When I started Yoga Off The Mat a few months ago, I had planned on posting weekly, if not more than that. I planned on giving a book suggestion each month along with lots of yoga topics and avenues for exploration. I was going to share yoga flows, recipes and deep insights regularly. I still plan on doing those things, wholeheartedly. I've had to give my time to other obligations these past few months, and I've regrettably been less involved with the blog than originally planned. But so is life, and here we are: March 13, 2018. Blog Post 4. Trust.
I am currently in Phoenix visiting my grandparents as I do every winter. My time with them is so inexplicably important. We have always been close, and since they started splitting their time between Montana and Arizona years back, I get a good excuse to hop into the sunshine for a bit each winter. I always look forward to my grandma's sweetness and love, and my grandpa's deep conversations about business and life. (Seriously, they spoil and enrich my life in countless ways.)
After getting home from the airport and settling in to the house, melting into the happiness that warm weather brings, my grandpa casually asked me if I knew the definition of trust. He is reading a book that distinguishes between hope, faith and trust, and the topic of trust intrigued him. My eyes lit up. Yeah, actually, I think a whole shit ton about trust.
In the book he was reading, they say trust is formed when you make a plan of action, and then you follow through. At first I thought there's no way it could be that simple. Trust is kind of a big scary word to a lot of people. But I thought about it again: trust is formed when you make a plan of action, and then you follow through. I pondered, quickly agreeing with the definition in awe of its simplicity. We spoke for a brief time about what it means to be trustworthy, and then we carried on with our day as typical, a bit of excitement in my bones that someone close to me is also reading/conversing/exploring what in the heck it means to trust and be trustworthy.
With this conversation still fresh, yesterday I began reading Paulo Coelho's book Brida. On page 17, I read,
"None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, and yet we go forward because we trust. Every moment in life is an act of faith, that you could choose to fill with snakes and scorpions or with a strong protecting force."
Do you ever feel like the universe is throwing something at you over and over and over, yelling "why don't you get it?!" Reflecting, I remember that last week a sweet woman and friend reminded me that when I'm worried about whether everything will be okay, simply choose to trust that it will. This gets us through a whole lot. In fact, my own go-to, back-pocket, self-proclaimed brilliant advice and mantra to friends and to myself is mostly always to "trust the process." It puzzled me, though, that all of these commentaries on trust are very different from each other, but equally powerful and authentic. They resinated with me in a way that shook me to open my exploration of trust a little bit more. And this is exactly that: an exploration. I don't have big life-changing answers or right/wrongs. I am not sure I have anything overly profound to say at all. But I do have curiosity.
In thinking about how I'd write this blog post, I googled trust. I read about trust from a psychology standpoint, along with more of a spiritual base. Of all of the information that I skimmed through, I acknowledge now that trust is a key component that allows our lives to flow. I read one quote this morning that said trusting is the only way to be at one with the universe. It allows us to soften and to experience, and ultimately to feel safe doing those things. This kind of trust makes me think of surrender. Are they one and the same?
In these short 24 hours contemplating the topic of trust, I felt as though I was sitting in front of a big puzzle with mixed up pieces and knew the product was beautiful but didn't know where to start. (I also know that trust-sized puzzles cannot be solved in 24 hours.) I'm not sure about you, but when I make puzzles, I start create the border first, and then fill it in. And that's where I'm at now in my thought-grabbing, puzzle making trust study: I've made the border, the structure, created an outline, and now I get to fill in.
In more straight-forward terms, here's where I'm at:
I have theorized that there is little t trust and Big T Trust. Both are important. Both are inextricably connected.
Little t trust is the trust we give and get with other humans and animals. This trust is absolutely crucial to building functional relationships that allow for each person to grow to their full potential. As my grandpa said, when you make a plan of action and you then follow through, you build trust - both with yourself and with others. When you make a plan of action to be faithful to your partner, to show up to work on-time, to come to family dinner, to go to your daughter's recital, to be honest and kind - and then you do those things, you've deposited quarters into your own trust-account. Overtime, you add quarters (maybe lose a few because we're human and make mistakes, but the balance stays positive) and it reflects to an extent how safe it is for other people to trust you. And blatantly, how emotionally safe it is for others to have a relationship with you - romantic, friendship, work-related or otherwise.
Big T Trust is this universal idea that when we are doing our work, and we ourselves are trustworthy (little t), we will create a relationship with the universe that allows us to trust its mysterious ways and vice versa. It's karmic, if you will, meaning that when we ourselves act in positive ways, positivity will come back to us. Or, when we are trustworthy, trustworthy relationships will come back to us. When we create this kind of trust, it allows us safety in making mistakes and having imperfections, but knowing that it's all going to be okay regardless. Things might not always go as we wish them to, but they will ultimately go in our favor - even if that means a seemingly negative experience has been implemented to teach us something. What a better gift than to learn. Now, if we look at trust as reciprocal, as it must be in relationship, we are then allowing the universe to trust us as well - to trust that we are going to continue doing good and acting worthy of trust. That we are doing our part to make the world a better place, and therefore it will make our world a little better, too.
My point here is that trusting and being trustworthy is not a passive thing. We are not always going to want to make the decisions that are required of us to be trustworthy. There is sacrifice and work in that. But it's a completely insignificant cost to the magic we can find in relationships that are healthy and trusting. Also, it's pretty damn important in reference to finding respect and honor - with ourselves, with lovers, with friends and family, and even with the universe.
I think there'll be more to this exploration for me. But I'd like to hear how it all resonates with you. What is your experience of trust, Big T and little t?
Before I go: a photo I took last night of two of the best humans on the planet, my grandma and grandpa:
All my love,