appreciating the ‘loveliness’ that was my home town.
As a child my best friend was a boy, very unusual in my time, and also Koori. I have extremely fond memories of spending time at his home and considered his mum to be my second mother. I loved listening to her stories about life and growing up. I didn’t realise the impact her influence had on me at the time. I was a child and too busy loving the time
spent together to be analysing the experience. As an adult, of course, I can look back and relish the memories and the lessons I learnt by being immersed in a culture that values children, functions on harmony, fairness, egalitarian
principles and sharing resources for the enhancement of all.
So it’s no surprise that I believe in the value of community – a sense of belonging to our land, our local community,
family, friends, service clubs, sporting groups and our society at large.
No matter how much any of us may want to be self-sufficient and refuse to rely on or need anyone it’s not how we are wired. We don’t live in isolation from others and we grow neural pathways based on having our needs met through feeling safe and secure. One of the ways in which we feel safe and secure is through belonging to our families, our friends, our community and our land.
I love to create theories based upon watching people. I used to call it my hobby but now it’s really my work. I think
one of our greatest needs is to belong and our greatest fear is a fear of lack.
When we don’t feel like we belong we feel alone. Loneliness creates stress and impacts on our mental and emotional
well-being. If you don’t believe me just ask anyone who is living alone and has few friends and social outings. Yet sometimes we can feel alone in a crowded room or being surrounded by our family, friends and social groups. Often that
sense of aloneness stems from feeling different. But it also stems from feeling misunderstood and experiencing others as not acknowledging, in their words or actions, who WE are.
I believe deeply that what we all want is to be ‘seen’ or ‘known’ by at least one significant person in our lives. To state the obvious, when this doesn’t occur we experience a sense of injustice in our daily lives. Interactions with others become painful, difficult and challenging.
For some reason it often seems so hard for us to celebrate each other and be open about our need for connection. But no matter how hard we find it, it still drives us.
Five years ago I created a community project called ‘The Path of Achievement.’ Initially, the plan was to celebrate
100 people with two pieces of art. The community embraced the concept of celebrating those they viewed as having contributed through sporting achievements, coaching and administration roles in our many and varied sporting
and community groups to such a degree that the final project celebrated almost 600 people and had seven pieces of art.
Over a two year period I personally connected with 2000 people to share, care and participate in this project. I saw
first-hand the joy of what it means to belong to a community at the opening of the path. The love was palpable. Kids who others defined as disconnected expressed their gratitude and ownership of the project. It cemented my belief in the value of community.
My community life and working life coalesced.
There were many aspects of Matrix Reimprinting that attracted me to the technique when I first learnt it in 2011 with Karl Dawson. The concept that creating a sense of community was an essential component of the success of the process resonated with me. When working with the ‘memory’ we create a support network between the practitioner, the client and the ECHO’s memory. It is the idea of being ‘supported’ that gives the inner child the strength to transform the original memory into a new picture that is reflective of its needs. It is a powerful technique to allow for what Karl’s says: “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” The idea that through a sense of community – belonging and being supported – allows for healing is a beautiful concept for me.
Who do you seek to belong to?