Wholly Human defines the scale of its work across five concentric categories: inner or self, relationship, community, environmental, and spiritual.
While these categories may interrelate, they’re helpful labels for describing the value systems of our work. We explain this categorical work below, and you can check out the #TheWork tag for relevant content in our blog archive at the bottom of the page (coming soon).
Being Wholly Human begins with the self. Our body is with us wherever we go and has been with us through every agony and joy. Trauma is stored in the body, but so is ancestral wisdom. The body is a nucleus of awareness and the starting place for recognizing our needs and boundaries—the energy that we use to feed our reality. Let us learn how to listen to and exist in our bodies.
Personal healing creates a resilient center from which all other change in our lives may organically unfold. Reconnecting with more of the total bodily and emotional experience—especially feelings we may prefer to avoid—gives us access to more of ourselves, aligns our attention with the present moment, and gradually generates an internal frame of reference for navigating our world. In this way we can heal from the violent and dissociative norms of an unbalanced and life-destroying society.
Personal work involves healing from trauma, holding oneself accountable, becoming responsible for what one brings into one’s interactions, forming visions in line with one’s purpose, a process of self-inquiry, and beyond all else: self love.
Everything exists only in relation to other things, such as a peer, a community, an ecosystem,or the broader cosmos we are co-creating. From the subatomic to the galactic, relationships arise when energy systems interact, and so the health and stability of each system affects the harmony of their relationships, and vice versa. We relate to the soil, the air, the water, the space around us, and all other beings.
All relationships are an interplay of energies that draw us together. When we come from a place of love, all our human and other-than-human relationships are also an expression of love.
But many of us are born into a culture that fails to provide healthy examples or access to relationships, human or otherwise, both because it divorces people from pleasure and self-love and because it controls and contorts our ideas of “love” into something that is often self-limiting, possessive, isolating, and aimed at specific expectations. However, it is possible and very healing to address, deconstruct, and replace these cultural norms with an ability to connect with and love ourselves and each other in ways that are healthy, whole, and uplifting to all involved. Our work includes exploring the different ideas and experiences of relationships; reconstructing what it means to love others; building and respecting healthy boundaries; and practicing radical love with honesty, vulnerability, and non-attachment on this path to liberation.
Participating in the work doesn’t excuse oneself from the movements of society. “Enlightenment” is not disconnection from reality, sitting on a cushion while other people toil in socio-political struggle! Society is made of the values, beliefs, and experiences of communities, and connecting mindfully with one’s community is a core focus of the Wholly Human project.
It is in this area of work that we engage with social constructs, including both ideological and activism movements, as part of our responsibility to contribute to society in the name of positive change and intentional co-evolution. Hence QTBIPOC- and diversity- focused action (diversity of bodies and minds) is neither ignored nor considered an “addendum” to our work; it is central to it.
Our planet is the source of our life and Mother of us all. Ecosystems as we know them are composed of multi-species societies and the microclimates & geologies they co-create, drawing an intimate connection between our internal and external environments. Life on Earth is predicated on complex networks of cooperation and interrelation that Colonio-capitalism violently destroys, poisons, and obscures, leaving people disconnected from the Earth and thus from themselves. This is the reality of our interconnectedness, our current traumas, and of the inherent value of all things.
Like any other animal, humans fit a niche in their ecosystems. Colonio-capitalism has turned many away from their responsibilities, effectively turning our ecology into an economy, and shifting our natural internal compass away from a sensitivity to our external and internal environments toward a conceptual system of exploitation and manufactured scarcity. This is not an inherent part of humanity, but a behavior that arises from an ideology. We cannot heal ourselves from within this destructive ideology, just as we cannot heal our world through these destructive systems. Therefore, Wholly Human is focused on deepening our connection to and protection of Earth and all of its systems.
To begin, we ask ourselves: what beliefs do we hold about ourselves and our place on this planet? Are they destructive beliefs? Who benefits from these beliefs? When faced with the endless list of catastrophes carried out against our ecosystems, it’s become popular to demonize all of humanity as if our experiences, histories, and beliefs were universal. In reality, we are systematically forced into perpetuating a cycle of violence against ourselves, each other, and the planet. This is the very mechanism of settler colonialism, which is not a universal human value.
Eventually, we can ask ourselves: what does it mean to be indigenous or naturalized to an ecosystem? What relationships have our ancestors maintained in ecosystems throughout the world, and what kind of meaning does one find in these relationships? How can we participate mindfully in these kinds of relationships on a local scale?
The spirit of every energy system—personal, relational, societal, environmental, cosmic—can be recognized, received, and reciprocated. In this way, the spiritual experience is not just accessible, but also perfectly mundane.
As all things arise mutually from an interconnected Whole, the illusion of separateness includes the illusion of being separate from the divine. It is experiential—as real as real can be! To accept the divine within oneself is also to accept the divine within everyone and everything else. To accept the world is also to accept its shadows, which exist in direct relation to its highlights. To accept the present is to feel it, live in it, and respond to it, thus freeing oneself to change and adapt harmoniously.
We believe it is important to have spiritual discipline in one’s life, but are aware that throughout history many movements and communities in the history of whiteness have overreached and disrespected other religions and spiritualities through appropriation. Instead of perpetuating this unloving practice or leaving it unaddressed, we strive to connect ourselves and others with a spirituality grounded in the “natural present.” Nature—diverse, wise, fluid, transformative nature—is the giver of all answers. While we understand that colonio-capitalist society leaves people starving for spiritual meaning, we assert that it is possible to fulfill this natural requirement without cultural appropriation or strict religion, and that this leads one to a more connected relationship with the Universe, the Earth, the Self, and each “Other.” This, in our opinion, is a personal spirituality that is accessible to anyone, anywhere, that reduces the risk of harming or disrespecting another person or culture.