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REALM in Action



Educational Trainings | Customized Programs
Wisdom Workshops | Experiential Learning
Brain-Based Stress Resilience | Conflict Transformation

Collaborative Culture | Holistic Hybridity   
Trauma-Informed Organizations, Culture, and Communication
Personal and Professional Development | Relational Intelligence

We live, work, learn, and lead in a complex interconnection of realms. Working as a biopsychosocial facilitator, neuroscience-based consultant, and strategic partner is an emergent process of holding space for the interconnections, nuances, and large forces and crises at work in the world, in social fields, at the complex intersections of people's experiences and throughout spheres of organizational culture.


Curiosity is a Catalyst


The power of asking questions compels us to wonder about the ones we rarely ask, the ones that might be missing from our most pressing circumstances, the questions that serve as both compass and guide, that tell us where we are and where we might go from here.


How can we harness the power of these spaces to move away from linear 'problem-solution' approaches that often miss the real issues,  overlook the gaps, and reinforce barriers to connection and belonging? What is possible when we mind the gaps? What can collective anxiety tell us about what an organization's unaddressed needs? How can destigmatizing failure unlock pathways for creativity and innovation? How can normalizing trauma literacy help depathologize adverse experiences and open up new avenues for social healing and growth?


Wherever people convene, our stories, life experiences, adverse experiences, and nervous systems enter spaces of interaction before we form our thoughts or utter a word. Whether these spaces are visible or virtual, physical or digital, the real work of trust, safety, and affiliation lives in embodied practice. How we show up matters. Before we enter a conversation or a virtual or physical space with others, our state arrives before we even speak a word. Our nervous system enters the room before 'we' do. 


Befriending Our Collective Nervous System

We are largely unaware of how influential we are in the lived reality of other people. We don't know the way our states, feelings, words and non-verbal language activates other people's brains and nervous systems. The same goes for people's impact on us. Over time, our stress response patterns feel so innately a part of us, we often mistakenly believe that the way we react is the way we are - our propensity to feel our "blood boil" when we feel invalidated (fight), our reflexive choice to check out (flight), our way of staying put but leaving internally (freeze), or appeasing others for fear of rejection or retribution (fawn).

In our world of flux, the only viable, sustainable way to "manage" our stress responses is to engage with them, to turn toward other (flock), develop trauma awareness, befriend our nervous system, and begin to notice and shift our patterns. Knowledge is not just power; it's also a pathway to generative change and harnessing living potential. 


Reciprocity is Embodied


Engagement is a deeply social, relational, empathic, and neurobiological process. If we want to co-create spaces in which people are engaged, we must get curious. This curiosity begins at the root with the biology of belonging, attends to our intrinsic social engagement system that is activated when we feel seen and heard, and harnesses the interpersonal dynamics of mutuality and reciprocity that our body autonomically telegraphs to others that we can be approached and we are welcome to approach. Reciprocity is an interpersonal biological gift of safety. More than "psychological safety", it's the kind of safety that is co-created from the insight out, the safety of non-negotiable needs. A relational safety that says, let's look at what's missing, unlearn fear, and trust the power of imagination to re-animate our seeing, being, and doing.


Depends On Your Lens


We must develop a new awareness. Burnout is not a disorder or disease, but a clue. Addressing post-traumatic stress makes little sense if trauma is ongoing. Resilience is not curated in a one-and-done workshop. Contrary to popular belief, we can't build it like a muscle or find it in a toolbox. We need new ways of understanding to align with the reality and lived experiences of who we are now and in our constant becoming. We need language where voices can be instruments of peace, curiosity, connection, and generative change.  


The crises and challenges of our world have profoundly impacted our lives, states of being, energy capacities, social bandwidth, and mental and physical health. At this threshold moment, the careful cultivation of trauma-informed, resilience-centered organizations, schools, communities, workplaces, and social spaces is a portal to collective care, inclusive wellbeing, and interdependent resilience. 

Resilience is Relational


Working in a hybrid and remote work world requires a different kind of presence. We can begin to develop these new skills by taking some steps to notice and name the elephants in the Zoom room, identify blind spots to see with new eyes,  dismantle barriers, listen intently, and center empathy and empowerment as essential ingredients of a collectively resilient organization.

In the face of uncertainty and the unknown, our brains tend to  react with hypervigilance. The current crises can deplete us...and they can unite us. We can face and embrace solutions where possible and pave pathways for flourishing through adversity when we invest in social capital, the relational scaffolding that not only buffers people in the storms, but provides meaning and a sense of purpose on the journey. 

We cannot do this critically important work alone. Resilience is relational. 


REALM is grounded in the science and practice of building social sustainability and resilience through holistic education, new learning and training that develops cognitive flexbility and emotional agility, adaptive and mindful leadership that centers mutual trust and collaboration, and a foundational knowledge of the interpersonal neurobiology of mindbody processes and best practices for aligning values, vision, needs, and voices. 

There are realms of possibility for collective thriving. Let's explore them together. 

Lu Hanessian Copyright 2021 All rights reserved
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