How You Can Release Stress and Build Trust in Relationships: Dr. Ginny Whitelaw and Her “Resonate” Approach

Dr. Ginny Whitelaw and Tom Marcoux with her book, The Zen Leader

Imagine that you can release yourself from stress and build trust in relationships. Here we’re introduced to the wisdom of Dr. Ginny Whitelaw, a leadership expert, a roshi (Zen master) and former deputy manager for integrating NASA’s Space Station Program.

An Interview with Dr. Ginny Whitelaw:

Tom: How can we release ourselves from feeling overwhelmed?

Dr. Ginny: We get a sense of feeling overwhelmed when we’re fighting with time. That’s when we’re trying to take on too much and cram it into time slots. We’re racing through our day. We feel that things are heaping on top of us, and we go into a coping mode. It may sound ironic, but the solution is to drop into time. We slow down and breathe with it rather than fight with it. The sensation of how to do that is to start inside out, slow down your breathing, which is one of the fundamental frequencies informing your experience of calm vs overwhelm.

Life does not ask us to exhaust ourselves. Instead, we’re exhausting ourselves by trying to do too much, with too much forced effort. It’s better to relax into what is really called for right now—in this moment. We become more naturally sensitive to what is happening in this moment. This is what happens when we slow our breathing down—and drop into time and pay attention.


Tom: What new angle or advice would you offer for building trust in relationships?

Dr. Ginny: In building trust, and having communication that resonates, there’s a deep sense of listening that is necessary. This is how we connect with another person and get on the same wavelength.

We have to sense them. We have to sense where they’re coming from. Like ripples on the water, when we slow down our vibration it’s easier to sense and reflect another person. We listen for and feel for where the other person is coming from. Once we match their energy then we might want to take it this way or that. We don’t necessarily have to stay in their original energy pattern, but we do have to go there to join. We create a basic kind of resonance or harmony. The neuroscience of this is clear. Communication that is resonant occurs as your brain and my brain actually start to synchronize. This is the condition that builds trust—because you feel heard and I feel heard.

We start to get a sense of “I know what to expect from you.” We start to make little maps of each other inside our own bodies. When we get what we expect, there’s a sensation of “Yeah, I get this person.” That builds trust.

On the other hand, if we are each stuck in our own positions or off in our own worlds and just bounce off of each other, that’s when conflict arises and communication breaks down. Then, trust does not establish. We need to remember to have a deep sense of listening.


Tom: How can we make ourselves better heard?

Dr. Ginny: Become better listeners, because when we listen—and I’m going to the physics of this—we vibrate with someone. When we vibrate with someone, that means that we are making an internal map of them. We’re getting a sense of them. We’re taking them inside ourselves. This mostly passes beneath conscious awareness, but it’s happening anyway.

When we match what we say to what we’re hearing and we match frequencies, then we can be heard. We don’t bounce off and deflect, with the other person coming back saying, “Huh? What?” And, if we do get that reaction, we notice it because we are in tune.  We can pause and say, “Wait, I think I just said something that thudded with you. Let’s go back …”  So, we can start to play in that dialogue. When people feel listened to and heard, they get smarter, and they get more generous. They get more open. They relax more. They get connected.

In this time of technology speeding us up, it’s necessary for us to slow down, which means slow down our breathing, pace ourselves, fall into time, not fight with it.  With the right inner condition, we avoid being distracted by the noise, texts, emails and more.


Tom: Is there something about your work with Resonate, that you’d like to share now?

Dr. Ginny: I’ve been living and breathing resonance as I’m writing a book titled, Resonate. And this month, August, is a pre-order campaign for the book that I’m running on Publishizer, which is a crowd-sourcing platform for books. What is so important about this campaign is that it is a way for this book to literally Resonate with more people. It is at

[You can join Dr. Ginny in her work by becoming a subscriber and pre-ordering Resonate at She has bonus gifts related to the levels of purchase.]

We have only unil Aug 30 to get 1,000 pre-orders. This is a challenge, and it calls for a lot of people sharing with a lot of people. I super-appreciate your efforts ,Tom, to get the word out on this.

What my book, Resonate, talks about—which is related to what we’ve talked about today —is that resonance is underneath the change that we want to make when communicating with people. It’s also the underlying princicple to the change or difference we want to make in the world.

Secondly, it’s about how you and I can become more resonant beings through internal training and exercises that are in the book. It’s about how we can integrate, tune and tame ourselves, so we become much more resonant beings.

The third part covers how we can apply our more resonant selves to realizing better relationships, our goals and dreams—and the difference we want to be in the world.

I feel that this idea of Resonate grabbed me at this time for a reason. There’s a sense of urgency I feel in this time—maybe you feel it and many of us feel it. We look around at the dysfunctions and polarizations of our systems and society . We look at the heating up our planet, and we see the inequities in our social systems. There’s no time to waste in getting more of us resonating with connected wisdom, rather than fear-stoking separation. We can’t keep going on the way we have been and think everything is going to be okay.  We simply have to do what we can to create and leave a better world. We belong to each other on this one planet. Helping people feel that wholeness and connectedness in themselves, and bring out the difference that is their’s to make, is what Resonate, is about.

Interviewer: Tom Marcoux, Spoken Word Strategist and Executive Coach
CEO, International Speaker-Author of 47 Books
Tom Marcoux and his Co-host Johanna E. present Episode #50 “Succeed Even If You’re Tired, Afraid or Feeling Rejected”

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