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Toko-pa Turner quotes Showing 1-22 of 22

“Our longing for community and purpose is so powerful that it can drive us to join groups, relationships, or systems of belief that, to our diminished or divided self, give the false impression of belonging. But places of false belonging grant us conditional membership, requiring us to cut parts of ourselves off in order to fit in. While false belonging can be useful and instructive for a time, the soul becomes restless when it reaches a glass ceiling, a restriction that prevents us from advancing. We may shrink back from this limitation for a time, but as we grow into our truth, the invisible boundary closes in on us and our devotion to the groupmind weakens. Your rebellion is a sign of health. It is the way of nature to shatter and reconstitute. Anything or anyone who denies your impulse to grow must either be revolutionised or relinquished.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
“There is a wild woman under our skin who wants nothing more than to dance until her feet are sore, sing her beautiful grief into the rafters, and offer the bottomless cup of her creativity as a way of life. And if you are able to sing from the very wound that you’ve worked so hard to hide, not only will it give meaning to your own story, but it becomes a corroborative voice for others with a similar wounding.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“There is really only one way to restore a world that is dying and in disrepair: to make beauty where ugliness has set in. By beauty, I don’t mean a superficial attractiveness, though the word is commonly used in this way. Beauty is a loveliness admired in its entirety, not just at face value. The beauty I’m referring to is metabolized grief. It includes brokenness and fallibility, and in so doing, conveys for us something deliciously real. Like kintsukuroi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with powdered gold, what is normally seen as a fatal flaw is distinguished with value. When we come into contact with this kind of beauty, it serves as a medicine for the brokenness in ourselves, which then gives us the courage to live in greater intimacy with the world’s wounds.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
“As we apprentice ourselves to the way of nature, we begin to understand that all of life is in a continuous cycle of giving and receiving. It is the honouring of this cycle that makes us feel at home in ourselves and in relation to the rest of nature. In order to experience true belonging, we must not only acknowledge the gifts we are receiving, but also give our beauty away, no matter how it may be received by others.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
“The willingness to rebel from the expected norms, rules, and silent contracts of establishment comes out of knowing that one cannot afford to build resentment. Resentment, which comes from the decision to go against one's truth, embitters the self. It somaticizes in the body and takes on the burden of pain as if it were ours alone. The whistleblower, on the other hand, reveals a shared complicity. It says, "I expect more from myself and from you." And in that stance, the pain becomes, in a sense, communal.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
“The keeper of silence has tremendous control. What she keeps sealed away can never be harmed so long as it remains hidden. Silence is a power, yes, but when does silence turn upon its keeper and become the captor? When does it inhibit the natural impulse to speak, the urge to sing, the longing to contribute? So many wait for the express invitation to speak, for some permission to be granted, to be coaxed into contributing. But what if this invitation never comes? When does silence stop us from fulfilling our purpose, or making connections with others? When does silence stop a healthy disagreement, like the one that names an injustice and invokes change? When is silence being complicit, when it should be calling on a revolution waiting to happen?”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“The only antidote to perfectionism is to turn away from every whiff of plastic and gloss and follow our grief, pursue our imperfections, and exaggerate our eccentricities until the things we once sought to hide reveal themselves as our majesty.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“Human beings have a natural urge to worship that “something greater” which coheres us, but we, in modernity, are living in a kind of spiritual cul-de-sac where our gifts only serve the human community. Unlike the many shamanic cultures that practice dreamwork, ritual, and thanksgiving, Westerners have forgotten what indigenous people understand to be cardinal: that this world owes its life to the unseen. Every hunt and every harvest, every death, and every birth is distinguished by ceremony for that which we cannot see, feeding back that which feeds us. I believe our epidemic alienation is, in good part, the felt negligence of that reciprocity.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
“as the Persian poet Hafiz warns, “Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly. Let it cut you more deep. Let it ferment and season you as few human and even divine ingredients can.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“Whatever the particulars of your first estrangement, you will have felt the rift being torn between who you really are, and who you had to be to survive. And so begins the work of moulding our qualities into this more acceptable version of ourselves. Over time, these efforts at ‘passing’as normal become all-too-successful, until even we begin to forget our true nature.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“Revitalizing these Lost Zones within our psyche is about looking directly at the damage, as we do with dreamwork, and stitch by stitch, bringing what has been torn from us back into belonging.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“The practice above all practices is to relinquish the immature desire to be taken care of in false belonging and to parent our own originality. Again and again, our dreams demand leadership from us, calling our life’s vision forward into the world, step by tenderbrave step.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“The real marriage must first take place within. The Inner Marriage is a slow process of first attempting to understand the true qualities of masculine and feminine, how they manifest in our lives and dreams, and then undertaking a courtship of the inner opposite, activating those latent qualities in our repertoire.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“Especially in times of exile, when our anchors are pulled up and we’re no longer taking cues from the outside world, we have a chance to find that inner well and reinstate our connection to the sacred. We may find it overgrown, or hard to reach through the brambles, but each of us faces a time when the well within needs tending: when we’re no longer able to bestow blessings on others because we’ve over-given, or when something precious has been taken from us, or life’s demands have been too taxing on our fragile system. When the moisture goes out of our lives, and we’re no longer able to see beauty or converse with magic, we must ask ourselves how we can replenish our well-ness.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
“There is a special quality of stillness in a person who encounters their shadow wholeheartedly. Your body may relax in their company because it understands, in the subtle communications of their presence, that nothing is excluded in themselves, or you, from belonging. Such a person, who has given up guarding against the shadow, who has come to wear their scars with dignity, no longer squirms from discomfort or bristles at suffering. They no longer brace in avoidance of conflict. They carry a deep willingness to dance with the inconstancy of life. They’ve given up distancing as a strategy, and made vulnerability their ally.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“In order to heal the scarcity wound—created by the lack of nurturing both in our families and in our culture—we must learn to become the loving mother to ourselves that we never had. This ‘remothering’ is the ongoing practice, tremendously helped by a mentor, of learning to care for your body’s needs, validating and expressing your feelings (even if they’re unpopular), holding healthy boundaries, supporting your life choices, and most of all—being welcoming towards all that is yet unsolved in your heart.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“The only antidote to perfectionism is to turn away from every whiff of plastic or gloss and follow our grief, pursue our imperfections, and exaggerate our eccentricities until the things we once sought to hide reveals themselves as our majesty”
Toko-pa Turner
“Occasionally you meet someone with whom you can dive right in, but in general it’s better to move slowly into closeness with others, because it is a worse thing to call someone home and leave them, than to not call them home at all.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“Naturally, the antidote to shame is to risk showing up as fully as we’re able. The discipline needed for shame is to practice revealing yourself. It is bringing into the open the full brightness of your spirit, despite your fear of failure. It is to brave your secret gifts into the open. It is revealing your fears to trusted others, allowing them to be assuaged. It is reaching out when you’d rather hide. It’s asking for help when you feel abandoned.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“that modern culture is suffering an epidemic of alienation, yet so many of us feel alone in our unbelonging, as if everyone else was inside of the thing that we alone are outside of. And keeping silent about our experience of estrangement is, in large part, what allows it to perpetuate.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
“Pain and injury and illness ask us to consider that our lives are worthy without justification.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home
“Grief is the honour we pay to that which is dear to us.”
Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves home


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