We all know how important it is to nurture a sense of belonging within our bodies. The language may register at a certain level, perhaps cognitively in the mind. Yet there comes a time in our journey when things we understand in the mind must be anchored down into the body. Having a felt sense of the concepts that our minds have come to understand, is essential.
For instance, this concept of a sense of belonging. We may understand what this means in our heads; the idea of safety, security, and protection. This can be understood cognitively as a relationship. We have relationships to each other, to our human family, to the larger more-than-human world, and to this beloved planet. These relationships create constellations in which we can feel varying degrees of belonging.
Moving the sense of belonging from a cognitive definition into a felt experience is a process with no end. Like life, it is a work in progress, and we can only continue to deepen into the practices that sustain our health and well being with a strong will.
So, let’s have a look at three different signs that you are experiencing a felt sense of belonging, in order for you to amplify awareness around what the felt sense really feels like in the body.
- Relaxed Nervous System
The first sign we’ll look at is the state of our nervous system. Within a constellation where we belong, and feel that sense of belonging, we will likely be experiencing a relaxed nervous system across the board. We will not be experiencing any fight or flight responses (or at least minimal).
- Muted Internal Dialogue
The second sign that we’re experiencing a sense of belonging has to do with our internal landscape. Sometimes our monkey mind can run a muck. We all know this feeling, when thoughts seem to think themselves and they move at a mile a minute. Well, usually when we’re feeling that sense of belonging, the monkey mind is able to take a rest. There is way less mental chatter, and more spaciousness in our minds for present moment awareness. We experience more inner harmony that is in response to the harmony that surrounds us. It’s a feedback loop, and we feel it.
- Open-Hearted Authenticity
The last sign that we’ll explore together is about our ability to express authentically. When we’re in a relationship, group, space or place in which we belong, it will be easier for us to speak our truth. Authentically expressing comes more easily, due to the air of acceptance and inclusion that would be present. When we accept each other as we are and feel inclusivity toward each other, there becomes more space for our hearts to express their authentic voice. We feel this as a sensation of open-heartedness, where our heart space is emanating a coherence that is in harmony with the field around us.
There you have it! May those three signs serve to support you in celebrating how you fit within your constellations, whether in 1:1 relationships, groups, your affinity communities, or team dynamics.
It feels like a common sentiment to feel time passing quickly, doesn’t it? For many of us, it feels like the days are long and the years feel short. That time sometimes slips by us before we even hear the clock ticking. This feeling of time flying can be grounded in practice. Practicing the art of recognition, of acknowledgement, is something we’re being invited into now.
From one day to the next, one week followed by the one after, and each month continuing to unfold, we don’t often give ourselves a beat to recognize where we are. Well, consider this your invitation. We’re midway through the year, well into Summer up here in the Northern Hemisphere, and perhaps there’s a fair amount of change and transformation worth recognizing. Can you recall any goals you set out toward? Back in January, we entered into a new year and with it, likely felt a sense of commitment to something new. How is it all unfolding? Can you see the unfolding reflected in the people you surround yourself with? There are ways we can see our ongoing progress in the mirror of our friends and loved ones.
Celebrating the Little Wins
We’ve been conditioned to celebrate life’s large thresholds we cross and holidays, like when we graduate from high school or Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Yet, what about the little moments? The ‘little wins’ that are still worthy of acknowledgement. How can we create more space for these celebrations? It’s less a matter of creating a whole holiday celebration around completing your to-do list, as much as it’s an invitation into consistent recognition of the small things.
When smaller tasks are completed, can we create some space to celebrate? Can we pat ourselves on the back and acknowledge the completion?
We know that when things are completed with clarity of closure, it creates deeper and wider space for the next birthing. So, let’s be sure to celebrate and acknowledge each little win, so that our successes will continue to grow into their most expansive versions of themselves!
Self-reflection and Community
Doing this internally, with oneself, is the prerequisite for showing up in community this way. Once we become familiar with this practice of self-acknowledgement and gratitude expression, we are more poised to share this with community. The ecosystems we are woven into are permeated with our deeper sense of acknowledgement on our path. When we acknowledge our own journey, we bring that frequency into our community structures. When each step is acknowledged and celebrated (even the steps where we stub our toes or twist our ankles), we’re able to learn how to carry a rhythm all together, walking in harmony and beating our drums to the pace of our own heartbeats.
As we come to the conclusion of Winter, it’s easy to look around and wonder why we didn’t spend more of this beautiful time of year outdoors. However if you’re like me, that is to say, if you like to be WARM, then maybe you aren’t wondering about this at all. The fireplace, a book, and a warm cup of tea suits me very much, thank you.
Despite my hesitation to experience chilly limbs, however, I ventured out to Mt. Hood for some much needed recreation and outdoor therapy last weekend. As I was cross-country skiing around Teacup Lake, with big gusts of wind blowing piles of snow off the laden branches, I thought I might be miserable as a result. To my delight, what I discovered, however, was elation.
Falling Victim to Negative Ego
When we find ourselves in trying or stressful times throughout our lives, it can be difficult to separate the bodily sensation of stress from the mental stories we make up about why this circumstance is happening, of all the possible people on this Earth at this moment, to us.
In short, it’s easy to fall victim to our thoughts of “less than” and “not enough” and “this sucks, I’m out.” The negative ego has endless and devious ways of infiltrating our thoughts. It attempts to replace our connection with the eternal, divine self meant to uplift and expand our potential with that of a limited, narrowly focused ego bystander meant to keep us alive and safe, that’s all.
What the Lineage of King Soloman teachings help us to understand is the importance of context (the objects and people we surround ourselves with) and the benefit of a ‘pause’ between thought and action. You always have a choice to act on your thoughts, and this includes the words you tell yourself or otherwise verbalize to whoever happens to be listening at the moment.
Here’s a quick exercise to redirect negative thought patterns. Since no one wants to be around negativity, but some people aren’t aware when they’re in it, this can help you get back on track quickly before negatively impacting yourself and others.
Redirecting Negativity Questions:
- How am I feeling right now?
- What is the impact?
- How do I want to be feeling?
- What thoughts, words, and actions will lead to me experience that desired state of being?
Surrounding myself by the beauty of nature helped me to see and learn this lesson in a vast and unforgiving, if beautiful, space. We can’t reasonably expect a mountain to stop spitting snow on us, so we learn to adapt and make the best of it.
Through the above awareness-building process I discovered I wanted to experience wonder and awe on the mountain. So rather than tell myself how miserable I must be in this cold and wet place, I chose to experience with wonder the beauty of the whirling snow and the power of the mountain winds churning untold numbers of tiny unique snowflakes all around me. As I mentioned, the result transformed my experience.
When we raise our awareness, what naturally results is alignment with our divine self. For me, that occurs like freedom: freedom from the tyranny of my ego mind that wants to keep me safe but results in keeping me small when I could be soaring on the wings of purpose, passion, and grace.
How have you redirected negatively lately? Please share in the comments below!