When we say “health”, it includes not only physical health but also holistic wellness, which is often related to the intersection of systemic oppression. In an effort to continue nurturing a culture of health, we decided to start a new section – “Pillars of Our Shared Work” – in our monthly newsletter to talk about the foundation that Six Degrees is built on. We are eager to share with you thoughts and resources on some of the topics that we are passionate about. In this section, we ask: How can we together build a community that values awareness for inclusiveness, respect for shared labour, and creative fostering engaged participation? We would also like to invite you to get in touch with us on any related topics that you are interested.
This month we connect with the Pillar of Spirit. What spirit may mean to a person is unique, possibly connected to tradition, religion, ancestry, land and so much more. When we speak of spirit here it is not to suggest that this understanding of spirit is the one we think you should have. NOT AT ALL :). We are inviting an awareness of spirit and what that means for you, into a connection with our shared work of justice and healing.
We can be unique in our practice and shared in our regard for the understanding of Spirit that works best for each of us. Being connected to spirit as a practitioner at Six Degrees, of course, means something different for everyone.
As co-owners of this space, we work with spirit and meditation techniques to contribute to being in harmony (as best we can) with the people who access the services we offer. This is informed greatly by Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) and the importance placed on our relationship with universal QI, which extends into spirit and our whole lives.
It is vital for us to attune to the needs of the communities we serve on multiple levels. By being connected to spirit, supported by intuition and directly asking the community.
It is even more vital to be aware of culturally appropriative use of spirit practices. Coming soon in this Pillars section is an article discussing cultural appropriation and the practice of Traditional East Asian Medicine. Right now there are many discussions on cultural appropriation and we share a few of them here to support raising our collective consciousness about the damage and harm being caused by the appropriation of culture. We do not support harmful cultural appropriation, we do acknowledge that there are ways we can interact with culturally specific spirit based practices that can be respectful and non-appropriative. These have to be driven and guided by those people for whom the practice is ancestrally rooted.
From here we speak to the important role spirit plays in our work at Six Degrees. We take the opportunity to reflect on spirit as a pillar of our shared work.
Our spirits, as are yours, are whole and vibrant as they are also healing, damaged, thriving & learning. When we have meetings at Six Degrees we often have food, we honour the earth and acknowledge the land and invite each person to a moment of stating what is alive for them right now. This has become a way of opening our time together that welcomes the presence of spirit as a guide for the project we call Six Degrees.
Within that invitation for guidance, we simultaneously invite our individual paths purpose along for the ride. Creating a container for our shared work to mingle with our unique purposes is, for us, a spirit practice. It is also an honouring of our ancestors, a resistance to colonial capitalism and a tool for attuning to the needs of community, ourselves included. Creating a space where we can show up fully as we are is a practice for us that supports our spirits and whole selves in relation with the communities we are connected to.
Susanda and I also connect with our darling dead ones when we need guidance or support or even an office chair donation! We have formal and informal practices that connect us with our dead as a channel for vision and support. We honestly ask them to help us find things we need, and we lean on their wisdom and a felt sense of their care for us when times are challenging and we need that kind of deeper support.
Spirit helps to form the basis from which we make decisions and intuit choices for ourselves and clients.
What does spirit mean to you?
How does spirit inform your work and, where relevant, the shared work of justice and community healing?
Spirit is so vast and we certainly do not proclaim to be experts! This piece about the importance of spirit in our shared work is intended as a community connector. Many of you may be deeply connected to spirit practices, already integrating those practices into your daily work, your calling, your purpose in community. Others of you may have no or little connection to a sense of spirit, but are curious and thoughtful and learning more about how to be resourced in these ways may support your purpose.
As is culturally respectful and safe, we hope you feel inspired to share more or learn more about how to work with spirit as a pillar of your work. In life, we need support, guidance and vision. At Six Degrees, to co-create this life of justice and healing for all, we work with our connection to spirit as a pillar of our foundation.