I can’t remember a specific moment when I stopped trusting myself. Was it when my parents divorced and forbade me to talk about it? Was it when my father never let me have any feelings or opinions so I learned to cut myself off from them? Was it when I realized my worldview was so disparate from my parents that I didn’t feel like I belonged in my own family? Was it when I moved to the U.S., couldn’t speak English and knew that I didn’t fit in? Was it the first of many times someone made a racially charged joke to make fun of me?

I honestly can’t remember. Was it a pivotal moment or was it a gradual shift based on thousands of tiny little moments that added up to significant change? Can you remember when you stopped trusting yourself?

You know that I’ve been working on manifesting Visible Women Space. I made the effort, asked the women I wanted to bring with me and while everyone loved the idea, the timing didn’t feel right. Having spent a lifetime of believing in the hustle and the idea that we can only achieve what we want with blood and sweat struggle, I stopped buying into this notion when I started my journey. In retrospect, I always knew this wasn’t true because I watched my parents suffer their whole lives working inhumane hours and shedding literal blood and sweat for their businesses and never succeed. They operated entirely on scarcity―all their decisions, the way they saved all their money hiding cash in the nooks and crannies of our NYC apartment, and making cuts to save every little penny they had. And now, they have nothing to show for all that hard work in old age. “Effort and ease,” my yoga teacher often reminds us when we’re holding difficult poses. She reminds us to make effort in the places in our bodies that matter like our core and create ease by releasing tension in our areas like our shoulders and jaw. So while I made the effort to create Visible Women Space by moving to a 1000+sq ft. space, things didn’t flow with ease. With an impending deadline in January to make a decision on my current lease, I decided to let VWS lie for now. I know in my gut this will happen. It just isn’t going to happen the way I envisioned and may take some detours before I get there. But doesn’t everything always work out that way, whether we want to or not?

A physical space has always been integral to my journey and I felt like I needed to move on from my current space energetically. So what is the plan? A different space opened up in my building and I decided to move there. I’ve always wanted full window light for photography and this space has a sliding glass door with the bonus of a big balcony, it’s southern facing which has the best light and best of all, while it’s about the size of my current space, it’s one big room which changes the way it can be used. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was right for me and while it’s a small skip rather than the jump I originally wanted, I trust that the space will open up new ideas and possibilities for me, including laying the groundwork for VWS which I trust will manifest as it’s meant to.

Throughout my whole life, so many things didn’t work out like I had planned. Most significantly when I couldn’t have kids which sent me into a dark hole through the infertility journey and the adoption process which was unpredictable and lengthy (especially for my younger son―we waited a year and half for a different boy until his birthmother changed her mind, totalling our wait to 3 years!)… And throughout all those unpredictable detours, I felt angry and fought my life because I felt like everything was out of control. I couldn’t imagine that things would work out if they didn’t go as planned according to my narrow definition of what would make me “happy.” But I learned the hard way that it does and when I look back at those times, I realize the element that was missing was that I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t trust myself to be able to face anything hard, that I could come out the other end of that dark tunnel of pain and suffering and be okay. I learned that the pain and suffering were worst because I struggled so much against the direction and current of my life. Through this journey, I’ve learned to surrender and trust the universe and, more importantly, myself. I am grateful for all the shifts and pivots and now realize making the big leap wasn’t the right timing for me either. It’s so much easier to flow freely with the direction life has planned for me rather than trying to control the flow because it makes life more interesting and fun. It forces me to be present for life rather than always reaching for a future that doesn’t exist. Robert Tew says, “If you’re going to learn to trust one person, let it be yourself.”

I choose to trust myself. Who do you trust?

This is from a personal journal writing shared in the newsletter and typically not shared on the blog. To read these, subscribe to the “I Matter” newsletter below.