Sunday, September 19, 2010

What the World Needs Now

Even though I come from a large family, growing up, I often felt isolated.

My parents were big seekers. Much of their energy was spent on their personal quest to find or experience God---and they encouraged us to do the same.

Yet, in the midst of all this spiritual exploration-- we often lacked connection to a larger, extended community. And to be fair to my parents, I know the desire was there, but the knowledge of how to actually do this seemed to be missing. (I think this is common among many; I hear the question, "How DO you create community?" quite often as I travel around the U.S.)

I'm sure this is why I'm so passionate about fostering connection and community for myself, my family, and others today (the joke with my husband when I’m headed out the door to an evening or weekend gathering, is “which women’s circle, mastermind session or group are you going to —or starting--today?”).

Last night I had the opportunity to gather with some of the wonderful women and their families from my good friend Dr. Deborah Kern’s Daring Diva community. Earlier this month, in honor of my maternal grandmother’s 100th birthday, I gathered with a small group of women to honor/celebrate the gifts we have received from our grandmothers—living and deceased. This coming week, I’ll be meeting with a small sister group on the Fall Equinox to share insights from a teleclass we’re all participating in (on the same evening, another group I started for entrepreneurs in 2005, will be gathering).

And, for the last 7 years, I’ve been pouring energy into helping women reconnect with who they are, focus on self-compassion and attune to their need/desires through our global Personal Renewal Group Program. And, I am very committed to continuing to regularly create and facilitate women’s retreats.

Why does it seem that now, more than ever, we’re all craving opportunities to gather in small, intentional gatherings and explore what matters most (Live Inside Out provides more insight into this)?

~I believe we’re one another’s teachers. And, we were MEANT to be interdependent not uber-independent (a common modus operandi for many of us); on the deepest level we know this to be true.
~Often when I’m going through a challenging time, when I gather with like-minded friends for authentic conversation—I feel validated, supported and more often than not, discover we’re having similar—and sometimes even identical--experiences!
~Friends that care deeply about me and hold the highest/best for me, remind me of who I *really* am—and help me remember my stuff isn’t the “biggest thing that’s happening to me,” it’s just the “biggest thing in the moment!”
~We’re much more interconnected than we could ever imagine. And when we gather in groups, we’re reminded of this in profound ways.
~So often when we hear someone in a group articulate what we’ve been trying for months to put words to, we have an immediate shift in perspective or ah-ha moment.
~The practice of being real, vulnerable and deeply authentic in front of others—as my mentor says, “showing up warts and all”—can be amazingly cathartic.
~More and more research is illustrating the positive effect gathering in groups has on women—specifically our immune systems and serotonin levels get a boost and we release oxytocin—which results in us feeling calmer and happier overall (and yes, men need this, too!).

The power of groups, never ceases to amaze me. I truly think it's what the world needs now.

And as I launch a new group experience this week on Self-Care as a Spiritual Practice (my first ongoing women’s group in three years), I move into the next phase and evolution of my work, knowing that the gifts that will come from this journey will be unfolding for years to come.

It’s just a feeling I have. And usually, my hunches are right on.

FIND YOUR TRIBE, ATTEND A RETREAT/WORKSHOP OR JOIN THE DIALOGUE: Would you like to experience connection and community and receive support from like-minded women? Join or become trained to facilitate a Personal Renewal Group, visit our calendar to learn more about upcoming events including our November 5th One-Day Women's Self-Renewal Retreat and our FREE October 14th Live Inside Out teleclass on Being More Present and Remembering What Matters.

Also, check out our Live Inside Out community and read how people are living more intentionally.

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.

Photo: Whether in groups of 3 or 300, from Africa to Atlanta, women from around the world have understood the power that comes from gathering in groups for thousands of years.


Debbi Smith Rourke said...

Lovely post. So understand the need to connect with women while in the midst of family life. I recently lost my 98 year old grandmother I called "Oma" and can relate to your group celebrating all we learn from such wise women who have shared and seen so much in this world and know what to hold dear. Her neighbors gathered at her home last night for a final toast and celebration. Was delightful. House is on the market today. I have started an "Oma" series of paintings to honor her on my art blog and felt compelled to share after your sweet post!! You can see them sprinkled throughout recent posts at Thanks, Renee.

Dr. Deb said...

I love this post, Renee! You have articulated the craving for community that I have been feeling for quite awhile. And I am so grateful for all the ways community has been showing up.

renee trudeau said...

Debbi--I'd love to see your Oma paintings, I look forward to checking them out. So many of us draw incredible strength from our amazing grandmothers. Thanks for your beautiful story of celebration.

renee trudeau said...

Deb--thank you, I feel it's an essential part of being human, as you do. So often when we get really busy, what do we do? Skip these gatherings or times to connect. I think I'm finally at a place where I realize that time with my "tribe(s)" is a non-negotiable for me. And, these are sacred times that I must protect come hell or high water!