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
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
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
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
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!
WHAT ELSE IS BREWING?
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.
CURIOUS TO KNOW MORE ABOUT MY WORK?
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.