What creates belonging? How do we know we belong? I feel that I have seen two places that are so very important for myself and the people I work with. First, one must be able to see, understand and love oneself. This is not just a trite saying or new age concept. It is a journey into our deepest shadow with love and compassion and eventually a complete acceptance of who we are and why we are. We must witness ourselves and be witnessed by the community. We must also witness others in seeing themselves, as well as being of service to each other in multiple fashions. We feel belonging when witnessing each other, witnessing ourselves, and truly being in service to the village. It’s not about changing ourselves, it’s about truly witnessing the deepest parts of ourselves (and our collective consciousness) and listening with compassion and curiosity. We must walk toward each other even in the discomfort. We must walk into our darkness, our shadow, and trust.
Are you ready to walk toward one another? Are you tired of running away from how you feel? Another important aspect of belonging and healing is learning to walk toward each other versus run away from each other. I integrate this in my work through teaching, modeling listening, learning to repair, and then learning how to co-create resolution and cultivate personal responsibility. Loving yourself does not always equal walking away from relationships. Walking into the fires and courageously looking at what’s there can sometimes be the most transformative and self-loving experience we can have.
We answer these questions together through mindfulness practices such as meditation, looking at our mark on the earth, our bodily and spiritual nourishment, and our direct interaction with nature.
My practice aims to witness grief together, to find “a relationship” to grief, together. We do this as the observer and the griever. As I become closer to my grief, I experience it as a movement that must be activated so the body can make space for the spectrum of what we came here to feel: joy, peace, anger, and more. Grief was meant to be witnessed, meant to be felt and metabolized. When grief is not expressed or complete, a person finds themselves stuck in certain places; symptoms include irrational anger and irritation, overreacting to situations, addictions, distrust, numbness, and depression. On a more global level, we find unexpressed grief turning into war, apathy and genocide.
Take a moment right now, if you can, and consider all the places in your personal life, in your relationship to the planet where you hold grief. Do you have unexpressed grief that needs witnessing?
My second question to you is what is your connection to the planet, to your nature, to your wildness? Where did your people come from? What places are you indigenous to? What is the planet longing for from you that is yours to give?
When we work together, we will explore this ancestral lineage and delve into the burdens and healings that are possible, for you and those you’re connected to.
We answer all these questions through IFS therapy, through grieving, through meditation, through ancestral unburdening, and more.