Day 4: Melody Warnick – This Is Where You Belong 2018-05-20T00:06:59+00:00

Day 4: Home

This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are

Melody Warnick

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What You’ll Learn

  • Find out how to get rooted wherever you are, no matter how long you’ve been there
  • Explore the idea of place attachment and how it can help you uncover what home means to you
  • Discover simple actions you can take to begin loving where you live now
  • Learn why simple acts like “buying the lemonade” can help you invest in and shape your community

About Melody Warnick

Melody Warnick is the author of This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are (Viking, 2016), an eminently practical guide to improving, investing in, and coming to love the place where you live. Described by Richard Florida as “an important book for so many people who are choosing their place to live,” This Is Where You Belong explores the groundbreaking concept of place attachment and leads longtime residents and newcomers alike to commit to a more passionate relationship with their community. A freelance writer for such publications as Reader’s Digest, Better Homes and Gardens, and The Guardian, and currently a columnist for, Melody lives with her family in Blacksburg, Virginia. You can find her online at

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What do you think?

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  1. carl baker May 18, 2018 at 12:25 am - Reply

    wherever you go, there you are!

  2. Brenda Henson May 18, 2018 at 1:36 am - Reply

    I really enjoyed this talk and appreciated what Melody had to say. It gave me much food for thought about how I can become more engaged and contribute to my community.

  3. Jana May 18, 2018 at 4:09 am - Reply

    Do what your town is good at. Good advice. I live abroad so am trying all sorts of things that our community offers. Things I never thought I would enjoy are fun because the people are excited and engaged. It’s contagious! Also love the cash mob idea! Will try to get it here.

  4. Lilli Regina Baumgart May 18, 2018 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Very interesting and important aspects about a feeling of belonging somewhere and how to create that. A great eye opener for me who has moved places and countries so often.

  5. fran May 18, 2018 at 10:14 am - Reply

    As someone who has moved across continents and gained a sense of belonging wherever I am, your talk and ideas ring so true. Thank you for reminding me right now of what has contributed to that:)

  6. fran May 18, 2018 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Thank you for reminders on how one can feel at home wherever one is:)

  7. Paul May 18, 2018 at 10:28 am - Reply

    I just started my micro-actions-list with my project: Just a call – I thought about you – and I wish you a lot of happy moments this day. Thanks, Melody Warnick

  8. Mary Horan May 18, 2018 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I found your talk inspired me to look at my life and see how moving presented me with an opportunity to try out new behaviors with people and groups that did not know me. Many people come from traumatic homes even if the location was nice. I escaped that home environment by reading a lot about traveling and finding our about other places – countries, states, cities, towns. When I went away to college I learned about the location and college environments and decided to choose to work on a new behavior – to be more open and interactive with new classmates and my college and town and made a few friends and did what they did to find out what I liked or did not like, took a job in the snack bar at the dorm where I knew people.and it worked. Each time I moved I chose a new behavior because I had such poor self esteem but it kept improving. But as a nurse I became a caregiver that also improved self esteem but widened self understanding and showed me I had gifts and talents that gave me self confidence. It also caused me to live places to care for elderly family members that were in environments I did not particularly like and was stuck in. It forced me to use my free time to find groups I liked nearby and participate – a church that was not rigid, was friendly and had a choir I could join, a local garden club. I am now in a town in Florida and of an age that makes it unlikely I will move again. I was never interested in Florida but was initially able to find work I enjoyed and a Unity Church where I could sing in the choir, and a Zen center not far away and a Buddhist book study group, and a local native plant group. In two of these I did the newsletter and due to requests of members to tell them where to take their relatives who always wanted to visit them in FLORIDA, especially in the winter. My last caregiving was my only child, a son who had been an alcoholic and an addict whom I brought here when he got cancer and died within 3 months. It left me heartbroken and I knew I had to do something – take care of me. For the first time I became more closely engaged in my town, with events, places and activities I enjoyed, Spending more time with shopkeepers who had been here a long time, especially the local health food stores and local gardens. I have limited finances and decided to stop buying food online because that was credit card expense. One was willing to add additional items to their inventory from vendors who made items without my allergy triggers. I found what my town did best which was support the development of local gardens and take empty land and make land available for members of the town who live in apartments and condos to have a plot of land to grow their own food. I bought/supported the local gardens and found that they were saving Heirloom seeds and was able to provide them with the info I had received about joining a national network of seed savers to be sure our country had a supply on Non-GMO seeds and discuss setting up community meetings to make newcomers to the town aware of the healthy food options available and others aware of how they can feed their children better food than what is advertised on TV. Your presentation yesterday made me aware that there is a pre-stage for this that involves helping people how they can learn new behaviors and let go of old unhealthy ones from their traumatic backgrounds and could be part of another book. This process can help them to use some of the practices of learning to attach to places that will help them both find or discover nearby locals/groups that will provide them a way to practice the new behavior and gain friends/models of that behavior who becomes a support. Recovery from early trauma is a very long term process which we all want to have NOW and acceptance takes time. I was in my 40’s before involvement with a Sufi community and then a Buddhist community helped me to focus on self care and self acceptance as the key to change which was only available in the present moment. And the work continues but one can also be happy and joy in the present moment. I enjoyed your presentation immensely and the associated research reports helps validate the why’s of trying different practices. It may not convince skeptics but you cannot make everyone happy!! It can convince those who are willing to try changing behaviors and practices.

  9. Geri deGruy May 18, 2018 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    WE make home and community happen. So good!

  10. Robert Haile May 18, 2018 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Wherever my wife and I have lived, w have always tried to encourage local flora and fauna thrive in our property, usually adjacent to parks and reserves. Nature is the most important factor welcoming us home. We volunteer and those associated compassionate people as well as fellow athletes(surfing, tennis, boxing, hiking) also make us feel home. Our 16 year old dog is home. We feel home meditating. Plain plant based whole food and those associated are home. Things are not home. We are minimalists and repair what we need for function and not replace.

  11. beth May 18, 2018 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Thank u for your thoughts and experience..well lived. Its true the intrinsic values of sharing, caring and involvement are what makes a home, not a place. I watched a humanitarian movie by Ai Weiwei, ‘Refugees’ He is a persons who been displaced several times not by choice…due to persecution. His stunning movie gives humble meaning to being trapped in a place. There is one scene where a group of young women raised in a refugee camp on West Bank, and have never been outside their prison, and live in an impoverished environment.. One beautiful said young girl speaks of dreaming of sailing on a yacht around the world. She is smiling and says but i would want to come back to my friends. She created refuge and the values of mindfulness whilst exposed to trauma. Ali Weiwei got it right…the refugee’s need help now.. and what we can do is recognize we all have power and choices. I think mindfulness can lead to aiding the biggest humanitarian crisis in history. His movie is free online…Peace

  12. Ria Tanz Kubota May 18, 2018 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Lovely, sweet, touching presentation and Producer. Thank you! I did find myself a little sad that social class and finances were not given enough consideration. When $1 is a lot of money, sometimes trying to pay $3 more for something local, or if one has no transportation to go out, is out of reach. (Yes, there are cabs and Lyft, etc. They take actual money, not pennies.) The wonderful stories touch my heart I am grateful to both of you for the enthusiasm, the stories when stories are invaluable, and knowing how little I understood poverty without having lived it giving compassion for not seeing that aspect of others’ lives. Thank you again, and I am grateful for your work, love, and gifts. You enrich my life lived ialone in the suburbs since widowed and not driving, while the other side is loving solitude, loving the animal connections of both feral cats I feed and wild animals like foxes and raccoons, loving to read, loving to write, and loving being here. May we all be kinder to ourselves and each other.

  13. Leona May 19, 2018 at 2:39 am - Reply

    Thank you. I agree place is how you think about it. There are many places I feel attached to such as the rural area I grew up in, a beautiful lake I went to with friends swimming and even in the fall to go one last time with blankets wrapped around us when it got cold. With other friends I went to a secret? river place with only two picnic tables and we could watch the boats, kayaks, water skiing, fishing and a couple walking paths. Where I live now there is a dam that”s a favorite place to go with my son his wife and her father. As I thought about my apartment that was good air quality when I rented it and before I moved in a cupboard was taken out and replaced with a painted cabinet that still gives off voc’s. I don’t know about sadness but I had lots of thoughts about how different the world is we live in. It reminded me of Anthony Bourdain’s West Virginia mining town that looked idyllic if it were not for the part of all the guns and drinking and shooting. I also remembered a friend years ago saying if it were not for the wealthy children of that generation we would not have the people working for justice and saving the land, the environment, and the planet. That was 30 years ago. Hopefully we are going back to those values. I am grateful for mindfulness.

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