Healing takes many forms and can mean many things to different people. Going to the doctor and pharmacist can be part of the process of becoming healthy again. Accessing our internal power to engage in the process of becoming and/or remembering our wholeness may be part of healing. From an Indigenous perspective, healing is a process, rarely a one-time event. We each can choose to be “good medicine” or “bad medicine” for ourselves or others. Good medicine is anyone or anything that brings into alignment the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. Bad medicine is anyone or anything that takes our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical wellbeing out of alignment. The desire to be happy and to avoid suffering means that we can draw on the gift of healing in the dailiness of our lives, helping us become the whole, healthy human being we want to be.
Background Information:This conversation is adapted in part from themes from The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times, by Anita L. Sanchez, PhD. It is part of a series including Forgiveness, Hope, and Unity.
Let's Get Started!
Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate.
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
- What would your best friend say about who you are?
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
Healing (~40 min)
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows..
- What does healing mean to you? What does being healthy mean?
- How do you know when something is in need of healing at the spiritual, mental, emotional and/or physical level?
- Are there parts of you and/or your relationships that are calling to be healed?
- What is your experience of healing? What elements have been helpful? What elements have not been helpful?
- Have you been part of a healthy, healing community What was that like?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
- What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
- How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?