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Retreats don’t change our lives as much as they change where we stand in relationship to our lives—and our capacity to see the hidden possibilities there.” --Stephen Cope, MSW, director of Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living

Dear Friend:

Lately, do you feel hurried, out of synch or overcommitted? Do you feel unsettled and yearn to experience more meaning in your life? Do you feel as though you’re being called to explore “what’s next” for you in your career—but are unable to find the time or energy to devote to doing so?

If yes, you’re in good company. More than ever, many of us are feeling overwhelmed, overscheduled and overtired. It’s a great time to hit the pause button and consider taking a retreat.

A retreat is defined in the dictionary as: A period of withdrawal from the world.

Consider setting aside an entire day or weekend — completely void of all distractions — for a personal retreat. Use this time to rest, reflect, write and nourish yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Or, you may want to spend this time getting clear on your life/career priorities and thinking about how you want to allocate your energy and resources over the next ninety days (much less overwhelming than looking at an entire year).

You might think about making a list of what activities fuel you (which ones give you energy, nurture you, fill you with passion) and what activities drain you (those things that create a physical tightness or discomfort in your back, belly or neck every time they cross your consciousness). Often these drains are things like a financial issue that must be handled, a tough conversation that has been postponed, a disorganized space at work or at home or a work or creative project that has been on the back burner for too long.

I like to approach these items with an aggressive housecleaning mindset, giving myself three options to eliminate these drains:

(1) I can do it—set deadlines for completion of the project

(2) I can delegate it—ask for help if needed or outsource the task

(3) I can dump it—make the decision that I’m ready to walk away from this task and release that it just isn’t going to happen (at least not this year!)

During your personal retreat, you can revisit old goals or dreams, enlist books for inspiration (see The Inspiration Café at  for recommendations), work on guided exercises, journal, draw/paint or create a collage or vision map that represents your vision for how you want to experience the next three months. Do whatever motivates you and helps you gain clarity.

A primary goal of this mini-retreat is to give your analytical thinking a rest and give your creativity and your inner compass the opportunity to have a voice.

Some tips to help you get the most from your retreat:

  • Spend at least eight hours away (a weekend--or longer--would be ideal).
  • You may want to make this a personal retreat and be alone or you may decide to attend a guided group retreat (see resources below), it depends on your personal needs and life stage.  I’ll be leading a wonderful Women’s Retreat at The Crossings April 24-26th and we have a few spots left.
  • Choose a location that is inspiring and conducive to contemplation—a quiet park or natural setting; a friend’s vacant house; a retreat, yoga or spa center or even a quiet coffeehouse are good places to go (but get out of your own house!).
  • Focus on what you want to create for the next ninety days of your life.
  • Get the time on your calendar NOW! Otherwise it won’t happen.

I recommend taking personal retreats two to four times a year, if at all possible. These respites are a wonderful, nurturing way for you to invest in yourself and your future. They may just be one of the best gifts you’ll ever receive! Have fun, and make this your own.

Let me know how your retreat goes and what comes up. I’d love to hear about your experience. Warmly--Renee

Renee’s Favorite Retreat Spots
Kripalu in the Berkshires, The Omega Institute in upstate NY, Esalen at Big Sur in CA, The Crossings in Austin. I also really like retreats with and  

P.S.  Do you have a copy of my award-winning book The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life?   If not, sign up for my life balance newsletter at today and receive a free download of the book to your inbox over Mother’s Day Weekend May 8th-10th.  Feel free to share this amazing gift with your friends around the globe! For women of all ages, the book has received rave reviews.


Ready to make a change but need a “jump start” to help you get started?  On a tight budget or unable to allocate the resources for one-on-one coaching? Purchase a DIY Career Change Toolkit or a DIY Job Search Workshop today—only $99!   Learn more.

**************************************************************************** UPCOMING WORKSHOPS/EVENTS ****************************************************************************

April 24-26:   Spring Self-Renewal Retreat with Renee Trudeau at The Crossings for women in career or life transition. Don’t miss this life-changing retreat and opportunity to de-stress, reflect and refresh. Learn more or register online here. A wonderful Mother’s Day gift!

May 8-10:  FREE BOOK OFFER! 
Receive a free download of Renee’s award-winning book on how to live life from the inside out and practice self care. Sign up here to receive the book in your inbox on Mother’s Day.

May 11: Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance: An Evening of Self-Renewal, 5:00 - 7:30 pm at the Groove at City Walk, Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, FL. Cost is $99.  REGISTER ONLINE TODAY!
For more information call 407-224-5605 or email

May 12:  Florida Conference for Women in Orlando, FL. Renee Trudeau will speak on Creating a Balanced, Healthy Life. Email for more information.

May 21: Biz & Balance Austin for entrepeneur mothers. 7:00 - 9:30 pm, at Corazon at Castle Hill in Austin. Cost is $20. More information and register here.

June 11:  FREE Personal Renewal Group Sampler by Phone with Renee Trudeau. 7:00-8:00 CST. Email for more information.  Learn more about starting/joining a Personal Renewal Group.

June 24:    International Coaches Federation Austin Chapter   Austin, TX. Creating a Prosperous 2009: Possibilities, Partnerships and Passive Income presented by Renée Peterson Trudeau and Lorie Marrero. 
Visit for more information. 

June 26: Austin Business Journal Career Jump Start Conference in Austin, TX. From 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, Hilton Austin Hotel. Move Into the Driver’s Seat: Navigating Your Career in Uncertain Times led by nationally-recognized career and work-life balance coach and Career Strategists’ president, Renee Trudeau. 

Visit our calendar to view more events or learn how to register!

Career Strategists' Personalized Services Include:

• Strategic career planning and management assistance

• Client marketing, branding and positioning services (including resume and cover letter review/development)

• Coaching on job transitioning, interviewing and salary negotiation

• Tailored job search strategy sessions

• Work/life balance coaching, groups, workshops and keynote addresses

• Entrepreneur/small business planning, start-up and marketing coaching

• Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment and interpretation sessions for individuals and groups

• Customized presentations and seminars for companies and groups

Have a Hectic Schedule? Consider Phone or Email Coaching

Have an erratic schedule but need help with your resume, salary negotiation, interviewing, preparing for your next annual performance review, jump starting your job search or creating more balance in your life? Consider setting up a phone or email coaching session. Convenient, personalized and affordable. Clients say phone/email coaching is highly effective and a great way to get laser-feedback on very specific career, small business or work/life balance issues.

Email to learn more. Or, call our office at 512-459-6700 to schedule an appointment with Renee or Angela.

**************************************************************************** THINGS WE DO FOR OUR CLIENTS ****************************************************************************

Career Strategists' clients receive personalized, targeted, strategic resources, support and guidance to help them create a life and career that is aligned with their personal and professional values. Did you know we:

• Offer email coaching support to all of our clients who purchase career packages and typically respond to our clients' questions within 24 hours

• Offer a complimentary job leads service to let our clients know about jobs in Austin's "underground job market"

• Offer complimentary access to our new online password-protected Career Management Resource Center, packed with hundreds of tips, how-to lists, articles and resource lists on Career Management/Job Search, Personal Branding/Marketing and Work/Life Balance

• Provide our clients with connections and referrals to companies/organizations to help them move forward on their career or life path

• Create special exercises just for our clients to help them gain greater clarity and focus while navigating their career path

• Offer a discount to all current Career Strategists' clients on single sessions

Check out our coaching packages and fees to learn more about our services and don't hesitate to call or email to let us know how we can help you. (Note: we have different rates levels based on which Career Strategists’ coach you work with.)


Feel free to forward this newsletter on to friends/colleagues who could benefit from the information.

Career Management Resources is an online newsletter published quarterly by Career Strategists. Please let us know if you are receiving duplicate copies of the newsletter so we may correct this error.

Copyright© 2008 Renee Trudeau, Career Strategists. All rights reserved.

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