Monday, December 27, 2010


The morning after Christmas Day, my husband, son and I felt a little sluggish. We needed some fuel.

So after visiting with out-of-town guests, we did some yoga at home, hit the greenbelt for a long hike and then went to a family Kirtan at the Amala Foundation (thanks Austin Big Heart Yoga and friends for organizing—we loved it!). And at the end of the day, we felt good. And nourished.

Last night, my husband and I were sitting in front of the fire remembering not-so-distant holidays where overindulgence, overspending, overeating, oversleeping and other not-so-healthy patterns were the norm. There’s nothing wrong with indulging every once in a while, but invariably these slugfest sprees were followed by periods of remorse, guilt and often low moods.

As a writer/teacher who is fascinated by how we create more harmony and balance in our lives, I know it’s natural to regularly swing in and out of equilibrium. But what I’m noticing more often is that when I’m really in tune with my needs on a *deeper* level—when I’m focused on what will nourish me physically, emotionally and spiritually—I have less of a desire to over-indulge. And the magnetic pull towards things that will elevate my mood and overall well-being is much stronger.

The New World Dictionary says, to nourish means to feed or sustain with substances that promote life and growth.

As my son gets older and we are beginning to look at how we want to allocate our resources (money/time/energy), I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my parents and how they “fed” my siblings and me.

I don’t know how they did it (other than forgo expensive vacations and a lot of “stuff”) but growing up, all seven of us attended Montessori school, took a wide variety of music lessons, participated in art/painting/pottery classes and were given “carte blanche” when it came to purchasing books or making weekly trips to the library.

Even though my parents taught me very little about self-care or how to enhance my emotional well-being, they provided us nourishment through feeding us creative, mind-opening educations, providing us with constant exposure to the arts/culture and offering many opportunities for creative expression and intellectual stimulation (something I’ve only recently begun to fully appreciate).

I think how we choose to nourish ourselves, our families and those close to us, says a lot about our relationship to ourselves and what we value most. My personal experience has been that the kinder, more loving and more accepting I am of myself, the more nutrient-rich my “diet” becomes.

I wonder how my son will describe how we “fed” him years from now? I can only hope it was a balanced diet and that we taught him to seek out what he truly needs. With the occasional side of french fries every now and again.

FIND YOUR TRIBE, ATTEND A RETREAT/WORKSHOP OR JOIN THE DIALOGUE: Would you like support for identifying what truly nourishes you and how you can begin to attune to your needs and desires? Join or become trained to facilitate a Personal Renewal Group, or visit our calendar to learn more about our upcoming January retreats, workshops and events.

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

Photo: Tamari-glazed green beans with toasted almonds, crispy tofu and brown rice: our lunch today and one of our family's favorite nurturing and nourishing meals.

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