Guest Blog with Anita Chari
We live in a world with an epidemic of homelessness. In the US at least half a million people live without a home. The numbers of vulnerable people displaced worldwide are staggering. We feel the planet as our collective home in crisis. How can any of us truly feel at home in this world?
As the child of immigrant parents from India, I’ve often struggled with feeling at home in the world. There is a profound sense of grief in the immigrant experience, even when you leave home voluntarily. The food will never taste as good as it did at home. The air will lack that familiar combination of musky sweetness and putrid stench of home. Though I was born in Chicago, I felt my parents’ separation from home as my own loss. On our many trips to India as a child, I felt a fleeting sense of belonging that I would never feel in the United States. Even that faded as I struggled to fit in here in the US, abandoning my mother tongue and learning how to decipher the hieroglyphics of this culture. And so the sense of being at home in the world is something that I never really felt during childhood.
A dear friend of mine who grew up in the Caribbean once told me that for her the sea was home. The days and years she spent idling in the waves, laying on the pink sand, these were a homecoming for her. And she asked me if I had a place like that. I felt grief as I confessed that I didn’t. But that I hoped I would find one. Yet as I thought about it, I realized that home is not a place for me. Home is a feeling.
My first experiences with somatic work were learning practices of contact, of touch. Placing my hands on the shoulders of another person, feeling the whole of myself in relation to their body, I understood what it meant to be in right relationship with the world. This was home. Neither too close, nor too far away. Not too much contact, not too little. Just enough heart, just enough ground. No thoughts, only feelings. A resonant web that connected us, our bodies no longer separate, surrounded by potent space.
I had searched my whole life for this feeling outside of myself, in romantic relationships, in philosophy, and in my art. It wasn’t until later that I learned that for me, home is the felt sense of being in resonance with others and with the planet. This is not an abstraction or something to aspire to. It is something that we can learn to feel and sense in the present moment. And when we feel it, when we enter that resonant space, something new can happen.
This something new is how I think about creativity. An elemental contact with ourselves and with others. Rather than willing something to happen, struggling to produce, we are co-creators.
This fundamental attunement that connects us to home is a perceptual orientation that at some point in history, we didn’t have to learn. But I believe we do need to relearn it now, and create spaces to practice it together.
If you too long for home, join me in this resonant space.
You can schedule a private session with me (in person on or on Skype) or a free introductory phone consultation online, or get in touch with me at [email protected] for more information. Somatic work in a group context is another powerful way that you can leverage the presence and contact of others to create attunement. In my workshop series on Embodying Creativity you’ll learn to practice the skills of releasing imprinting from your history through attunement with yourself and with others in the group. You can also receive weekly resources by joining my email list at my website.
Join me for upcoming evening Embodying Creativity at SomaSpace (4050 NE Broadway Street Portland, Oregon 97232):
Friday, February 21, 2020, 7-10 pm, $35 advanced registration
Friday, April 17, 2020, 7-10 pm, $35 advanced registration