At Emotional Rescue Courses, in addition to conducting conversations about how to foster emotional resilience, we are part of many larger conversations taking place throughout the world. At this time, one of the most critical conversations involves questioning the paradigm that has largely governed life on Earth, which asserts that the logical way to relate to resources –– both natural and human resources –– is to dominate, exploit, and extract, regardless of the consequences.
Along with many others, we believe in building kind communities in which all can live and thrive, with no one left out. For this reason, we are part of a growing chorus of voices exploring how to build cultures that place the well-being and flourishing of the inhabitants of our planet at the very center.
Defining Regenerative Culture
While there are myriad definitions of “regenerative culture,” this vision is what we at Emotional Rescue Courses hold in our hearts as we build our organization and communities of practice throughout the world. We recognize that, during this dire time in the Earth’s history, there is a need for cultures –– plural –– adapted to the unique environments in which they take root.
What, then, is our contribution to building regenerative cultures? It is in helping as many humans as possible to build emotional resilience now. By giving people tools to successfully navigate the difficult times ahead, we strengthen our collective ability to bounce back from adversity, challenge, and uncertainty with vitality, fresh creativity, and connection. This counters the bankrupt cultures of domination, exploitation, and extraction, and is our small but powerful contribution to the emergence of regenerative cultures.
In order to make this contribution, we must embody it in all we do. In the way we conduct our courses, and in the way we relate to each and every course participant, and to each and every member of our team.
Our Commitment to Regenerative Culture
We aspire to embody regenerative cultures through five main principles:
- Psychological safety
- Warm community connections
- Diversity and accessibility
- Abundance and the triple bottom line: good for the earth, for its inhabitants, and for our social enterprise.
Psychological safety is a shared belief that it is safe to be vulnerable, courageous, and take interpersonal risks with one another. In order to do the work of building emotional resilience, we have to feel safe to open up to all emotions, pleasant and unpleasant, and to move towards them with curiosity and nonjudgment, rather than avoid or suppress them. Many scientific studies have demonstrated that psychological safety is an essential element of learning environments and high-performing teams, organizations, and communities. We work to create an atmosphere of psychological safety in our Emotional Rescue Courses.
Warm community connections. Humans are social beings, and as such, we need connection in order to flourish. When we are engaged in creating a new habit, whether eating healthier and exercising or learning a new language, science shows that we increase our ability to do so when we have social support. If this is the case when we seek to change such basic habits, it is even more so when we’re building emotional resilience, which requires new habits that run counter to the dominant culture of distraction, denial, and avoidance. Besides, it’s just more fun and more joyful to learn and grow with others who are trying to do the same!
Spaciousness. All humans have the basic need for dignity and wholeness. In regenerative cultures, we have the space to heal and release outdated emotional reactions and recover our sense of wholeness. Together we begin to understand that dignity is our birthright as human beings. As we build emotional resilience and regenerative cultures, we begin with mutual care, allowing space to recognize each person’s wish to be happy and free of suffering. It only takes one caring person to change the trajectory of someone’s life.
For us at Emotional Rescue Courses, this also means that we aspire to care for our team members as human beings with unique gifts to nurture, not as natural resources to extract. Since there is no time to waste in terms of the suffering of the world, we aspire to a relentless commitment to serving our participants and communities. At the same time, we recognize that to manifest a regenerative culture, we must follow the natural rhythms of work and rest, and that one-pointed focus and spacious relaxation are not mutually exclusive but are mutually enhancing.
Diversity and Accessibility. We take inspiration from the inherent resilience of all healthy ecosystems. In such natural, interdependent systems, one of the essential sources of resilience is the diversity of living beings. However, diversity leads to resilience only when there is an open feedback loop –– capable of incorporating the varied information, knowledge, and wisdom into the dynamic system, which helps to improve it, strengthen it, and make it more nimble and responsive to change. Thus, we consider accessibility in all its forms as a critical element of building resilient, regenerative cultures. In order to create such cultures, we need to work hard to build a longer table, where as many as possible can participate, and to reduce the barriers to that participation.
Abundance and the triple bottom line. Emotional Rescue Courses is a social enterprise, meaning that it is a business with a social purpose. As a team with long track records in nonprofits and philanthropic activities, we know directly the challenges posed by constant fundraising. The reason we were founded as a business, and not as a nonprofit, is to operate on a model of self-sustainability and an abundance mindset. At the same time, like many other social enterprises throughout the world, we adhere to a triple bottom line: good for the earth, good for its inhabitants (including our own team members), and financially sustainable for the business. That rationale is not for the accumulation of wealth, but to generate the resources to be able to sustain our activity and make it available for ever-wider audiences from all walks of life.
We are the first to acknowledge that we are not there yet. Nonetheless, we strongly believe that we must work together in order to embody these principles in all we do. We’re not saying that doing so will be easy, so we invite your feedback to help us live up to these aspirations.