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Part 4: Promoting Healing-Centered Ecosystems Through Our Commitment to COMMUNITY

Healing-centered framework consisting of commitments to care, connection, contribution and community
Healing-centered Ecosystems framework

In the first part of the Healing-Centered Ecosystems framework, I wrote about the Commitment to Care. For this 2nd part, we focused on our Commitment to Connection. In the 3rd part, we explored how Commitment to Contribution can promote healing.

This last part is all about healing through Community.

We are only as strong as our weakest members. The fate of us all lies in all our hands. - Lucy H. Pearce

Harm happens not in isolation. It is often done within relationships and in communities. Thus, healing cannot be left alone at the individual level. If harm in the community is to be repaired, we need to focus on healing through the community.

Communities contribute to social, political, cultural, and economic development. It strengthens the capacity of individuals, families, organizations, and initiatives. Communities also empower individuals to exercise their rights and responsibilities. Yet what we also need to acknowledge is that communities are powerful catalysts for healing. Not only are communities levers for change, but they also have a profound influence on well-being, mental health, and quality of life. The quality of social support we experience has a great effect on our health, including our longevity.

Community is expressed through

  • Culture

  • Collaboration

When expressed through culture, the community takes in the form of:

  • values, norms, behaviors, language, and history that have been passed on from one generation to the next

  • a cultural heritage that gives us comfort and connection

  • cultural strengths

  • creating new historical narratives

  • collective processing of historical grief and trauma (healing histories)

  • learning about precolonial history and decolonization

  • highlighting ancestral and cultural resilience

  • understanding cultural buffers or coping strategies

  • understanding the differences between the majority culture and one’s own culture

  • enculturation- the process by which individuals learn about and identify with their minority culture

  • shedding stereotypes about one’s own culture,

  • integrating identity attitudes - refer to the extent to which one internalizes or externalizes attitudes toward oneself and one’s group.

  • practicing cultural rituals, embedding cultural healing practices and spiritual expressions

  • offering food that is culturally appropriate to a community (especially in spaces like hospitals where cultural healing is important)

  • emphasizing the strengths of cultural traditions

  • providing cultural safety through an understanding of differences, transparency in power dynamics, and recognizing the social, historical, political, and economic circumstances that create power differences and inequalities

When expressed through collaboration, the community takes the form of:

  • leveraging of collective strengths

  • embedded with a “kapwa” psychology (shared humanity)

  • engaged in a purpose larger than one’s self

  • sharing of knowledge, resources, power

  • encouraging minority voices

  • valuing collective experiences and input

  • redistributing decision making

  • developing and promoting mutual understanding

  • interweaving

  • shifting from conceptual to relational and action-driven

  • establishing or re-establishing trust

  • building change initiatives

  • self-managing and self-organizing

  • transparency and clarity in engagement

  • valuing and embracing emergence within teams or collaborations

  • deeply embedded intentionality in ways of working together

  • takes into account the importance of the parts and the wholeness of the team

  • valuing and encouraging co-creativity

  • emphasis on personal autonomy and personal responsibility

  • working towards an evolutionary purpose

  • working together to find solutions that benefit everyone

Below is a worksheet to use to reflect on your Commitment to Community

Worksheet on exploring commitment to community
Worksheet on exploring commitment to community

Do let me know how you are receiving these ideas and what is bubbling up for you! I created this PADLET for those who would like to stay in the course of exploring this with me. Feel free to add your thoughts, inspirations, quotes, videos, and podcast links around the different commitments.

As I further explore this framework, I would love to hear your thoughts, impressions, and suggestions when you read through the material. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing the other commitments as well as preparing a downloadable guide with activities and suggested exercises. So please stay tuned!




Join the next REFUGIA learning session on DESIGNING HEALING CENTERED ECOSYSTEMS (May 16) that I will be facilitating. You can read more about this event here.


Together with Saskia Wenniger and Alex Brooks we recently released a strengths-based toolkit for Neurodiversity Education Academy entitled " What's Strong with You? " with 20+ tools, exercises, and activities to notice how you use your strengths, recognize patterns in leading and engaging with your strengths and how to make your strengths visible in your day-to-day life.


🫶 Are you keen on designing healing-centered spaces, organisations, retreats, or gatherings?

💡 Or would you like to explore more on how to design engagement within the team that promotes healing, liberation, and belonging?

📧 Please send a message or book a connection call.

🎫 You can also check out upcoming events here.

🧰 I also have a page dedicated to tools and resources for change makers, community weavers, and systems catalysts. You can download the tools here.

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