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Eight Insights for Balanced Living

by Renee Peterson Trudeau, past Texas Conference for Women speaker and life balance expert


Finding balance in all that we do is a journey. Every part of our being—physical, emotional, spiritual and mental— desires to be in equilibrium. It’s our natural state. And our job is to listen to our deepest wisdom that more than anything in the world, wants to help us return to this natural state of well-being.

Because I write, speak, train and coach people around the world on experiencing balanced living, I get a lot of calls from journalists requesting “life balance wisdom tips.”

And what surfaced on the heels of a particularly rough year for many, were not recommendations for an amazing professional organizer, snazzy new software or expensive PDA or time management system, but insights on how to create balance from the “inside out”—the only approach I believe is truly sustainable.

Here are the gifts I received from 2009, a year most of won’t forget:

1. It’s essential to be willing to pause. To assess where we are in the moment (day/week/month) and know that course corrections are necessary to the journey.

2. Self-care is a non-negotiable. Regular self-nourishment should be like oxygen. And, it’s more essential than ever to commit to the practice when you feel you can’t take time for yourself—this is when you most need to.

3. Start your day with stillness. Whatever that looks like for you. When we come from a place of being fully present, we are wiser, more effective and more focused in all that we do.

4. Be gentle with yourself. Probably the most life-changing words ever spoken to me (read more). Release perfectionism, self-doubt and self-criticism and know that “your ordinary self is enough” (Carol Orsborn).

5. Take time to reconnect with who you are. This is not something you check off your to-do list, but a regular practice. What do you need now (not last month)?

6. Slow down. We’re human beings, not human doings. We’re all moving too fast and trying to do too much (myself included). As my seven–year old often tells me –“Mom, slower is better.” More and more research is highlighting the ineffectiveness of excessive multi-tasking.

7. Become comfortable living with polarity. Coming into balance is realizing we can hold joy and possibility at the same time as sadness and frustration.

8. Live intentionally. This year thousands of us embraced the Live Inside Out movement as we collectively responded to the call to live a life that is driven by our internal values—as opposed to external or societal values.

My favorite quote by Goethe still inspires me (it’s taped up in my office and in my kitchen): “Things which matter most should never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

What matters most to you in your life and what changes are you willing to make to ensure that your true priorities remain at the top—rather than the bottom—of your list this year?

Guest blogger Renee Peterson Trudeau is a nationally-recognized life balance expert/speaker, president of Austin-based Career Strategists and the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. Renee is offering a March 26 Refresh & Renew Mini Self-Care Retreat at The Crossings in Austin. For more information, click here.