Rites of the Heart (and other invisible revolutions)

Oct 13, 2020



Not every radical life transformation comes with


a new job title

a baby

a new home

a presence or an absence that can be seen and felt

a visible change.


I call these rites of the heart.


They’re the times of deep change in our lives that are often invisible, and sometimes even unspoken.

They’re a change of heart, a change of mind, a change of spirit.


I believe that more and more women are experiencing rites of the heart – a powerful awakening to the call of their own souls that sometimes results in a trickle-down of tangible, visible changes,


but begins from the inside out.


Feeling different or knowing different or being different but not necessarily having something to “show” for all these radical internal shifts can often make it harder to navigate this type of life transformation.

Hidden transformation allows us to remain hidden, denying new truths lest they disrupt the lives we’ve built for ourselves and other peoples’ ideas of who we are.

Inner shift requires a different kind of vulnerability as we shed old skins and walk out into the world we’ve always known, which may be unchanged while we are tender and new.

Rites of the heart may shift our sense of belonging in the families and communities and relationships we once found our home within and call us to courageously communicate our becoming and renegotiate our identity among those with whom we surround ourselves.


Awakening is a bravehearted act.


If you are experiencing a rite of the heart right now,


know that you are not alone.


In fact

you are among the many

(so very, very many)



who are also awakening.

Who are saying

no more of that

more of this, please

You are among the many

(so very, very many)



whose rites of the heart

are becoming


a revolution.

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!