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Belonging

Toko-Pa Turner

“We ache to have our absence from the circle of belonging noticed. It poisons us from the inside out. Though we try to stay busy, the hidden loneliness underneath is rarely assuaged. Given the first breath of silence, there is an upwelling of alienation so great that it threatens to swallow us whole. No matter how much we accumulate or accomplish, the pang of unbelonging continues to pierce from within.

And so we treat our lives like a project for improvement, attempting to become useful, admired, impervious or savvy. We work at cutting off any unwieldiness that may be preventing us from fitting in. But as this ‘self-development’ encroaches upon our inner wilderness, our dreams and our connection to the holy suffers. As we harness every last resource in service to the unconscious longing to belong, we feel less and less at home.”

—Toko-Pa Turner, Belonging


I’m a student and teacher of people-first growth. Having spent the major part of the last two decades building weird businesses that tried to be good for humans, I'm now working privately on a few experimental projects and cultivating this little digital space of mine.

If you're new here, I'm working on my second book, People-First Growth (slowly, slowly said the sloth), and I’m sharing what I learn in my newsletter. If you geek out on digital gardening, I share mine publicly on Roam. You can say hi on Twitter or by email.

You can also read my first book, Gather the People, originally released in 2015 and updated in 2020 (what a year for a book release). It's a human approach to marketing for people who would rather make what they love than persuade people to buy it. If that's you, I hope it helps.