I’ve got a much-anticipated conversation to share with you today with Toko-pa Turner, author of the bestselling book Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home which explores the themes of exile and the search for belonging. I named this podcast Belonging before I came across Toko-pa’s book, and then once I learned of it and as more and more folks shared her work with me, I felt more of a love and resonance for Toko-pa and I knew I would have her on the podcast someday.
Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical tradition of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreamwork, she founded the Dream School in 2001 from which hundreds of students have since graduated. Sometimes called a midwife of the psyche, Toko-pa’s work focuses on restoring the feminine, reconciling paradox, and facilitating sacred grief and ritual practice.
Together we talk about initiations by exile — specifically as it relations to isolation during COVID-19, false belonging, the wound of isolation when you need community support and cannot get it, intergenerational displacement of belonging, learning to show up for others in a sustained way, the grief of living with a degenerative disease, receiving dreams at an early age and how they parented Toko-pa when she was in the foster system, dreams as living creatures, and using “belong” as an active verb.
“I would love to use the word ‘belonging’ as an active verb. I belong myself to the things that I love. I belong myself to the things that I cherish. I belong myself to my values.” -Toko-pa Turner
- George Monbiot refers to this time we’re living in as “the age of loneliness”
- I mention my dream teacher, Grandmother Sarah Bicknell (who was a past guest on Belonging Episode #26: Ancestral Constellations & Conscious Dreaming with Grandmother Sarah)
- Toko-pa mentions James Hillman’s Acorn Theory
More from Toko-pa Turner:
- Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
- Dream School
- @tokopa on Instagram
- Toko-pa Turner on Facebook