How did we go from being a part of this greater earthbody to feeling apart from her? And how might we practice belonging ourselves back to the ecosystem? Our overemphasis on rationalism has sent the feeling life into atrophy, but it is the feeling capacity which connects us to empathy. This empathy is essential to our interrelatedness with each other and all living beings. It is the sense of interbeing with a group or place that makes us feel cheerfully responsible for it. We are called to serve it with our lives. Without feeling connected to other forms of life, they become expendable. And isn’t that feeling of being expendable at the root of our personal exile as well? “

– TokuPa Turner – Belonging – Remembering Ourselves Home.”

These past two years, I have been on a path of consciously exploring this topic on belonging.  I found a somatic teacher who helped me deepen my commitment to this journey.  Along the way as I reflected on it, three layers of belonging came up for me –  belonging to this earth, to a family/tribe and to my self.   

Belonging is an important topic given how isolated we can become even if we live in a place where we are surrounded by many people.  To not belong is a threat to our existence.  Somehow, we need to find our own unique way back to belonging.  My way has been doing the work of honoring my place on this earth and to be  part of this cycle of giving and receiving.

For most of my life, I had not been aware and conscious of the earth body and my own physical body.  It had not been until I started my work in nature and somatics a decade ago that I started to appreciate this earth and all its beings, humans and non-humans. 

I had wondered for a long while about where I really belonged on this earth. It’s been a big question mark on how does one really know where one belongs and why does this matter.  I was born in Asia and then transported myself over to the US to go to college.  Having lived in both worlds, feeling like home was here, there, nowhere and everywhere,  I would often envy those who shared that they knew what home felt like.  To me, home was anywhere I could create a home.  I have now begun to accept that I don’t need to figure this all out. And I have also discovered that I want to deepen my inquiry with my senses to help inform me more.  So, earlier this year, I started my sensory awareness training with my teacher, Lee Lesser.  She’s tying this with climate change.  It’s been quite rich, edgy and timely. 

Some questions have come up for me on this topic of belonging during my journey of sensory awareness:

How am I experiencing my breath in this moment? 

How do I belong to my breath?  

How does my breath belong to me? 

What prevents us from belonging?

How do we belong to the resistance, if resistance arises? 

How do we connect to right now?  

Whatever is present is the opportunity. Don’t have to look very far. Belonging to this moment, to this earth and to this body is quite enough.