Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nurturing the Soul of Your Family - 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life by Renee Trudeau (Book Review)

There have been occasions here on my blog where I have probably shared too much about my emotional issues and how they affect me and my family.  I'm an over sharer.  I know that about myself and have tried to reign it in, but sometimes the need to offer "too much information" overwhelms me and I find myself spewing emotional baggage again.  This is a book review.  But it's about a book that has tapped into some pretty raw emotions for me.  So I'm warning you now.  I might spew.  Just so ya know.

Recently I was offered the opportunity to review a new book by Renee Trudeau called Nurturing the Soul of Your Family – 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life.  The last few years have been incredibly trying for my family for many reasons, which some of you know about, but I won't go into any of that here.  The stress has taken it's toll.  The atmosphere in our home was not a happy one and I felt an immense amount of guilt every single day for not being able to overcome the trials and for not being able to change the way we function as a family.  I could not bring the peace and feelings of love and security to our home that we all wanted and needed.  I felt broken and stupid for not knowing how to create a different experience for my family.  

Well, this is my year of change.  My year to be "fearless" in my pursuit of peace, happiness and family unity.   The fact that helpful tools like Renee's book keep finding their way into my life tells me that I am on the path I am supposed to be on.

I should admit that I was all "Here we go...another parenting book" when I first cracked it open (or rather when I first brought it up on the computer screen. I opted for the digital copy cuz one less thing to clutter the coffee table). The first thing I noticed and appreciated when I started reading Nurturing the Soul of Your Family is that Renee shares some of her own life experiences as she offers advice to her readers.  Sometimes it's easier to follow "expert" advice when you know that the advice comes from a person who has actually lived through some of the same trials  with which you are dealing.

The book starts off with an introduction that calls for a "new way of being." Renee invites us to live an awakened life by slowing down so we can nurture our hearts and souls, as wells as those of our family. She invites us to 

"think of our loved ones as a carefully chosen collective of souls who have joined — not by accident, but intentionally — for an important reason: to support one another’s collective growth."  

Now, my religion teaches that we chose to come to the families into which we were born, so this concept is not at all new to me.  Sometimes I question why I would choose the family I chose or why my boys would choose me as their mother, but I always believed the concept to be true. But I guess since my mind and heart have been much more open to change this year, that statement really slapped me in the face!  All of the sudden I realized that these people that I share my house with are NOT THE ENEMY!  We were not conjoined as a family for the sole purpose of inflicting pain and grief on each other.  We came together to love and support one another.  

I know there are people who are reading what I just wrote and going, "Duh. How screwed up are you that you think of your family as the enemy?" (Pretty screwed up.  But that's beside the point.  Plus I'm fixing the screwed up part, which is why I'm reading the book.)  I don't think of them as the enemy, but sometimes when I have to fight the kids tooth and nail over chores and homework or my husband can't handle life events and retreats and does nothing to help fix the event, it FEELS like I am at war with them. And I hate fighting and contention.  I grew up with lots of fighting and contention and I despise it.  It makes my soul hurt. But enough about that...back to the book review.

Toward the end of the introduction, Trudeau poses this question and then follows it with ten chapters to help us find the answer:

"Each family has its own beautiful, unique essence or sacred connection. Just as we need to tend to the emotional well-being of any relationship in order for it to thrive, we have to consciously nourish and nurture our family’s sweet,tender soul. What type of daily care, feeding, and love does your family’s essence need in order to grow strong and soar?"

The chapters cover a wide range of topics that include: 
  • self-care
  • healing
  • dealing with life in a digital world
  • nature as an anti-depressant
  • spiritual renewal
  • spending more time together
  • celebrating family culture
  • making choices
  • asking for help   

I found the three workbook type sections at the end of each chapter to be particularly helpful:
  • "Pat on the Back" gives readers the chance to reflect on what they are doing right.
  • "Putting It In Practice" asks questions that help the reader create a plan of action
  • "Imagine a New Way of Being"  - a journaling exercise designed to help you envision what’s possible for you and your family.

Nurturing the Soul of Your Family – 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life is a great book for anyone looking to bring more peace and balance into family life.  It's not preachy or negative. Renee doesn't spend all kinds of time telling you what you are doing wrong.  Instead she offers realistic and achievable steps to help readers facilitate the change. I hope other readers get as much out of the book as I have.  And major thanks to Renee Trudeau for giving me some of the tools I've been looking for to create the family I want!


Renée Peterson Trudeau is an internationally-recognized life balance coach, consultant, speaker and author. She is the founder of Renée Trudeau & Associates and Career Strategists and the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal.  Renée speaks and leads life balance workshops and retreats for Fortune 500 companies and writes for numerous publications.
For more information:

**Disclosure:  I received a copy of Nurturing the Soul of Your Family to facilitate this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own honest opinions.**


Michelle G said...

I'm an "over-sharer" also. I think of it as showing everyone that nobody's life is perfect and that we all have trials. I know that there are people out there who think that there isn't anyone who can understand what they're going through. But, there is usually someone out there going through the same thing. So, I think of "over-sharing" as letting people know that they aren't alone.

I love Nurturing the Soul of Your Family and I can't wait to put a lot of things into practice. Like you, our household isn't always the center of peace that I would like it to be. We all love each other, but there are times that we just don't always like each other. And it's not actually because we don't like each other, it's just because there's so much going on that we get stressed. And we're not good at hiding our stress. We're more likely to be cranky and lash out. So, I'm definitely going to be taking Renee's advice on a lot of things.

Great review!!

Dana said...

Geri, thanks so much for sharing this insightful book review about Nurturing the Soul of Your Family with your readers. Families are really seeking fresh perspectives and tools right now. So many of us are ready to drop old habits and patterns that no longer work and explore new ways of being. It’s good to know we’re not alone and are all this journey together! P.S. Every week we’re sharing excerpts, giveaways and articles from the book at if you’d like to check that out.

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