Lauren Rainey Tenney moved to Nashville from Durham, North Carolina in 2005 to be a country music star. "I love performing. I love entertaining. I say I'm an entertainer by trade. I've been doing it my whole life. Ever since I was little." The singer/songwriter had achieved success with an album and hosted a tour with Rascal Flatts. But it was after she had her son Hudson in 2011 that her whole life changed. The now Franklin resident says, "I was questioning 'Do I want to be famous just to be noticed or to feel loved and accepted or do I really want to perform?' That was the start of me asking deep questions and really digging in to personal development. My life had taken a different direction. Time was of the essence to really contribute things God taught me. And to focus on being the best and most present mother and wife."
Fast forward to 2020 and Lauren credits author Henry Cloud, author of Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life for much of her own evolution. "Cloud says in his book, 'People change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, and not anytime before that.' I can tell anyone the necessary steps to take in the personal development world and how to start doing that if they want to lose weight, or be a better lover, or be a better friend, or whatever, but I will also repeat Henry Cloud's quote. And that's ok. Just know nothing is going to change unless you're ready to change," adds Lauren.
While she realizes self improvement can be a Herculean effort for some, she says the effort is so worth it. "Boundaries are not easy. You have to baby step your way in to it. I really wanted to have healthy, thriving relationships, so I had to practice, practice, practice boundaries. And when you are able to hold up a mirror and hold your peace and not get defensive, then the other person is having to hear themselves and look at themselves for the first time."
She continues, "Boundaries are where I end and You begin. We own our own stuff. Boundaries protect you but they are not walls to keep everything out. It's like building a fence so we can see what's coming at us. We are responsible for what we think and how we feel. No one can hurt our feelings. We are choosing to be hurt. Other people are responsible for their thoughts and what they say. When you can realize that, relationships become so much more meaningful. It really opened my eyes to true compassion."
How does Lauren apply boundaries in her own life? "I am constantly checking my intentions and checking my energy. Personal development for me is to be very aware. Self awareness is the first step. When I lay my head down at night, I am going through my day and the conversations I had, the decisions that I made, the way I treated my children. Was it my ego? Was it my true self talking? Where was my intention? I'm always trying to get to that pure place. And not judge myself for maybe having said or done the wrong thing. And then starting again the next day."
Check out Lauren's podcast, read her blog, and find out about all the great things she's doing at laurenraineytenney.com