“Our diversity is our strength” – this was the Harmony Day 2016 theme. On the day – 21st March – all of us in the Happy Hearts Hub team – Elizabeth Ellames, Sue Lohmeyer, Gail Glastonbury and myself – were pleased to be hosting our pop-up at the “One Mitcham, Many Cultures” fair. The fair was a vibrant meeting space for people from many cultures to come together and enjoy outdoor music, eating, conversations and sporty activities together. It was a friendly, relaxed event. How nice it is to call it to mind again!
It was great to have people connecting with the Belonging theme at our stand, with some great conversations emerging in the process. We were also thrilled that people came along to see themselves on film – having spoken to our cameras about what Belonging means to them, prior. The 5 minute video had its first screening at the multicultural fair. Everyone involved is listed in the credits and you can view it at the NOW Leadership Academy Inc website – so watch through to the end for the credits. We hope you relate to at least some of what people have to say in the video, and equally as it is also quite a personal topic we sincerely hope it gets you thinking about what belonging means to you.
The Happy Hearts Hub team contemplated what Belonging means to each of us just prior to starting the video production process with our collaborators- for it seemed only fair to be prepared to go there ourselves if we were going to be asking other people to reflect and speak about it.
What I discovered when I asked myself the question “What does belonging mean to me?” was…..
“Belonging means feeling welcomed and welcoming, safe in the flow of love – for me, that is belonging. When I feel I belong, I feel all warm and relaxed inside; and I can express who I am without fear. I have experienced the pain of rejection first hand on occasions and have also witnessed the pain of rejection for others who are dear to me, which makes the sweet feeling of belonging even more precious. Belonging is exactly that – a longing…..for acceptance and affection. The yearning to belong can become oppressive too – I lose something of myself when I let “fitting in” run the show. A balance is best between belonging in my own skin and belonging in community.”
Belonging is an undeniably important experience for every person on earth. Any feedback here about what belonging means to you is very welcome!