Reclaiming the silence

May 17, 2016

Reclaiming the silence |

It’s 4a.m.


I’ve been awake for an hour, and surrender has washed over me.  I know I’m not going to be returning to bed tonight.

I have my small boy in my arms, and he has finally found his way into a peaceful sleep, huffing and sighing the slumber of a baby cutting teeth and learning new things and made restless by any number of other monumental changes in his tiny life.

And I’m wishing, somewhat frantically, that I had my phone with me.


I flip between mindfulness – noticing how laughably (and sadly) lost I feel without stimulus – and sheer desperation, plotting a stealthy move back upstairs to retrieve it, hoping that I don’t wake my wee one along the way.

He snuffles a little, and stirs, and I take a breath.  I sit still.  I sit inside my discomfort.  I make a nest there and look down at the parted lips of my sweet baby, his impossibly long eyelashes.  I look out the window and imagine my neighbours, snuggled, snoring, dreaming.  Gratitude for warmth wraps me in my grandmother’s fleece shawl, which I am thankful to have remembered to toss over my shoulders on my way downstairs, which I am thankful is the symbol of maternal comfort in our house.  My children know to calm their bodies and slow their breath at its softness on their cheeks.

I daydream, a little, about the many cups of tea I will drink this morning, once the sun shines through the windows, in an attempt to shake off this sleepless night.  

I wish I had my phone again.

(a work in progress, this is).

But it’s a lesson, nonetheless.  A realization that I have been too quick to grab for its familiar shape and glowing screen, for the mindless scrolling made justified when I convince myself that I am “looking for inspiration” or “networking.”  I have lost, hopefully only for a short time, the ability to let silence and softness and darkness just be.

I remind myself that it is in this silence and softness and darkness that my intuition awakens.  It is where inspiration lives, and gratitude, and spaciousness, and self-awareness.  It is where I can go to feel found when I feel lost.  It is where time stops and my children stay children, innocent, with impossibly long eyelashes, huffing in their sleep.  It is 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!