Travel

Building Self-Trust through Heart-centered Solo Practices

Daily individual practice enables you to trust the personal courage that lies within you.

Your body has an intelligence that is clear and precise in its own needs, integrity and desires. When you are in the middle of your yoga practice and your body whispers, “Move slow,” it is literally seducing you with your own internal desire. How often are you open and quiet enough to hear that part of you? When was the last time you listened and honoured that whisper by slowing down your movements? 

Maybe you are working all day at your desk computer and your body starts to stiffen with tension — your shoulders are rising in an effort to communicate that you need to relax, let go, take a break and move around. Its contractions are physical ways of screaming,“You’re choking me!” 

When was the last time you walked away from your desk for ten minutes to stretch and take a few deep breaths so that you could truly feel more grounded and at ease within your body while you work? 

When I am practicing in any space alone, I am forced to quiet all of the distractions. My emotions, my body, my mind, my spirit, and my soul are all ecstatic to have a chance to finally share with me through clear and direct influence. The way I slide on the ground and shift my weight from my legs to my hands with careful placement, or the way I slosh and roll on the floor in order to feel closer to the earth takes me on a courageous journey. Each movement gives me feedback. Each time I listen to where my body wants me to go, I am nurturing a deeper sense of self-trust. 

I open myself to trust. 

I am trusting my body to guide me. 

My highest heart leads me towards divinity. 

When I practice trusting my movements and my impulses exploring through the creation of physical shapes, I awaken and enliven certain sensations or feelings that I never knew I could stand tall in. I release unwanted pain by spending time lovingly creating space for it to dissolve. This let’s me walk closer to the place of ease and freedom that comes from letting my highest self lead the way. 

Many of us have a hard time trusting anything or anyone, and so it’s really no surprise that we lack the trust required to bring our own selves to harmony. We are so hardwired to ignore our physical sensations and numb out our emotions that we jump straight into our heads and analyze every little piece of information before our true guidance gets to speak its wisdom. Before our true guidance gets a chance to lead us into light. 

When we find ourselves overwhelmed with thoughts, possible stories or outcomes, we experience more fear, more anxiety, more confusion and more discomfort in all aspects of our lives. We begin to second guess every single feeling, thought, creation, or sensation and we mistake everything for a “logical” decision. Logic is wonderful, and at times necessary but your logic will not be in integrity and truth if you are not grounded, connected to your heart and trusting your inner wisdom. 

If you are not fully present to your body and its intelligence sharing of what it truly needs and desires, then your logical mind will confuse you or possibly even lead you astray. It is the feeling of internal torment that keeps you up at night, or keeps you from jumping out of bed in the morning for fear of failure. It’s what happens when you’re in the midst of creating something wonderful but you’ll second-guess yourself until you’ve quit. The conflict between body, heart, soul and your mind will be tormenting and debilitating for a long time if you don’t make space to coax your mental chatter into quieting and trusting the other loving parts of you. 

When you’re practicing solo here are a few ways to nurture and awaken your self-trust:

  1. Close your eyes and ground in your current state. Wherever you’ve just been, whatever you’ve just done — recognize where it lingers in the body. Allow the emotion or the thought to receive the acknowledgement it seeks from you, and then let it fade. Transition into the focus of physical sensations, and any time your mind starts to take you backwards or forwards in time, remind yourself of where you are and what you are presently doing (moving through yoga poses in your room, dancing to music in a studio, sitting at a coffee shop writing out your feelings.) Let that again become the focus and immerse yourself in the doing; in the expansion of expression.
  2. Use your breath to steady your mental rhythm. Breathing is something we all do naturally. But you will find once you start to incorporate a practice that focuses on observing or steadying your breath that there are places where you hold your breath, or where you breathe a little shallow. You might find that all of your breaths are quick and sharp, or maybe they are long and lethargic. You can let your physical actions or movements be moved by breath, or you can let your breath initiate your movements. Let yourself play, allowing your body to move with the inspiration and exhalation of your breathing.
  3. Use your body like an instrument. Movement is an expression of what is inside of you, and using your body as though you are creating music is a great way of understanding what is within. An incredible ballet teacher of mine, Christine Wright, always says to me, “Use your body as if you are singing a song. Tell me a story.” This helped me truly connect to what my body was feeling and how it wanted to express itself through movement. As you move your body, pretend that you are singing beautiful melodies. There are no wrong notes. Your body is the perfect instrument and the movement that you make, is the music. You can even sing aloud or hum softly to create a vibration from your vocal chords, making it really easy to listen to your most genuine sounds.
  4. Have a loving conversation with yourself. In the moments of your practice when you’re feeling tense, or stuck and you want to ditch the practice altogether to go eat a slice of pizza or just take a nap instead… tell yourself that you want to work together. Let your higher self know that you don’t want to fight, ditch or resist. Remind yourself why you’re there, fully present and wanting to trust what it has to share. Tell yourself you’re willing to try and be quiet enough to listen, to move in the directions and follow the paths that your heart is desiring. Speak words of kindness in your mind, or out loud and let yourself truly resonate with the vibrations of those love-affirming words. 
  5. Be consistent and practice daily. A consistent practice where you get to become fully present and connect to your whole self is an absolute necessity to developing a strong and loving sense of self-trust. Do this over and over again, with very a humble and receptive heart until you wake up in the morning feeling fully ready and open for what’s to come each day. Continue developing trust for what you know to be true inside of your highest heart, committing each day to doing the best you can.

There will be moments of this practice where it feels off, where it feels strained or fake. You may encounter discomfort in places that represent feeling stuck and broken, pained and lost. Let yourself work through what arises, and be there for yourself in times of resistance. The only person who can fully support you in building self-trust is yourself.

Work with yourself setting the intention that brings you the ability to listen, to discern, to create; to guide, to follow and to lead.

Do these practices consistently for at least five days and you will notice that when you’re walking down the street you feel more trusting of your balance, or that your mind, body, and spirit are now starting to play, communing together. You’ll see how they start to more frequently offer you exciting and daring opportunities than usual because they know that you will trust them enough to take the leap! Allow your heart to fully open in your practices, coax yourself into letting go of the internal rigidity that keeps you from living fully. There is no better time than right now for nurturing your own self-trust. 

If you desire more guidance and support in your journey through self-trust please contact vanessa@vanessa-faria.com for your complimentary 20 minute Soul Therapist consultation. 


Edited by: Moriah Stendel

quiet desperation

About a month ago, a few days I spent in New York City had me in a constant seek of

quiet desperation. 

After a long day out on a tour bus and sight seeing with colleagues and students I was so eager to find means of solitary refuge. I had skipped going to the Rock observatory which is something I would have liked, no doubt. But instead I scurried away to find myself at the hotel almost ready to burst in tears if I didn’t do exactly what my soul and body was asking for. Granted I was on my moon time and I body was super sensitive with the full moon that had just occurred a day or two prior. I unravelled myself from my bags and extra clothes and quickly plopped myself on the bed for a brief moment.  

Looking around the room, I was lucky enough to find a candle that my room-mate had brought and I lit it to accompany what I decided would be a thirty minute yoga practice. I had my computer and turned on my friend Darren Austin Hall’s sacred sound healing album The Tantra of Truth in in honour of his concert that was taking place that same night in Toronto. His concert was set to begin just as my practice was to complete. Knowing this, and feeling a sense of purpose and connection I was determined to carry out my intention. So in the dark hotel room on the tiniest floor, I began. 

Breathing deeply, arms opening and torso folding. Moving slowly and fully so as to make the most of the select poses I had time for, I felt myself start to chant and speak from the inside. 

quiet desperation. 

after a while all I could really hear and feel was a quiet desperation

I was so desperate to feel this, exactly this. Every moment of this practice was so precious. My body wanted so desperately to slow down, to sit and to sink into all of the bliss that comes from taking time to relax and taking time to breathe. To shift within a position - within a pose. 

I obliged. Then I sent love to my friend from a far and tuned into his concert and the beautiful vibrations of his music and grounded myself into that energy so that I could bring it with me on my next little journey. When the thirty minutes quickly came to an end, I felt ready to tackle the city streets at night once more. I thanked the practice, I thanked Darren, and I thanked myself and the quiet desperation for showing up and allowing myself to go into it. 

I set out walking through the beaming lights to meet a friend for dinner. All of a sudden that quiet desperation started to feel good. It started to feel better. It may have started to lift, but I think the real reason that it began to feel better was because I owned it. I liked the sounds it forced in my head - silence. And I liked that when I just surrendered and gave in I expanded. I expanded into the feelings and my whole self filled with space, and love and strength. And my body relaxed more and more into the feelings of this desperation that became more and and more beautiful, with less and less pain. 

We all have times when this is quiet desperation shows up and demands us to be present to it. Sometimes it’s in the way your body anxiously longs for stillness and long slow movement. Sometimes it’s that your body desperately needs to be in motion. There is a longing that creeps in and sits at the base of your pelvis for relaxation, peace and tranquility. Or a vivacious desperation for energy, speed and vibrancy. Whatever the call is, answer it. Surrender and be present a little longer to it. Let it show you the feels. Let the feelings and sensations take you on a journey. It could be for 5 minutes, or an hour, or two days or a month. If you can, go with it. 

light a small candle in a room full of darkness and take the time to discover what that little bit of quiet desperation wants to bring you.