June 6, 2013

We Belong to Everything.


Belonging: Yoga shapes it, Writing informs it.

“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.”

~ John O’Donohue

I had a great chat on gmail tonight with a dear young friend—I say young because I am a year or two older than her mother.

The light she shines surprises and delights me. Tonight she said: “I’m realizing I belong to everything.”

I took a breath—I stopped in my heart and my heart moved to thought.

So much of life when young was a struggle to belong; in fact, as a freshman I came to the conclusion that I was not supposed to have a feeling of belonging to anyone or anything.

To hear my friend say she realizes she belongs to everything held the beauty of a meadow in the suburbs. The houses belong. The cars belong. The stores and highways all belong. And the trees and meadows and birds and sun, all belong.

It all fits, this crazy world, this playground we call earth.

Today, I find belonging in yoga.

As a teacher, I build community with my students and they give me a sense of belonging. My practice has built the bridge between my body and mind so my heart can be at peace resting as the bridge between the two. I belong in my body whereas before I could not tolerate being conscious in it.

I don’t practice at a studio, but I teach at several places and love all of the places where I teach. I go to work with a smile and hope—I love teaching when I have 15 students or when building a class, and just have one.

I love the kids I teach. I love the seniors. I love the young people who are tender and strong.

And my writing and the community of writers I have met help me understand this life. My muse never leaves me. The process unfolds meaning because meaning sits patiently and waits for us to find her.

For so much of my life I lived with quiet despair. I thought suicidal thinking was a rite of passage until I got in my thirties and learned that most don’t ever visit that ledge, or travel the road of doubting life’s value by living in its void.

We belong to everything.

How beautiful is that? We belong to the trees and the buildings. We belong to our families and friends and we belong to those we barely know. We belong in the traffic jam and in the yoga studio. We belong on Facebook. We belong to our mindfulness practice. We belong like the moon belongs to night with the promise the sun will show her face, day after day.

Life is not always easy. But we belong to the darkness as well as to the light.

Yoga teaches me belonging is always held in the breath. Writing shows me it’s okay to breathe when I am fearful and to breathe when I am joyful.

Yoga gives me my spirit in my body. Writing gives me my spirit in my heart.

What could be better? As the saying goes, we are spiritual beings in a human body. My life has steered me in a boat that keeps me with the sea, where I can float or sail or ski, remembering what we’ve heard about the ocean: we are like a wave and a wave is the sea and the sea is made of waves. We all belong. We’re all one.

Poet David Whyte on Belonging:


Like elephant Spirituality on Facebook.


Ed: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: via Michele on Pinterest}


Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Edie Lazenby  |  Contribution: 20,715