Weave a Culture of Belonging

Illustration Credit: May Pole by Jennifer Davis

Decades ago, I spent a year exploring spiritually rich, off-the-beaten-path adventures in search of the sacred in India, Bali, Nepal, and Tibet. These cultures that changed me forever all had elaborate and intricate spiritual histories and rich traditions of music and dance, but a common denominator that jumped out at me again and again was a cohesive, inclusive fabric of connection and relating that honored the natural world. In this fabric, truth and expression were multilayered and multidimensional. Things were not “this or that”—they were “this and that.” Dances were also songs and invocations, and we-the-living understood ourselves to also be the breath and beating heart of the ancestors who came before us and will come again, all of us born of a living earth.My body’s response to the rather enormous paradigm shift was a distinctly memorable full exhale of “I really am welcome here, I really do belong,” versus the familiar held-breath of “how do I measure up?” Even more profoundly, I was opened to my own joyful tears of “I AM all of this, and all of this IS me.” Whether “all of this” was the perfec …

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