Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Closer Look at "TRUST"

We are so excited to be a part of the “Declaration of You – Blog Lovin’ Tour” book launch!. 

Authors Jessica Swift and Michelle Ward invited hundreds of bloggers (check it out here to share their thoughts on topics that include:

Uniquity (yes it’s a word!)


Karen and I decided to join the tour and talk about TRUST
All of our Engaging Inner Wisdom posts address trust in one form or another, but a few speak more specifically to trust than others - "Honoring Your Process"

Today's post takes a closer look at "trust"
After a lot of reflection, free writing, pondering, and sleeping on the concept, I came to my own personal awareness around trust. First off, there are three distinct life areas where trust spreads its influence:
The personal realm – trusting self
The relational realm – trusting others
The communal realm – trusting large groups, governments, systems etc.

My pondering lead me to trust’s complete opposite, “distrust” – given recent world events – rampant war, neighbors who kidnap and hold people for years, child sex trafficking, Mr. Snowden’s leak about our government spying on us, and many other horrible events, it’s no wonder that distrust abounds.

If within the world around us we feel distrustful, and rightly so, then how in our personal world are we supposed to begin to trust? Can we count on ourselves? Can we count on others? What about counting on our close relationships? More importantly, can we cultivate trust, and if so, how?

In truth, I hadn’t thought about any of this prior to taking on the “Trust” topic, but I’m glad I did. Considering this topic helped me recognize that trust has to start at the personal level, move into relationships and then, once I cultivate trust and demonstrate that cultivation, perhaps it will spread to others and eventually to institutions, large groups, and even governments; after all, each of these groups is made up of individuals who have a choice to be trustworthy, or not.

Let’s begin by Trusting Ourselves
It’s so easy to not trust oneself. If we were to rely solely on the mass media marketing that bombards us on a daily basis, we would “know” that we don’t “know anything” – that is to say, all the advertisers seem to “know” better than we do, and they have a commentary about it al, so do talk show hosts, the evening news, Oprah Winfrey, Deepok Chopra, Luise Hay and all the other self-proclaimed “gurus” out there that tell us how we “should be” leading our lives*. Not to say that there isn’t relevant information, and that some of these individuals have the best of intentions, but when aggregated as a whole, the message is “trust us, because we are the experts, and you are not”.

It’s no wonder that many people experience self-doubt and question if they are on the right path, or are afraid to put their art into the world, or take the first step toward living a fulfilling life. Many people avoid situations in which they could be wrong, get embarrassed, make a mistake, etc.

We’ve got to shake this off and start listening internally to the voice that gently screams, repeatedly urging us to “do this”, or “try this”, or “take a risk”.  We need to know that our inner wisdom is awesome! We can, and should in my opinion, trust our intuition, trust our gut, listen to the messages that come to us throughout the day. We must count on ourselves to be our own advocate. If not you, then who?

Trusting Others 
Trusting others can also be tough. How many times have you trusted someone, and they’ve fallen short, not only of your expectations, but maybe they even intentionally “burned” you. ”Wow, that came out of left field,” you say to yourself. It’s amazing how knowingly, and unknowingly, people can erode our trust in them, and ultimately in others.

When we experience painful situations in which someone breaks our trust, we remember these situations in relation to new experiences, and may therefore act with greater caution, thus limiting ourselves and putting “distrust” onto others who do not warrant it. This is apparent in love-life situations, racial situations, work-related experiences, and opportunities for risk-taking as a means of personal growth and development.

Trusting others requires becoming vulnerable, and suggests that we depend on another to have our best interests at heart. Truthfully, we must continually open ourselves up and trust others, even if untrustworthy people have impacted us in the past. If we are listening to ourselves, and trusting ourselves, then the choices we make around others will most probably reflect our good judgment and our deep knowing.

Communal trust

Here is where I got stuck. What I repeatedly returned to was that only by modeling trust, by being trustworthy ourselves, could our institutions begin to change. Institutions, communities, societies, etc. are all made up of individuals – it is the quality, character and trustworthiness of these individuals that define the entities. Trusting in a better world may be utopian, but it inspires people to become whistle-blowers, to fight for what is right, to be honorable, and to speak their own personal truth – even if in doing so one risks ridicule, their freedom, and maybe even their life.

Trust is deep. Trust is profound. Trust is tantamount to so many other feelings. Without it, we wouldn’t move forward personally, we wouldn’t engage in meaningful relationships, and our world would experience even worse tragedy.

As you cultivate trust it compounds, in other words, trust begets trust. You trust yourself, you are trustworthy, others trust you, you trust them, and so on.

Engaging Your Inner Wisdom: Cultivate trust

Personal Trust –
Begin to listen inwardly, become silent and still, so that you can hear your own truth.
Act on your “gut feelings” – whenever possible and appropriate.
Keep your promises to yourself! Jennifer Louden, author of "The Women’s Retreat Book” says,
"Self-trust grows from a history of promises made and kept."
Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

Relational Trust –
Be trustworthy – model this so that others will be trustworthy too.
Check out the “Four Agreements” by Don Miquel Ruiz – 1.) “be impeccable with your word”, 2.) “don’t take anything personally”, 3.) “don’t make assumptions”, and 4.) “always do your best”.

Communal Trust –
Get to know your neighbors – create a neighborhood block party.
Walk or bikeride in your community.
Shop locally, and get to know your “mom and pop” vendors.
Volunteer for a local project like a food pantry, community garden, or sitting on the board of a local non-profit doing work that benefits the community.

“The Declaration of You, published by North Light Craft Books and available now, gives readers all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! Find more info and order the book at

“We can’t wait to be a part of The Declaration of You’s Facebook party this Friday at 9:30-10a PST/11:30a-12p CST/12:30-1p EST. We’ll be chatting in real time about TRUST over at

Hope you can join us!”
Make a point of liking
and Art and Soul Lab at

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