Zumba and The Art of Trust

“Today, at age 44, I took my first Zumba class.  You’ll either know what I mean or not…but it was a total TRUST thing.  Glad I did it!”

And there you have it, a post on my Facebook page after attending my first, but NOT my last Zumba class.

What does Zumba have to do with trust?  Everything.

See, every time we step out of our comfort zone, every time we push ourselves to do something new, different, and a wee bit scary, we are trusting ourselves.  And in trusting ourselves, we are allowing ourselves to experience more of what life has to offer—in essence, we are allowing ourselves to grow more into WHO WE ARE.

By tasting more of life, you are trusting life.

Taste more, trust more.  Trust more, taste more.  The cycle works in both directions, back and forth.  As it works in both directions, the snowball continues to grow…in a good way, not a bad one.

If you were born to dance, with a natural swing in your hips and a persistent rhythm or beat thrumming in your head, this example probably makes no sense to you.  Like I said on Facebook…”You’ll either know what I mean or not.”  But if you’re like me, someone who prefers silence in her head, and deeper, a little girl who grew up believing swinging-hips were meant for other girls, the thought of dancing, and dancing in public (!!), was more than a wee bit scary.

I do not drink alcohol.  I have nothing against alcohol, I simply don’t like the taste.  At least that’s what I’ve always told myself…or is it that deep down within the quiet places inside me, I’m afraid of losing control?  I have never tried pot.  I was teased in high school for it:  “Oh, you think you’re too good or something?”  No.  Not at all.  It just never seemed like an especially good idea to me.  Or again, was I too scared of the unknown?

No drinking.  No drugs.  And no dancing?!  Girl, live a little!  So I did.  I danced.  I moved my hips.  I raised my arms above my head and swung them wildly.  And you know what else?  I smiled like a lunatic the entire time!  Later that day, after the music had left my head, a bit of it remained in my cells…and in that moment I could easily place the feeling that had created the genuine child-like-beaming-smile:  I felt free.  I trusted myself, I let go, and I felt FREE.

That is the art of trust.

That’s what trust is all about.  We trust in order to let go.  We trust to find our inner peace.  And what does inner peace feel like?  Your inner peace is the feeling of freedom.

Consider these facts: I have studied trust for 16 years, I write about trust, I coach one-on-one on trust, next month I will start offering trust workshops for small groups of women, yet it is still a daily practice of mine.  I have not mastered it.  But I am very, very good at it now, and I can show you how to become good at it, too.

If learning to trust yourself, to let go, and to feel free sound inviting to you, consider yourself officially invited!  Mark your calendar for January 31, 2015.  I will be offering my first, but NOT last trust workshop in the Dallas area (limit 20 participants).

Stay tuned here on my blog or on the Trust Life Today Facebook page for more details and information on how to sign up.

I look forward to connecting with you:  leave a comment, send a private message (leslie@trustlifetoday.com), or come see me soon in person.  Until then…whatever you choose to be, do, or try for the first time, OWN IT!

the art of trust


Let Go of the Rice

Oh My, What’s This??

Last week I finished a manuscript I have been working on for what feels like all of my life.  I don’t say that in an ominous or overly dramatic way, but in a matter-of-fact sort of way — that’s just the way it feels.  I have lived, breathed, and dreamed within the words of this manuscript, for what feels like ages.

I sometimes wonder if I was born with this book already inside me.  I kinda think I was.  Like back in May of 1970, when Dr. Whitton delivered me, he turned to my parents and exclaimed, “It’s a girl!” then added, ”Oh my, what’s this?  What are these papers??”

The writing process is one that’s all consuming, at least for this particular girl.  It’s a slow-high, brain-churning exercise, filled with more delete-backspacing than forward keystrokes at times.  But it fills me up.  From tip to toe.

I’ve found that writing is a process of letting go.  With each word I type, delete, re-type, massage into sentence structures — ultimately, I must let go.  Let go of my attachment to the words, to their message, to whether or not they will be embraced, rejected, cherished, ignored, rebuffed….  After all, that’s what trust is all about — letting go.

To trust is to let go of your anger, worries, fears, demons — whatever is gripping you.  However, like some things in life, trust and letting go can easily fall into the category of “easier said than done” — until you learn how, that is. Continue Reading

Can You Cure Your Addiction?

addictionJagged Little Pill

For longer than I’d like to admit, I allowed my addiction to hold me in some odd state of self-imprisonment.  My seemingly uncontrollable drive to “be productive,” or DO has been my jagged little pill, with edges ranging from ice pick sharp to moderately smooth, but the pill remains.

Here are some observations:

  • it does, on occasion still get the best of me
  • the more I’ve attempted to manage, control, coerce, or tease-out through logic, the more I’ve failed
  • the more I’ve failed, the more I’ve felt like a failure

So, where is the hope?

Look To The Granite And The Onion

The hope begins in the granite: your foundation, your belief system.  (Refer to the previous post for more on foundation – do not skip this part.  I spelled out my foundation, as did readers within the comments.  You must have a foundation first.)

Next, have you identified an addiction you’re struggling with?  It can be anything you feel powerless over, anything you know has control over you.

With your foundation and addiction written down, close your eyes and visualize a granite countertop with an onion sitting on top.

In your mind, take your addiction and wrap it around the outermost layer of the onion.  Wrap it so tightly and completely that you can see an opaque layer of your addiction coating the onion.  Use your imagination to see the alcohol, the gambling, the sugar, the whatever wrapping around the onion until the ends meet.  Picture your addiction permeating each layer of the onion, stopping just before you reach the center.  Continue Reading

The Window Beyond, A Tale of Letting Go

“I’m so angry I could kill him.  And to think, that was over two years ago.  If he walked in that door right now, I swear….” she stared into her coffee, absently adding another sugar packet.  That made four.  I wondered if she was even aware.

Her sister, or was it her friend — same hazel eyes, same heart-shaped face, leaned in to say something, then scooted back in her chair and shook her head.

Glancing up from her sugar with coffee: “What?  Say it.”

The sister-friend hesitated, “If only you could just let go.  He let go of you a long time ago.”

“LET GO?!  If I only knew how!”  And with that, she flung her chair back, grabbed her purse and scarf, and headed toward the front door.  Sister-friend rushed behind, with a look of slight embarrassment on her face.

At an adjacent table, I watched as two cups of barely touched coffee, one with a sunken sugar treasure, were collected and taken away.  Now, with no angry and somber faces seated directly in front of me, my eyes drifted to the window beyond.

Directly outside the cafe window stood a tree with few leaves on its branches.  A tree, “let go,” just beyond the window, few leaves, “he let go of you a long time…”, leaves hanging limply one moment, parallel to the ground the next — strong wind.  “If I only knew how!”  Clearly, a storm was approaching.  Content to be on this side of the window, hands wrapped around my Earl Gray, I sat perfectly still, staring at the leaves.  “Let go, he let go of….”  Leaves that held on so tightly.  Not a single one relented its grip.

And then I remembered.

A Tale of Letting Go

On a still day last week, I was looking out my window, yellow Lab at my feet, just as yours is now I’m sure.  (He was right.  She was.)  The remaining leaves on a nearby tree were dropping, kind of like feathers dropping.  I leaned into that and I listened by giving my full attention to them.  What they began to say to me, not in words, but in their very existence and how they were falling, was they were just letting go.  They were just letting go and drifting to the earth.

And amazingly, they had held on through all the storms of this Fall. None of all that rough and tough and turbulence took them down.  And after that, on a quiet, still day, in silence, they just let go.

The reward for holding on, is at some point, we just let go.”

That is the story of listening and letting go that Mark Nepo shared with me on the phone one afternoon, as we sat discussing his new book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen.  His was a tale of listening through giving his full attention to the message nature was delivering.  A message of holding on, and of letting go.

If Only and How?

If only the girl knew how to let go.  If only we all knew how to let go.  If only, after weathering years of all sorts of storms, we could, on a quiet, still day, in silence, just let go.  If only we could be those leaves.  But no.  Instead we try (and fail) to let go by ignoring.  By denying.  By repressing.  By making believe.  By, by, by….  Letting go will never work like that.  To let go of something, we first must admit it.

But wait.  Ignoring is easier.  So is denying.  Making believe, or blaming, yes, blaming, I forgot to mention that one before, making believe and blaming can even be fun.  Addicting.  (To be read in a whisper:  But admitting he has moved on without me?  Hush, keep quiet now, that way no one will hear how badly that stings to admit.)  So instead of letting go, we hold on a bit longer.

But all we’re really holding onto is our pain.  Pain that we are, in effect, prolonging.  If you’re ready to be free of pain and truly want to let go of anger and resentment, start by admitting the truth of the situation.

For those old-timers of this blog, you may recall, for a few years the one and only quote on Trust Life Today was this one by Hermann Hesse:

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.”

That quote speaks to me…so much so it’s on my business cards, stationery, and even on some Trust Life Today merchandise.  I just love it.

I also see Letting Go as part of my overall philosophy, sandwiched between Trust and Peace.  So much so, that I had this necklace custom made:

letting go

It’s my personal formula:

By learning to Trust Life Todaywe are able to Let Gowhich leads to what I believe we seek most:  Peace.

 This is not only a formula, it’s a daily practice.

letting go

The more we hold on to, the more we’re weighed down.  You say you want to move forward in your life?  Well yes, I do too.  So, let’s begin by letting go of all that doesn’t feed our present well being.  The past is done, the future is still developing.

Look to the window beyond.  Let Go and Trust a greater outcome is already yours.

letting go

Won’t you pass this on to a friend or share it on Facebook? You never know…this might be just the thing they’re looking for. In peace and joy, friends. Love, Leslie