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“When we leave people alone with their pain, their alienation becomes the precondition for radicalization.” ― Valarie Kaur

In ancient shamanic tribes when a person was traumatized it was believed that their souls were no longer living within their bodies. The individual would be sent to be cared for by a community of people. Eventually, when the person was able to find calm and a sense of safety, their soul would return. This is referred to as Soul Retrieval. I experienced this phenomenon when I was living in an intentional community on the volcanic island of Ometepe. Each person was responsible to contribute to the farm labor, the meals, the cleaning, and be respectful to each other. My life was simple, sleeping in a tent, showering in cold water, and eating food from the garden. Once a week we sat in a circle and listened to whoever wanted to share their experiences. In this circle, I learned about the individuals I was living amongst. I was able to soften my judgment and see their behaviors in a compassionate way. In my own time-sharing, I realized that no matter how much pain, shame, and guilt I held, there was always someone who could relate. Once I cultivated this awareness, I felt safe to be loved and supported by others. We always have the potential to create what we desire. I try to re-create these healing connections by creating spaces and relationships that mirror community values. Here are some prompts to explore when cultivating healing connection: These are 5 people I trust and love unconditionally: This is a space I feel safe to be myself: This is how I connect:


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