working at the confluence of eco-therapy, eco-somatics, and eco-spiritualityworking at the confluence of eco-therapy, eco-somatics, and eco-spirituality
EXPLORING THE RELATIONAL RESILIENCE OF OF ECOSYSTEM ENTANGLEMENT THROUGH ECO-SOMATIC RESEARCH AND COMMUNITY PRACTICE
A HOME FOR RELATIONAL & ECOLOGICAL EMBODIMENT
Way Of Belonging is a home for repairing what has been severed and reconnecting to earth/body wisdom. We seek to nurture our ancestral roots, relational bonds and ecological entanglements by working towards an ecology of connection and care through embodied earth regulation, reconnection, rhythm & ritual.
Our offerings are designed with the intention to:
- nourish our belonging within an interwoven, complex, life-sustaining web of relationships.
- deepen intimacy with the wisdom of our body/lands.
- queer notions of love to include our more-than-human relatives.
- strengthen our connection to the places that nurture us.
- enliven the collective spirit toward rhythmic resonance.
- liberate life energy toward mutual thriving.
BELONGING TO OUR BODIES & THE GREATER BODY OF EARTH
Belonging is the journey of remembering your way HOME and for us that means coming back into rhythm with your own nature through bodyful presence in relationship to earth and the spirit of life.
We come from the perspective that belonging is your birthright and is nature’s intelligence awakened from within.
We facilitate and promote this "awakening" by supporting you to strengthen relational practices (somatic, animist, place-based) that re-integrate fragmented aspects of self back into the wholeness of your ecological landscape/body.
This involves the necessity of slowing down, listening, and re-connecting to the wild, erotic power of being fully awake and alive and supports you to creatively respond and adapt to life changes and challenges.
PURPOSE, PLACE & BELONGING IN AN INTERCONNECTED WORLD
We believe that what ails humanity at this time is a disconnection from our own bodies (mind/body split) and from the greater body of our living earth (spirit/matter split) - the source of our spiritual sustenance and aliveness.
Separation from and domination over nature/body is a core wound stored within the collective soma of humanity. It expresses trauma in myriad ways as it alienates and cuts us off from the intelligence of our ecological nervous system and relational resilience.
We believe that earth is calling to humanity through the collective discomfort & cultural crises of these times and is asking each of us to rise and reclaim our purpose in service to planetary healing.
This means interrogating the oppressive systems that bolster racial capitalism - systems established through genocide, indigenous land theft, colonialism, slavery, exploitation, extraction and war; reorienting our understanding of the world; and transforming ourselves by reclaiming our ecological purpose, place and belonging within the web of all relations.
Born in the Piedmont South, Way Of Belonging is home to the Cape Fear River Basin and is shaped by and responsive to the socio-cultural-ecological landscape in which it grows.
WHAT WE VALUE & PRACTICE
All of life is a sacred dance between the polarities of life & death, light & dark, expansion & contraction, giving & receiving, movement & stillness. We honor the wisdom of Earth's cycles.
We honor the realm of the unseen and remember our beloved dead. We root into where we come from and strive to live in a good way by learning from those who have come before us.
Beauty is the Spirit of Life revealed to us through nature. Communing with nature awakens the soul, inspires us to live reverently, and compels us toward poetic embodiment.
We practice interrelating by expanding our felt sense of self to include the wider ecological web of relationships and queer notions of love to include our more-than-human relatives.
Loving earth means carrying the sacred responsibility of accountability, uplifting the voices of Indigenous people and being in shared struggle towards collective liberation.
Right relationship arises when we see ourselves as belonging to a place to whom we are accountable. We become that place and thus responsive to the needs of our mutual thriving.
We ground our care in the context of interdependence. We offer our creative expressions generously in service to life. We acknowledge and receive gifts with humility and give back in return.
The Art of Listening
We create space in our lives to slow down, lean back, and touch into the heart of silence which allows us to listen for the voice of Earth speaking in and through us.
Play as Prayer
Play opens the heart toward connection and joy. It is a pathway toward communion and fosters innovative forms of exploration in relationship to the spirit of life.
DAILY, WE RENEW OUR COMMITMENT TO:
- loving and protecting Earth and the welfare of all beings
- living mindfully with awareness of our responsibility to defend what is sacred
- drawing strength and guidance from the living Earth, the ancestors and future generations
- birthing new worlds in which all of us belong
- pursuing a daily practice that clarifies the bodymind, strengthens the heart, and supports us to embody our prayers and observe these commitments.
Relationship with Land is at the heart of our work
& this Land is Indigenous Land
Way Of Belonging is currently led by queer, white settlers and are offering this work from the occupied ancestral territories of the Catawba, Eno, Shakori, Tutelo, Sissipahaw, Occaneechi and Saponi Nations, and specifically within the Cape Fear River Watershed of NC.
We approach our nature-based healing work with the understanding that loving earth and each other means carrying the sacred responsibility to understand the present day impacts of our shared history on the lands that we call home.
We recognize that our being here is inextricably linked to the oppression and attempted erasure of Indigenous peoples as well as the horrific legacy of slavery. The processes by which our ancestors came to reside on Turtle Island are steeped in injustice and violence. A commitment to our Community Care Practices is one way that we humbly attempt to repair some of that harm.
We see it as part of our work to learn what it means to be in right relationship, to live in alignment with our deepest held visions, to understand our unique roles in relationship to place, to enact our responsibilities as settler-occupiers on Indigenous lands, and to cultivate authentic relationships of solidarity and shared struggle towards collective liberation.
We are rooted in a commitment to the ongoing work of unsettling whiteness and the ideologies of domination and supremacy that uphold it; dismantling both internalized and systemic manifestations of colonial capitalist violence; and building toward radical visions of the future rooted in collective liberation.
With that being said, our offerings are not spaces for spiritual by-passing or escapism. We seek to ground our spiritual work in the realities of our living world, much of which requires our willingness to get uncomfortable and to create space for the holy shadow - those things that have long been denied and dismissed - to teach and guide us
Michelle Rozek is a queer Mind-Body-Spirit healer, advanced somatic experiencing practitioner (SEP), eco-therapy guide and shadow worker.
As a highly sensitive, introverted intuitive Michelle is attuned to the subtle realms and finds deep peace and clarity in the serenity of nature where she spends much of her time when she's not serving her clients.
Michelle's soul purpose is to serve earth's evolution by supporting others on their healing journey. Gifted with the multi-sensory perception of clairsentience - the ability to feel hidden, energetic and emotional subtleties - Michelle is able to see what is often invisible to most. She also carries the ability to recognize fractal geometric patterns playing out in human behavioral and relational dynamics.
In the in-betweens of everyday life, you can find Michelle wandering in the woods communing with the trees, foraging edible plants and mushrooms, sitting in stillness, working on landscape projects, studying a topic of interest, or sharing a deeply meaningful conversation with a friend. As an eco-sensual she is inspired every day by the way earth moves and nurtres her soul.
Jessica Cudney is a queer, environmental justice activist, transformational coach, multidisciplinary artist, and facilitator. She received her BA in Political Science and Social Justice and Peace Studies at the University of Western in London, Ontario.
Jessica is a member of the NC Alamance NAACP Chapter and sits on the Environmental Justice Committee. She actively supports local Indigenous-led efforts (7 Directions of Service) to protect our communities, Land, and Waters from the threat of fossil fuel industrial expansion, specifically the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
Through her personal practice, Jessica seeks to support folks in creating a life of meaning and purpose; aligning daily practice with deepest held values; making necessary lifestyle shifts that make room for more aliveness and presence; and unlearning conditioned/colonized ways of being that get in the way of thriving. Grounded in social justice values, Jessica challenges and supports clients to take an honest look at themselves, while deepening their capacity to hold themselves and others in loving regard.
In the blissful mundane of everyday life, Jess loves gathering all her friends together to share and co-create intentional, meaningful experiences. She thrives and nurtures her soul by dancing, writing, crafting, and spending time in nature. She is inspired every day by the magic and beauty of earth and delights in capturing the essence of Earth through nature photography.