Wanted: Really Messy Shit

Nov 1, 2016

Wanted: Really Messy Shit | www.nalumana.com


I have a confession to make:


I’m a fixer.


I like to take people’s problems, the pains they’re experiencing, their challenges, put a BandAid on them, tie them up in a nice neat bow and send them on their way.

Newsflash:  as someone who dedicates their career to holding space for women as they go through major life transformations, both as a doula and as a coach, being a fixer is BAD.  Really bad.

Because fixing people’s problems for them is fundamentally disempowering to them.

And it denies the inherent complexities that constitute all of our lives.  None of us are simple creatures with simple problems to which simple solutions can be applied.

If that were the case, eating less and moving more would ensure weight loss, sincere apologies would mend wounds, and career dissatisfaction would be solved with a quick browse through the classifieds.

But sitting with complexity is hard.


Sitting with other people’s pain, sorrow, confusion, and discontent, letting them feel it, feeling it with them, and allowing them the space to find their own messy way out of it is hard.


For me, this is a practice that I engage in every day.  For me, it’s about breathing deeply and allowing silence and asking good questions and getting curious and closing my eyes and feeling my feet on the ground and just getting okay with what is.  As it is.  

And, increasingly, I’m able to do just that.  Increasingly, I’m able to sit with the messy shit, and let it be.  And trust that the messy shit will work itself out…or not…with no more help from me than the space I hold and the light I shine.

What about you?  How do you deal with messy shit?

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!