How We Work

How We Work

Sacred Design Lab is a soul‑centered research and development lab.

We’re devoted to understanding and designing for 21st-century spiritual well being. We translate ancient wisdom and practices to help our partners develop products, programs, and experiences that ground people’s social and spiritual lives.

Sacred Design Lab is a soul-centered research and development lab.


We’re devoted to understanding and designing for 21st-century spiritual well being. We translate ancient wisdom and practices to help our partners develop products, programs, and experiences that ground people’s social and spiritual lives.

We envision a world

in which every person is connected to their inherent goodness, known and loved in communities of care, and bountifully giving their gifts toward beauty, justice, and wholeness.

We envision a world

in which everyone is connected to their inherent goodness, known and loved in communities of care, and bountifully giving their gifts toward justice, beauty, healing, and wholeness.

And yet

interlocking systems of oppression pull us apart. Unmet needs for meaning and connection play out in the way we live, love, work, and lead.1

These problems are soul-deep. So, too, must be our response.

 

 

And yet

interlocking systems of oppression pull us apart. Unmet needs for meaning and connection play out in the way we live, love, work, and lead.1 

These problems are soul-deep. So, too, must be our response.

And yet

interlocking systems of oppression pull us apart. Unmet needs for meaning and connection play out in the way we live, love, work, and lead.1

These problems are soul-deep. So, too, must be our response.

And yet

interlocking systems of oppression pull us apart. Unmet needs for meaning and connection play out in the way we live, love, work, and lead.1

These problems are soul-deep. So, too, must be our response.

And yet

interlocking systems of oppression pull us apart. Unmet needs for meaning and connection play out in the way we live, love, work, and lead.1

These problems are soul-deep. So, too, must be our response.

Our Approach

Our Approach

1

Belonging

Knowing and being known; loving and being loved.2

Belonging

Knowing and being known; loving and being loved.2

We belong to each other. The experience of belonging changes the way we show up, stimulating loyalty, compassion, and joy, and diminishing anxiety, loneliness, and fear. But belonging is not a passive state. It’s something we nurture, express, renew, savor, and pass down. So much in our culture works against us meeting our need for deep connection: to ourselves, other people, place, story, and time. The more we reclaim the power of knowing, loving, and caring for one another, the more our hearts open and our society heals.

We belong to each other. The experience of belonging changes the way we show up, stimulating loyalty, compassion, and joy, and diminishing anxiety, loneliness, and fear. But belonging is not a passive state. It’s something we nurture, express, renew, savor, and pass down. So much in our culture works against us meeting our need for deep connection: to ourselves, other people, place, story, and time. The more we reclaim the power of knowing, loving, and caring for one another, the more our hearts open and our society heals.

2

Becoming

Growing into the people we are called to be.

Becoming

Growing into the people we are called to be.

We each carry gifts the world needs. Yet too many of us face barriers to tending our inner gifts, sharing them in community, and bountifully receiving the gifts of others.3 To design for becoming is to disrupt productivity culture. It means listening for where we are each needed, addressing what stands in the way of our shared growth, and cultivating each other’s courage to say “yes” to the soul’s call. Soul-centered design fuels collective becoming.4

We each carry gifts the world needs. Yet too many of us face barriers to tending our inner gifts, sharing them in community, and bountifully receiving the gifts of others.3 To design for becoming is to disrupt productivity culture. It means listening for where we are each needed, addressing what stands in the way of our shared growth, and cultivating each other’s courage to say “yes” to the soul’s call. Soul-centered design fuels collective becoming.4

3

Beyond

Experiencing ourselves as part of something more.

Beyond

Experiencing ourselves as part of something more.

When our soul is fed, we remember that we are bound up in something larger than ourselves. Stretching across generations, ineffable and yet as solid as the ground, this is the larger story of which we are a part. What would it take to create a rhythm of life in which we have space in our days to feel fully big and fully small? When we design for the soul, we create pathways to move closer to the beyond, to the endlessly renewable resource at the heart of all things.

When our soul is fed, we remember that we are bound up in something larger than ourselves. Stretching across generations, ineffable and yet as solid as the ground, this is the larger story of which we are a part. What would it take to create a rhythm of life in which we have space in our days to feel fully big and fully small? When we design for the soul, we create pathways to move closer to the beyond, to the endlessly renewable resource at the heart of all things.

4

4

Ancient Wisdom × Emergent World

Applying ancient practices to emergent challenges.5

Ancient Wisdom × Emergent World

Applying ancient practices to emergent challenges.5

How do we meet the needs of the soul and move toward flourishing? Luckily, humans have been responding to this question all over the world for thousands of years. Their wisdom is our collective inheritance. Now our work is to apply it, while honoring the origins and custodians of these traditions. We tap into ancient best practices to design for belonging, becoming, and beyond, and we work with partners to remix the wisdom of our ancestors to create soul-centered solutions.

How do we meet the needs of the soul and move toward flourishing? Luckily, humans have been responding to this question all over the world for thousands of years. Their wisdom is our collective inheritance. Now our work is to apply it, while honoring the origins and custodians of these traditions. We tap into ancient best practices to design for belonging, becoming, and beyond, and we work with partners to remix the wisdom of our ancestors to create soul-centered solutions.

5

Collective Liberation

Never forgetting that justice is what love looks like in public.6

Collective Liberation

Never forgetting that justice is what love looks like in public.6

We long for a world in which every person is cared for and free from oppression. Without love as our means, and commitment beyond our self-interest, we can’t build the resolve to dismantle systems of domination.7 Collective liberation is more than something we think; it’s something we do. So we commit ourselves to constant learning, reflection, action and practice. Refusing to use shame as a strategy, we invite our partners to lead with justice-seeking love, that all might flourish.

We long for a world in which every person is cared for and free from oppression. Without love as our means, and commitment beyond our self-interest, we can’t build the resolve to dismantle systems of domination.7 Collective liberation is more than something we think; it’s something we do. So we commit ourselves to constant learning, reflection, action and practice. Refusing to use shame as a strategy, we invite our partners to lead with justice-seeking love, that all might flourish.

6

Means and Ends Cohere

How we are together shapes what we do together.

Means and Ends Cohere

How we are together shapes what we do together.

We envision a world of justice, beauty, healing, and wholeness. Though interlocking systems of oppressions impact us differently, they keep all of us from fully living in that world. To design products, programs, and experiences that meet the soul’s needs, our means must themselves be soul-centered. We center relationships even as we focus on outcomes, reject grind culture8, and embrace our justice commitments. We show up with joy, integrity, and care.

We envision a world of justice, beauty, healing, and wholeness. Though interlocking systems of oppressions impact us differently, they keep all of us from fully living in that world. To design products, programs, and experiences that meet the soul’s needs, our means must themselves be soul-centered. We center relationships even as we focus on outcomes, reject grind culture8, and embrace our justice commitments. We show up with joy, integrity, and care.

7

Witness the Meantime

Holding space for all that emerges.

Witness the Meantime

Holding space for all that emerges.

This work is not easy. Our culture devalues presence, patience, kindness, and care. Few opportunities exist for lament, atonement, and reconciliation, despite long histories of suffering. Deepening meaning and connection takes courage, perseverance, and trust. We accompany the leaders we work with through the inevitable challenges of soul-centered work, drawing on practices of witness and reflection to encourage and embolden them.

This work is not easy. Our culture devalues presence, patience, kindness, and care. Few opportunities exist for lament, atonement, and reconciliation, despite long histories of suffering. Deepening meaning and connection takes courage, perseverance, and trust. We accompany the leaders we work with through the inevitable challenges of soul-centered work, drawing on practices of witness and reflection to encourage and embolden them.

Notes 

Notes 

Notes

  1. With a bow to Brené Brown and her trailblazing Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

  2. To our friend and elder Killian Noe, who taught us this phrase and what it means to live this way.

  3. Inspired by Malidoma Patrice Somé in The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Ritual, and Community.

  4. We learned about impossible yesses from the Church of the Saviour community in Washington, D.C.

  5. Our friends at Alt*Div use the beautiful phrase, “a conversation between the ancient and the emergent.”

  6. With thanks to Cornel West for his consistent reminder that justice is what love looks like in public.

  7. We honor bell hooks for her teaching, in particular “Love as the Practice of Freedom” in Outlaw Culture: Resisting representations.

  8. We’re grateful to Tricia Hersey, the Nap Bishop, for her insistence that rest is resistance.

  1. With a bow to Brené Brown and her trailblazing Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.
  2. To our friend and elder Killian Noe, who taught us this phrase and what it means to live this way.
  3. Inspired by Malidoma Patrice Somé in The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Ritual, and Community.
  4. We learned about impossible yesses from the Church of the Saviour community in Washington, D.C.
  5. Our friends at Alt*Div use the beautiful phrase, “a conversation between the ancient and the emergent.”
  6.  With thanks to Cornel West for his consistent reminder that justice is what love looks like in public.
  7.  We honor bell hooks for her teaching, in particular “Love as the Practice of Freedom” in Outlaw Culture: Resisting representations.
  8.  We’re grateful to Tricia Hersey, the Nap Bishop, for her insistence that rest is resistance. 

Language

Language

We use the words “sacred” and “soul” because solutions to our culture’s deepest challenges require us to tap into humanity’s deepest insights and motivations. “Sacred” evokes that which is beyond ourselves but to which we are connected by essence and aspiration.

Our team comes from diverse faiths and no faith. We welcome all kinds of language, metaphors, and theologies to describe essential goodness. We encourage our partners to name that which they are trying to tap into, but we’re intentionally invitational and linguistically flexible. We never seek uniformity of belief or practice in our work, and we cultivate conditions for healthy difference in everything we do.

Discover what’s possible.
Say
hello@sacred.design.

Discover what’s possible.
Say
hello@sacred.design.

Discover what’s possible.
Say
hello@sacred.design.

Discover what’s possible.
Say
hello@sacred.design.

Learn with us.

Learn with us.

Learn with us.

© 2020 Sacred Design Lab. All Rights Reserved.

© 2019 Sacred Design Lab.
All Rights Reserved.

© 2020 Sacred Design Lab. All Rights Reserved.