This course will introduce “soulfulness” as an orientation to mindbody practice that centers contact with our deep, interconnected, and embodied inner aliveness as a healing resource. The soulfulness approach is particularly inspired by the culture, wisdom, and spirituality of African and the African diaspora. Cultural dimensions of mindbody practice will be explored with special attention given to mindfulness. The principles and domains of the SOUL-centered (Soulfulness-Oriented, Unitive, Liberatory) practice framework will be presented and key practices will be demonstrated.
Soulfulness has particular value for healing, resilience, and liberation in the context of racial and oppression-related trauma. Strategies for using the SOUL-centered approach for addressing the 5 D’s of oppression (disconnection, dehumanization, destruction, delusion, and disempowerment) will be offered. This approach may be particularly resonant with BIPOC populations, as well as others who experience intersectional oppression.
While the soulfulness orientation was developed centering diasporic African cultural elements and the experience of oppression, healing principles relevant to our shared humanity and human suffering are embedded in the approach. This course is appropriate for health and wellness professionals, as well as those seeking to expand and enrich their personal practices.
Each course session with faculty will take place from 7:00 – 8:30 pm ET followed by an optional 30 minutes for Community Conversation (not recorded) from 8:30 – 9:00 pm ET that includes discussion around key learning points from the live session with your fellow students and your Learning Navigator.
Dr. Shelly Harrell is a Professor at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology and Director of the Culture, Wisdom, and Resilience Lab. Her current work focuses on developing culturally-responsive, “soulfulness”-oriented interventions that utilize contemplative practices (meditation, mindfulness) and cultural expressions of wisdom (quotes, poetry, music) to facilitate resilience and liberation– internally, relationally, and collectively. She has published and presented extensively on sociocultural and sociopolitical aspects of stress, racism and well-being, cultural competence, and Black mental health. Dr. Harrell is a practicing psychotherapist, certified meditation teacher, and has conducted workshops and trainings for numerous educational, social service, health care, and professional organizations.