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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nurture yourself, nurture your family

A review of “Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life” by Renee Peterson Trudeau

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I’m one of those individuals who takes self improvement seriously. I believe that we should continue to grow, learn and mature as we age while we absorb information and encounter issues  (what one may call problems) in our lives.

nurturing_the_soulAs a mom of four children and one granddaughter I am no stranger to chaos, full schedules, overflowing paperwork, lost permission slips, too many doctor’s appointments and the tornado that whips through my house almost as soon as I finish cleaning and straightening. It can be is normally overwhelming, and peace, quiet and harmony seem impossible to reach. Renee Peterson Trudeau understands this feeling and presents 10 ways to reconnect and find peace in everyday life (the subtitle)  in “Nurturing the Soul of Your Family.”

This book was written to help “parents cultivate harmony and peace within and without as they guide their families toward a more connected and meaningful way of life.” In order to make this happen you, the reader, have to take a journey to inner peace and self care while contemplating your self care through completion of activities focusing on different aspects of your family’s life.

From the back of the book:

What would it feel like to experience more ease, harmony, and flow in the midst of navigating homework squabbles, mealtimes, commutes, and the other challenges of everyday life? Nurturing the Soul of Your Family is a guidebook for personal and spiritual renewal from the award-winning author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. It offers nurturing support and practical ideas to guide you toward a new way of being. Enjoyable, down-to-earth, and empowering, RenĂ©e Peterson Trudeau’s ten paths to peace will help you learn how to:

  • find your center and move through chaos and uncertainty with renewed strength and ease
  • live every day aligned with your values and what matters most
  • slow down, tap the wisdom of your wise self, and know what’s best for you and your family
  • release old habits, fears, and anxieties as you explore a new way of being
  • access more joy by living in the present moment (the best antidote to stress!)
  • experience more freedom and unscheduled time

For me, reading books like this can be difficult, but Renee foresaw that and writes the best way to get the most from her book is to “read with the utmost self-compassion – be gentle with yourself.” It’s important because you’ll need to be introspective. Renee helps with this by including a moment of pause at the beginning of each chapter, easy-to-understand examples and instructions throughout the chapter and at the end of each chapter you’ll identify what has been working for you, suggestions for putting what you’ve learned in the chapter into practice and “imagine a new way of being” through journal exercises.

Renee challenges us to “live inside out,” which means living in alignment with what matters the most and doing it with intention. “When our sense of peace grows,” she writes, “external conflicts dissipate. When we begin to cultivate and return to our inner state of harmony and our river of well-being, we’re able to be less reactive and more present, calm, and heart centered.”

This is the kicker, so to speak, for me: “Our kids’ behavior is inextricably tied to our emotional well-being.” It is scary for someone like me who struggles with depression and anxiety, but I’m tentatively reading along to see where it takes me… where it takes me as a person, a woman, a mom. And, as Renee points out, I can take from it what works for me and over time other suggestions may manifest in my world. It’s all about sorting through where we are now as a family and where I want us to be.

My opinion:

I would recommend this book to anyone wishing to have more harmony within themselves and surrounding their family. Renee’s words within “Nurturing the Soul of Your Family” are soothing and encouraging. With activities to assist in the process and journalizing suggestions, this book is sure to make a difference in you and your family’s life.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of “Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 ways to reconnect and find peace in everyday life” by Renee Peterson Trudeau for the purposes of this review. As always, all opinions included are my own and were in no way influenced by anyone else. Click for my ever-so-interesting full disclosure policy.

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