For when you’re Both / And

Oct 9, 2018

 

My friend**,

 

You are allowed.

 

You are allowed to be both full of rage and delight

at the same time

You are allowed to love your body one day

and spend a hundred sad minutes in front of the mirror the next.

You are allowed.

To both love and hate being alone

and in the company of others

at the same time.

 

You can be rebellious

and also want desperately to belong.

 

My friend,

you are allowed

to wear lipstick one day

and burn your bra the next.

 

Allowed to be

both fearful and courageous

both unspeakably sad

and yet full of gratitude.

both full of joy

and aching with longing.

both determined and strong

and in need of support.

 

You are allowed to change your mind.

You are allowed to be confusing to those around you –

enigmatic

You are, after all

a human

not a brand.

 

Complex.

 

 

May I?  

May I jolt you out of your right brain for a minute to tell you why?

 

An oft-overlooked hallmark of adult development is our ability to grasp complexity.

 

Truthfully, not every adult reaches this hallmark:  developmental psychologists posit that it is only a small percentage of adults that transition from having a “socialized mind” (aka: caring a lot about how we appear to the world and less about who we most authentically are) to being “self-authoring” – that milestone during which, as Robert Kegan, the guy who came up with this stuff probably did not say, 1) we Give Fewer Fucks, and 2) can hold two opposing thoughts or concepts as both being equally true at the same time.

Which is to say

your complexity is a sign of your growth

and the richness of your character

not a sign that you are inauthentic or confused.

 

We live in a world that deifies authenticity 

but disallows complexity.

A conundrum, to be sure

for those of us who are Both / And

(that is to say, a great many of us, a great deal of the time)

 

But may I say?

 

 

When you can hold both your joy and your pain

your anger and your gratitude

both your positive attitude and your fear

 

It is because,

my friend,

you are all that

 

and you’ve found the grace to allow yourself to expand 

outside the confines of what makes others comfortable

(outside what looks good on Instagram)

outside what makes sense

outside the idealized projection of who you wish you were

and fully into yourself.

The fullness of yourself.

 

And so

Welcome.

Welcome to yourself

beautiful Both / Ands and all.

 

**and if I am honest

Dear Me.

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!