Integrated Counseling and Therapy in Portland, Oregon
4225 NE Tillamook St - Portland, OR 97213
Trusting yourself doesn’t mean following your impulses and doing whatever you want. It doesn’t mean ignoring the feedback you get from the world.
Trusting yourself is a practice of learning to listen to your body and your wise mind so that you begin to notice when you are opening to the world and when you are shutting down.
We have this agenda to improve ourselves. So we push ourselves with a kind of subtle self aggression. Or we may have given up on ourselves and feel it’s not worth trying anymore. We might as well indulge in all our vices because we’re hopeless. So we collapse. Often we flip back and forth between these states – we push and then we collapse. Then we pick ourselves up again and push… and then we collapse.
The good news is that it is possible to live another way. It takes practice and a lot of care. Here is a simple practice I learned from Tara Brach. It only takes a few minutes. You can do it anytime you have a moment where you can bring your attention inward for a little while. I’ve found it to be a simple an very effective way to learn to listen to my inner wisdom and to begin to notice what helps me open and live more fully – and what causes me to shut down, defend my position, or collapse.
You could try it right now.
Take a moment to check in with your body, to allow yourself to inhabit your body more fully and simply feel. Check in particularly with the core of your body; your belly, heart and throat.
Hold the question “What is asking for attention?” and see what calls to you. Allow yourself to be surprised by what emerges. And when something asks for attention, simply bring care to that area of your body or that emotion that arises. The most important aspect of this practice is to bring a warm, caring attention to anything that arises. Often we want to fix that pain or solve that emotionally dilemma. What is really needed is warmth and care.
Some things are harder to bring care to than others. If you have trouble bringing care to your experience, imagine someone else bringing care to you, someone who has cared for you at some point in your life.
Adapted from Tara Brach & Melanya Helene