Sidewalk Talk

Connection and belonging: a necessary and insightful conversation | Jane Cunningham

December 28, 2020

Connection and belonging are two very human things that are continuing to slip away in our modern Western culture of increased screen time and decreased face-to-face interaction. Self-proclaimed “soul worker” Jane Cunningham is doing her part to reverse that trend. 

In this episode of Sidewalk Talk, Traci sits down with Cunningham for a conversation on human connection, our mutual desire for belonging, and how we can strive for both even in the midst of a global pandemic. With their shared interest in polyvagal theory and Maori culture, the two women invite listeners into a conversation that will deepen our understanding of self and open doors to discovering who we truly are. 


Episode Milestones

[00:09] Intro 

[01:01] Meet Jane Cunningham 

[06:12] Jane’s take on polyvagal theory 

[10:30] The tension between our individual freedom and our community well-being when it comes to COVID-19 

[12:24] The notion of belonging as something we’re creating 

[16:28] How our self is shaped by the over-culture of where we’re from 

[18:58] The acknowledgement of soul as part of the human experience  

[20:46] Jane’s connection to Maori culture and reconnecting others to the divine 

[27:10] Discovering where you come from as a means to discover self 

[33:00] The struggle to win belonging through perfection 

[35:24] Reshaping storytelling in our culture 

[41:12] Getting better at feeling, not just feeling better 

[43:13] Jane’s word for you 

[47:51] Outro 


Resources Mentioned

Standout Quotes from the Episode

“Belonging is a crucial part of what makes us feel safe. And when we feel safe, we’re more able to think clearly and use this developed part of our brain in service of not only ourselves, but each other.”
—Jane Cunningham 

“If we only think about what serves me and I don’t care about you over there, then we don’t have that belonging, which is that crucial part of functioning from that more recent, more developed part of our brain. We’ve got to think about community.”
—Jane Cunningham 

“Our souls have a longing to remember our connection. I think the longing and remembering are what we are hungering for.”
—Jane Cunningham 

“There’s something about modern Western culture that kind of chips away at all of us. Not to the same extent, but we’re asked to not be human. We’re supposed to be perfect.”
—Jane Cunningham 

“What you’re doing out there on the sidewalk—whether you’re the listener of the storyteller—what you’re doing is healing our cultural wounds. You’re doing sacred work.”
—Jane Cunningham 



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