Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Unwinding Racial Trauma & Ancestral Healing

I am feeling newly inspired, and also really uncomfortable.  Yes this is good.

 So much is moving through me right now.  Breathing with the sensations in my body as I notice leaning into the discomfort of seeing more deeply into: who I am, the structures we have collectively created in our society and their roots in racial constructs, and the history of my bloodline lineage.

 My ancestors came over to Turtle Island (the land that became North America and specifically the USA) from England, Germany, a place in France that is now Germany, Scotland, Holland (and I believe Ireland).  My ancestors came here mostly 8, 9 and 10 generations ago, with the most recent line still 3 generations back.  My most recent ancestor generations were primarily midwest farmers.  For most of my life I rejected learning anything about this.  I did my best to escape what I labeled as not good enough, and to "succeed".

 My journey first took me through the path of becoming the first in my direct family to go to college.  Then after years in a corporate career, to awaken to see there was was something very different I was meant to do and be.  In that spiritual awakening I walked a journey of learning from many traditions and cultures and teachers.  I am immensely grateful for the access I had to these and acknowledge how my whiteness played a role in such access, through financial and travel privilege.

 I have now spent years in deep connection with the planet and nature - with the capital "M" Mother of the divine feminine.  My body has changed.  As I reconnected with her, she guided me to see deeper - as always in right timing.  Now to be on a journey of learning, finding forgiveness and taking right action to make real change.  Acknowledging how oppression and domination STILL permeate this culture we are in and hurts people daily.

 Amidst that, she called me into a major move - the biggest of my lifetime.  I did my best to listen to the guidance, to align the things in the 3D reality that the subtle realms were asking of me and supporting me into.  I acknowledge the way my whiteness and the way I appear to be in a heterosexual cisgendered partnership (which actually is not true) also supported a ton of privilege in walking the world of home and land ownership (mortgage banking, realtors, taxes).  So yes in many ways this new space and home of ours is a magical divinely guided gift.  And I do not take that lightly.  This gift is a resource to strengthen my body and resilience, and support co-creation of a community, for being even more deeply of service together.  I feel deeply the call of being in service here and how it MUST be informed by all of this moving through me now.

 Through this I have been in many months of deep dive into my own bloodline healing and reconnection.  I believe much of the rift that we are dealing with in our society right now has to do with the way we as white folk - wait, let me not generalize and actually claim it for myself - I as a white person disconnected and rejected my heritage.  I am grateful for the work of adrienne maree brown, Resmaa Menakem, Layla Saad, Daniel Foor and others that have helped me begin this lifetime journey of reconnecting with my own heritage and my own truth.

 I continue with the journey of listening deeply to my body - to unwind old stories and build resilience. Questions that will continue to inform me and my work...How am I to be of service?  How can I co-create healing in my bloodline ancestry?  How do I continue to honor my body and hold space for others?  How do I honor right relationship with the land here and the peoples who were forcibly removed from it?  How do I take action to make change in the ways dominant culture still oppresses and harms people of color, queer, trans and other marginalized groups on the daily?  How do I take action to pay forward the benefits of the privilege I have had in this world that came from simply the skin I was born into?  How do these question inform my work in the world?  How do I hold space for other bodies and voices to be heard, not just my own?

 I will end this with a quote from a paper offered to me at a recent workshop called "Unweaving Embodied Racial Dominance: A Cultural Somatics Workshop for White Healers & Activists" with Rachael Koeson and Lillie Wolff, referencing work by Robin DiAngelo:

 "Racism hurts (even kills) people of color 24/7.  Interrupting it is more important than my ego, feelings or self-image."

 Yes, I am in.  Counter to everything in my upbringing that taught me to not ask questions, not look at people, be quiet and small, don't rock the boat, ...

   I will do my best to interrupt. 


  1. Thank you for finding your inner strength and power to be so fully present to yourself and others in the rainbow of humanity and all creation. The work you do brings me so much hope to express and give from a blossoming inner strength and power too. You are inspiring me to look into the darkness of my ancestors which I have dabbled in but with your post am considering a deeper inquiry. As natural, fear arises with deep sadness for the little I know. I can feel the call and the importance of the ancestral work.�� Rita Millhench

  2. You are so welcome Rita! Thank you so much for your courage to look into the darkness, and feel the feelings. Yes yes, it is important work and when we do this together it does really make a difference in the world. So glad to hear you are in! :-)

  3. Thank you so much! I have spent the past year understanding my past and reclaiming my asian background. I grew up in a small community where minorities of all types were merely tolerated. Our parents encouraged us to maintain a low profile and never to distinguish ourselves in any way. We did not observe the holidays of our grandparents nor did our latino neighbors. Bullying of many groups was common and there were no consequences. I am now in my mid 60's and welcome the opportunity to address my past.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Oh it pains me to hear how you had to try to strip yourself of your heritage to feel safe. And I know how this is true for so many. I appreciate you sharing <3