Join our sangha of the heart
Here, at Growing Humankindness, we’ve created a sangha of the heart. This membership community is for heart centered seekers who self soothe with food and who want to connect with soul, deepen healing, and nurture wholeness.
If you overeat to care for stress, suffer from body shame, or have a compulsive relationship with food, and you want gentle, healing support, we invite you to join our community of soul led women – and often, a few men.
Our members are poets and elementary school teachers, ministers and yoga teachers, healers and therapists, artists and parents, musicians and writers, nurses and doctors, midwives and doulas.
What we share in common is a yearning to deepen presence, compassion, and healing in our relationship with food – and in our relationship with ourselves.
Why a community?
I’m Karly Randolph Pitman, the founder and facilitator here, and this topic is close to my heart. As far back as I can remember, food has been the primary way I’ve cared for my sensitivity, overwhelm, and trauma.
I was one of those kids who was constantly told to ‘stop being so sensitive.’ A typical HSP, I felt everything – and often confused and terrified by what I was feeling. Food was my refuge: a constant, reliable place of comfort, security and care that quieted my internal distress.
As a young – and not so young – adult, I ping ponged between depression, anxiety, overeating, and self harshness. I felt so much shame about the ways I soothed myself in food – and shame about the ways I’m so easily overwhelmed. And yet, in the moment, food worked!
What made the journey more complex for me was my devotion to the Divine and my seeker’s heart. Why did I struggle with so much trauma when my heart most wanted to be closer to Love?
I began my recovery in my 20s, desperately trying to understand the needs that drove me to food and how this connected to my spiritual path. During this time, I was also a young mother. Something clicked when I began studying parenting and child development – I started becoming aware of the trauma that lay underneath my overeating.
It was more and more clear that food or my weight wasn’t the real issue, but a signal pointing to something else. I also saw that surrendering to this healing journey was my spiritual path. This yearning became Growing Humankindness.
I began writing about my journey in a blog in 2006, and created my first course two years later. I love weaving the insights of relational neuroscience, self compassion, soul, and spirituality into a place of safety and healing, where the painful places in our being can unfold.
Along the way, I’ve had the honor to sit alongside thousands of sensitive, caring, intentional souls as they speak their food stories aloud: food is “a mother,” a refuge, or like “a bad boyfriend I can’t let go.” One woman said sugar was her “nice girl’s addiction.” Another said that junk food was the only thing that helped her feel safe and warm. Healthy food was like a skeletal ‘wire monkey.’
Over the years, as people joined classes, people naturally wanted to continue to meet and connect after the class had ended. This community is an answer to that longing. Rather than a class that starts and stops, the community offers an ongoing oasis of support to cradle your healing.
Above and beyond healing with food, what our soul sangha yearns for is healing the pain of separation. We bring connection to what has been severed, homecoming to what has been outcast, and rest to what has had to work too hard.
We’re here to support the journey of transformation – to let our souls unfurl and unfold, to love and give freely, and to soften the isolation that so often accompanies the suffering of eating disorders.
How do I know if the community’s for me?
This is a collage I made about my dreams of healing.
The community is for you if….
- You enjoy the company of other soulful, heart centered women and want to engage and connect with others
- You have a painful relationship with food and long for peace
- You’re comfortable in an online learning environment
- You enjoy exploring your ‘inscape’ and the domain of soul
- You’re open to meditative or inquiry based practices
And a few more signs that the community might be especially helpful…
- You do best with warm, gentle support
- You have good intentions but struggle to implement changes on your own
- You want to emerge more authentically and fully in your life
- You want to use your relationship with food to deepen self knowledge, self compassion, and forgiveness
Here are some signs that the community isn’t a good fit:
- You dislike zoom or an online environment.
- You’re uncomfortable with spirituality and soul
- You want personal or group therapy – therapy’s wonderful, just not what we’re offering
- You’re looking for nutritional advice, meal plans, or suggestions on what to eat
- You’re looking for trauma healing. We offer suggestions to find a trauma therapist here.
What’s included in the community
In the community, you receive support in several complementary ways to nourish your healing. We use relational neuroscience, compassion based spirituality, creative exploration, poetry, stories, ritual, and imagery to nourish our ‘deeper story’ – the deeper truth that lies below our wounds and traumas.
- Unlimited access to our course materials including Emerge: Create a New Habit, Align: Heal the Battle with Your Inner Rebel, and The Book of Love
- Group support for courses: 2-3 times a year we’ll go through a course together so you have the structure and support you need to see it through
- A warm, private forum (not Facebook) where you can share your experience and connect with others
- The option to have a Listening Partner, where you meet regularly to give and receive emotional support. (Learn more below.)
- Webinars where you can connect, share, listen, ask questions, and have creative play with others
- Art prompts for inquiry, journaling, collage and creative play to nurture healing and care for implicit memory
- Rest and integration to nurture your healing
The community intentionally offers many ways of approaching the sacred alchemy of healing. They’re offered as a buffet, not a 6 course meal, and we encourage you to create the meal that’s right for you.
Our 2023 focus: Nourishing Our Well Being
For 2023, the community has a group intention to “Nourish Our Well Being.” We’re breaking down this year long intention to monthly themes, which we’ll explore in our webinars, forum and with a Listening Partner, if you have one.
Here are the upcoming monthly themes:
- June: Nourishing habits
- July: Nourishing limits
- August: Nourishing the body
- September: Nourishing our wholeness
- October: Nourishing disintegration (the season of life when things fall away or fall apart)
In the Growing Humankindness community, you have the option to pair with a listening partner or two. Listening partners came about through the work of parenting coach and Hand in Hand Parenting founder Patty Wipfler. We’ve adopted listening partners here because we’ve seen how they soften isolation, nurture healing, and grow courage. People love having a regular place where they can connect with another, be heard, and receive emotional support.
We offer regular webinars where you can ask questions, connect and share with others. We’ll also spend time doing inquiry and creative play together – journaling, collage, creating art, etc. No artistic skill is needed to participate.
Webinars vary between 2 pm and 6 pm Central to care for our international community. They’re 90 minutes long and are recorded if you can’t make it.
Dates for the 2023 gatherings
- Thursday, July 27
- Thursday, August 10
- Thursday, August 24
- Thursday, September 14
- Thursday, September 28
- Thursday, October 12
- Thursday, October 26
- Thursday, November 16
- Thursday, November 30
- Thursday, December 7
- Thursday, December 21
Emerge: Create a New Habit class
In addition to these webinars, the community also goes through courses together throughout the year.
In June and July, the community’s going through the Emerge: Create a New Habit course as a group. Q&A webinars are on Thursdays, alternating between 2 and 6 pm central. Webinars are 75-90 minutes long.
These are the dates for the Emerge webinars:
- Thursday, June 8th, 2:00 pm central: opening Emerge webinar
- Thursday, June 15th, 6:00 pm central: Emerge webinar
- Thursday, June 22nd, 2:00 pm central: Emerge webinar
- Thursday, June 29th, 6:00 pm central: Emerge webinar
- Thursday, July 6th, 2:00 pm central: Emerge webinar
- Thursday, July 13th, 6:00 pm central: Emerge webinar
How a community differs from self study
If you spend a lot of time reading, studying or listening to podcasts about healing, and yet struggle to have these ideas ‘take root’ in your daily life, joining a group of like minded souls can help you cross the divide.
In facilitating 15 years of group spaces, and in my own journey, I’ve found that having a safe, warm, regular container of support is essential for any healing to unfold.
Whether this is a therapist, listening partner, 12 step group, spiritual group, or a community like we’ve created here, these nurturing spaces are the foundation of healing, growth and transformation.
We need safe spaces to stretch, take risks, and face vulnerable feelings.
In a community, you’re also joining others in a group intention.
Practicing with others also helps us implement new practices into our daily lives. These practices become living rituals that ground into our bodies and beings.
An intentional group container creates more nourishing and powerful effects than self study. It’s easier, and more fun! By joining forces, our labor is eased and nurtured by each other.
Is this a therapy group?
The community is a place of warmth, connection and safety. It offers some things that may feel similar to a therapy group, such as psychoeducation. But it’s not a ‘process’ group or group therapy.
In the community you’ll receive:
- Psychoeducation – you’ll learn some basic principles of relational neuroscience and healing to soften anxiety and orient you
- Skill development – we’ll practice self compassion, listening, and developing the capacity to be with uncomfortable sensations and emotions
- Support – you’ll get lots of warm emotional support
- Creative play – we use creativity and play to safely explore and care for those places inside that hold pockets of fear, aloneness, pain, and suffering
- Soul nurturance – you’ll receive poems, images, and stories to nurture your connection with soul, inner wisdom, and inner guidance: that place of richness that’s deeper than any loss or trauma you experience
You won’t receive:
- Interpersonal process support
- Private coaching
- Trauma support
- Individual or group therapy
- Nutritional support about what to eat
While this help is worthy of care, it’s best to seek it elsewhere.
Nurturing the ‘spiritual embryo’
Image from The Three Ages of Woman by Gustav Klimt
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it – and to embrace them.” – Rumi
If there’s anything we want you to take away from the community, it’s trusting your capacity to heal.
All of the ruptured places within us yearn for welcome: for safe spaces where they can be witnessed with warmth and curiosity.
Rather than viewing these places as parts of ourselves we need to cut out or fix, we invite them into a field of belonging and reconnection – even habits like overeating.
As these places are held in wholeness, we come home to ourselves. We peel back painful stories. Our compulsive habits soften and come to rest.
We rest in a greater sense of who we are, something greater than the ruptures, hardships, and separations of our lives. I call this Living Your Deeper Story – and the Growing Humankindness membership community is here to help you write that story into being.
As education pioneer Maria Montessori said, “We’re here to nurture the spiritual embryo.”
The community is here to support this story, and to serve this nurturance. If you feel moved to join us, we’d love to have you. We wait, and listen, and prepare a place for you.
Frequently asked questions
How much does it cost to be a member?
Membership in the Growing Humankindness community is $135 USD a month. (If you’re in Texas you also pay sales tax.) Like a gym membership, it runs month to month.
How many people are in the community?
The community is designed to be intimate and nourishing. We currently have 20 members and cap the community membership at 55.
How long should I plan on being a member in order to see changes?
Healing takes time, is not a quick fix, and can’t be rushed. Transformation has its own mystery and grace.
To receive the most benefit, we encourage people to commit to the community for a minimum of six months. This gives you time to settle in, build relationships, and begin to use the community resources.
But we encourage you to stay longer – and hope that the community is so nourishing that you want to continue to be a part of it!
Those who commit to a group or healing process for a longer period of time – 1-2 years – really start to see changes in their lives.
In my own experience, the 4th year of commitment was a pivotal time: this is when I noticed significant changes in my work with my therapist and in other groups I was a part of.
What if I don’t want a community?
That’s okay! We continue to offer home study courses and lots of free articles on our website for those who don’t want to join a community offering. A community is not the only way to receive help, and may not be the best fit for you. There is more than one way to meet your needs.
What’s your refund policy? Can I cancel my membership?
The Growing Humankindness community is an ongoing, monthly membership, where membership is paid month to month. You may easily cancel at any time by clicking on a link on your monthly billing receipt.
We don’t offer refunds for any past fees.
We understand that membership may ebb and flow as your needs, finances, and other commitments change. If you want to return at a later date, you’re welcome to rejoin the next time we open the community.
When can I join?
We open the community 2-3 times a year for new members.
What if I stop my membership and want to come back?
You’re always welcome to come back should you want to rejoin in the future – there are no hard feelings. We understand life is dynamic and that our commitments ebb and flow.
What if I want help elsewhere?
If we’re not the right fit for you, we sincerely hope you find the help you need elsewhere. You’re welcome to ask us for referrals. If we know someone else who might be a better fit, we’ll be glad to share that information with you.
Any other questions?
If you have any questions on whether or not this offering is the right fit for you, please reach out to us by email. We want you to have all the information you need so you can make an informed decision.