As I mentioned earlier this year, my intention and word for 2013 is Nourish. When I was offered a chance to review Renee Trudeau's Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life, I knew it was the universe's way of supporting my intention.
I discovered Renee Trudeau many years ago when I clicked on my way from link to link, site to site until I came upon hers. Renee is an advocate of self-care and self-renewal. I must have been a new mother when I learned of Renee. I remember yearning for a support group of new moms (or mothers in general) and wishing for groups like the ones Renee wrote about in her first book, The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. (Which I haven't read yet, but have read excerpts.)
Nurturing the Soul of Your Family asks us to slow down and take the time to be present in our lives. Each of the ten chapters offers suggestions and tips on how to accomplish each step. Each chapter ends with a set of exercises so readers can reflect on what they've just read. I love that Renee asks her readers to give themselves a "Pat on the Back" by listing what's working for them. Next are "Putting It In Practice" and "Imagine a New Way of Being," which is a journaling exercise.
The first chapter is about self-care and attacks a mother's guilt head-on. Renee gives us permission to take care of ourselves. Sound familiar? How many times have I told myself "I'll schedule that massage next week" and I still put it off? I used to feel guilty for spending a couple of hours on the weekend to just sit and read. As an introvert, I need that time to myself to replenish my energy (and sanity), yet I feel guilty about it!
Other chapters tackle issues like digital disconnect, spending quality time with your family, and doing less (like yesterday's post). All issues that I struggle with and issues I know many of you struggle with. Renee is never preachy. In fact she often shares her stories and struggles with the same issues. I found her tips realistic and doable. Some of them might have stretched my comfort zone a bit, but they never felt out of reach.
I'm usually a pretty fast reader, but with Nurturing the Soul of Your Family I took my time so that I could absorb everything Renee wrote. Each chapter resonated with my intention for the year. By nourishing myself, I will nurture and nourish my family as well. This book is a keeper and I plan on re-reading it and doing all the exercises this time.
As I read Nurturing the Soul of Your Family, I keep going back to something my husband always tells me when I feel guilty for taking time for myself: "If mama ain't happy, then nobody is happy."
I received a copy of the book for review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links (thanks for your support!).
Check out Renee's website for lots of great info and goodies.