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Values & Approach

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Animism

An animist ethic acknowledges and honors the life, spirit, and consciousness of plants, animals, elements, places, natural phenomena, and much more, as part of an interconnected expression of life-giving energy that animates the material universe. Emphasizing ethics of relationship, humility, and reciprocity, it does not presume that humans are a superior expression of life to other expressions, asking us not only to recognize our interconnectedness, but to live respectfully with our community of other-than-human kin.

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Spirit-Ackowledgment

Spirit-acknowledgment involves the recognition of forces big and small that may manifest at the liminal areas of human consciousness and beyond—that also do not exist apart from the non-liminal areas, or the five senses, or the material realm—, of which we are an expression, and with which we are constantly in relation and influenced by. A foundational pillar of unhealthy and unbalanced culture today is a kind of materialist fundamentalism. When we are materially one-sided, we abandon our responsibility not only to our ancestors, but also as future ancestors, to the needs of the inevitable future generations that have yet to appear here on Earth. To acknowledge the existence of spirits is to openly defy the centuries-old colonial conditioning that has attempted to disrupt and destroy cultures everywhere (through attacks on language, traditions, rituals, cosmovisions, stories, eco-spiritual knowledge, etc.) from connecting to our ancient ways of knowing and relating. In doing so, we keep alive a sacred thread.

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Liberation

So much of what lives at the core of disease, disorder, imbalance, illness, and stress is rooted in the collective trauma imprints of colonization, as well as its ongoing manifestations. An anti-supremacy ethic devoted to acknowledging and healing color-based, ethnicity-based, gender-based, sexuality-based, and all other forms of supremacy and violence both internally and in communities, is absolutely critical if we are to honor the sacredness of life and life-expression here on earth.

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Compassion & Kindness

The absence of compassion is the absence of life. Kind, gentle compassion through deeply engaged, nonjudgmental presence is the material through which belonging is woven. We remain knit together through our own genuine care for each other, and amidst the inevitable clouds of suffering that befall us all, there is nothing more significant than our togetherness.

Vulnerability

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Being that I am a human with a particular experience, I am highly limited in a great number of ways. There may be areas in which I hold extensive knowledge based on my personal experience, but this does not make me an expert on any subject. I am constantly learning—each moment, a teacher—and so in contrast to the standard expert-novice model, I am dedicated to learning from and supporting the flourishing of your innate inner wisdom by remaining open toward (and transparent with) that which I do not know.

One’s safety is assured by another’s expressed vulnerability.

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Trauma-informed

Trauma-informed care promotes and reflects awareness around the impacts of trauma, the signs and symptoms of trauma, and paths to trauma-recovery. While viewing a person and their current health situation through a sociocultural lens, it supports choice, autonomy, collaboration, and empowerment in order to create an environment of safety and minimize the risks of re-traumatization.

Culturally-informed

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Culturally-informed support helps us to frame healing and suffering within the context of larger social, political, and environmental contexts, allowing for a wider view of how institutions and social structures of the dominant (Western) culture reflect and re-strengthen certain fundamental cosmovisions, values, thinking, and behaviors. What are the implicit values—the cultural assumptions—that go unnoticed in our Western institutions, rituals, and social norms? How do these values shape the most subtle aspects of our experiencing? How do they define for us what is possible and not possible, what is a legitimate way of being and what is not a legitimate way of being? Becoming aware of the impacts of Western culture on the psyche can often be a pivotal process in healing from culturally-rooted damage and regaining intuitive wisdom.

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Paradox capacity

A key pillar of cultural decolonization work is cultivating an ability to be with paradox. When we allow for the presence of paradox and contradiction within our lived experience, we honor the aspects of ourselves and our greater environment that cannot be easily categorized, make space for an ancient knowing within us, and open ourselves to non-rational forms of relating to other kinds of life— human or beyond-human. In doing so, we cultivate flexibility, mobility, and spaciousness, as well as make room for engagement with that which we knowingly do not understand.

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A nuanced relationship with language

Language is a magical tool, and often a tricky one to work with because it can so easily pull the thinking mind into the world of concepts and presumptions of knowing. Slowing down, honoring silence, and changing the rhythm of language can open up other languages that exist beyond human, spoken language, allowing us to gently question the way that we assume we should be thinking and speaking, thus making room to engage with the other languages that inhabit our world: the languages of the elements, the stars, the stones, the earth, and so on.

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Fluidity, attunement, adaptability

Healing has no formula. There is no particular prescription, practice, or piece of advice that is applicable to each person all of the time. What one may need in a particular moment is not what they need in another moment, nor is it what another needs in that moment. True healing is about practicing the art of balance, and this requires attunement to where one is at and what one needs relative to their direct experience in the present moment. Good support is about attunement and adaptability, so what occurs during our sessions will respond directly to your unique situation, needs, and interests.

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