All of you is welcome here

Nov 21, 2017

 

I’ve been feeling frustrated with my social media feeds lately.

 

There’s so much fucking Love and Light.

 

(sun-lit fields and yoga poses and paragraph upon paragraph of wisdom)

It’s blinding me.

(I will be the first to admit that this probably bothers me so much because I am complicit in it)

 

I want to say that I love Love and Light as much as the next person 

and I’ll be the first to agree that we are living in dark times, and that perhaps a counter-effort is required.

 

And yet something doesn’t sit right with me.

 

Because there’s a kind of Love and Light that we use to cope with our own discomfort

rage

grief

hurt 

confusion

rather than to sit with others in their darkness.

 

The Love and Light I’m thinking of washes over complexity with the un-nuanced brush of positivity.

At best, it’s naive.

And at worst, it’s damaging.

 

When we the privileged offer up Love and Light

(especially the kind that’s proferred in a comments box)

to those who lack what we may have in

safety

shelter

race

money

health

ability

we fail to see others as whole

and we fail to create safe spaces for those who are in darkness

who do not see themselves represented in our positive worldviews.

 

I think it takes something more, or different, than Love and Light

to venture into the darkness

to get to know it

to get comfortable there.

 

The light I want to carry into the darkness isn’t the blinding glare of denial,

but the light that becomes apparent when our eyes adjust

a light that was there all along.

 

Here, in this light, all of you is welcome.  The dark parts, too, ever so softly lit.

This light gently uncloaks shame.  It holds fear until fear loses its hold.

In this light, you can be both and.  

Your grit is as welcome here as your grace.

You can just show up.  The dark parts too.

All of you is welcome here.

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes

 

Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging

 

Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!