It is sooo good to be back in Austin after a two week trip to California as part of The Freedom of Expression Tour! I had such an incredible time connecting with old and new friends and clients. The photo to the right is from San Francisco where I reconnected with my XL training group, the group that I participated in a powerful transformation process with my mentor, Dorothy Divack, 10 years ago! We had a reunion lunch and it was so fun to see each other after sharing such a powerful experience. This curriculum from the XL training is what I now facilitate as The Phoenix Rising Experience integrating the expressive arts and coaching to release your personal mythology and discover your soul’s purpose while creating a strong vision and plan to actualize it in your life.
One of the things I heard most during my travels was…”Wow, Melissa your courage to go for your dream is so inspiring. How do you do it? You had a vision and you just …did it!”
Well my beloveds, it hasn’t always been easy. I attribute my mindset and outlook to my Dad… who always told me I could do whatever I wanted if I put my mind to it…and that has been the foundation for my attitude and perspective. The rest has been learning to trust myself. And this has required learning to take risks, experiment, make mistakes, be comfortable in the unknown with a huge dose of self-compassion while being incredibly committed to my vision.
Another question I hear a lot is…How do I trust myself? For me, it is an ongoing practice. Here are some tips that can support you in your own courage to live your life to the fullest:
- Know yourself. If you know who you are and what you want (rather than what other people want for you…) then it is easier to be congruent with your choices. In harmony = self-trust.
- Grow your self-confidence. Self confidence is related to #1. If you know what is true for you, what you are passionate about, then it is easier to trust yourself and your choices vs societal or familial conditioning. Doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, it means that you trust you can handle whatever life experiences come your way.
- Take risks. Whether it is a radical new color in a painting, a travel adventure without a set plan or a new program idea…this is how I have learned to trust myself. I love to be out of my comfort zone in new cultures, environments, creative mediums and experiences. It mixes up my everyday perspective, habits and routine up a bit and allows the genius of our imagination and spontaneous expression to kick-in and work its magic. Obviously it doesn’t always produce the desired outcome, but when we can see the fruitfulness of our actions we can trust our instincts and intuition in a much deeper way and know that a greater plan is at work. One that is bigger than our little minds can conceive. This builds the foundation for the next opportunity…and the next one…and the next and pretty soon we have created something pretty incredible, including a deeper trust in ourselves.
- Listen to your intuition and act on it. We all have this magical guidance system within, a B-Line to the great cosmic source of the Universe. Let’s use it shall we? When we create focus and attention toward our gut feelings, hunches and inner knowing we create a relationship with this aspect of ourselves that can tap into a greater intelligence that can guide us out of the trickiest situations and into a life of our dreams.
- Take full responsibility for your current reality. Coming from a victim mentality does not support trusting yourself. In fact in harbors dis-empowerment, by giving your power away to someone or something outside of yourself. The more you own your power and the fact that you are a powerful creator, the more you will begin to trust in yourself and your creative abilities to handle any and every opportunity that is on your path to greatness.
- Stop abandoning yourself. Honor your boundaries, follow through on your word, create space for your true feelings and desires and you will build this relationship of self-trust, knowing that you are always there for you.
- Say NO! and Say YES! when you mean it. This is pretty straight forward and for those of us that grew up as pleasers, denying our own needs to take care of those around us, it is so important to stand up and say what you really mean and mean what you say. You will trust you and others will in turn respect and trust you more too. Who loves being around people that are honest and forthright in their communication, even if it isn’t what we want to hear? I know I do. Because it makes me want to trust them.
- Let go of what other people think of you. Trust that you will make decisions for yourself that are in integrity with your heart. People may come and go. At the end of the day, it is you who you get to be with always, so you better be true to you. And being true to you is the foundation for self-trust.
- Own your Value. This one has taken me a while and it shifted for me when I realized no one is going to honor my value unless I do. Once I started standing up for my worthiness in my relationship to myself by practicing all the steps mentioned above did I see a shift in the outside world. It had to come from within first.
- Take action everyday toward your dreams/desires. By taking action everyday, even if it is just a few steps or an hour or so, you are communicating to yourself and the world around you with your behavior that you are committed towards creating a life that is rooted in your own values. This builds self-love, trust and respect.
While I by no means have mastered this list, I see it as something to practice daily. Am I perfect at it…? Of course not. What makes me successful is that I get up everyday with a fire in my heart to keep practicing; to commit deeply to keep knowing myself, taking risks, growing my confidence learning how to stay with myself even when it is uncomfortable, to say what I mean, to let go of other people’s opinions and to own my own value by learning to love myself. And this is how self-trust is cultivated. This is how I tend my own garden, that is the soil of my life.
with love and a big fiery heart to you,