If the primary symptoms of physical and mental health arise from disconnection, why don't our medical and mental health systems teach people how to connect?



We are living in a moment, in modern global capitalist culture, where 4 out of 5 visits to primary-care physicians are stress-related. In the United States, 4 out of 5 adults report having experienced a significant stressor in the past month. 4 out of 5 Americans have experienced at least one significant Adverse Childhood Experience. The most ‘developed’ nations on earth are experiencing a ballooning mental health crisis. At the same time we are under-going massive global humanitarian crises, massive systemic oppression, and a global ecological crisis. What is going on?

For 99.9% of human history, the way that we lived was all about connection. In the 2 million years that humans have been on the planet, the entire foundation of culture was oriented towards creating a context where we could deeply connect with ourselves, one another, and the living world. These are the Original Instructions. At a physiological level, this profound orientation towards connection brings online and stabilizes our Connection System, the physiological system responsible for wellbeing. What we are connected to we have a relationship with. When we have a relationship with something we value it. When we value it we take care of it. When we don’t, we don’t. This applies to our relationships with ourselves, one another, and to the living world. What we don’t have a relationship with we don’t understand. What we don’t understand we fear. What we fear we destroy.

Declining wellbeing, social oppression, and ecological alienation are all facets of the same fundamental problem: modernity arose from disconnection. It arose through the separation of the mind and the body, through dominance and colonialism, and through the objectification of Nature. Modern western (allopathic) medicine and mental health, which emerged from this worldview, is de-contextualized from the fabric of connection, so it treats individuals in isolation, treats the mind and the body as if they were separate, and doesn’t even have a language for remediating social or ecological trauma and alienation. It therefore fails to address the pressing needs of 4 out of 5 modern people.

We are standing on the threshold of a profound revolution in wellness, heralded by the burgeoning mindful awareness movement, breath-taking advances in applied neurophysiology (centrally arising from the Polyvagal Theory), an awakening in science and medicine to the wisdom of indigenous and ancestral cultural and healing practices, and the emergence of new liberatory psychologies. Restorative Practices is a collaborative healing model emerging from the synthesis of ground-breaking work in mindful awareness, neurophysiology, trauma healing, somatic awareness, relational mindfulness, cultural linguistics, indigenous lifeways, psychologies of liberation, and work in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Many of our 40 advisors are world-renowned pioneers in their respective fields. Our mission is to re-unite the human family with themselves, one another, and the living world.

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A free set of guided, facilitated practices of well-being in internal, relational, and nature awareness so you can begin to understand how it all works.


“This work feels like a foundational piece of wellness and overall health that I feel has long been missing from the medical conversation. I love how it is based in the science of how we function- it is very practical, very direct. I’ve witnessed its effectiveness with my patients. These are places that I don’t think traditional medicine or mental health has succeeded in reaching, and I find this work extremely inspiring and hopeful in its implications for healing.”

  • Eric Pankonin
    This is the only use of the Internet I’ve ever heard about that actually makes sense.
    Eric Pankonin
    Participant, Restorative Practices
  • Karine Bell
    This has been one of the most impactful and eye and heart-opening experiences I can remember. I'm stil integrating so much of what we did together. The conceptual learning as taught through the films is really quality, but beyond that the shared group learning was incredible. I'm not sure I've ever witnessed people exploring with such vulnerability, authenticity, and willingness to sit with discomfort for the sake of growth - aided by the loving container the facilitators held - like I witnessed and experienced here. It was truly something special and I'm grateful to be a part of it. Thank you Gabriel, Tiara, and Gloria for your exquisite facilitation of that space.
    Karine Bell
    Restorative Practices Cohort Participant
  • Amy Keala
    I use the tools we are learning in Restorative Practices every single day. With myself, with my family, with my clients. Everybody. Every day.
    Amy Keala
    Berkeley, California
  • Participant
    I’m not even sure how to talk about the healing I experienced in ordinary language. Things happened in my body when we were practicing together that I’ve never experienced before. At the end of the second day I felt more relaxed and settled than I’ve ever felt. Unbelievable.
    Oakland, California
  • Anna Minsky
    The Restorative Practices training has been exactly what I’m looking for in the next step of personal and professional development. The ways in which neuroscience, direct practice, systems thinking, nature connection, and self-exploration are woven together has made room for me to be more skilled, present, and nuanced in my work and in my life.
    Anna Minsky
    Restorative Practices Cohort Participant
  • Heidi Gray, LMFT, Clinical Supervisor
    I was looking for professional development that would revive my work and my soul. The work of the Restorative Practices cohort has been transformative. It is a convergence of many of my own paths and integrative in ways I had not expected. I am more aware of myself and aware of the subtle changes in others – more in tune to them, listening to the deeper, heartfelt, needs and issues. I am more aware of my “gut” feelings and less “in my head” – which is a victory for me. I am growing, learning, moving, more alive and much more connected than I was when I started. I believe I’ve started on a path that will extend far beyond the cohort and want to express my deep gratitude for this journey.
    Heidi Gray, LMFT, Clinical Supervisor
    Restorative Practices Cohort Participant
  • Dr. Drew Factor, MD
    The Restorative Practices program challenged me in ways which were both ’eye-opening’ and ‘heart-opening.' I learned a tremendous amount about the essential qualities of being connected to myself and the participants, and the difficulties of doing so with ease. Despite these challenges, I felt 100% supported by the wisdom of the participants and the skills of the facilitators. This course is not for the faint of heart, though it will surprise you with the growth potential that you didn’t think possible.
    Dr. Drew Factor, MD
    Restorative Practices Cohort Participant
  • Samata Vasisht
    After years of facilitating leadership groups for resilience and wellbeing with my background in holistic wellbeing,I was completely blown away with the heart and spirit of this cohort/community in Restorative Practices.I was longing to meet Real people who have real conversations about real things in the Real world. I noticed my own armour/mask dissolving and I recovered huge chunks of my own heart which was fragmented and numbed through years of protection from covert discrimination and injustice which I had accepted as part of my life. It was an incredibly healing experience and I feel restored as I claim parts of me and find courage in community. I came home to my self and was inspired by a real community, am deeply grateful and have stepped up in my life to truly serve. I notice my energy is flowing once again and am still integrating and learning. A deep bow and feeling blessed is the only appropriate response here.
    Samata Vasisht
    Restorative Practices Cohort Participant