Looking back at her panel discussion during the HEALING SUMMIT 2016, Tanya Pergola, shares her findings on how to manage to work with, socialize with and be in relationship with people who hold very different values, beliefs, behaviours and appearances than you do yourself.
I’m just back from the HEALING SUMMIT 2016 in Berlin, Germany. This very special event brought together over 120 professionals from 27 countries to debate, discuss and learn from our collective wisdom of healing body, mind and soul and our interconnectedness with the world around us. I had the privilege of moderating one of the key panels on “Global Identity: Who is the New Us?” with an amazing group of people from Persia, Syria, China, Holland/Egypt and Russia.
We dove deeply into the stormy waters of the refugee crisis, migration, globalization, living and working with people from different cultures, peacefully. After our panel, a delegate discussion was held to explore the question:
How do you manage to work with, socialize with and be in relationship with people who hold very different values, beliefs, behaviours and appearances than yourself?
What emerged from these sessions is truly magical and it feels like we are pioneering new territory, a way towards peace in this tumultuous world. Here are some of the concrete and realistic tools we took away from the SUMMIT to put into practice back home…
- When met by someone who looks so different to you, make no pre-judgement and start with a smile.
- Celebrate your own rituals and cultural beliefs while honoring and respecting other people’s. Consider celebrating with others when appropriate.
- Sing and / or dance together, moving beyond words
- Periodically check in with colleagues and discuss what people want, noting when wants are the same, and reinforcing a shared mission of serving others.
- Listen to people’s stories. Learn where they come from and appreciate your own story.
- Practice seeing a person as a spirit first, dressed in human costume.
- Use words that respect the present scene you are in, unadulterated by judgement of previous scenes. In other words, come into as many interactions as possible with curiosity, and an awareness of infinite possibilities for the outcome.
The HEALING SUMMIT 2016 ended with words from Dr. Edith Eva Eger, a Holocaust survivor and now a clinical psychologist. Hearing her story about watching her mother being taken from her at Auschwitz and how she survived, eventually discovering the power and peace within herself that transforms even the most horrific experiences into opportunities for healing and growth, made us all weep.
I loved being in community with my fellow healers and holistic business visionaries. With all the hostile things happening in this world, there are a lot of reasons to be hopeful. Let’s keep our chins up my friends.
Dr. Tanya Pergola