I’m so excited to share a guest blog post by Rachel Strivelli of Soul Pioneer. Rachel reminds us of the importance and accessibility of our inner wisdom as she shares her own journey of self-trust and listening to that inner voice (that we all have!).
We have heard so much about self-care the past few years, which is wonderful. But its time we talked about self-trust. Have you ever considered what trajectory your life would take if you began to trust yourself impeccably? And to act on the knowledge from that trust?
I remember a time a few years ago. I had been playing around for a few weeks with paying more attention to my inner voice, following my intuition and honoring my soul’s gentle inclinations. I had been hearing little nudges here and there to make minimal, yet positive changes in my life. My husband and I were living in Vancouver, BC, and although on paper it could have been a perfect place for me to live, I wasn’t happy living there. I yearned to live on the east coast again and closer to climate, friends, and family that I felt attuned to. But we had made the commitment to live in Vancouver for a time and so I was making the best of it. Once I finished graduate school, however, there was no official reason that we had to stay there.
But he was mostly happy there and I value his happiness, so I was making the best of it. Nevertheless, one September day after some meditative reflection, my inner voice boomed out to me (it had never raised its voice before), “Leave before winter.” I was surprised and yet, I felt the truth of the message deep in my being. The winters in Vancouver were one of the aspects that I struggled with the most. Vancouver winter weather is predictable and to me, miserable. On any given day from November to April, and sometimes starting in October and extending through May or June, the temperature is 44 and overcast with rain. I know some lucky ducks like rain and I do too, in 4-5 day increments. Four to five months of rain felt like a long footrace that I had to struggle to endure and finish any way I could year after year.
I told my husband that I had to move. I wanted him to move too, but told him that I wouldn’t push the issue. It sounded dramatic, but I told him that I felt a shroud of darkness falling over me with the approach of winter and I felt certain that if we stayed there that rainy season, that I wouldn’t make it through the winter. I didn’t want to give him an ultimatum, because I don’t generally resort to that method of compromise. And so I told him that I wasn’t going to force him to go, but that I had to go.
He was aghast and shocked. Gradually his shock faded, and he teased me about my dramatic proclamation. Yet I kept on insisting to him, every time I pictured the future in Vancouver, I saw I dark shroud fall over me and my future.
We had discussed leaving several times before, but this time, my resolve was settled. Thankfully, he agreed to leave. We aimed to leave in December or January and move to Toronto where we had some friends and he had a potential job.
Because we had several months to prepare, I started making contacts in Toronto and applying for jobs. We began a slow evaluation of our possessions and began getting rid of the things we knew we didn’t plant to bring across the country. We started telling our friends that we would be moving to Toronto in a few months.
Then the rains began in early October. My husband’s job was contingent on the weather- he installed and maintained sprinkler systems for residential and commercial clients. The early onset of rain meant that he was not needed at the irrigation company as they shut down every rainy season. He was let go 2 months earlier than we thought he would be. We pushed up our move date to mid-October and packed everything in a week so that we could leave quickly and settle in without burning up too much of our savings. We left the Vancouver rain and drove to sunny, yet colder Toronto. I felt my future grow brighter even as we delved into uncertainty of what a new place and new climate would bring for us.
The early rains, although somewhat atypical, gave way to the normal rains of the Vancouver winter. We would talk to friends over email or social media and they would confirm what the weather report stated, rain and forty degrees. Spring came, the rains maintained.
That year the rains lasted until JULY. Raining from October of one year until the beginning of the next July was unprecedented. Nine months of dreary, cloudy, sloshy, forty degree, rainy weather. Can you imagine living through 9 months of dark, cold rain and knowing that the rain is slotted to start again in October or November, just 3-4 months after it will stop. If you are part-duck or amphibian, excuse my railings against what I narrowly escaped. I’m a gardener, so I honestly do value rain and acknowledge the value and essential ecosystem service it provides. But I don’t want to ever live through 9 months straight of it. And I didn’t have to. I saved myself from a fate that I had no way of knowing it was coming. That winter that my
inner voice so graciously saved me from lasted for 9 months.
You can trust that you have your best interests in mind and even if you don’t know the outcome now. I want you to know that you can trust yourself to know what to do next.
What if you started trusting yourself impeccably?
What if you developed a deep self-trust in yourself?
How many times have you said to yourself or someone else, “I knew I should have said no to agreeing to host that bridal shower. I knew it would be stressful to add in to an already packed week!” Or “Why didn’t I propose my idea to that organization when I was thinking about it. Now they have someone else giving a talk at their annual meeting that I would have loved to give.” Yet even though you knew it, you ignored that knowing and acted differently. Ignoring your own knowing enough, and you start to forget that its even there, waiting patiently with wisdom and guidance.
For better or worse, no one else can tell you the right steps to take. No one. Because no one has your guiding voice, whispering what is best for you.
Self-trust is as important as self-care. But we are raised from young ages to defer to authority in every stage and every place in life. The most loving parents are those who equip youth from a young age with the tools to take risks and see the outcomes. They let you see the impacts of your actions and grow in confidence with your own ability to make your own choices in life.
Here is the bottom line. You will never be able to completely shut off the part of you that is empathetic and sensitive and kind. What a loss to the world it would be, if you tried to dampen that candle glowing bright within you. Maybe you didn’t try to cover it up by hiding it, but by acting the opposite of your true nature. You might have tried to repress it and cover it up with loud and brassy actions; still it is there. Perhaps you have tried to ignore it year after year because it says things that go against what your family or friends or workplace find acceptable. It is still always going to be there. You can’t escape yourself. So if you can’t get rid of it, why not embrace it. Why not accept that you’re never going to be like everyone else and take joy and pride in this? Why not start trusting that you have the best tools inside of you to guide your actions, your desires, and your life?
You were expertly designed in ways that still amaze doctors and scientists. In you was the expression, the creation of a person who will bring forth something incredible and divine into the aching, fractured complexity that is the world. No pressure or anything, 😉
I want you to honor and trust yourself. Look, the universe trusted you with this experience of life. The universe set into motion the wonder that is you. And you are no less wondrous than the incredible sea creatures you can tune into on the Planet Earth nature series. Perhaps because we’re surrounded by so much noise and so many other people, its easy to forget and minimize your magnificence. But I don’t forget it. I trust you and I probably don’t even know you. I don’t need to know you to know that every person has what we need to guide us inside of us. If the universe trusts you and I trust you, maybe you can attempt to trust yourself? Its OK to start with baby steps. Start slowly, listening to your inner voice- your intuition if you will- and trust the answers that you hear.
Why not try to living a life with self-trust? Why not accept that you are amazing and wonderful, and have everything you need to guide you presented within? Could you embrace the way that you are, not dull it to suit the needs of society?
Could you picture how your transformation could ripple out slowly to address the mess that society seems to currently be in? Perhaps it will begin in subtle ways, just affecting your and yours close to you. And perhaps that feeling will spread. Can you find time today to experiment with self-trust and see where your inner knowing is interested to take you? It just might be better than you ever expected.
Rachel Strivelli is a writer, a coach, a creative soul, a spiritual seeker, a science and nature lover, and a protector of our incredible earth. Her practice Soul Pioneer is based in Asheville, NC.