renewal Retreat if you’re really ready to explore self-care!)
*Spending time in nature (this morning I walked around a beautiful lake in downtown Austin—nothing calms me like being in nature)
*Being very judicious about who I spend my time around (being particularly choosy about which friends and business partners I align with)
*Under-scheduling: as a “helper,” I have such a tendency to overschedule in my desire to lend a hand. My husband is great about heading this off at the pass and often suggesting we move things around to create more space and downtime in the evenings and on the weekends (thank goodness!)
*When in doubt, be kind. When I find myself feeling stressed out, I always think there are thousands that are dealing with heavier loads than mine. Kindness—towards ourselves and others-- goes a long way.
*Scheduling time for play! My husband just lined up a sitter for us to go to a free concert and hear some music this weekend.

What do you do to stay grounded? Do you have specific rituals or “mantras” you use to keep you anchored in the here and now? Do you recognize the point just before overwhelm and hit the pause button? How do you manage stress?

Photo: The view off my back porch at my weekend reteat at Canyon of the Eagles on Lake Buchannan.

WIN A FREE BOOK! Share your ideas with all of us and we’ll draw a name to receive a copy of my new book The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life for you to enjoy or give to a friend--great support for the coming months.

The Journey: This blog focuses on life balance and is published weekly by career/life balance coach/author/speaker Renee Peterson Trudeau (http://www.reneetrudeau.com/).


Marianne MacKenzie said...


I can so identify with your description of what can pull us off center. I wanted to share I too find "grounding" in nature, but don't always have the option to step into nature. Many times the small things can really help me re-center throughout a busy day. Some of my favorites are: BREATHING - no matter where I am I can take a deep breathe and really feel the air fill my lungs. Another is seeing nature out the car window, noticing the new green grass, a hawk standing perched on a pole and the clouds - love the clouds to bring me center again. Thank you for sharing this topic and reminding me that these small things are very special.

Molly said...

My favorite centering technique is from Ten Zen Seconds.

I use several:

(I expect) (nothing)
(right here) (right now)
(I trust) (my resources)
(I am equal) (to this challenge)

Sometimes I also use the process from Jennifer Louden's The Life Organizer--Connect, Feel, Inquire, Allow, Apply.

Best wishes,