When I was a kid growing up in the 70s, there wasn’t much that we worried about on the global scale. Yes, there was the threat of nuclear war (which we protested on the streets of Los Angeles), but, ignorant about the effects of human consumption and greed, we did things like used aluminum cans by the dozen and threw them away without a second thought. The idea of recycling was barely a blip on the collective radar, and our ignorance allowed us to continue to live as if our actions didn’t matter. Even though this was obviously wrong and unsustainable, there was something blissful about this ignorance. We didn’t know that we were destroying the planet, so we lived as if we weren’t.
Now we know, and it rips at the fabric of our souls. I don’t need to list the current challenges that we’re now aware of, but suffice to say that if you pay attention even remotely to what’s happening on the planet, you will feel heartbreak in some form daily. It’s enough to knock you off-kilter, to make you feel like the ground beneath your being is crumbling. In this groundless place, it’s easy to fall into self-doubt and doubt about the future of our planet. After all, we’re inundated with hopeless headlines everywhere we turn. (By the way, I don’t share this mindset of hopelessness, but I understand how easy it is to go there.)
It’s not only eco-anxiety that unhinges us. It’s also the painful yet essential awareness that the structures, mindsets, and systems upon which we’ve built our lives are failing. From education to healthcare to finances, humans have woken up to the fact that things need to change so that we can can create an equitable, sustainable planet for all life.
Things have been turned inside-out and upside-down, and, again, in the mayhem of uncertainty it’s easy to fall into a morass of doubt. This doubt can attach onto the world stage, but it can also seep into our personal lives and cause us to question the places we hold most sacred: health, relationships, friendship, children. For we exist in reciprocal relationships, and when the outer world is crumbling, the inner can easily follow suit. In an attempt to offer a scaffolding of stability and a false foothold of control, this is when intrusive thoughts enter the picture of psyche: Do I love my partner enough? Are my children okay? What if I’m a different sexual orientation than I thought I was? Am I in the wrong career? What is my true calling? Am I bad person or a bad friend or a bad daughter or son?
What, then, is the remedy? What is the still-point that allows the maelstrom of the world and our own ruminations to whirl around us without causing us to fall? From what I’ve witnessed over the decades of doing this work, one of the keys to equanimity is self-trust. When we learn to trust ourselves, we also trust others and life itself. We become oriented toward a field of goodness that is at play amidst the hardships of our world, and we grow practices that allow us to grow this goodness so that it overflows and extends outward.
Self-trust is the foundational stone that creates solidity even when the structures are shaky.
Self-trust is the eye of the storm that orients us toward inner calm even when the weather is tumultuous (both literally and metaphorically).
Self-trust is the island of soft, safe sand amidst the seas of uncertainty, self-doubt, and rumination.
One of the most gratifying parts of my work is walking alongside people as they retrieve their lost self-trust. Over time and utilizing the mindsets and practices that I teach in my Trust Yourself course, these clients and course members are able to take risks and navigate their lives as parents, partners, friends, children, and citizens of the world with more ease, self-confidence, and joy because their self-trust is solid. It’s not that they don’t get knocked off their seat of self-trust at times by the voices of shame and self-doubt, but when they do they’re able to find center and ground more quickly.
The same can be true for you. For many of these clients and course members, it was the Trust Yourself course that catapulted them onto the journey of retrieving self-trust, and from there they’ve been able to navigate the shifting ground with grace and solidity. As Zoe in Pennsylvania shared:
“Hi Sheryl, Forgive me if I gush, but your programs have been truly life-changing for me, and I’m very grateful.
“I was skeptical of e-courses and was reluctant to sign up for Break Free at first, but the reviews were so intelligently written and I was so desperate for relief that I took the plunge. Wow. Since joining in March of 2016, I have learned more about myself than ever before and begun a journey of self-inquiry that I intend to continue for a lifetime. I can’t imagine where I would be if I hadn’t found your wise path to self-acceptance and curious attention. My relationship with my partner is strong, honest, and true, but we never would have gotten here if not for your work. I now understand that fear (even of the most paralyzing, painful sort) is not an indication to run. Good and beautiful things lie on the other side.
“The work I did in Trust Yourself has, for the first time, allowed me to stand firm in my own shoes and be proud of who I am, not just what I accomplish. Your stories, meditations, and dialogue on the forum helped illuminate my sticky spots and bring me into new relationship with my body. I have lots and lots of work to continue in this arena, but I’m grateful to have an entryway. The calls were a great way to connect with you and hear from others with some of the same concerns and fears as me. I also really liked the structure of the forum in Trust Yourself. Having the space to write out my thoughts and receive feedback was very, very helpful and brought more to light than journaling on my own. I can feel the work percolating… I know that it will take time to manifest in my everyday life, but I feel a shift and am very excited to lead life going forward with less fear and self-doubt and more courage and self-compassion.
“Again, thank you for what you do. Thank goodness for Google for bringing Conscious Transitions into my life! :)”
Zoe, Bethlehem, PA
Are you ready to reclaim the self-trust that lives at the center of you and is the North star, raft and rudder that will help you navigate the stormy seas of this life? The 18th round of the course starts on November 12th, 2022, and I look forward to connecting with you there. Learn more and sign up here.