Communities of practice have changed my life. They have re-wired my nervous system, disrupted old belief patterns about myself and others, and have opened up doorways to knowing abundance.
As a trauma survivor who was raised to believe in fierce individualism, this is radical.
When we’ve experienced trauma and/or danger in our young years, our nervous systems can easily become fragile, and we can live as suspicious and protected individuals. Even when we are no longer in danger or in traumatic environments, we may live from vigilance and fear. This is where the healing power of healthy communities of practice comes in.
In my own experience, a healthy community of practice consists of people who are committed to the same ideals or truths, and who have agreements and practices that they engage in to stay in integrity with their ideals or truths. Because integrity is at the center, people work together to stay in alignment. We support each other, engage in power-with practices, call one another in as needed, and encourage each other to use our agreed upon practices to stay in integrity. Such communities are empowering, build internal agency and resourcing, and teach us that we can learn and grow together.
When we have healthy Communities of Practice, our nervous system and psyches learn that although we may have experienced great harm in our lives, the entirety of the world and her inhabitants are not harmful. We discover that the layers of protection we grew to rely on early in our lives, are no longer needed because we learn that, despite our past experiences, we are now safe to be who we are. We feel safer in our beings because our nervous systems and psyches know greater health and ease. This allowance and acceptance brings about great healing and transformation with all planes of our existence.
While I love the 1:1 work I do with clients, I find that there is nothing that can replicate the power of being a participant in a healthy community of practice. It brings me great pleasure to be witness to the life changing impact of such a community, and I am grateful for the opportunity to offer this to Matrix Integration Exploration participants.