What does belonging mean? Is there one way to belong? What exactly is Stories of Belonging?
Belonging as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is a close or intimate relationship. Social psychology defines belonging as our need to be a part of something, a part of a group, to be accepted and supported by a group.
The patron saint of vulnerability, Brenè Brown, defines belonging as “the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness.”
We also love this quote by Toko-pa Turner who wrote the book Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home...
“As we apprentice ourselves to the way of nature, we begin to understand that all of life is in a continuous cycle of giving and receiving. It is the honouring of this cycle that makes us feel at home in ourselves and in relation to the rest of nature. In order to experience true belonging, we must not only acknowledge the gifts we are receiving, but also give our beauty away, no matter how it may be received by others.”
Belonging can be all of these things. It can also be more. For us, belonging is a verb or an action, it is an ongoing practice of relational skill-building whereby we enact our commitments and responsibilities to the people and places we call home.
Belonging is not some destination that we finally arrive at, rather it is a consistent practice of showing up for the greater community of which we’re all a part - Earth. Our sacred relationship to all of creation is an inherent, spiritual birthright that cannot be lost. Belonging is the spiritual journey of reclaiming this birthright.
Stories of Belonging is an exploration of what it means to live in a way that honors the interconnectedness of all things and the pathways available to us for restoring the severed threads of connection and relational bonds that weave us together as one human-earth family.
Who do we have to become in the process of creating a culture that offers a true sense of belonging to all? Questions like this guide our exploration. Have we cracked the code? Not even close. This blog is our personal exploration and story of belonging - to ourselves, to each other, to our community, and to Earth.
We believe in the power of our stories, we believe in the power of your stories. That is why we’re launching this blog; to share our stories of reconnection, remembrance, and homecoming… and with the hope that you might share yours too! We are here to be changed and challenged by one another, to learn and grow together through this beautiful messy thing called life, so your being here is something we do not take lightly…
With that said, we want to express our deepest gratitude for choosing to share this journey with us. Your being here is an affirmation of this offering and the stories that want to be told. It is an honor to have you at our side, reading these words, and co-imagining a more beautiful world in which all beings know their unique place of belonging.
What Will We Post?
Our five primary categories will include:
We’ll post about practices we’ve found helpful, resources we’ve created after much trial and error, and tools we use to get through this thing called life. We’ll also share our thoughts on the books we read, the adventures we take, and the relationships that make us who we are. We’ll talk about our journey of belonging, offer our voices to Earth and our other-than-human companions, and lift up our community in care and celebration.
When will we post?
After much deliberation, we selected Tuesday as our posting day. There’s not a lot of excitement around Tuesday. You’ve made it through your Monday, you haven’t yet made it to hump day, and you’re too far from the weekend to be real animated. Enter a new post from the blog!
We’ll post each week on Tuesday. The post might be about emotional regulation practices to help you when people are trying a hand at your good nature. It could be a guide to setting up a ritual for your new home or to taking back the upcoming holiday from capitalism. It could also be an introduction to a new friend we’ve found in nature. Either way, we’re going to mix it up to keep your Tuesdays exciting!
Look Who’s Talking
There’s more than one wizard behind this curtain, and we all throw in on a post. By our powers combined, we give you Captain Planet! Okay, really we give you a little magic, a little wisdom, a little Earth, and one big story of belonging in all its forms.
When you read our blog, here’s a look at who’s talking:
Jess is our artist, our fairy spirit, our creative genius, and our warrior queen. That pretty picture you just shared from the blog? Jess is the artist behind the camera. That incredible graphic you pinned on Pinterest for later? Jess made it. That poetic and moving reflection that pulls at your heart strings or that powerful call to action that stirs up your inner warrior? Jess wrote it. She is one of those people who strives to see and create beauty in all the world, and she makes our world the most lovely place of all.
Michelle is our healer, our forest nymph, our deep and wise feeler, and our practical guide. Michelle is the holistic therapist on our team, and she is always crafting new ways to connect to both our inner and outer worlds. Michelle brings us back to Earth and ourselves with nature connection practices and embodied ways of living. Much of the practical wisdom and wonder you’ll find in this blog is Michelle.
Lily is our pull-at-the-heartstrings story teller, our flick-of-the-wand editor, our quick-witted word witch, and no-bullshit spider woman sitting at the center of our community web. She’s a little bit of you, a little bit of me, and a little bit of everyone else, too. Lily is the glue that keeps it all together, the community thread weaver, and relationship tender. She’s relatable, down to earth (with a dash of sass), and always knows the right thing to say just when you need it most. Most likely, the dusting of humor, cleverness, and that green witch spell magic is Lily.
For more on who we are and what we’re about, check out our About page.
Other Ways to Belong
If you’re picking up what we’re putting down, there are other ways you can engage with us!
I mean, we highly encourage you to read the blog each week. But we have some other pretty cool jams. *dusts off shoulders*
Community Care Circle: Our monthly virtual circle for our community. We’ll connect on Zoom, facilitate a discussion and experience around a topic inspired by our community, and tend to connections both near and far.
Belonging in Practice: Our 6 week intensive focused on antiracism and political education, facilitated online via Zoom. Next session is coming up in July!
Have something you’d like to see us talk about? Great! We would love to tackle any topic or area you’re craving if it’s in our wheelhouse.
Connect with us
Brown, Brené. Braving the Wilderness. Vermilion, 2017.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, www.merriam-webster.com. Accessed 28 May 2021.
Turner, Toko-pa. Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home. Her Own Room Press, 2017.