Posted by: ginalazenby | October 12, 2018

How to Create Circles of Trust

 

A small gathering of Conscious Cafe in September at Gina Lazenby’s Healthy Home in Skipton

How to Create Circles of Trust 

  • a Conscious Cafe conversation in Skipton in September

For our September gathering, in our opening discussion we shared about our individual understanding of the evening’s topic and what called us to take part. There were two separate conversation threads. One was about the issues that arise when trust is given then broken, and the pain that follows, while the other was about building circles of trust as communities of support, and how these can be expanded.

What we all seemed to agree on was the value of the Conscious Cafe Skipton as a circle of trust. The group that comes together for these meets is a very supportive community where we feel we can share more deeply with others, even when we don’t know the people well. Such is the atmosphere of trust that we have created and continue to build on at each event, that we feel empowered to share and be open and vulnerable. No matter how personal and individual we think our story, there is always another person, and often more, who resonate with the experience and feelings, and the ensuing exchange provides a gift for all. Just having a circle of people willing to listen can transform a situation without anyone needing to offer advice. It is the being heard that can be so healing for both the large and small life events that can take over our lives.

It seems that the key to a Circle of Trust is having a small group of people who are willing to listen without judgement. How can that be created?  The example of Conscious Cafe is that there are rules that are explained .. everyone has an equal voice, there is a generosity for listening and a curiosity for people to understand more about a subject and how other people relate to that subject. Once you feel that that there is a listening for whatever you have to say, then it is easy to make a single step forward and based on the supportive response, the next steps open up for you.  As long as we can listen with compassion we can provide the opportunity for others to share  and risk vulnerability.

Gina explained how she has been running Women’s Gathering for years and has established them as Circles of Trust that may continue as communities of support or may just last for the one evening that they are convened. Each one is based on a circle of sharing and listening.

Expanding your Circle of Trust: 

  1. It starts with us. How open are we? Perhaps we need to drop our guard a little and be willing to be more open. Have we set boundaries for others people not to get too close that we could perhaps relax? 
  2. With a desire for your own self-protection, is there something that you do that pushes people away? Can you find ways to let down your walls, close the gap between you and others and be more trusting?
  3. It can be hard when others set boundaries around how much they will let us in to their lives but we have to honour them. Most people do this for their own protection rather than something being wrong with us. How wonderful when we find a true friend with whom there are no parameters and we can have unconditional friendship.  
  4. Be aware of how to create boundaries and learn to adjust them as necessary.
  5. Yes it takes confidence to move out into the world and find a wider circle, but you can test the water without jumping right in. Small steps. 
  6. Let go of your pride, ask for help. Be surprised at the magic that can follow when people step forward to help and end up being in your circle of trust. Sometimes all it takes is for you to open the door, and you have the key.
  7. Seek and you will find. Set the intention for finding new friends and allies with whom you can build trusting relationships. Make yourself open and synchronicity usually delivers. Allow things to come to you and be open-minded when they show up.
  8. Maybe you need to start your own club around an idea you are passionate about (books, films, walking, animals).  That always helps bring you closer to like-minded people.  

Changing a Circle of Trust: 

  1. How great a gift to have long-standing friends who know us over the years or to still be in touch with childhood friends with whom we have shared so much.  A best friend over the decades who truly knows us and to whom we can always turn. 
  2. Sometimes, as we grow and evolve, our friendships may not move with us and we can reach a point that our values have become different to those who have been closest to us. It is not a failing on our part but we need courage to be honest and to let these people and friendships go to be replaced with new friends with whom we can fully share our expanded selves. Being on the same path as someone else can bring a closeness that does not take years of shared history to create.
  3. It can be liberating to realise and acknowledge that your current friendships no longer serve you. 

Self Trust is at the heart of everything: 

  1. How do we know who to trust? As much as we can ask others for advice and research someone, we have to use our own judgement in each situation. What feels right?  Only we have the answer and that means we have to go within and trust our feelings. The better you know yourself, the more self reflection you have, then the more likely it is that you will know when to share and with whom. Trust your own judgement.

When Trust is broken: 

  1. This can be so very painful. And of course there are degrees of trust and different levels of what you might consider lapses or betrayal. But once it is broken it can be very difficult to regain, if at all. It is worth delving into our compassionate nature and trying to be generous by exploring why trust has been broken. Was it a simple lack of awareness that a direct conversation can resolve? Was the breaking of trust done out of malice with the intent to harm you? Or was what happened a hard choice made and the means for the other person to protect themselves? However hurt you might be, it is worth taking a look before closing the door on the relationship or situation.
  2. It is healthy to find ways to forgive and move on otherwise one episode of broken trust (however major) can close you down in a way that you think is self protection but is actually limiting your growth. Painful memories always find a place to live inside the body. They need to be removed. One simple way is crying. There are others and professionals can help in releasing traumas.  

A Circle of Trust can be just two people: 

  1. When someone is sharing with you and you start to hear them speak against someone else, it takes strength and courage to say: “This is gossip and I’m sorry I don’t want to hear it”.  But say it you must in order to feel congruent. Listening to gossip is being unkind to someone else and breaking their trust in you. You always have a choice no matter how hard.

Does Trusting change over the years?: 

  1. Getting older and reaching transition ages of 40, 50 and 60 can cause us to be more self examining. Perhaps as we age we might find we build more circles of trust outside our own family. 
  2. There is something about ageing and shifting identity that can cause us to lose our confidence, or least feel challenged as we go through transition processes. Losing friends later in life can perhaps affect us even more as we face life transitions. Kindness to our own selves is so important. We can forget to care for ourselves. People seem to find it much easier to beat themselves up than to be kind! We can have plenty of “should” phrases inside our heads about what we think we ‘should’ do or how we ‘should’ feel. Let them go. 

The key to building Trust: 

  • Be authentic and honest, share who you are.
  • Be willing to be vulnerable.  Very often this gives permission to others to do the same.
  • Stop judging and start reaching out.
  • Stop being wrapped up in your own little world and be open to others.
  • Be kind. Decide to respond to situations and people instead of reacting. 
  • Learn a new language for expressing how you feel. Discover ways to talk about feelings, that you may not feel a fluency in, but be patient while you explore this. 
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