A few months ago, as I was on the way to a workshop in Colorado, I was feeling a bit excited and a bit lonely and nervous. I didn't know anybody who was going to attend the workshop, and I didn't quite know what to expect when I got there. On the drive up, I was listening to Nahko and Medicine for the People. It was an album I had not heard before, and the song that was about to start right before I lost signal was called Mitakuye Oyasin. I arrived at the retreat center where the workshop was being held, walked a few feet down a path toward registration, and saw a small sign next to a bench. The sign said Mitakuye Oyasin. It explained that these words, translated from the Lakota language mean, "All my relations," or "Everything is related." The synchronous appearance of this phrase I had never heard twice within 30 minutes, gave me a sense of belonging to the world and made me feel less lonely. I left the workshop early due to a family emergency that was causing me some worry. On the way back the airport the song began to play, again making me feel like everything was okay and that I belonged. Here is a video of the lead singer performing the song:
This week's belonging reminder:
This week's practice suggestion:
- Find a song that gives you a sense of belonging and play it for yourself. Really take in the sound, the lyrics (if there are any), the way it makes you feel. Put your complete attention into the song.
- Make yourself a whole belonging playlist! It doesn't matter what the songs are or whether they would give someone else a feeling of belonging. Find songs that resonate with you!