The most powerful thing we have to offer is our story. Be inspired by lovely stories of lovely lives. Each month enjoy interviews from people that have found the lovely in their life.
Can you tell us about your lovely website, Trust Tending, and a little bit about your job as a trust coach?
Trust Tending is what I call my virtual greenhouse. It’s where I use words and images – and occasionally music – to tend and nurture inner states of trust. A crisis in my early 20s prompted me to take a deeper look than I ever had at all the ways my life was being directed by fear. I realized with a desperate kind of certainty how much I wanted something different for my life and began a quest for healing that eventually led to trust as the heart of what I sought.
Trust Tending became and continues to be a homecoming for me – a place where I can create safe containers for people – myself included – to be just as powerful and vulnerable and trusting and afraid as we truly are, all in the name of growing trust.
My work as a trust coach has a number of arms. One is the blog itself, where I articulate and create art about the moves I’m making and observing others make to nourish trust. Another arm is trust-nourishing products: ebooks, courses, prints. And lastly, which is the heart of my one-to-one time, are Deep Listening Sessions, where I listen to clients, deeply, by phone, and then create pieces of art in response to what I’ve heard which clients can then keep.
When did you start creating your beautiful sketches?
Two or three years before Trust Tending came into being I had a strong sense that art – and particularly this kind of sketching – would be an integral part of my life’s next step. I didn’t know HOW it would – I hadn’t conceived of Trust Tending yet at all – but felt joy and urgency about buying a sketch book and starting to practice.
I’d attended art school from age 7 to 16, so had received a fair amount of instruction on drawing, shading, composition, color, etc., but I hadn’t drawn with any consistency since that time. Buying that little moleskin a few years ago in response to my inkling made me giddy and so glad.
What lovely projects are you working on?
Right now I’m running an e-course called Trust Habits, which is a 30-day dive into trust fundamentals: what trust is, how it is and isn’t grown, what it means to practice tending it.
I’m also preparing two resources to support people’s trust practices through November and December, which tend to be months when the flurry of holiday events and time spent with family knocks us off course – causes fear-based habits to flair.
Our course participants are interested in creating a lovely life – a life in which they cultivate beauty and joy everyday. Some are unsure where to start. Can you share a few tips that have helped you create a lovely life?
One of the most profound steps I’ve taken into beauty and joy is learning to be consciously on my own side – to be like the safest, most supportive friend or mentor I know. Most of us spend way more time than we’re even aware of being critical of ourselves or telling ourselves some version of the story that we’re alone or unworthy in some fundamental way. Which of course do nothing for joy, right?
Consciously shifting onto my own side as often as I can remember to do so has created all sorts of beautiful effects in my physical and psychological states – so much more softness, less defensiveness, less depression and need to protect.
There are many ways I’ve worked to do this, but one of the practices that’s been most helpful this year has been putting my hand on my heart when I’m feeling angry or sad or nervous or ashamed, and telling myself wordlessly, “I’m here. I love you. I’m on your side.” The tactileness of having a kind, supportive hand on my heart transforms my experience of difficult feelings. I feel less like I’m fighting my feelings, and more like I’m allowing them to be what they are and more easily pass through.
We believe that everyone has unique talents and call these talents superpowers. What is your superpower and how does that power make your life lovely?
I see beyond surfaces – of behaviors, of circumstances, of social issues and agendas, of feelings. This overwhelms me sometimes, as I see how complex our world is, and therefore the immense challenges of healing it. But it’s also created and deepened things like compassion and humility in me, which have allowed me to move from a life where I felt separate and disconnected a lot of the time to a life where I feel far more often like I’m part of a big, messy, endearing team called Humanity.
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