Monday, January 31, 2011

Love the One You're With

Love the one you’re with and that would be you. Bryon Katie, author

I’m about to overflow with insights and revelations. If I didn’t have so many deadlines this week, I’d grab my journal and pens, head for the nearest cave with a bag of pistachios and a jug of water and write, write, write!

This past week began with a solo personal planning retreat, followed by a screening of Race To Nowhere, then I led a beautiful Women’s Winter Self-Renewal Retreat and finally this weekend, I attended a Byron Katie seminar with two of my team members.

Just when I think it’s time to give up teaching the self-care message and move on, the Universe presents me with one case after another for why this work is so key and how crucial it is to our relationships (with self and others), our career paths, our emotional well-being and our spiritual development.

If I were holding an onion, self-care would be the outer layer, then a few layers deeper, I’d find self-acceptance. Then finally at the core: self-love. I see self-care as the doorway through which we must go to truly accept who we are, and ultimately, to begin to love ourselves.

I’ve been on the self-care journey for close to eleven years and I still have a long way to go.

Yet, reflecting on the gifts that have come to me from learning to love myself, I am grateful for where I am. (Friday night after returning from a long day at The Crossings, before my head hit my pillow, I entertained a bit of self-criticism: “Your energy was really low today, you weren’t as focused as usual,” followed by a compassionate reminder, “And you didn’t get any sleep on Thursday night and received an abundance of positive feedback about how meaningful the day was for those who attended.”) Self-love is definitely an ever-evolving process.

Practicing self-acceptance and self-love has helped me to:
-be more easy-going and to “go with the flow”
-see that little things stay little (my kid not picking up his toys) and don’t become front page news
-have more space around my thoughts and become more present
-be kinder and more compassionate to others (whether it’s a waitress, family member, car mechanic or business partner)
-feel and connect more deeply to God as opposed to experiencing God as a concept in my head
-react less and Live Inside Out more
-sense my connection to everything around me and how interwoven we all are

And most importantly, it’s helped me feel –more and more often--that everything is ok, no matter what happens. And ultimately, this ongoing sense of peace and well-being is what we’re all seeking, isn’t it?

Last night as I put my 8 year-old to bed, I played Long Time Sun for him (this version is from Snatam Kaur's Feeling Good Today kids CD). Whenever I hear it, I am flooded with feelings of peace and self-love. I hope he feels the same.

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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: A retreat attendee enjoying the beautiful weather at Kripalu; join me April 29-May 1 in the Berkshire Mountains in MA at this amazing yoga and wellness center.

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