Trust is a believing in the basic goodness of you, others and the world at large. On a personal level it means being authentic, proceeding like you are valued and accepting yourself and your pathway wholeheartedly. Mindfulness is an effective practice for developing trust.
When we experience intimacy with ourselves in our mindfulness practice, trust begins to develop as we discover a deeper knowing and relational aspect. We can learn to cultivate trust and trustworthiness with ourself by taking the time to be with our bodies, minds, emotions and present with our environment and relationships. MBSR is a systematic learning pathway to allow for trust to emerge and it's one of the 9 mindfulness attitudes.
If we do this mindfulness practice consistently over time we can come to trust the natural wisdom of our body. The body is an ancient and complex system that is adaptive and evolutionary; even our DNA carries all the historical information about being human.
The natural wisdom of our body is apparent in the whole ecosystem of life, the breath will take care of itself, ears can hear, eyes will see, feet will help us stand and walk. This natural trust was obvious to me when I witnessed my newborn baby struggle to manoeuvre up the torso of my body, propelled by the smell of milk in my breast, a body that could wiggle, lips that opened in search of love, comfort, food and then latched on automatically for nourishment. This then triggered a whole biological process of healing within me. Just as the lungs will move oxygen in and out of the body where it travels back into the environment and the trees will then breathe it in reciprocating and trusting in our connection and nourishment from the earth mother.
Despite the complexity, the ecosystem of our bodies and nature works in order and in flow with everything else and this phenomena is worthy of our trust. Most of us have probably experienced what it is like to have your trust broken by other humans and the suffering we can experience can be intensely painful and leave us fragmented and closed off to parts of ourselves. But if we can learn to cultivate trust with ourselves primarily, we can open these doors in our hearts and find it will overflow to others and into nature. From this place we experience more ease in having confidence and strength to meet all our experience. This includes our difficulties and suffering as they happen. When we can learn to trust our struggle, we can find the wisdom that it is part of some larger process of the conscious mind.
For example have you noticed how you have a struggle you are working on your whole life? And in each new relationship or life experience at some point it shows up for you in some form or another. Trusting this process means you’re awake and aware of it and working through knowing what you need to do in order to grow and learn from the experience. When we trust our struggle we are invited into a nourishing relationship with our emotional life force.
When we don’t trust ourself we can still bring awareness to it and the practice then becomes an experiment of what will help us shift into trust as the practice evolves. Bringing ourselves goodwill that this experience we’re having is exactly right for us now is also trusting in the timing. What does trust feel like in your body? Or perhaps you notice what is like when trust isn't present.
Sometimes in practice you can feel like information is missing or blocked, you might feel something in the body but not understand why intellectually or have strong memories but not feel anything at all in the sensory body. At this time your trust might also need the attitude of patience, kindness or some other attitude to feel close to the experience and allow the mystery of the experience to be there, trusting in the unknown, uncertainty and timing of it all.
As a teacher I am always checking in with my students that they are navigating their own practice with trust so they can feel an agency over their practice and a sense of interdependence with it. The practice of mindfulness is approachable and natural for almost everyone. It’s personal and intimate and a way of ending the quarrel we have with ourself and our critical mind. Mindfulness is an opportunity to develop a befriending relationship with ourself, others and life as a whole. You can think of your mindfulness practice like the relationship you might have with a long term friend.
If you'd like to find out more about the Term 3 online Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course please email me a time and I will give you a call to discuss it.
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