Who is she
Sebene Selassi is a Brooklyn-based meditation teacher and writer. She wrote You Belong a story that follows the personal journey of Sebene's desire to connect to the variety of communities she has tried to beloing from spiritual communities, to the feminist movement and political activists. She shares the insight that after years of looking outside, eventually concluding that a sense of belonging comes from within.
You can use this theme for inspiration for your own practice or use it as a guide to lead others.
Sebene outlines in her book sequentail steps that can be taken to help foster a deeper sense of belonging. This practice is based entirely on her teachings and insights, not mine. Here they are.
- Find your seat, take a few deep breaths and settle in
- As we begin Sebene's five step process to develop the skill of belonging, know that she defines belonging as the capacity to feel joy and freedom in any moment.
Step 1: GROUNDING
- Notice what part of your body is connected to the earth
- Feel the weight of your body
- Rest in the breath
- Connect to sensations in the body
- Noticing thoughts and feelings
- What makes you feel grounded?
- Do any memories, images or sounds come to mind?
- Once you connect to that feeling of being grounded Spread it throughout your body
- Say to yourself…I am grounded.
Step 2: Know Yourself
- There are many ways to understand ourselves.
- Where do you come from?
- What is your Ethnicity, your class?
- Where you live?
- How do you dress?
- Where do you work?
- Do you define yourself by your personality?
- Where are your people are from?
- Take a few breaths and sit with this:
- Can I know who I am right now?
- Can I know myself in the future? In the past?
- Say to yourself: I know who I am. I am aware.
Step 3: Love Yourself
- A way to cultivate the sense of belonging is to learn to accept and love ourselves
- What blocks you from accepting yourself as you are now?
- What blocks you from accepting others?
- Say to yourself: I am ok. I love myself
Step 4: Connect to Yourself
- Explore the possibility of Connecting to something larger and outside of ourselves.
- Soften any boundaries of separation.
- How you do this is personal….
- Connect to the earth elements as they can feel natural, non-threatening….
- Earth (our body…soil, trees, weight of your body, tree, bones, flesh)
- Water (moisture, blood, saliva….fluid….smooth, flowing…emotions)
- Fire (temperature, heat, cold, energy, burns, connected to our ability to change)
- Air (wind in the body, breath, our atmosphere…thoughts)
- Say to yourself: I am interconnected
Step 5.Be Yourself
- Krishnamurti (the philosopher) said that while you may think you are thinking your thoughts, you are not—you’re thinking the thoughts of your culture.
- Belonging is not dependent on things being as we want them to be.
- We do our best when we are ourselves
- Challenge the status quo and need to behave like others, be the shape or size of others, look like others….
- Value being you.
- Express yourself.
- Access that freedom and joy now
- Being yourself helps cultivate a deep sense of belonging
- Say to yourself: I belong