Social, Emotional, and Spiritual Renewal

Conversation Guide

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Our social, emotional, and spiritual life is tied to how we understand ourselves, relate to others, and experience belonging and purpose. It is about our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, memories, and states of being. This sense of self is further shaped by culture, early life experience, faith, ZIP code, and other factors. Our social, emotional, and spiritual life guides our decisions, influences our actions, and helps us know who we are. Society can present us with negative influences like trauma, exclusion, and violence that impact our social, emotional, and spiritual lives. As we consider the idea of renewal in these areas, we can also recognize the ways individuals and institutions in our communities can play a major role in fostering connection and support. In this conversation, you are invited to consider your own experiences, name what has helped you to develop resilience, and dream up what could be possible in our communities moving forward.

Background Information:

This guide was created in partnership with Thriving Together. Thriving Together Logo

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)

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.

Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Conversation Agreements:
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. 

Question Rounds:
What We’ll Talk About

Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.

Round 1:
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?

Round 2:

Social, Emotional, and Spiritual Renewal (~40 min)

One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.

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..

  • Describe a time when your social, emotional, or spiritual health was tested. How did you respond? What did you learn from the experience?
  • What does resilience look like? How have you or people you know demonstrated resilience?
  • What does it look like to cultivate caring and compassion across the lifespan? How can our schools, workplaces, or religious institutions support our social, emotional, and spiritual health?

Round 3:
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?

Closing (~5 min)

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

Thank You!