what does it mean to belong?
stories of belonging from extraordinary voices
a bit of context
What does it mean to belong in the world and what does “belonging” mean to you? This is something that I contemplate frequently and it’s a topic very close to my heart. I have always felt like a bit of a “square peg in a round hole” and it’s taken me until my 40s to start to figure out why.
As part of my belonging journey these past few years, I have also been trying to get to grips with my unearned privilege in the world, as well as my internalised oppression and unconscious/conscious biases that I have as a straight, white, able-bodied and cisgendered woman, who lives in a comparatively wealthy part of the world. There’s a whole lot to unpack and a whole lot of work to do.
As I have been developing my coaching business I have become increasingly dedicated to this area of Belonging and early in 2018, I dedicated my business to helping extraordinary humans to belong to themselves and foster true belonging in their lives, communities and workplace.
It is from this place that this idea of a “book on belonging” came from, but what should that book look like? I didn’t want this book to be about my belonging, (obviously see white, cisgendered etc comment above), but I wanted to explore belonging further and to better understand what impacts our sense of belonging in our lives.
What better way than to tell the stories of other folks’ experiences of belonging?
a book about belonging
And so the idea for the book, To Belong was born and it has taken on a bit of a life of it’s own ever since!
To Belong is an e-book that will be available as a free download - no sign up required - once it is released, it will appear on this page as a download. It will tell stories of belonging from extraordinary humans. I particularly want to encouarge as diverse a range of stories of belonging as possible, from womxn, folks that identify as womxn and non-binary folks. I am hoping the book will launch in January 2019 in it’s first iteration, but will continue throughout 2019 to collect and collate stories and add them on a monthly basis throughout the year.
I know that as part of my learning and unlearning, listening to voices that have lived experience different to mine, has and continues to be, absolutely essential. My vision for this project is to help share those voices with as many people as possible and to better understand belonging in the world today.
all the nerves
In November 2018, I invited 30+ extraordinary humans to take part in this project and at the time of writing this, 12+ have committed to telling their short story of belonging. I have to say I had all the wobbles over this project - who am I to write this book, why would anyone take me seriously and you know, all the usual bollocks!
But here's the thing: this isn't MY book, I'm just collating these stories and at a push, acting as the narrator by introducing the contributors. This is OUR book, a book for the world and I am very humbled to be able to contribute in this small way.
I have dreams for this book that go way beyond an e-book. My first goal is to release the e-book in early 2019, but after that, I will continue to collect stories of belonging from extraordinary folks and hope to publish 100+ stories in print one day.
If you have any suggestions for folks for me to approach to contribute to To Belong, or if you yourself would like to contribute, please do let me know (or suggest that they get in touch with me). And you know what - let's put folks with marginalised identities at the top of the suggestions list, so that their voices are heard first.
If you would like to keep up to date with the progress of To Belong, including being notified when it is available to download, you can sign up to do so below.
Important Note: This form signs you up for information only about the To Belong book and you will receive no unrelated correspondence from me, either promotional or general information.
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