The Heart of Belonging

Posted by | February 05, 2016 | Inspiration, Stories | No Comments

I noticed something that I’d never felt before, about one year ago. It was a feeling. I think? Maybe? I couldn’t be sure, since it was wholly new to me.

It felt very unfamiliar to me: like excitement, mixed with need or hunger. It felt good, and strong, but I couldn’t catch what caused this sensation, exactly. It’s like I was standing in the shadow of something truly great, and experienced that cool twilight in the atmosphere, but couldn’t turn my head to see what giant cast this intriguing silhouette.

I first noticed this intrigue when Meadow began teaching yoga coaching classes on Thursdays. I planned my entire week around these classes. When I sat down onto my yoga mat, I awaited this new, magical visitor, and replayed the video recording of the class every morning before my baby woke up, to feel this way, again.

I concluded that this strange pull that captivated me must derive from Meadow’s yoga coaching classes. This conclusion really didn’t satisfy me. But, I failed to witness any other source.

Now, many months later, I finally can name this emotion.

It’s belonging.

Meadow’s classes are incredibly inspired and deeply healing, but I don’t belong to one person’s yoga coaching class. I belong to yoga coaching.

The belonging feels personal, and intimate, like a pleasant scent that seems familiar, and feels comforting like a welcomed homecoming. I feel it now, writing this blog post based on this week’s Yoga Fire class.

You belong, too. You just may not see it, yet.

To what you belong is with you. Right now.

John O’Donahue says:

The hunger to belong is not merely a desire to be attached to something. It is rather sensing that great transformation and discovery become possible when belonging is sheltered and true.

When belonging is sheltered and true, transformation and discovery become possible.

Without meaning to, I honored and sheltered my belonging by leaning into yoga coaching. I’ve been teaching yoga coaching since last July, formally studying yoga coaching since last October. I’ve witness miracles in my life and the lives of others. I can offer you with certainty that great transformation is happening not just in my life but in the lives of many.

Which brings me to the first lesson I want to offer you.

For those of us who desire transformation, for those of us who yearn for discovery and healing, find to what you belong.

Belonging may be the threshold experience to carry us, to move us that last centimeter where we’re stuck, through the looking glass, and into reality, healing and love.

So, what is belonging? And to what do I belong?

I realize now that this is not the first time I’ve belonged to something other than myself.

It’s just possibly the first time that belonging felt good.

For instance, I’ve belonged to loneliness. I once moved halfway across the country without friends or family, and awoke to a deep sense of loneliness. It had been lurking for a long time. Once I absented myself from the busy-ness of my former life, the loneliness lay, waiting.

I had the good sense not to push past this loneliness by finding false friendships or fast times, and instead, I cried myself to sleep. I bawled behind the wheel of my car, in the parking lot of CVS. I sat in the coffee shop, refilling my empty cup with the darkest roast, carrying that deep ache of my aloneness, severing my heart in two, everywhere I went.

I belonged to that heartache. It owned me. I thought we were constant companions, but in my sleep, my loneliness was hard at work. It grew me deeper toward myself. I found so much freedom through belonging to my loneliness, like an orphan discovering the freedom in not having a conventional family. I felt untethered to explore the wilderness inside of me, that I had, until then, pretended not to notice.

To be human is to belong.

O’Donahue also says, “To be human is to belong.” I agree. Just like we don’t choose who we fall in love with, I don’t think we choose to what we belong.

The heart of our belonging is a fierce embrace, so I’m learning.

And, because we’re human, we do belong to something. Maybe it’s hope. Maybe it’s grief. Maybe it’s the need to forgive your self. Whatever it is, for each of us, it cradles us, and I believe that speaking its name is the reciprocity necessary for our transformation to continue.

Fierce, and unflinching, we all belong, with no promise of a fairy tale ending.

But there is a promise that through the threshold of belonging lies great transformation.

And many brave adventurers have passed through it, before us. Who are we to refuse the call?

About Laurie Beard

just another person doing something she loves

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