"Belonging. What does that mean? As David Whyte discovers in his extraordinary book 'crossing the unknown sea', we feel the gravitational pull towards the centre of our being the more we begin to live following the truth of who we are.
We are living in a time when our sense of who we are and the bigger, truly existential question, of where do we belong, to what and whom, grows more urgent.
Does belonging depend upon the colour of our skin, our religion born into and/chosen, our class, status, income bracket? Does it ripple out from the families we create and choose? Our vocation, careers, work? How we invest our time? Where we place our attention, a laser beam of luxury, freedom and privilege where we can pick at, like a buffet, and serve ourselves plates of what feels familiar, comforting and safe.
Is it enough to say we belong to the human race anymore? And then look away, busy ourselves with matters closer to home, half blinded by the understandable helplessness that strikes another human. Another life. Another world.
What does it mean to belong?
By simply being born, and that's a whole other story or stories, we are part of a conversation of belonging to life each other and the world. By who we are. By the words that we speak. By the actions we take. The course we traverse willingly or with great grudge. By the work that we do. By the art, words, and expression that we offer. It's all a part of the great living conversation. The conversation of belonging.
When we do not add to this conversation, for fear of the repercussions, we live a life crouched down, a life squinted and misshapen. We cower away, not desiring to rock the boat, the ocean liner, that carries us on the greater voyage of belonging, destination unknown. The boat marked 'in this together'..."
(Published to Elephant Journal. To continue reading head here :-))
mPerhaps our only security is in joy.
Let me explain. I had a realisation the other day, that it seems to me that life (God, Spirit etc) always responds to us when we say yes to that which makes us smile. That flutters our heart, that makes us feel a certain oneness, solidity. A kinda ‘just this’, exact, and very ordinary, absolute ok-ness with everything as it is. Nothing is missing. Nothing more is needed.
This is joy.
And the more that we say hell yes to this joy, it’s as if that mystical, magical, unfathomable force, goes, ‘you like that hey!? You appreciate this my love? Well have some more ok??’ and lo and behold, more of that good stuff, comes in. A bit like one of those supermarket rewards cards. But with points for ze juicy life stuff rather than toilet rolls and humous!! ;-)
Maybe it’s our natural state of being. Maybe when we whine and moan and winge and stomp our feet and pout our lips in defiance and resentment and cries of ‘not enough/it’s not fair/why me!??!!’ the more it seems that we are acting like spoilt childish brats, ungrateful and unlovely. And we know how annoying those are don’t we, bless ‘em! ;-)
Now don’t get me wrong. I can, and still do, fall into brat mode. Usually it really does feel like I’ve slid from mature adult woman into small sulking kid and resentful jealous teenager. More times than I might ordinarily admit, if I’m being honest with you!!!
But it’s occurring to me more and more, that when I’m in appreciation, gratitude and joy, everything changes. Life becomes more expansive and beauty-full. And effortless. That last one is the place that feels like home, a relief, and where my shoulders fall back down and my jaw relaxes its stubborn tension.
Choosing joy also brings miracles. I’ve witnessed this in my own life this last year or so. Choosing to say yes to that which is truly born from my true heart desires, even though it seems impossible, has not yet let me down! Even if that which I’ve been drooling over has taken time to manifest, it has done so. Opportunities have come in. Unexpected financial flurries have arrived. There’s a sense that life comes in to meet us, if we’re in a receptive open and gloriously available state. If we are living in and with a curious nod of generosity. This, for me, seems to be the landscape of joy!
Now let’s talk about security. If I place my trust in joy it feels like I’m being looked after by a force not in my control. Like I’ve said, it feels magical. Otherworldly. Grace. Love.
And it doesn’t depend on the shifting shenanigans of anything outside of me.
Holy moly!! ;-)
But what have we been taught? Certainly not to follow and trust joy! Oh boy no! We’ve been taught to place our trust in matters of worldly matter. In things that apparently are in our control. That are tangible and stable and safe. Like money. Jobs. A relationship. A title. A mortgage. You know the ones I’m sure!
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating to let go of these with a maniacal laugh. That would be folly darlings. And stupid. We need our ground. We have to pay our bills, eat, house and look after our loved ones. Contribute to our community and the world. But what if we’ve clung so tightly, dug our nails in til they’ve gone white, to that which, by its very nature, can never ever be secure? Stockmarkets rise and fall, as do interest rates, taxes blah blah blah. Businesses go bankrupt, cuts are often made, electricity prices go seemingly up up up like a crazy thing!!!! Relationships are want to being out of our control too, as we are all too aware of I’m sure!! People move away, change, even die. And, I know it’s one of the highest forms of spiritual freedom, but, has anyone truly deeply madly captured the absolute ability to have non attachments to our loved ones??!! Really?! I even had a conversation with a dear friend last night about how much my nearly 46 year old teddy means to me. Like I’d run inside my burning home to save it (never have quite worked out if teddy is a boy or a girl. I guess you could say it’s a ‘they’ if we’re being all modern about such matters! :-)).
And what about our health? Yes we can certainly make the choices that are good for our health and wellbeing. We can tend to and care for our physical, emotional and mental health. That helps of course. But it won’t stop life from sledgehammering us with its roller coaster lunacy. With its odd ailments and illnesses. And as much as those glossy photoshopped ads try insidiously to make us believe, we cannot stop the strange process of ageing and it’s beat up effects on all of our faculties. And then there’s death. That one is most certainly out of our control!! :-D
Life is both brutal and beauty. Painful and pleasurable. Bitter and sweet. Happiness and sadness. Hopeful and disappointing. Life is both cruel and kind. It both doesn’t make sense and it’s incredibly simple. It’s the very nature of this game of duality! And we’ve all chosen, in some bizarre and lucky lottery, to be here now. To say ‘yep bring it on!’ to it all.
And let me be clear here. There is absolutely pointless and indescribable suffering ahappening all the time, that is true unfortunately. There are dangerous fools playing doctor evil with our lives and the earth, yes. Let us not forget that our modern ‘civilised’ society likes to keep us hypnotised under the acidic and toxic veil of the smoke of fear and terror. To keep feeding the illusion that they have the power. And that we have no choices. But we do darlings, we oh so do. As long as we keep believing that they are controlling us, we remain tethered by puppeteer strings to their macabre train crash seaside show!!
Is this where you really want to place your trust and sense of security? Tell me, how’s that working out for you? (If it’s working out rather grandly for you then good for you. But in all seriousness, I am curious. Let me know :-))
But I’m not saying to walk around with your head in the clouds of fantasy. Nope. That doesn’t work either. Too ‘all is love with sugar sprinkles on it’ just gives a poisonous taste, a belly ache, and a need to slap back down to earth the one with that banner!! We have to be rooted in reality. Remember?
But we can still choose joy. In our hearts. To steer the ship.
So maybe joy is where our security lies. Underneath everything. The ground from which all experience arises. The foundation floor that takes our foot stomping razzmatazz and quick steps. And maybe this ground of joy lights up like one of those 70’s disco floors, with all the colours of our textured lives. Red and green and blue and yellow and orange and…
We might as well dance on it! It’s a goddamn disco floor folks!!! ;-)
At the end of the day it’s completely our choice whether to focus on one particular colour til it dements us into dementia. Tis this choice that gives us power my loves. But instead of the flashing colours of human suffering, maybe we can choose the floor itself, the grit of the ground, the joy, and perhaps find some wisdom and saucy dance moves when the blue light of grief hits, or the red of rage, or the yellow of fear etc. As I say, tis our choice. It’s our choice.
And see what life offers to you in response.
See you on the dancefloor folks :-) xxx
Aho HH xx
P.S. Do you know that joy is one of the side effects of working with me? I can support you, walk, talk and dance with you, to create your life as art, your art as life, and find that root and well spring of joy. It’s part of the creative genius map. And you, my dear, are a creative genius. It’s just that we forget. That’s all. Tis human of us. We all need to be reminded from time to time. I bless my tribe and teacher for my reminders with deep deep appreciation every day. And joy :-)
Thanks for reading if you’re still here :-). Fancy sharing this? Go ahead and spread that joy love darlings 💖💖💖
Thank you. Heidi Hinda x
Heidi Hinda Chadwick
Creativity. Sexuality. Life. Art. Soul. Love.