chapter Three: belong

As we shared with you at the start of this journey, the earth changed the day you arrived. From that moment on, you were bonded in a reciprocal relationship with the planet and its inhabitants.

You have always mattered deeply to this planet simply because you exist.

You have always belonged to a natural community.

your natural community

Think of your natural community as an expanded view of the beings who have influenced your life. The human and other-than-human beings who have supported, nurtured and loved you from childhood onward. The beings who demonstrated unconditional love to you and beautifully showed you the meaning of abundance and compassion. Consider the climbing trees that expanded your perspective, the humans who encouraged your curiosity, the birds who reminded you to sing your own song, or the moss that allowed you to feel luxurious support. There are so many examples in which your natural community has influenced you, held you, loved you and encouraged you. You have been part of a much larger community all along, a natural community that has deeply enhanced your life. 

invitation to journal

When you have time to sit quietly with your journal, allow this idea to integrate by doing the follow exercise.

Connection to community through the natural world feels playful and easy. It allows us to be seen, heard, felt, witnessed and celebrated for our true nature.

Take some time to reveal to yourself the rich natural community to which you belong.

Who are the beings that surround and support you? Create a list of the beings in your natural community from as far back as you can remember until today. Name the animals, humans, plants, trees, land, mountains, rivers, oceans, lakes and microorganisms that are your natural community.

When you consider each of the beings on your list, how does this redefine community for you?


When you desire the world to be made of soft again

Go into the forest and sit among the trees

Listen to the ravens

The herons

The crows

Listen to the leaves,

The water from the creek

And come here again and again

To this place

Away from the noise and haste of humankind

Come here to this moment

This breath

This time and pause

Then bravely bring it back into the world

~ Lisa Shatzky

write your story of Belonging

Now that you have expanded your traditional idea of community, how might you experience belonging differently? Allow the idea of greater belonging to saturate your body for a moment.

Let your imagination soar and allow yourself to step outside of both the well-worn stories of your life and the things others have told you about your life. Feel into what your existence has meant to this planet and what this planet has meant to you.

We invite you to write the story of your life from the vantage point of being raised by Gaia in a vibrant natural community.

These questions may help you get started:

  • What changed on this planet the day you were born?
  • What have you learned from the natural world along the way?
  • How does Gaia show you that you’ve always been seen, heard and held?
  • Who are you now for having lived on this vibrant planet all these years?

To gain a deeper understanding of how to create your story of belonging, read these sample stories.


Press play to watch Deborah and Naomi share behind-the-scenes stories about creating Raised by Gaia and living a Gaia life.

In this video, Naomi and Deborah share how powerful writing your story of belonging can be and what they had to move through before they could write their own. 

Want more?

We’ve created a series of compelling emails to accompany and enhance your Raised by Gaia experience, offering more personal insights and a behind-the-scenes look at how this project came to life. Subscribe to our newsletter to both receive these emails and to stay in touch. 

* indicates required

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.

— Toko-pa Turner