Hivery Circle: Yearning to Belong with Grace Kraaijvanger June 11, 2019

“Every person has, I believe, the feeling that she doesn’t belong in the lives of other people. That she is in some way different, a guest, and she takes all possible measures to make sure that others won’t notice. This is the feeling that all people have, and that is precisely why we all belong together.” —Harry Mulisch, Two Women

The Hivery Founder & CEO, Grace Kraaijvanger, opened the June Hivery Circle evening event with the question: Why is belonging important? She reminded us of the recent scientific studies showing that 1 in 4 Americans do not feel as though they have even one person that they can truly confide in and that loneliness can have significant, and detrimental, effects on our health. A study out of Stanford has also shown that even a single instance of exclusion can undermine well-being, IQ test performance, and self-control.

Grace also shared that her interest in creating The Hivery came from a longing, a yearning, that she noticed in herself and has since witnessed in hundreds of women. A yearning that women give all kinds of names—I’m stuck; I’m frustrated; I’m looking for clarity; I’m not sure what’s next—but that ties back to one thing. BELONGING.

“Belonging has an outreach, an energy, and commitment. Belonging is the essence of community.” A huge thank you to Grace for sharing her story, the stories that she’s heard from so women, and the Ten Attributes of Community:

  1. You’re not alone.

  2. There is sentiment (a sense of “we”).

  3. It’s not temporary (ie, not a “mob” or a “crowd”).

  4. There is a wider lens of outcome.

  5. There’s the Individual and the Collective.

  6. There is a “space” (physically, virtually, or metaphorically).

  7. It has shared values AND guardrails to protect those values.

  8. There are rituals and traditions.

  9. It allows for experiments, failures, and pain.

  10. It provides “space” for generosity and play!

In communities with belonging, we accept you for who you are. When you show up, you belong here.

We learned so much from others who also shared their own stories of belonging (or not belonging):

  • “Belonging can also come from within. Allowing ourselves to be accepted rather than seeing ourselves as an outsider can be half the battle.”

  • When people show up for us, we truly feel as though we belong.

  • Everyone feels like an outsider at times.

  • It doesn’t have to take 20 years to feel like you belong!

  • “Life was holding out an invitation to what I should be doing all along. Sometimes we don’t belong because we aren’t accepting the invitation to belong.”

It was an incredible night! We saw how quickly you can feel connected (just 30 seconds!) and we learned more about why people join The Hivery. There is something that each of us was put on this earth to do...and it often reveals itself as a yearning, a rustling, a calling. When we are in the isolation of our heads, that “thing” can seem muddy and confusing. When we are in community, it can flourish and thrive. What is that unique contribution you need to make in this world? It’s so much easier to answer that question in community.

“True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are;
it requires you to be who you are.” —Brené Brown

Big thanks to our event collaborators! Drinks to cool us off provided by Bee Hunter Wine and GT’s Kombucha. And thank you to Dove for sharing their new products in a special Hivery gift bag (the timing of dry serum antiperspirant and the heat wave was purely coincidental!). We appreciate Dove’s attention to #ShowUs #RealBeauty and for giving us the chance to #FeelItBelieveIt.

In community,


With Gratitude to our Event Collaborators:


Photography by Kim Thompson Steel
Audio/Visual by Mav Media
Flowers by Sara Florals