Welcome to The 3 Cs of Belonging, a newsletter emphasizing relationship and community-building to create a healthier and more connected world.
The stories we tell matter.
When the stories we hear are about division and conflict, they become our reality. Sharing stories and ideas challenging this dominant narrative is critical to our emotional and physical well-being. These stories of belonging are all around us: Let's give them the attention and power they deserve.
I'm Lisa Kentgen (friends call me Li), author of "The Practice of Belonging" and "An Intentional Life" and psychologist. For decades, I worked in both academic and clinical settings. As a clinician, I joined clients on their path to know themselves intimately and experience greater authenticity. As a scientist, I published on topics including the development of conscious awareness, the neurobiology of depression and anxiety, and treating emotional difficulties in children.
I love friendship, long walks in nature, holding and reading books, live music in small venues, food and eating, getting lost in conversation, and four-legged beings. I believe we all have the capacity for change, even though it can be painstakingly slow. One of my favorite art pieces hanging in my home is a partial E.M. Forster quote on repurposed wood:
Only Connect. Live in Fragments No Longer.
A decade ago, I realized that as crucial as psychotherapy is, it cannot replace loving communities where we genuinely listen to each other and celebrate who we are without masks. We are in desperate need of more of these places. Without them, the devastating crises of loneliness and separateness will continue unabated, negatively impacting each one of us.
Five years ago, I traveled the country to meet people creating different models of vibrant communities. Reflecting on how these places nurture belonging and connection, I wrote a book called "The Practice of Belonging." The book illustrates that by cultivating the same qualities evident in these communities, we create vital, loving spaces to connect – and thrive – together.
This weekly Substack continues my effort to be a small part of healing hearts and minds. The work of healing and connection is all of ours, regardless of backgrounds or professional identities. So, let's break out of a compartmentalized, expert model view of the world and join in conversation and friendship to create new models of relating and change.
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One More Invitation
Share your thoughts in the comment section if something resonates or inspires you. And share stories of vibrant communities that have touched your life.
Spread the word and invite others to join this community.