The power of being heard

February 29, 2012

The winter holidays were strange for me this year.

After a year of what felt like sprinting, non-stop, in my work at this site, I stepped off the track. After a year of feeling the universe leaning toward me, whispering, “Go! That’s right, do this. Go!” I felt utter silence. And after a year of so many emails each day, my inbox dwindled to empty. It was surreal.

And then there was Christmas day, when my family enjoyed a feast with grandparents and great-grandparents, and then later got a call that Great-Grandpa – the one who had sat at our table and eaten and joked with us all – had had a stroke that he wouldn’t ever wake up from. The rest of the week was full of hospital visits and the work on all our parts – young and old – to process death and mortality and the passage of time.

When New Year’s Day arrived and the Rose Parade that I’d watched every New Year since childhood wasn’t being aired, and I’d forgotten to buy the oil to make our traditional New Year’s cookies, and I went alone to the grocery store and the streets were bare and the market a silent hush of two bleary-eyed workers and the background music neglected to be turned on, I felt like I was dreaming. Like all color and warmth and connection had vanished to the moon.

The day wore on, and the next, and as I imagined returning to routine, stepping back into the kids’ schedules and my work at this site, I felt shaken. Full of thoughts and emotions I didn’t understand, let alone know how to untangle, and the feeling like I was alone in the world and the party – every party – utterly elsewhere.

Once the kids were in bed that second day of the year, I approached my husband. “Can we talk?” The plan had been for both of us to work; the events of the previous week had left our work time startlingly eroded. “I need to hear how you’re doing and talk about how I’m doing, too. Everything feels dark and strange and disconnected.”

So we talked. And as I listened and my husband listened to me, the knots inside me loosened. The chill I’d been feeling started to thaw. And the world felt so different. So much kinder and gentler and the murky fears I’d been feeling so much more possible to name and move through.

I look back on my life and see the places where this has happened, this thawing out and loosening and the consequent growth of trust and hope and clarity, and recognize that in each case, listening happened. Someone listened to me deeply.

I see this pattern as a thread around which my life’s richest periods of growth and healing and trust-nourishment have been woven. Even my darkest seasons – the ones in which I couldn’t see warmth and light for the life me – I see now were sustained and shifted by the souls who looked on me kindly and listened with love.

In so many ways, the beauty of my life has been, to this day, held and sustained and made possible by conversations where I’m deeply heard.

I’ve been listening for ways to connect my work at Trust Tending more deeply with the lives of those who read here – with the specific places of fear you find yourself in and the moves you want to make to help trust grow.

I’m thrilled, therefore, to offer you Deep Listening.

Not therapy. Not traditional coaching. Not consultation. It’s me listening deeply to you by phone and then creating a piece of art for you in response to what I’ve heard. Art that’s a talisman of what’s been spoken, and of shifts that are to come. Art that’s like a little altar, reminding you that you’ve been heard and that the conversations that sustain us all are woven into your present-day life.

I hope you’ll come learn more about it!

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The perfect place to begin

February 28, 2012


Join me here on Wednesday for the launch of Deep Listening, an ancient healing art with a Trust Tending twist. I look so forward to connecting with many of you this way!


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February 22, 2012

A new way to be

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Eric Klein: Trust Illustrated

February 15, 2012

Sometimes it feels as if Life’s answer to our pressing questions is a silence so vast the whole universe gets lost in it.

Sometimes Its answer feels more like a fire hose turned on, and we do our best to take in the lessons and data that come at us with more force than could ever be gracefully or instantly integrated.

And then there are other times. Times when answers come as slow unfoldings, and the process of unfolding becomes every bit as much of the answer as the information contained therein. Every bit as much to be noticed and listened to.

Such was the case last month when the weight of responsibility for my life felt heavy and I wondered out loud how to accept that weight…how to stand, let alone move or dance or anything at all besides try to distract myself, beneath this heavy vulnerability I feel about being grown up human. Do you feel this way, too?

Simultaneous to this question was interaction with Eric Klein about an interview we knew we wanted to do. Since both of us sketch, we decided to try something unconventional – to conduct the whole thing via illustration, passing back and forth an initial drawing, each time adding more to it.

So I led off with the question I’d already been living.

Eric is a wise and seasoned soul and one whose life and work I respect deeply. So while the drawing of my question was a quiet sort of scene, internally it felt much more like a frantic grasp and shake of his…or really of Life’s…lapels. “Tell me what to do about this feeling!! Please!!!

But you know what happened in response? A microcosm of what I believe to the tips of my toes is Life’s best answer to that kind of question and tone.

There was silence for a few days.

And because this wasn’t a verbal conversation, what came in reply was light on words, and rich in depth and meaning.

Back and forth, back and forth we went like this. Each time the urgency of my initial question softening. Each time my trust deepening that, exactly like this conversation, Life is engaging me. Dispatches come in good time. They don’t always have quick content to upload to my heart or brain or limbic system, nor do they tie up every loose end. But they have the nourishment I need.

And they keep coming.

I invite you to read the “interview” below far more slowly than you might otherwise do. Let yourself react, inside, to each image on its own. How does each one make you feel? What questions does it raise for you?

And more importantly than that, try to get conscious of the question most pressing for YOU right now – the first panel of what could be YOUR drawn…or, rather, lived…conversation.

Just see if, sooner than you might think, Life sends along a reply.

eric klein kristin noelle illustration

Eric Klein is one of the few people on the planet to be both a best-selling leadership author and a lineage holder in a 5,000 year old yoga tradition. With his wife, Devi, he teaches the Wisdom Heart Way through He is the author of four books – most recently 50 Ways to Leave Your Karma - which is available for free download at (<-----I highly, highly recommend!).

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P.S. If you want to see/hear Eric take this conversation even further, check out chapter 29 of 50 Ways to Leave Your Karma, or this recent article at his site (particularly the section titled “You don’t have to design the upgrade”).

For more on what *I* say to the topic, check out the “magic of noticing” in my free ebook, Trust Tending and the Internet.

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Learning to live beyond fear: An interview with Susan Falcone

February 6, 2012

If image does not appear, click 'display images' at the top of your screen.
I’m honored today to be featured at Susan Falcone’s Powering Possible. Susan is a life and business coach whose personal story inspires and amazes me, and whose current work is a powerful force of light in our world.

In this interview we talk about my biggest personal barrier and the moves I make to work through and beyond it. Click the image below to come see!

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Grand Reopening

February 4, 2012

Hi again! I’m so happy to be here! Reopening these doors feels like fresh, oxygenated air after weeks cooped up with html. :)

If you’re reading via email or rss feed, I hope you’ll click over to see the new design! I’ve worked to make it crisp, clean, and artful, as well as user-friendly. I’m hoping that the resources (posts, pages, videos, etc.) that previously got buried and unfindable as new posts accumulated will be navigable now. Check the Free Stuff page for all of that.

And with time, I hope to shift my shop from Etsy to be housed here. But one thing at a time!

Since this site is Trust Tending, I figure why not tend some trust on this reopening day?

Specifically, I feel aware of my tendency to react to site redesigns with a mix of feelings.

  • I feel mild discomfort with what I was used to changing – like a friend unexpectedly became more of stranger.
  • I feel mildly afraid that increased slickness or professionalism in a site’s appearance will be harbinger of the author becoming less and less like me – more cool or unreachable.
  • I feel worried that there’s a Progress Train that everyone else is on (hyberbolic language starts to ring so true!), and I’m somehow stuck miles away from the track. Or worse yet, standing close by, but locked behind a gate that I don’t know how to open.
  • My Compulsion, Comparison, and Overwhelm critters get really, really loud (that link is to an ebook in which I talk about these critters).

Ultimately, I wind up smelling a big bouquet of Resentment, Discouragement, and It’s-Time-To-Buy-More-Chocolate.

Hopefully you’re having none of these reactions to what’s happened here. My guess is many of you aren’t.

But for those of you who are, I wonder whether it might be helpful to hear a few things.


Hi! I’m still very much me! And my personal practice of tending trust is as important to me as ever. So far the trajectory of that practice has been an opening of my heart and a quieting of my ego, and I have every reason to believe that trajectory won’t change.

There isn’t one Progress Train that everyone is on. Or even a handful of them. There’s only our perception that there is. In reality, we are all moving, always – all accumulating experiences, learning and unlearning patterns, stepping forward, shrinking back. All we can do is be in our lives, in all of their particulars, and seek to trust that there’s no where else we can be. That in fact, there’s no where else better to be.

Once we move in the direction of that trust, the sweetness and the beauty that’s inherent in every life and every story is freed to our awareness. We become more and more able to see it.

I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so glad for your company on this sometimes smooth, sometimes rocky road of being human together. And I can’t wait to tend more trust alongside of you!

With love,

P.S. I’m hoping to launch Deep Listening sessions next week (you’ll see the link in the navigation bar and a sign if you click there that says “Coming Soon”). Essentially those sessions will be phone calls with me, during which I listen deeply to your places of fear or growing trust, and after which I create downloadable pieces of art for you in response to what I’ve heard. I’m looking so forward to connecting with some of you this way!

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