Season 2 EP#66 Emergence: Reflections from a Post-Apocalyptic World
Main topics discussed:
- Questions that have kept me up at night
- The risk of negative feedback in running an online business and being very visible
- What the Chumash people of Limuw (Channel Island) taught me about Emergent Strategy
- Living in a modern day post-apocalyptic world
- How colonization shows up in me
Questions to other healers, space holders, and coaches that are using entrepreneurship as sacred activism.
Who has a say when it comes to providing feedback to our services?
Is it paid clients only?
Is it a community? Is it anonymous strangers on the internet that claim to have been triggered by what was said?
Are triggers an indicator of something that is wrong, or an invitation for further introspection?
What is considered harm anyway?
Do other people actually cause harm, or is it self-inflicted when we create narratives in our mind about other people’s intentions that actually don’t have anything to do with us at all?
Am I gaslighting myself?
How much healing is actually the responsibility of the individual who was harmed vs the person who supposedly caused harm and what is the community’s role in achieving some form of justice?
What is community anyway?
Are you still listening?
Who gets to be the expert of decolonization?
Should I refrain from even using it as a non-indigenous person to this nation?
What are the ways colonization has played out outside of the United States?
How does US imperialism still impact other countries?
What is white supremacy’s role in the ways we experience lateral violence and oppress one another as people of the global majority aka people of color?
What about colonization that existed prior to European conquest?
Where and how does the colonizer show up within me?
Am I conflict avoidant, or am I just protecting my energy?
These are some of the questions that have kept me up at night, hence why slowing down and taking a big fat sacred pause has been a necessity for my own mental and spiritual health.
And sometimes, the answers are the questions themselves.
One of the challenging things about running an online business and being very visible is the risk of negative feedback.
And btw, I see ALL feedback as a gift - because it just means that there’s opportunities for growth.
However, when it’s people who have been consuming my content and ONLY have a say when they don’t agree with something PRIOR to ever having cultivated any relationship with me, whether that’s attending one of my workshops or sharing with me what it is you’ve resonate with thus far, then it’s not a conversation that is worth engaging in to me.
If you want to unfollow me or unsubscribe from me because of something I said that triggered you or disrupted your emotional safety, then I encourage you to do that. Please do what you need to do to protect yourself if you feel I am the cause of your suffering.
And I also invite you to take note of how often you walk away from people or situations because of these triggers -
hence why you won’t get many trigger warnings from me.
And yes, maybe this means I am incredibly problematic.
If this is resonating with you thus far, I encourage you to go back to my solo podcast episode called “Canceled: Odyssey of the martyr.”
I’ve had people that disagree with me leave lengthy comments on my posts, to which I’ve replied “Wow, you sure have a lot to say about this. Have you considered writing a book?”
Old version of me would’ve fought tooth and nail to prove how right I am, only to have given my time, power and energy away to a complete stranger online.
Because while my platform may highlight me as an expert on such subjects like ancestral healing, decolonization, and entrepreneurship -
I am a student before all else.
I just like to ask these hard questions and (un)learn so much of what I’ve been taught alongside my friends as well as you.
So please give me the grace of first recognizing that I’m figuring this shit out like the rest of you.
And if you do not want to consume my content, or other people’s content for that matter, then perhaps this is the call for you to create your own.
And I sincerely say this from my heart.
It’s exactly why I created Your Story Medicine as an offering to my younger self, when nobody was having these conversations -
And it blows my mind where it has led me to today.
It’s been quite the month for me…
Gemini Season is over, but I’m a cancer rising so I still consider the month of July an extension of me.
A year ago, I was grieving the end of my ten year relationship and mom’s declining health. I’d like to report that she’s doing so much better this year, and so am I.
Last month in June, not only did I celebrate my 35th birthday -
But I closed out two programs:
My very first six month mastermind, Bud to Blossom, where I worked with ten healers of color to scale their businesses and to get crystal clear on what their medicine is.
We had clients run their first profitable retreats, produce their own online talk shows, make their first $$10k months, quit their jobs, leave relationships, cultivate new ones… and we invoked our ancestors underneath the stars in Joshua Tree. I am still processing even my own accomplishments at being able to pull this off. I miss my free spirit and self diagnosed ADHD! But I wouldn’t have been able to do it had it not been for the caliber of people that said yes to this experience.
Kind hearted, compassionate, invested in more than just making money but genuinely leaving a lasting legacy that is rooted in healing, justice, and joy.
I also wrapped up my 5th cohort of Roots to Rise, which is my 12 week program for healers just getting clear on their story medicine and their sacred offerings.
And similarly, I witnessed people walk away from situations that were no longer in alignment with who they were becoming such as one student who walked away from nearly a decade working at Planned Parenthood at the height of Roe vs. Wade to be back with her family in Hawaii.
Because while the world seems to be falling apart, whose responsibility is it in keeping it together?
We all have a role, whether that’s working on the frontlines, the backend, the healers tending to people's hearts, the organizers bringing the community together, the parents caring for the children and ensuring that our homes remain safe, that rent is paid for and that the belly is fed…
But what is any movement worth when we are taking action from a place of urgency and scarcity?
How is it that we can shift the decisions we make from a place of possibilities and abundance?
I recently took a 4 day camping trip to Limuw, known today as Channel Islands. To get there requires that you dock on a boat in Ventura CA and you must pack everything in and out.
There are no shops available other than kayak rentals, and no one living on the island except for the park rangers and conservationists that are doing restoration work.
In the hour long boat ride, we passed by what felt like hundreds of dolphins that were swimming alongside us - close enough to touch.
And it was as if they were welcoming us to their home, guiding us to their island.
When we arrived on the island, I learned about how the Chumash people lived here for over 10,000 years… though it was only less than 200 years ago where they were forcibly removed from their home.
European settlers came swooping in, attracted to the abundance of natural resources, and completely took over the island with their sheep and pigs.
From there, the ecosystem entirely changed. Bald eagles left and were replaced with golden eagles that would prey on these animals from the sky, and they hunted for the Island foxes that could only be found on Limuw. With the increasing number of livestock, the land became uninhabitable as native plants became endangered or extinct altogether.
And it wasn’t until 1999 where the last of the sheep and pigs were finally removed.
But can you believe that along with the native plants, Chumash people were considered extinct as well? They weren’t even recognized on the US census, though that may have changed today with advocacy work because they are clearly alive and well today, still fighting for recognition and reparation of the land that was stolen from them.
I learned the origin story of the Chumash people…
Hutash, or Mother Earth, first created them on the island of Limuw from the seeds of a magic plant.
She was married to Alchupo’osh, or Sky Snake, otherwise known as the Milky Way, and Sky Snake could make lightning bolts with his tongue.
So he gifted the Chumash people with fire, and with fire came warmth. With warmth came hot food, and food came life. Overtime, the island became crowded and the sounds of people dancing and singing would keep Hutash up at night.
Hutash would complain to Sky Snake. “My love, the people are too noisy and all I want to do is sleep! I whisper to them. shh, children, it is time to be quiet and rest - but they are not listening to their Earth Mother.”
One night, she looked out at the mainland, lit by the moon, and realized she would have to send her children there.
And that’s when she created a Rainbow Bridge for the Chumash people to cross over, where they would have more land to roam and more food to eat.
And so she created this bridge from the highest peak of Limuw toward what is known as Santa Barbara today.
But unfortunately, not everyone was able to cross over safely. Instead of focusing on where they were going, some looked back at their home or down at the ocean and fell to their demise.
Hutash felt so sad for her children and didn’t want them to drown. So instead, she transformed them into dolphins.
It’s why the dolphins are seen as great ancestors to the Chumash people, and why it made so much sense they greeted us during our boat crossing.
And it was so eerie to be on this island on the 4th of July, as the majority of the visitors were white bodies of European descent wearing American flags on their shirts.
It made me question whether or not I was a settler at that moment, and all I could feel was grief in my body.
I brought some offerings to the land and thanked the Chumash people for allowing my friends and I to pass through safely - though the words that came through were, “I'm sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry this happened.”
And I realized that while I jokingly say I’m preparing for the apocalypse, this is actually what a post-apocalyptic world looks like for the indigenous people of this land.
We are already living and experiencing a post-apocalyptic world due to colonization -
And our opportunity is to dream about what follows?
Will we look back and dwell on the past, look down at our own self doubt only to fall to our demise, or stay focused on what we get to create ahead of us?
Especially as people who were displaced from their motherland or whose ancestors left home for better opportunities, every single one of us here are trying to find our roots once again.
Trying to find meaning and belonging.
And how many of us are attempting to do so in the same ways that colonizers have, which has inevitably been through force, separation and violence?
This is not a “we are all one” kumbaya lecture, but to ask ourselves how often we go after people that look like us and react from a place of pain in our pursuit of restoration and love.
And it’s not about dismantling white people either, because then we are repeating their ancestors’ patterns.
So how exactly do we get there?
I remember watching my first sunset on the island.
I had no reception or Wi-Fi, and my books were too heavy to carry with me
So instead, I read the sky.
I witnessed hundreds of birds flocked in unison, rotating who was leading and who was behind.
But the ones in the back didn’t complain or argue for recognition. Instead, everybody had their part and it was a beautiful site to see.
They didn’t sit down and strategize who would get into what formation.
It was a natural synchronicity that occurred.
While the destination was unknown, it was clear that the direction was shared.
It reminded me of Adrienne Marie Brown’s Emergent Strategy.
Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. It emphasizes critical connections, authentic relationships, listening with the body and mind.
In Emergence, the whole is a mirror of the parts. The health of a single cell is the health of the species and the planet. Fractals. It is all connected.
An example: Birds don’t make a plan to migrate. They’re not raising resources to fund their way, packing for scarce times, mapping out their pit stops. They feel a call in their bodies and they must go, and they follow it, responding to each other, each bringing their adaptations.
There’s a phenomenon called Murmuration, where thousands of birds or even fish form into large flocks to intimidate and prevent predators from getting them.
And I just imagine what it would be like for us as humans to move in such a way, to be so connected in our bodies and breath that it’s reflected in how we approach movements.
We can even see this in how the Chumash people rowed across the ocean from Limuw to the mainland, in perfect unison if they wanted to arrive back safely as a group.
What are the ways your ancestors practiced some sort of flocking and mutual support?
While many of us are attempting to plan our way toward liberation with a strategy that we think is best, our ancestors listened to the seasons of nature and their bodies.
They weren’t cooped up behind a computer all day, or attending back to back meetings.
And so when I ask myself, where does the colonizer show up in me?
I realize that I didn’t build a business to be constantly working or being on zoom calls.
It’s moments like being on Limuw that make me feel most abundant, and connected with my why.
It’s telling stories around the fire, hiking for the perfect sunsets and sunrises, or staying up to see the Milky Way that I live for.
It’s experiencing the contradiction of being in my pleasure while grieving the past and the unknown.
It’s also in the unknown, also known as the liminal space, where so much magic exists.
We can either fear it or embrace it as a playground of possibilities and change.
So where does all of this lead me to?
I’m currently running my final cohort of Roots to Rise this summer, where I’ve welcomed 8 healers to this sacred container as I traverse through this liminal space with them -
And starting in September, I will be taking my first sabbatical.
While I had plans to scale my business to another multiple six figures, I had to ask myself -
Does that make me feel abundant?
And I’ll be taking some time to travel, to be a forest monk and a baby bruja in my motherland.
There’s also other adventures in the work, but I’m doing my best to not plan as hard and to trust the process.
After all, my business was born from the liminal space -
And the last time I had actually been back in Thailand was 5 years ago, before Your Story Medicine existed.
There’s so much more I want to say, but I’ll leave you with this question that I’ve also been asking myself:
Who are you when you’re not in service?
This doesn’t mean dropping all of your responsibilities to pursue your pleasures -
But who are you without your titles? Without your resume? How often are you making other peoples’ priorities or sense of urgency your own?
If joy was your compass, where would it lead you?
If spaciousness was available to you, how would you walk and breathe differently?
May you find your way across the rainbow, or in the ocean as a dolphin, in the sky as a starling that flocks your way toward an unknown destination.
And may you know that your existence and breathing is already a gift to your ancestors.
Your existence is a radical act and a means of resistance within itself.
And may the legacy that you leave behind be one rooted in love.
Until next time!
Download my free guided meditation on how to connect with your ancestors bit.ly/ancestorinthemaking
Listen to episode #26: "Canceled: Odyssey of the Martyr " https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/your-story-medicine/id1539168619?i=1000520814631