Why the Name Source Wellness?
Why the name Source Wellness when we focus on DEI, Mindfulness, and Wellness?
When oppression is present, true wellness is absent.
If you have any community where oppression is allowed to survive, true wellness is unattainable. At Source Wellness, we view the integration of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Mindfulness and Wellness techniques as absolutely essential for cultivating well-being in our environments. At this intersection, we are giving individuals the tools to be the source of their own wellness by exercising positive influence on their work environment.
First, an environment that truly promotes wellness is one in which all people feel comfortable being fully themselves and exercising healthy respect of boundaries. When people can be psychologically safe in the environments they operate in, individuals will experience a sense of ease, presence, and happiness. For example, when we aren’t feeling psychologically safe in our environments, our fight-or-flight response, or our stress response, is activated. When this physiological activation occurs, our body is not in a space where it can relax, rest, or be fully present. By being seen as different or by being “othered,” our bodies literally cannot feel safe or secure. Our minds will constantly seek ways to establish safety by thinking about what we could be doing differently, second guessing, and remaining fearful or distrustful of others around us. Typically, when we do not feel psychologically safe in our environment, we are made to feel like we are the problem, when, in reality, the systems in place and the people upholding these systems of oppression are causing this issue.
There are a variety of reasons why people do not feel a lack of psychological safety; these reasons may stem from a lack of awareness of DEI principles of our fellow team members, leadership, and/or the culture of the organization as a whole. Psychological safety for oppressed groups may be limited due to the unspoken expectation to code-switch in order to “fit in” to white, cis-gendered, heterosexual, male-dominated work cultures. Or, employees may have their voices quieted because they belong to an identity that is commonly oppressed. One example is that BIPOC in the workplace often experience discrimination through microaggressions. This sense of discrimination through “small” comments or actions, can leave BIPOC feeling drained, powerless, and frustrated. If there is not space to share one’s experience and truly feel heard in the workplace, microaggressions and discrimination go unanswered. Professors from Duke University say: “that perceived discrimination has a significant negative effect on both mental and physical health. Perceived discrimination also produces significantly heightened stress responses and is related to participation in unhealthy and nonparticipation in healthy behaviors.” (1)
Further, “Humans have a fundamental need to belong. Just as we have needs for food and water, we also have needs for positive and lasting relationships,” says C. Nathan DeWall, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky. “This need is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history.” (2) When we do not feel like we belong in a space, this activates the area in our brain associated with the response to physical pain. This shows that inclusion and belonging are basic needs for human beings. The lack of feeling like we belong to a social group has been shown to increase antisocial behavior such as higher levels of anger and self isolation. And while we may be able to survive a solitary existence with today’s modern conveniences, this existence is not a connected, happy one. At Source Wellness, we cannot overemphasize the importance of inclusion and belonging, as this desire to belong is physiologically fundamental. We all want and need to connect with those that we interact with in ways where we feel seen and heard.
Thankfully, Source Wellness offers a variety of means of cultivating belonging at work more intentionally. When we prioritize belonging, we ask questions like:
- Who do these decisions affect that may not be represented in this room?
- How can we include everyone’s voice who is in the room?
- How can we operate in ways that include the diverse voices of our company?
- How can I be intentional about my life-long DEI practice to improve my capacity to cultivate belonging in my workplace?
Source Wellness also focuses on ways to reduce and manage stress so that individuals on their DEI journey can thrive and continue to bolster their DEI efforts with Mindfulness and Wellness practices. Source Wellness shares how to prioritize rest and a healthier pace when we can, how we can train our attention to save energy and “water the right seeds” in life, and how self-care and community care can nourish us.
One offering, an introductory 30-minute webinar titled Belonging in Virtual Spaces is now available. If you are interested in learning tangible ways to cultivate belonging, mindfulness, and well-being at work, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.