Recently, I was having a conversation with an HR director. I was referred to their site because their employees were complaining of experiencing racist comments and didn’t know how to deal with it. In the conversation with the HR director, she was explaining to me that they had wellness programs on site. They had individuals who rendered massage services and yoga. Then came the teaching moment- would you get a massage in a workplace surrounded by landmines?
Let’s just say that this conversation opened the door to others, then it hit me that it had to come back to sharing this conversation with my network.
Landmines, you ask? Isn’t that drastic?
What does someone making a comment to me in passing have anything to do with my health?
Would you invest in a condo as a light sleeper that came with a brand new very comfortable high end bed, gorgeous view of the city, and was built above a 24-hour rock club? Me neither! Because the keywords are “light sleeper.”
Why I went to divinity school vs. another field was because I believe in nurturing the soul of the whole. No matter how gorgeous that bed and view are, I will not be able to enjoy them if my environment feels harmful, if it doesn’t nurture the mind, body, and being of all people involved.
How would fellow researchers answer the question: Would you get a massage in a workplace surrounded by landmines?
Research shows that individuals who are victims of domestic violence experience the same trauma responses as veterans after a war, including:
- Chronic fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle tension
- Involuntary shaking
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Sexual dysfunction
- Issues with menstrual cycle or fertility
I should know this quite well as a woman raised in a household riddled with psychological and physical violence, who struggled with numbers 1-7 for years prior to seeking holistic support and becoming an expert in transforming pain to power. What isn’t taught often is that the environmental stressors will often remain far after the physical bruises have healed. As an adult practitioner, I have become skilled at transforming my anxiety to action, and trauma response to deep self-gratitude. When I turn the mirror outward, that’s when my worldview changed. It wasn’t only my choice to honor my trauma responses, get that comfortable bed, invest in a beautiful view, or power partner with an amazing therapeutic touch healer that embodies my belief in healing, it was the choice to not live above a rock club because I know I am a light sleeper.
Now back to the HR conversation. When my workplace is that rock club which I experience as a constant source stress, it is now a game-changer. Let’s be clear, I am speaking about both the stress from the work job description and the stress from a work culture or school culture that leaves it’s highest human capital- students and employees- feeling undervalued. For many reasons, employees don’t always have the choice to say I will continue searching for a better work environment the way they could a condo investment. One’s workplace is the place where you spend most of your time, similar to a child who spends most of their time at home or school. It is a parallel process. If your work environment doesn’t feed your “soulcare” then no matter how amazing that lunchtime massage is, you may still be looking for another place of work when you return to the place that dehumanizes a part of you. The deep place that is life-giving. And in turn, agencies with excellent wellness programs, still lose valuable employees and millions every year in retention efforts because they failed to see the true connection- wellness is relational.
What does the relational wellness model have to say to this question: Would you get a massage in a workplace surrounded by landmines?
Yes, studies show that after you receive your amazing massage, your body has now become even more aware of the stressors that lie dormant in the past and present. And guess what, scholars from the US to Russia have said that these stressors may have been dormant as far back as generations. Stressors that lie dormant effect those perceived to be in the role of power and in the role of powerless. Every person who has to repress to feel powerful is gaining their power from dehumanizing another- which is not true power. Hence, they too are powerless. If that person has decision-making power over your livelihood, that becomes an abuse of power.
Environmental stressors affect your health.
Workplaces lose money when wellness programs lack integrated diversity and inclusion efforts.
Research shows that wellness can bring increased awareness to the body as a carrier of stress, and re-exposure to a stressful environment- without working on making that environment less stressful- will do more harm than good.
How does Sacred Walker’s professional journey adds to the the question: Would you get a massage in a workplace surrounded by landmines?
15 years ago, I was the associate Executive Director for an organization focused on shifting the impacts of sexual abuse stress on minors. I was passionate about the subject both professionally and from lived experience, and I moved at the time as a wounded healer seeking to rescue both my clients and co-workers. I moved in the world ripe and ready for what is called “compassion fatigue.” My supervisor was hardly there, and when she was she was extremely dismissive, and would accuse me of low work morale daily. Despite this, I spent months coming in on time, completing all my tasks efficiently, and putting my best foot forward. I noticed that I would come home, where I was care-taking an ill parent at the time, and literally pass out. That is the first sign of compassion fatigue. I had it set in my spirit that if I took good care of myself with wellness programs and mental health therapy, that my supervisor would eventually come around. One day, in the face of increased torment and belittling, I called in my support team and transitioned into a position where I felt valued and appreciated.
The benefits were excellent, my self care was top notch, I was a diligent executive, yet the environment was a direct replay out of what I grew up thinking I knew- I could make this better. Today, just as my ancestors knew, I know that the soul of an organization must be soul-nourishing vs soul-depleting, vision-centered vs. treating its employees as temporary parts, in addition to being self-care oriented, in order for the culture to thrive. Today, I am committed to transforming stress related illness from the individual to the organization because I recognize that wellness is, in fact, relational.
What does the Kuumba Health soulcare difference have to say to this question: Would you get a massage in a workplace surrounded by landmines?
1 in 3 people have been diagnosed with mental health challenges including mild anxiety.
1 in 2 seek help because they don’t think it works.
Now, let me ask you again- would you get a massage in a minefield? It will work when the source of stress shifts.
What does today’s millennial and ancient health practitioners have in common when approaching the question: Would you get a massage in a workplace surrounded by landmines?
Today, in the age of Black Lives Matters, Wonder Woman, Stay Woke, Underground, Marriage Equality, LGBTQ Business Certification, and more, the millennial generation challenges the legacy of environmental stress. It is refreshing to be a bridge builder. It is a gift to know that I have the ability to facilitate spaces that pull out the inner phenomenal wisdom in the seekers that find us.
Imhotep “the one that comes in peace” in the late 27th century BC, is credited for one of the earliest deities of healing and medicine in Egypt. This was a time when there was an ancient belief that healing and medicine went hand in hand. I call that, as per my facebook page, Love Medicine. Ancients teach us that there is a connection between coming in peace, healing, and medicine. Your presence is the medicine. Today’s millennials remind us that understanding the history of environmental stressors will help us shift our present. Hand in hand, there is a learning from the past to inform the present.
What does the news have to say in response to this question: Would you get a massage in a workplace surrounded by landmines?
According to recent News Report, there are over 5,000 spas in the country that have become a part of American life. It is a rich treat to lay back and enjoy the gift of a healing artist that has trained and is passionate about what they do. At our retreats, we often include body workers with creative approaches to shifting stress management. So the next time you go to your massage, and return to a workplace of mindfields, reach out. We are in the business of creating sustainable wellness models to remind you that you are not alone. We will support your organization to gain the tools to have a more relational approach of wellness. We spend most of our lives at work; together let’s disarm hostile environments so you all can prosper and thrive.
What are my 4 next steps if I need the above results when answering this question: Would you get a massage in a workplace surrounded by landmines?
Step 1: Recognize a balanced nervous system will promote wellness in your team members.
Step 2: Create sustainable and high-yielding employee retention wellness programs with your support. Book your initial consult here: www.meetme.so/initialconsult
Step 3: See rates & Book here: www.meetme.so/support-session
Request an invoice here, as needed: firstname.lastname@example.org
As CEO of Kuumba Health LLC, I am committed to disarming minefields so you do not have to, hand in hand with wellness initiatives, so you can thrive! Welcome to the soul-care difference.
Step 4: What should I do if the messages that I hear inside of my mind tell me I am not worthy of asking for support in my workplace? Book an individual support -session here: www.meetme.so/support-session You deserve to thrive.
Have a Happy #CreativeHealthSolutionSaturday #SoulcareSaturday #PainToPower for #PhenomenalYou #ThrivingEnvironments