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Jun 5, 2018


When I am wearing a scarf wrapped around my shoulders



When I am writing

When I remember to dab the space between my breasts with lilac-scented perfume

When I am standing at the front of a room, teaching and sharing knowledge

When I hear nothing but the crunch of my boots on a path and the mourning doves echoing their sweet love songs back and forth


This is when I feel most at home.


This is when I feel most myself.



I’ve been deeply curious about the idea of belonging for several years now.

It started, I think, when I realized that I had lived in the place I do now for seventeen years

the same number of years I lived in the place I had always thought of as home.

I had lived apart from my family of origin for that long, too

and yet I still felt as though this place I live and the web of new familial connections I had spun were somehow temporary.


I felt a bone-aching loneliness when I realized that home was a place and a family I no longer knew as intimately as I once did.


As a balm,


I turned toward tending my new roots.

I learned about how my own ancestry intertwined with that of my adopted land many generations ago

and wondered about how my ancestry might have unconsciously influenced not just the ground I walk on today

but also my curiosities and inclinations and gifts.


As a balm,


I realized that the resilience to my lost sense-of-place lay in belonging to myself

and so I set out to make peace with who I have become

to accept her unconditionally

to show up and tend to her body and her soul so as to coax her out of hiding

and give her the courage to stand tall and wild.


As a balm,


I redefined mothering

as something I could do for myself

and I found the First Mother

in the limbs of trees and the lapping of the waves.


With every barefoot step

brave word

creative act

and ancient remembering


I am coming home to myself.

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!