The Ultimate Expression of Love: Self-Trust February 14, 2014 • 1 Comment One of the muscles I have been nurturing and building over these last few years is a previously unused and withered one: the one of self-trust, which translates to following my own intuition and staying aligned with what I know to be true for me. I have always been particularly good at standing up for my children and outside causes, but now I am trying to turn that same passionate devotion towards my own good. Just like exercise, meditation and eating well, self-trust is an ongoing practice, as well as a fragile and delicate relationship that needs to be lovingly cultivated. I’m still trying to figure out why it is so hard to be our own champion and honor the inner voice that has our best interests at heart. Perhaps it stems from years of parental and social conditioning: be nice, don’t cause waves, do as you’re told and don’t color outside the lines. When one of my boys was in the third grade, he had the teacher that everyone dreads. Her grandmotherly appearance belied the cruelty she was capable of delivering to these young souls. I was skeptically optimistic as we started the school year, but, sadly, she lived up to everything we’d heard about her. The crowning moment came when she dumped my son’s desk out in front of the class and then made him clean it up while the students filed past for recess. As you might imagine, this didn’t sit well with me. The reason she did this was because he had been hiding the timed multiplication tests in the back of his desk, because they were incredibly difficult for him. Fearing her wrath, he began wadding them up and shoving them in the back of the desk hoping to avoid humiliation. Now, had I listened to her evaluation of him as being a “lazy student,” I’m not sure where my son’s education might have wandered off too — no doubt some mighty undesirable places. The label might have created a convenient persona for him to fall back on, preventing academic success. It also might have been noted in his school record, possibly creating a bias in future teachers. A fierce warrior emerges with matters relating to my children, and I am a bit of a rebel when it comes to authority and standardized educational procedures, so I decided to pursue the “why” behind my son’s reluctance to complete the tests. I knew in my heart that something wasn’t right, so I followed that inner knowing to find an answer. It turns out there was a very good reason and a simple fix. After being tested by an educational specialist, it was recommended that he be seen for a “visual/perceptual integrative evaluation,” which resulted in the discovery that his eyes were not able to process information quickly. He participated in an intensive program to retrain his visual motor skills and — viola — the struggle with the times table disappeared. As a side note, the teacher was resistant to my quest for more information and quite dismissive about the testing. I wonder how often it is that our lives are derailed or diverted into unnecessary places because we encounter a person who lacks the knowledge or desire to champion our best interests? Sadly, having met a few people who suffered a similar fate, I have to think this story is a microcosm of a rather large epidemic. My heart breaks for those children who live with some ill-fitting label placed on them by a teacher who didn’t have the bandwidth to seek other possibilities. In this new phase of my life, I am trying to turn this same energy of advocacy towards myself, because I don’t want to look back on the next half of my life and find I have lived it according to someone else’s interpretation of who I am. Every day I try to practice saying yes, if that is what my heart says, even when others are saying no. Little by little, I feel myself gaining momentum. On this day celebrating l-o-v-e, I suggest we all make a leap into the loveliness of trusting ourselves. By cultivating reverence for the wisdom residing in our heart, and developing unconditional trust in our own inner voice, we can push back from a solid foundation when we feel ourselves, or our children, being violated or dishonored. Self-trust begins by developing a relationship with our inner world. I love these ideas from Dr. Rick Hanson on ways to feel good about yourself. And here is a lovely (and short) video from Dr. Ned Hallowell on the power of connection and how it can alter your life. Don’t risk living a life that isn’t yours by ignoring the truth in your gorgeous heart — it beats only to see your beauty revealed. Sending love your way on this Valentine’s Day. -db Who is Dianna Bonny? Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.