Nurturing the Soul of Your Family [Review and Giveaway]

I’m always interested in improving my family’s life, and so both the title and the subtitle of this book, Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways To Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life spoke to me. I almost felt like challenging the author, Renée Peterson Trudeau, by saying “Bring it on. Impress me. Let me see if your tips really work.”

But after reading the book I must say I can’t recall off the top of my head what the ten ways are, because I got lost in the message. From the very first paragraph, I felt like Trudeau was writing the things I have been thinking over the last year or so.

You crave a slower, simpler, more spacious life. You long to feel more connected to your family and to experience more peace and harmony in the everyday. But it feels like too much work, too impossible. You’re not even sure where to begin.

I begin all the time. Just this week alone I started a daily meditation practice and a 2-week workout challenge. I grasp at the shiny things that float before me, promising to calm and center me, make me a better, more effective parent and spouse. I try on a new role, “Calm Mom,” for example, and wear it until the shell cracks and the pieces fall all around me. I know that fad ways of being are not sustainable for me or my family.

Nurturing the Soul of Your Family is a guidebook, not a fad. It’s an invitation to start from within. For me, the book is filled with messages that address where I am – doing things about it, not just stuck. In fact, when I read the chapter about spending more time in nature, I was planning a hike on the Wistful Vista trail in Oak Park. Trudeau’s words were in my head every time my son and I reached the top of another hill and looked around at our breathtaking surroundings. We both felt lucky, and I took a mental snapshot of each moment to save as long as possible.

I am practicing slowing down. I am learning to say “no” more often – that is hard, because I’m a very busy person, and I feel uncomfortable when I am not being productive. Trudeau’s reminders to live with those moments are meaningful to me, and they allow me to even try meditation. It’s only been four days, but I look forward to those early morning sessions…as long as my coffee is by my side.

Renée Trudeau is a life coach from Austin who used to be a corporate ladder climber, but changed directions when she realized she wanted more out of life. This latest book engages the reader with personal stories from Trudeau’s own upbringing and personal journey, and anecdotes from friends and her personal coaching clients about their struggles with family and personal peace. Each section starts with a centering exercise and ends with journaling prompts, and is filled with usable tips and suggestions about how to implement these nurturing ideas into your life.

My biggest takeaway from the book at this moment is that I should cherish my family. It’s obvious right? Of course we cherish our families. But Trudeau suggests that the souls that make up your family came together for a reason, and your little collection of souls is the most important connection in your life. When I choose to think of my children that way, I am less impatient with them. That line of thinking helped me not lose my temper completely when my boys were driving me crazy yesterday. Hey, whatever works.

I’m giving away a copy of the book so you can have a chance to see for yourself this if you win. Just leave a comment here by 11:59 PM PDT on Thursday, March 21, and I will choose a winner at random and contact you directly. Open to US residents for the hard copy of the book, or a PDF for an international winner.