I achieved Master level B.E.S.T. certification 3 years ago, and it has been my privilege to attend each Masters’ seminars since then. Each year is a different location, and a focus on a different aspect of self-work towards becoming a Master (which, as we know, is more of a journey than a destination – each milestone shows you the portion of the road to travel next). Each one has been an ‘out of the ballpark’ experience, but the one I just returned from stretched me the farthest so far (perhaps because of the limbering up I’d been doing before hand – check my previous posts if you’re wondering what I mean by that).

This year’s work revolved around TRUST. And my ‘worth the price of admission’ lesson came midway through the first day. It was this – If you know with the certainty that bubbles up through the knowingness of the gut, that you trust YOURSELF, then all the external trust (trust of others, trust of situations) becomes inconsequential – you can proceed through the world with certainty that all will ‘be well’.

This year’s retreat was very experiential. I came home and was describing the activity that cemented this lesson for me to a patient because I thought it might be valuable to her too. Her feedback revealed for me that it went even deeper than I had realized. I love when I learn while I’m teaching. Here’s the experience and the insight we fleshed out together:

We were set the task of pairing up and doing a ‘trust walk’ through the forest – i.e. one would be blindfolded and the other a sighted guide. Seeking to challenge myself to an experience of optimal trust, I found a partner who I’d never met before (and better yet, one who’s daily language was not English). Also, knowing myself to be a person with a habitual need to ‘see’ the intricacies of every situation before I proceed, I insisted on going first to make sure I wouldn’t pre-see where we were headed. My guide was uber-cautious (as intellectually I would’ve thought I wanted) – he diligently guided me through dried leaves and over twigs with one hand on my low back and the other supporting my forearm. Out of protective care, he encouraged me to go slowly and timidly.

It was literally steps into the trail when, surprisingly, frustration bubbled up. My anxiety wasn’t tied to the unknown but, within only a few minutes, I was desperate to be ‘set free’. I craved the experience of ‘going it alone’. I needed my partner to stop me from crashing head-long into a tree or tripping off a cliff but other than that I wanted to work through my own experience. I trusted my own intuition, my confidence was coming from the inside out. And with that internal certainty I knew that whatever the outside experience was going to be, I was going to be just fine. And the distinction between ‘thinking’ it would be fine and KNOWING it would be fine was profound, liberating and, literally, all the difference.

This experience was the piece of self-mastery I brought home from Masters this year. And I was brimming with excitement to share it with a beloved patient who, herself, is diligently unraveling empowerment and personal growth. As I told my story she grinned. “Your guide” she said, “was exposing for you your internal, overly-cautious (stifling?) guidance”. He was mirroring the way I had been shepherding my own life paths up until that very weekend. I needed the externalization to realize how much it now rankled with the freedom I was ready to embrace. There’s a phrase I first heard from Dr. Sue Morter that I love, ‘It’s really hard right up until the moment that it’s not’. I know life (beliefs) can change in a moment, because I’ve experienced it – powerfully, but certainly not exclusively, within a B.E.S.T. adjustment. I experienced it for sure at Masters this year.

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