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  • Renee LaVallee McKenna,MA

Trust Yourself First


I have come to believe that there is a wise and connecting force flowing through and around all life. I'm a skeptic, so this belief has grown only from my own experience. We need to trust our deepest selves and the Universe around us. We need to know that we are co creators of our lives through the miriad of choices that we make every day. Each choice could change our lives at any given time. Turn right, I could get hit by a car. Stop for a coffee, I could meet my next lover.


By paying attention to what crosses my path and how things feel in my body, I can trust the choices that I make will lead me to the next right action. Right action leads to right living. Right living leads to fulfillment and joy. We have many senses beyond our basic five of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. We have instinct, intuition, energy awareness, people sense, nature sense, spiritual sense and many subtle senses yet unnamed. When we can open and trust these other ways of knowing, the world can become a friendlier, more inter active place.


I remember when my daughter was four. We were in downtown San Francisco buying her some shoes. She has always loved shoes. We stopped for a tea at an outdoor cafe and played a game I called "trust the stranger." I would point out different people walking past and ask her how she felt in her tummy about them. Would she trust them or not? The man with the blue coat? Bad. The lady with the white hair? Fine. The man with the beard? Fine. The boy with the basketball? Bad.


I want my girl to trust herself first. My son played the game, too. But girls are often taught to be nice. To smile. To consider the needs of others first. To ignore their own senses if it might make someone else uncomfortable.


When I was 10, my next door neighbor offered me a ride one wet and cold afternoon. I always found him creepy, but it felt rude to say no, so I got in the car. He tried to molest me. I was able to get away, but my instincts had been right on. Unfortunately, I had been trained to ignore them. I've spent much of my adult life retraining myself and others to listen and honor our own truth and the wisdom underlying it.


Recently, I was traveling in Alaska and someone suggested that I check out the gift shop of a local hospital in Anchorage they had heard was the best place to buy native crafts. The medical campus was huge and I had to go to the bathroom, so I pulled into the nearest parking spot and went into the nearest door to find the restroom. When I came back to the lobby, I saw this sign that read Tribal Healing Center. One of the tenets of my work is Shamanism, the ancient healing path of energy, spirit and nature wisdom. I felt compelled to speak to the receptionist and she quickly introduced me to the director of the program who "happened" to be walking past.. We spoke for two hours. My new book "Spiritual Psychology" may be helpful in their mental health program. My on-line workshops might serve their remote clients. He invited me back for a conference of healers they hold annually. I got a craft tip and had to go to the pot. Hmm.


Trust yourself. Trust life. There is more going on here than meets the eye. There are forces that have your highest good in mind, if you can listen and just do the next right thing.




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3131 Rivera St.

San Francisco, CA