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Never before have I been more aware of the importance of developing trust. Yet, it’s scary how easy it is to get stuck in patterns that don’t work: neurotic fretting, rigidity, skepticism and depression. People recognize that they can’t trust the government, the federal reserve, their employer or even their family to keep things the same, safe and secure. No one is exempt. Everything is changing. The individual within each of us is being called forward. What will we individually do to rise to the levels of change that are all around?

I’ve discovered a principle that works and works if I will work it: LISTENING. Listening and following the wacky thoughts, the unusual ideas, the “that doesn’t make sense” direction. Those thoughts are continually leading me to magical outcomes with clear direction. I am discovering it’s a way to be consciously developing trust.

For example, last week I was in Emeryville in the East Bay area of San Francisco. I was staying at a hotel while doing work for a company in Berkeley. I knew no one. I was getting ready to meet one of the clients that morning, and she had made it very clear that she was punctual and insisted others to be so as well. Yet I had an an insistent nag that I couldn’t shake that called me to Starbucks to get a chai tea latte on the way. So first I began fretting with myself over the dilemma, and then I called her to tell her I’d be stopping at Starbucks and would bring her some coffee. She gladly accepted and I relaxed into it.

When I arrived at this particular Starbucks, it beckoned for me to hang out. While in line, I scoped out a lounge chair that looked like I could live in it. I placed my order and claimed the chair. I laid back into it, submerging into bliss, staring up at nothing, enjoying the feeling of just being, just hanging out and being. I was soooo relaxed.

About two minutes later, I hear a voice, “Gail? Gail Green?” Being startled out of my space, l looked up at a face I didn’t recognize at all. He extended his hand and said, “Remember me? Tom.”

As I got to my feet, he said, “You led a weeklong leadership training that I attended in 1996 in Yosemite.” Wait a minute! 1996? And he waltzed into a Starbucks and recognized me while I’m lounging in nothingness 300 miles away from home??

He continued, “Want to know how strange this is? I just googled you 3 days ago. That’s how I recognized you. I’m going through a major career transition and I thought of you. You know, what changes us and what we remember (believe in) is what is fun, positive and human. In that way I still reference back to your spirit!”

Well, we reconnected and it felt like no lapse in time. Though his looks had changed, I remembered him well and his essence was very familiar. We exchanged contact information and are now looking at working together again.

So, while I thought the nagging tug to go to Starbucks was for a chai tea latte, it was really to get me to hook up with Tom. And the whacky part of this story is that I had just acknowledged a deep desire three weeks earlier to be working with a larger pool of leaders and expanding my client base. I was picturing myself having to learn new marketing techniques and becoming a stronger sales person. And instead, not only have I hooked me up with Tom, this past week I have reconnected with 3 other clients from the past—each one calling me! Listening works.

So I forget again and again that the principle of Developing Trust really works. I can’t trust my old ways, because my habits and patterns get in the way. But when I listen to Life and follow what I hear, particularly when it’s strong, crazy, unusual, or doesn’t make sense, this type of exchange occurs and the magic reveals itself. I am developing trust in Life’s magical hands of guidance. Listening has been the way I’ve found that place again and again so far in 2010. So the big question is, “Where do you go to listen?” It calls for the discipline to go there – often.

Everything is changing. Stay tuned – keep listening!

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