By Almah LaVon Rice, Glittering Guest Blogger

If you have lost the business, your house, and wife, after you have been pronounced terminally ill and life has dealt you the worst blows, there is only one duty left. That is to crawl over to the nearest mirror, hoist yourself up, look deeply into it with your last breath, and say aloud seven times: Cock-a-doodle-do!
-advice to Pila Chiles from an Indian holy man

I used to be a smug professor emerita of trust. Rather distinguished, if I do say so myself, in the field of I Know It Is All Working Out for My Highest Good. But now as a self-employed artist and alchemist newly relocated to New Mexico, it’s the first day of school. I’m feeling a little lost among the other children crying for their mothers. Everyone else actually knows what’s going on in class. It’s only me who fails the tests.

But the Universe is a trickster, handing me this writing assignment at a seemingly inopportune moment. I’m taking off the big ol’ dunce cap I’ve been wearing in the corner and spooning out a few untrustworthy trust-building tricks.

Engage in some sacred play. Make a divinatory card deck or fool around with the ordinary oracular. Or go with more jerry-rigged divination. Why not devise delightfully idiosyncratic GPS (Guiding, Playful System) so you’ll have no one else to blame when you end up in Brisbane when you’re supposed to be in Spokane?

Invent/discover someone who can teach you. Stage dialogues with your guide on paper or as a petit play (in the privacy of your home so only the cat will judge you). My teacher is Serge Septime, a French flâneur and filosopher. I used to actually be Serge Septime in previous lifetime but now he just walks beside my current life, offering welcome and not-so-welcome advice as we stroll along. As a surrealist, he has taught me that if I put stock in surprise, I will eventually taste trust in the soup.

Come up with a spell, a ritual, a gesture, or an invocation designed to give your trust muscles some bulk. The ingredients of this workout are only limited by your imagination (and your pride). If you dare: make it silly, make it special, make it ‘specially silly. And when you’re done with your irreverently reverent ceremony, you might try carrying around a physical reminder of the experience. Say, a rock. A pet rock. Take it with you everywhere and pet it often, especially when you’re feeling trust-deficient. (A friend of mine and I call these kinds of exercises “trust kegels.”)

If you don’t trust your own voice…would you trust a tree’s? Interestingly enough, “trust” and “tree” and “true” have all grown from the same etymological root system, so even your English teacher would tell you to trust the tree’s truth. So listen. Let monkey mind swing from the branches until it exhausts itself, and then…what do you hear? And feel? What do you know that you’re acting like you don’t know? What temporarily misplaced knowledge rustles among the leaves during the trance-mission between you and the maple?

It is said that Brahman made the universe for sacred sport, or Lila. My goodness, if the CREATION OF EVERYTHING is such a casual, carefree affair, then maybe I can give up trying so hard to be a paragon of surrender and just resolve to make a merry time of an uncertain existence.

I may not know how to trust, but I sure know how to play. As Ram Shanker Misra sees it, Brahman’s universe was “created out of Bliss, by Bliss, and for Bliss.” So let us twirl around in the laboratory of trust, dancing and mixing and humming and experimenting. Build trust outta Legos. I figure if I’m having fun—even amid absurdity bordering on cosmic sadism—Trust will drop by just to see what all the laughing is about.

Almah LaVon Rice is an award-winning writer, ec(o)static creativity teacher, coach, and workshop leader. To read more of her work, visit She loves affirmation and inquiries too:

Copyright 2009. Almah LaVon Rice. Please email before re-printing. All rights reserved.