Belonging (Paperback)

Belonging By Sandy Jahmi Burg, Nomi Miller (Illustrator), Aaron Staengl (Illustrator) Cover Image

Belonging (Paperback)

By Sandy Jahmi Burg, Nomi Miller (Illustrator), Aaron Staengl (Illustrator)


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No one teaches us how to live in a body. Wouldn't it be helpful to know the best way to use our brain? Could it be that we are born with an internal instruction manual? Might it be hidden inside each of us from birth? Within a language that many people overlook?

Welcome to Smartview Stories(TM) - a self-empowerment book series for children and adults ages 9-99 Our emotional literacy stories help unlock this instruction manual and its hidden language. Our body and brain are always wanting our well-being. We can learn their language. This language reveals how we process and makes sense of life. Over time, with practice, a mutual trust develops within us. We see our life with fresh eyes. New possibilities emerge within and around us.

Our third book features the Poplar Family. Here we learn more about 4-year-old Levi. Levi is Mama Dawn's nephew. He comes for a visit which unfolds to something more. Our first story, "Stone Play", describes Levi's first full morning staying with the Poplar's and how he finds a sense of belonging. "It's Not Fair ", is about sibling patterns, surprise, and how a good listening friend can help us find a new perspective around an old assumption. Our third story, "Bird Song", opens with surprise and confusion that transform to a spacious welcoming toward one of Levi's unique skills.

Throughout all three stories, the initial surprise, fear and confusion that we often feel entering a new relationship or community, are transformed by our inherent abilities to sense what is needed here and to create more space until all feels safe to be the way it is. The Poplars mess up plenty. With the help of their Inner Companions, they catch themselves and find a better way forward.

Our setting is Smartview Village, a small intentional community formed to practice these inner relational skills. The way they live changes. These families recognize the value of sharing their stories. Each book includes three short stories featuring one family. A fourth story features our Inner Companions. Based on Focusing and neuroscience concepts, these three characters help us understand our inner world.

Within each Smartview Stories book, our three stories are Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level Grade 3, supplemental pages are Grades 4-6. The characters and events portrayed in our books are fictitious and based on real life experiences. There is an understanding that human beings are living processes. Watch for Parent/Teacher/Therapist workbooks to support using these books as emotional literacy educational curriculum.

You might be attracted to this series if:

You enjoy reading together as a family.

You are a counselor, homeschool parent or teacher.

You teach emotional literacy and want to share this with students.

You would like to share these with a child who has a hard time expressing what they are feeling inside.

You'd like to explore and understand how our brains process and make sense of life.

You want to improve your relational skills with yourself, others, or your environment.

You are interested in community living.

You are interested in learning Focusing skills.

You want to bring more understanding and compassion to your own inner world.

You have a fondness for the Blue Ridge Mountains.

You enjoy neuroscience and applying it to your understanding of yourself and others.

You can learn more about Focusing, the research and international community supporting it at

You can learn more about how these books interweave learning Focusing with neuroscience concepts at

Product Details ISBN: 9781737632443
ISBN-10: 1737632446
Publisher: Smartview Stories
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2023
Pages: 104
Language: English