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One time my husband was headed out of town to attend a national conference. As I was driving him to the airport, he casually mentioned he would be making a key presentation to his colleagues and asked if I had any quick tips. This really triggered me; in my former life as a highly sought-after career strategist with a three-month waiting list, I was paid big bucks to coach men/women on how to prepare for and maximize career advancing opportunities like this. As an army of accusatory thoughts lined up in my mind; I barely managed to stop myself from unleashing a slew of criticisms around why he had waited until the last minute to ask for my input on something so important.

Later that afternoon I had “one of those days” ….a schedule glitch, a miscommunication with a vendor, a technical malfunction, a lost check— and suddenly everything felt like it was going from bad to worse. I was trying to wrap up an intense week filled with lots of deadlines before leaving town on a family beach vacation, yet my swirling negative thoughts were preparing to morph from a small dust devil into a powerful full-scale tornado that would ruin the family getaway for everyone. (If you can relate, make sure and read my post last week on Things To Do When Life Feels Hard.)

But something surprising happened. After stewing for a few minutes on all that had gone wrong, I paused, which has been one of the many benefits I’ve received from a regular morning meditation practice. Within that pause, I recognized this familiar emotional terrain — how my body was now constricting and tightening. I asked myself, “Do you really want to succumb to this downward spiral of negative thoughts? Is this really where you want to go and who you want to be?” Of course, it wasn’t. I wanted to be open, loving, spacious and compassionate. What I really wanted was to just let go of all my negative reactions. And so I did.

Actor Larry Eisenberg reminds us, “For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.”

Not every situation ends this successfully. Sometimes the allure of a good argument takes me down an old worn path. But increasingly, I’m learning to pause, check in with myself, to challenge my old habits and make sure I like the destination this particular train is headed. If I don’t, I wave it on and consciously choose to L.E.T. G.O. More and more I’m learning, peace of mind is only a thought away.

~Sick and tired of old habits, patterns and pushing to make things happen? Would you like to experience more ease, joy and flow in your life? Check out my popular self-paced New Way of Being: Learning to Go with the Flow audio course which offers concrete strategies and tools for learning to go with the flow (only $99). Learn more here.
~Join me April 29th for my New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat in the Texas Hill Country (register before this sells out; a great Mother’s day gift!). Learn more. Or if you’re craving a weekend away, grab your spot at my July 15-17 weekend self-renewal retreat here.

WE’RE HIRING! Are you a mom living in the Austin, TX area and seeking deeply meaningful, fun, exciting part-time work? Learn more–and feel free to share–our Part-Time Communications Assistant Job HERE.   

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance speaker/author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Renee’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal group based on her award-winning curriculum.  She leads workshops/retreats around the globe and is the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 14 year-old son. More on her background here.

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