Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This past weekend I led a Self-Renewal Retreat at The Crossings Spa and Resort for an amazing group of 32 women from around the U.S. It is deeply fulfilling work, but it also takes a lot of energy to “hold the space” for people as they move towards and begin to create the life/career they desire.

So, yesterday, I gave myself the gift of a day off for rest and completely unplugged. No laptop, no cell phone, no email, no phone calls, no responses to requests for help.

I began the day meeting a friend down on Town Lake (a beautiful lake that runs through the center of downtown Austin) for my favorite walk which takes me to the quieter, less populated area of the trail where I also get to see a lot of wildlife—bats, herons, swans, ducks, squirrels, cranes. The weather was amazing and it felt so good to not have to rush back to conference calls or meetings and to really slow down and soak up my surroundings.

Afterwards I asked my body what it needed and then went to Whole Foods (the “mother ship” is located in Austin) and picked up some amazing ripe mangos, sweet strawberries, huge creamy avocados and some brown rice California rolls—yum.

I ended up spending a long time in my beautiful backyard, eating mangos in the hammock, smelling herbs, listening to the birds, picking weeds and just sitting on the rocks around our beautiful water fountain doing … nothing.

Later, I headed upstairs and took a luxurious nap, did some journaling and drawing, pulled out some of the exercises I did at my recent writing/movement retreat and, had some really interesting ah-has (I love looking at deep inner work months or years later and harvesting new insights).

For dinner, I cooked an amazingly yummy broccoli/ginger/crispy tofu stir fry for my family and then went for a lazy walk in our neighborhood at dusk with a dear friend.

It felt like such a gift to really “untether” from the digital world like this.

Usually my days are filled with constant demands for my energy, time, talents and voice and so often this requires a lot of time online.

Last night, I reflected on the gifts that came to me from “unplugging,” including:
• physiologically I could feel my heart beat and blood pressure drop and slow way down
• I was more observant and connected to how things smelled, tasted, sounded, felt
• I was much more present with and attuned to my family Monday evening
• I felt more connected to my feminine or “yin” energy around receiving and allowing and less driven by my masculine or “yang” energy to produce, do, or create outcome (we all--men and women-have both energies)
• I could feel really feel the subtleties of how healing and restorative it is for me to spend time in nature and drink in the sounds/sights/smells from the natural world
• I had immediate clarity around what is essential and nonessential for me to focus on in my work (and life!)
• I could sense how wonderful it felt to “mono-task” and how much my brain enjoyed not being overworked to the point of being ineffective
• I was more connected to my creativity and could feel the stirrings inside of me of something new that is preparing to come forth

I wonder if I spent one day a week “unplugged” how it would affect my work and life?

Could it actually make me more productive on a day-to-day basis? Hmmmm.

Maybe you should try to totally unplug for a day? If you do, let me know. I’d love to hear about your experience.

JOIN US FOR A RETREAT: Would you like support for learning how to focus on your physical/emotional/spiritual and mental self-care? Join us in the cool Berkshire mountains in MA this coming August at the beautiful Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health for our Self-Renewal Retreat Aug. 13-15. One of my favorite spots on the planet and the retreat center that I visit when I'm ready to make a huge life shift!

Visit our calendar to learn more about upcoming events including our FREE May 18th Live Inside Out teleclass on Reclaiming Adventure in Your Life and our June 11th The Empowered Entrepreneur workshop.

Also, check out our Live Inside Out community and share how you slow down and unplug.

The Journey, a blog about coach/author/entrepreneur Renee Trudeau’s personal journey to life balance and living life from the inside out, comes out weekly.

Video: the zen water fountain in our backyard is surrounded by three huge rocks and trees/plants--a perfect spot to do ... nothing.


Anonymous said...

I unplug every Sunday without fail--all day our whole family has a "computer off day" and I LOVE it! I feel very present and connected and not like an "invisible umbilical cord" is pulling me back to my computer to "just check ONE more thing..."

renee trudeau said...

so many of us can relate to that umbilical cord ...and I really think it's changing our physiology ... yay for unplugging and enjoying a sabbatical on Sundays, we do this, too!