Welcome to Powerful BE-Longing - formerly known as Prairie Visionary Soul.
While most of us balk at the thought of conformity or changing ourselves to be more like another person or a group of people, most of us also spend a good deal of time feeling verrry uncomfortable and exposed when we don't fit in to a social group we either have to be in (even when it's our family of origin) or want to be in.
We talk a lot about being our self, and how silly our inhibitions are...after all, it's not like someone will kill us for being different, right?
And yet people have been ostracized, cast out, persecuted - and yes, harmed and killed - for being different since the beginning of time. That's a huge generational inheritance for us to carry, even if we have the privilege of living in a fairly liberal and tolerant society. No wonder we get angsty about social occasions and (secretly, at least) fantasize about life as a hermit.
And no wonder we may find ourselves trying to assimilate in order to fit in. No matter how savvy we might be, we are built to adapt for our own safety.
In this show, I talk about that adaptation skill, and unpack the difference between "fitting in" and "belonging." They're not the same thing; we can "fit in" in all the ways that count, and yet still believe we don't belong. And we can experience a beautiful sense of belonging even when nothing about us is congruent with what's around us.
Belonging is it's own thing, and the reason the name of this podcast is Be-Longing is because the way I understand belonging is through our powerful longing to simply BE. Ourselves. No masks, no acting or faking, feeling no pressure from the external, critical gaze.
That longing can never completely be eased long-term, and the hardship of believing that we've finally found our belonging, only to find that that blissful acceptance can only ever be temporary and may even have been delusional in the first place, can feel like the a cruel betrayal.
That heartbreak is the province of the Orphan, an archetype we all carry - some far more than others. In next week's show, I'll begin introducing you more officially to the the Orphan, because that energy within us needs to be brought to light and to love through us so that it isn't driving us continually. Today's show gives some keys to beginning to locate how the Orphan lives within you.
I hope you enjoy, and I hope if you have questions or anything you want to share with me about this show, you'll reach out. I so welcome you!
PS - My Sunday Muse emai on 8/14/22 is about betrayal too. Subscribe here.
PPS - At the end I give a loving and unsolicited plug to the work of one of my favorite teachers and practitioners, Karen (KJ) Hawkwood, whose teaching and work have deeply enhanced my life. and work.
Her most current offering is the Mermaid Adventure, happening in late August 2022, where you can take a deep dive (pun intended) into this mysterious, incredibly impactful, beautiful and also heartbreaking archetype in late that, although not the same thing as the Orphan, is a close blood relative. Her website is karenhawkwood.com
Meet me here:
Instagram at Lisa_Hatlestad
Facebook at Lisa Hatlestad
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to Episode 21 of the show that was formerly known as Prairie Vsionary Soul and is now known as Powerful Belonging. Powerful BE hyphen longing.
So just a side note, I have been tongue tied all day. So we are going to power through the show, and I'm going to do my best.
In this episode, I want to share the origin of the title powerful belonging, and start to unpack belonging and not belonging, and how it relates to the archetype of the orphan, as I understand and talk about and work with it.
So, to me, belonging and fitting in are not the same thing. They're, they're interwoven in this complex relationship to one another. But belonging doesn't mean that you fit in and fitting in doesn't necessarily make us feel like we belong. They’re not the same thing, but they do both have a lot to do with safety, literal safety, like, Will I be injured; is my physical life in danger? And the safety of just being feeling okay. As in, it's okay to be myself, it's okay for me to take up space, it's okay to simply just exist, and not have to put up my guard or pretend to be something I'm not or act perform for anybody.
We are incredibly well equipped to sense into situations to see if we're okay, if we're okay and safe. And there really is no difference to that sensing network within us between physical and social danger. It's same same.
Generations of deadly outcomes resulting from being different in ways that get noticed and persecuted. Generations of that is embedded -are embedded- within us. And it was and in many ways, still is, extremely dangerous for humans to stand out. So we could think of fitting in as a survival skill. Because it plays an enormous role in in human development and history. It's kept us alive as a species. And it's also developed and evolved us as a species and it helps us adapt in order to do those things, you know, because we tend to take on the characteristics and habits and skills of people who are surviving and thriving, so that - so that we can survive and thrive.
And I really want you to see how powerfully this works in us. We all know that apartheid still exists today. Persecution of those who don't fit into a cultural collective standard still exists today. co-option and forced assimilation into a particular culture of other cultures still exists today. Today, and if one person can be oppressed, or killed or harmed because of their being, whether it has to do with race, or religion, or beliefs, or how they do things, what they do, what they don't do, their culture and history - If one person is in danger, because of who they are, then we all are.
And it doesn't matter that many of us live in liberated and liberal societies where differences are mostly tolerated. And it also doesn't matter if we're cognitively aware of any of this or not. We just know it in our bodies. We know it in our bones. It's in our DNA. And that's not even allowing for our personal streams of lineage right like our generational trauma, family trauma, and lessons passed to us by our family. And what we came here with, right?
Like I don't subscribe to the idea that we all just come here as perfectly blank slates and then everything about us is formed by conditioning alone. I believe that we arrived here, along with the obvious set of genes that determines our physical expressions. I believe that we arrive here with an archetypal expression pattern, a way of being that's imprinted within us, and uniquely ours. And that's at work within us, along with the conditioning. And I'm not asking that anyone else take that on as truth. All our theories about human existence and psyches and souls or lack of souls are theories. But what I believe, what rings true to me is, you know, philosophically embedded in all of my work as well. So I want you to know that.
The other thing I want to call out is that if you don't get anything else out of this particular show, I hope you leave with an expanded understanding of and compassion for yourself. Especially if you're someone who experiences strong inhibitions around distinguishing yourself in whatever way. So like being seen, taking up space, having boundaries, speaking your truth, putting yourself out there, all these phrases that we use to describe being and doing things in the world that will get you noticed, strong inhibitions against that do not mean that you're morally weak, or aren't intelligent or aren't evolved, or that something's wrong with you.
And they also don't mean that you're not meant to do all of those things that you want to do all of those things that will make you visible either, okay. We're just all up against eons of generational and collective condition lessons, as, as well as so much else: Our individual environment, conditioning, family history, the predominant culture we grew up in and live in, and so on, and so on, and so on.
We're up against all of that. And we can increase our capacity to tolerate this existential fear, and work with it enough to to do all that we hoped for in life and more. But stop beating yourself up for your fear, or treating it like it's a weakness that you have, okay?
So bringing this back to fitting in and belonging: Our survival skills, like I said, includes sensing for danger and for safety in our environment, both social and physical, and adapting in all the big and small ways that are necessary, and also that are valuable and advantageous for us outside of just staying alive. Fitting in is an adaptive behavior. And it can be an aspirational one. We, we might have similarities already with others, you know, with people in our family and people in our social circles. And those similarities, they do make fitting in more natural and easy. We might not even ever think about it, because it's so there that it's unconscious, but even then, no such thing exists as the 100% Unified one. Right?
Every Collective is made of individuals, each with their own unique characteristics and qualities and preferences, and so on. So the ability to adapt our differences to that of the collective is pretty fucking handy. And it can be really beneficial to us, you know, we can create a social self that better fits into a group are a culture that we want to be in or maybe need to be in, because it will probably increase the overall harmony and help us keep ourselves physically and socially safe as we can.
And I don't know about you, but as an adult. I've never said to myself that, oh, I want to be just like this person or that group. So I'm going to start imitating them and conform, how I look and how I act and how I think and how I behave, to how they look and act and think and behave. You know, it's so natural, we're not really even conscious of it. It's almost banal, you know, beneath our notice, unless our attention is drawn to it.
So I had a friend tell me once, she was looking at some photos I'd taken of myself with peers at an event. And she said, You all look alike. And I was like, What the fuck, you know, I couldn't see it. But after a while, I did understand what she meant there was this serve this certain aesthetic present. So we were all wearing different outfits, our physical features varied widely. But we had dressed uniformly to the culture of the event, and its purpose, and to the other people that we knew were there. At some point, we had made conscious or unconscious assessments, and dress to it. And we do this all of the time.
Sometimes we're told to, like our workplace culture dictates how you're going to groom and dress yourself for work. And if you're in someone's wedding, how you show up that day is probably going to be impacted by the aesthetics of the wedding. I'm trying to think of another example, it's, it's likely that you're not going to show up for a football game, dressed in a ball gown, or scuba gear, right.
But just because we fit into our environment, doesn't mean we feel like we belong. Like I've been in many, many social circles, where I do fit in as much as anyone else in the circle. And I felt like a complete fraud, like an imposter, as they say, you know, even when I shared a good deal of their ideals and their beliefs, even when everyone else in the group, I think anyway, liked me and accepted me. And they all made me feel welcome, and tried to help me feel like I belonged. But I didn't feel like I belonged.
And, ironically, I've felt very much like I belonged in certain places at certain times, even though I didn't necessarily fit in at all, with anyone or anything around me.
So what is this belonging, if it's not fitting in? Belonging to me is personal, and it doesn't have anything to do with qualities that we have that match or don't match the collective qualities of any group or individual. It also, I think, doesn't come from mindset alone, you know, how we choose to think of ourselves in relation to our surroundings. You know, I think that there's truth in that our sense of belonging is influenced by our conscious thinking. But I also think that that's a kind of limiting way to see our nature and our humanity.
You know, it's not just mindset alone. So the reason that I put a hyphen between Be and longing in the title of this podcast, which I took from the title of a workshop I did on belonging a couple years ago, is because our sense of belonging really rests on a longing to be to just be as we are; you know, no acting, no performing, no imitating, no assimilating. And we live in a world where that that kind of being is just unsafe, like I talked about at the beginning of the show.
So at best, are just being will earn us at least one arched eyebrow and some mild disharmony, maybe even mild disapproval from at least one person at some point, right. And at worst, it can get us killed, depending on who and what isn't, you know, what's around us? And like I've said, we know this in our bones. We haven't evolved beyond that yet, and it's highly likely You that we never will not totally.
But we long for that always. It's, it's like this perfect home where we were and we could just be. And it was just so wonderful. We took it all for granted though, because we didn't have to think about it. But at some point, we get banished from that. And then we go through life trying to get back to that and get back to it permanently. But as long as we're alive, we never will, because we can't, you know, we can have periods of feeling like we belong. But the fact that we're alive and we've got physical bout, well, physical boundaries, because we have physical bodies with edges and limitations, that in itself is going to keep us from ever feeling fully and completely comfortable and at home within our own skins all of the time.
I know that really pisses me off too.
But it's just part of our being. And as frustrating and sad as that is, you know, if we could feel completely comfortable and at home all of the time, if we all have the time could just be, we'd probably be extinct by now. Like our human state of unbelonging, it isn't a problem to be solved, it doesn't need to be solved it to like fitting in. It’s a survival skill. You know, if we didn't sense that we didn't belong, we probably wouldn't have the instincts and the drive and the discernment to do and to try things outside of our comfort zone, that state of just being that home within us. And I think we'd probably existentially bliss ourselves into non being.
So I'm just finishing up this week's Sunday subscription email that I call the Sunday Muse, and I'm talking about betrayal, and betrayal and belonging have everything to do with one another. So keeping in mind what I have been talking about, we keep trying to belong, and we keep trying to to make the world let us belong to give us permission to belong. I think about how easily and how mindlessly, I've just gotten swept away time and again, by the current of some, some person or some ideal, or some movement or, you know, something or another that really lights up my being like, Ah, this, I love it. And I want it all of the time and in every possible way. I want it never to end and I want as much of it as possible.
I feel like I'm describing our consumer culture mindset, and I kind of am.
But that's what happens when I get really lit up by something. And then I go for it. And I assimilate myself consciously and unconsciously to get closer and closer in to have it to be it and to be of it. Part of it. You know, it's like this incredible high or a hit of an incredible high one after another. Because it just feels so stinking right. And if it feels this right. How can it be wrong?
Until, you know, first there may be just a little tiny nudge like Uh huh. Just kind of this this sense that something is off. Or something happens that that takes me aback shows me, it shows me something that I wasn't seeing before. And I might see it immediately when something happens, or I might see it over time as I'm digesting what happened. But I can't see - I can't unsee I mean - what I'm seeing. I can't unsee it.
And as much as part of me is like, stop seeing it, unsee it stay here, you know, it doesn't matter. I see it. And eventually the well, I say let down, but I really want you to get the feel of what I mean, right? The fall, the descent, the descent into disillusionment, into hurt into heartbreak. Because what felt so right what I thought was right. It wasn't home.
That's, that's a betrayal. You know, betrayal isn't - It isn't always about someone else breaking a promise that they made, or some code that they agreed to write. Betrayal can also be in the descent, that heartbreaking letdown that we all feel when we realize that what was holding us up, bearing us up, was never able to hold us up forever. And that is heartbreaking. And most of us, no matter what we might extrapolate from those kinds of lessons, we'll have to relearn that lesson throughout our lives over and over and over again, because we so, so want to belong.
And the state of perfect belonging is never sustainable. And as I say, this, I am, I just want to make this clear, I'm not saying this to excuse anyone from shitty harmful behavior toward you, or anyone else, or dishonesty or manipulation or exploitation, or just, you know, shitty handling of a relationship. And I'm also not saying it to, to make anyone take on self blame, and to never trust themselves again, you know, that's not what I'm here for ever.
I'm just talking about part of our human experience, and we all experience it to different degrees. But we all experience it. And like I said a little bit earlier, we all kind of try to make the world let us belong give us permission to belong. We try to change people's minds, their hearts, we tried to change ideals and standards and expectations and behaviors. And thank God, right?
I mean, we should be working to undermine in every way we can, white supremacy, patriarchy, toxic capitalism, misogyny, the hate wars on our bodies, discrimination, persecution, all of that shit that is rampant in our culture, we need to work to undermine it. And we all know, I think that that is a long haul, you know, these systems are deeply, deeply entrenched, and they fight back. So we've got to do this with just utter persistence for the rest of our lives, even if we won't live to see the full fruits of that hard work and persistence in our lifetime.
That can't matter. It's our persistence that breaks generational patterns and cycles and it matters now. And it also will matter very much to the future.
We're also prone to wanting to make the world give us permission in big and small ways that are a lot more personal, right, that they never -that the world likely never will give us permission for. Like I need people right now to think it's okay for me to be in the body I have and I need for the world to agree with me that industrial ag is killing our planet and the climate and our bodies and I need for everyone to agree with and love everything I do. I really do need that. Or, give me permission to ask for more money, or this or that, or the other thing, or agree that it's okay for me to set boundaries with somebody, right?
That's not going to happen. It rarely if ever happens, and the unspoken second half of those I want sentences is usually something like, or I can’t. Like I can't assert my right to take up space and show up how I want to, I can't possibly make a difference with my own choices. I can't speak my own truth, I can't, because the world won't give me permission.
But just because we want permission in order to feel safe and enabled, you know, it doesn't mean we're gonna get it, mostly we don't, and we won't get it ever. So what I'm talking about when I talk about powerful belonging is - it's deeply layered. And it requires us to be both humbled by and awed by our own humanity.
And it requires us to be radically self compassionate, because so much of being human is not an easy experience. And it never was meant to be. And for us to be as radically courageous as we can tolerate at any given time. So that we can keep building and expanding our capacity to hold as much of the fullness of ourselves to light as possible. And it also requires us to, to acknowledge to own our deep, deep desire for safe belonging. And to own that by the simple fact that we're human, we’ll never be able to feel completely and fully safe and free to be our whole selves all the time. And it requires us to be willing to exist with that sad fact. Without, to live with it, without letting it pull us under, and destroy our hope and our trust, and our willingness to dream and to do and to be. So these are no small tasks. But they are here for us. And I really want you to hear this, we are enough to take them on for ourselves, you are enough for powerful belonging work.
Two last things I want to say. One is, so much of what I'm talking about, around belonging is part of the nature of the archetype of the orphan. I mentioned that a little earlier, we all have the orphan within us, regardless of whether or not we're in community with our family, or were estranged from our family, or abandoned by our family, or whether our family is even alive.
The Orphan exists in all of us. And if the orphan is a dominant archetype within you, if it's as dominant within you, as it is within me, belonging is likely especially painful for you. And man, do I fucking get that.
So I'm going to be introducing the orphan to you all starting with the next week's show. But for now, I just want you to know that I get it. And the second thing that I want to say is that my understanding of everything that I talked about today has been, you know, greatly enhanced over the years by by so many amazing teachers, and I want to name one especially today. I've named her many times before - Karen Hawkwood.
And the reason I talk about her so much is because working with her has impacted my own work, and what I do with others so deeply. And the ways that I now talk about belonging and the orphan archetype have been particularly influenced by Karen's work with the archetype of of the mermaid, which is a myth, mythological embodiment of the qualities around the placement of Neptune in our natal chart. So I'm talking astrology here, but you don't need to know jack shit about astrology to get so much from Karen's teaching on the mermaid.
And while the orphan and the mermaid are not the same being, they’re blood relatives. So at the time of release for this episode, which is August 12 2022. Karen, she also goes by KJ, that's what I call her is offering her Mermaid Adventure. And you can take it you can take a deep dive - pun intended - into this mysterious, incredibly impactful, beautiful and also heartbreaking archetype under KJ’s deft, deep tutelage and teaching. And just so you know, she doesn't even know I'm saying this, and I'm not getting paid. This is not like an affiliate thing. I just love her work. And I love turning people on to it.
So there may still be I think there's still spots available in Karen's mermaid adventure. And I'll put a link to more information in today's show notes. Or you can just go over to KarenHawkwood.com and check her out and check her work out yourself. Her website is as unique as she is. It's something free to play with. I'll leave you to it. But you can find the series I'm talking about on the mermaid under the category on her website of all of us together. And you can also on her website, sign up for her archetypal playground emails, where you get access to her free playground calls, which are incredible.
So with that, thank you so much for hanging out with me today on powerful belonging. I would absolutely love to hear any questions, any takeaways from today's show. So you can access today's show notes to reach out to me. I would love that because I love you so much. And I really hope you know how much I value the time that you spent here with me today. Ma