THE REBIRTH: My Story Medicine

solo episode Nov 17, 2020
 Welcome to the rebirth of Your Story Medicine, the podcast where I, June Kaewsith, aka “Jumakae” get to interview people who have inspired me to walk this path as a storytelling coach, life doula, and creative entrepreneur while sharing my own journey with you along the way. 

For disclosure, Jumakae is a combination of my first, middle, and last name - and was my artist alias back in my twenties so I call on her as my playful altar ego. The song that you hear in the opening is an old track by baby Jumakae called “Dream of a Place” probably written about ten years ago so I’m bringing her on this journey with me as a reminder to finish what it is I started. 

 My ancestors are from Thailand, though I was born and raised in Chumash/Tongva territory - known today as Long Beach CA. My medicine as a storytelling coach is supporting change makers and visionaries like you with finding clarity in your message and confidence in your speaking so that you can share your story, grow your business, and heal generations before and after you.

If the term “business” makes you queasy, replace it with LEGACY…. Because this work goes beyond business, and is about embodying the future ancestors we are becoming along with sharing the stories that will be passed down about how it is we chose to show up in this lifetime amongst adversity and challenges. By r way, I define challenges as opportunities for change.

Our ancestors were all entrepreneurs, in the ways that they tended to the land and fed their villages … to the midwives who caught babies returning back to this world from the ancestral realm - but colonization has made us forget. This is an invitation for us to remember.

Additionally, I truly believe that entrepreneurship is one of the greatest tools of decolonization that allows us to take power back into our hands and distribute resources to where we choose instead of waiting for someone to come and rescue us. Imagine if we had more good people in the world who had access to this tool. Some people may equate this term negatively to exploitation and greed, or have an image of a middle age white man who comes from Intergenerational wealth (I know I did), and as a result, we feel like total imposters even claiming this title, but the imposter is often a byproduct of larger systemic root causes that have made us believe our struggles of feeling like we’re not enough are experienced in isolation. 

I’ve come to learn that being an entrepreneur is really about addressing a problem in the world and embodying the solution by creating a product or service to solve it. And for the artists, we are creating the world we want to see by allowing our imagination to guide the way while taking the radical and aligned action to birth it into the physical realm. 

In the words of Grace Lee Boggs, solutionaries are today’s revolutionaries. 

She also says,

 “A revolution that is based on the people exercising their creativity in the midst of devastation is one of the great historical contributions of humankind.”

My intention for this space is that you walk away from these conversations feeling nourished, rejuvenated, and realigned with your dharma - and perhaps you will excavate your own story medicine along the way. If shame dies in places where our stories are being shared, then let this be the portal to make that happen so that we can birth something new. 

I don’t ascribe to being the voice for the voiceless, because you have a voice that you can use to speak for yourself. And if you can’t speak then write, if you can’t write, then move your body and dance. Regardless, we are all creators, alchemizing the pain of our past into possibilities for the future. Sometimes, it just takes having or creating the platform to express ourselves so that we can be seen and heard instead of waiting for someone to provide it for us - such as this podcast.

In my twenties, I spent a lot of time being angry at the world and the level of injustice that was created as a result of systemic oppression, from racism to sexism and all these other isms which helped me gain an understanding of how the world operates. I was a spoken word artist with a lot of angry poetry which I still read every once in a while, and aside from being an artist with multiple hustles - the only full-time job I held was at a domestic violence agency where I worked as a rape crisis hotline counselor and community organizer facilitating violence prevention workshops. But it was exactly four years ago where my boss called me into her office for an emergency meeting where her last words to me were, “You’re a free spirit; you can go and be free now!”

What she really meant to say was, “You’re fired.”

Within two weeks of being let go, I experienced the worst pain in my life in my yoni (and if you don’t know what a yoni is, you can google it!). I landed in the ER, without insurance, only to be told that they couldn’t find out what was wrong with me, but luckily whatever I was going through would disappear on its own (which it did a week later). What the heck was happening to me? And who do I call if I no longer felt safe from the very institutions that were meant to protect me or make me feel safe? 

Please know that I strongly believe that many of these services are still so crucial, from housing to job placement and accessible mental health support, though I needed to know that an alternative can exist for people like me.

As a result, I started to get curious about how is it that our ancestors healed themselves before we had hospitals and 1800 anonymous hotlines. At the time, I was getting certified as a trauma informed yoga teacher with the intention of bringing this practice back to my clients at my job, but now I had to be my first student. I connected what was happening in my body to the chakra system, and learned that below our belly is where our sacral and root chakra is located. 

How many of us are carrying stories of pain and trauma in our hips, whether they belong to us, our parents, or our ancestors? And when are we ever taught how to release this, especially when most of us spend our lives in chairs or classrooms consuming information without learning how to listen to our body?

 The root chakra represents security and belonging, and it became disrupted when I didn’t know where the money was going to be coming in nor did I have a community where I felt like I belonged. I knew that supporting others in their healing was more than just a job with a paycheck, but was a spiritual practice. I also knew that I could no longer do that without prioritizing my own healing.

My curiosity led me back to Thailand, where my family is from, to study with a traditional Thai midwife, where she told me that her main tools are her hands, her heart, and the plants that she cares for. Mind you, the majority of my classmates were white foreigners so even I felt a little out of place in my own motherland. Talk about imposters. However, I did come home to find out that my mother’s grandmother was also the village midwife and that my mom was technically a young doula who would assist her with home births as a child. 

By the way, my mom is a retired nurse, so sharing these stories was also so healing for her as she remembered what life was like back in her village. She never talked about her birth story until I asked, and her experience as an immigrant woman was quite traumatic since she didn’t have any family by her bedside. I don’t even think she had time to experience postpartum depression because within two weeks, she was back at work since the bills wouldn’t pay themselves.

I talk more about this in my Ted talk, called “How to connect with your ancestors” which you can find on my website. 

But had I not experienced one of the most challenging times in my life, I would have never been propelled onto this path - and this story would have been lodged in my mamas belly forever - which affirms that the work we are doing on ourselves is also setting others free. 

Now, our sacral chakra is the energy center of sensuality and creativity, but I couldn’t remember the last time I was creative, nor did I know what being sensual meant without equating it to sex. So with my free time, I took pole dancing classes where for the first time in my life, I felt my own shame as a survivor slowly being released from my hips. Memories resurfaced from my childhood where my parents, who worked long hours, left me in the hands of the neighbor who offered to babysit me for free. However, it came with a different cost - my innocence. His secret died with him, but lived in my body (literally through chronic infections and other symptoms throughout my life) and showed up in the ways I guarded myself from intimacy - yet I was so quick to fight for others.

Perhaps you can relate if you constantly find yourself wanting to fix or heal others while putting your needs second. 

And I realized that I had been carrying the stories of the survivors I had been working with as if they were my own. For those of us who are empaths, or highly sensitive people, we tend to take on other people’s pain as our own. It literally pains us to see their suffering. (Side note: I believe that we are all empaths - many of us have just forgotten along the way and have accumulated experiences or trauma that cause us to numb, or dissociate, ourselves from being able to feel. And for others, trauma seems to blow up their energetic channels to where they may feel everything and not know how to control it.) 

Today, I’m learning that the more I can intentionally focus on my joy and pleasure by nurturing my inner child while creating healthy boundaries with who has access to my energy, the more I can pour this feeling of abundance onto others - because we can only pour from our overflow, not our reserve.

 I used to identify so strongly with the struggle, but it’s something I’m officially divorcing, because it’s not sexy, and it makes my body contract. I’ve sought out mentors who are teaching me to expand by embodying a new story that I get to create for myself… and hopefully, this inspires you to know that you don’t have to figure this out alone.

I saw a quote that says ultra independence is a sign of trauma, so it’s something I’ve had to unlearn.

Our identities and our traumas do not define us, and our current situation is never our final destination. But it first must begin with the stories that we tell ourselves.

By the way, this podcast is an evolution of my past online interview series that I launched two years ago by the same name, where I spoke to people in the wellness and coaching space who are using their businesses as a way to reclaim their ancestral medicine - and let me tell you, this path is NOT for everyone, but it will teach you about resilience and manifestation like no other. My speakers include bodyworkers, midwives, doulas, yoga teachers, artists and therapists - and you can check out the previous interviews on my website where you might see some familiar names.

Since that time I was “freed” from my job, during the peak of my Saturn Return as I was approaching my thirties, it was the universe’s kind of way of giving me permission to shed any titles or expectations by exploring what else is out there - and how I can be a part of creating what has yet to exist.

Today I run my own coaching programs and retreats to awaken the storyteller in each of us - such as my current baby, “Roots to Rise,” a storytelling and business accelerator for women of color reclaiming their ancestral medicine and launching their sacred offerings.

 In my exploration, I didn’t see many people who looked like me doing this kind of work, so the truth is i created my business as a call-to-action for other healers of color to become the ones we’ve been waiting for. Instead of dismantling, what is it that we can build that will leave a legacy for the next generation? 

Instead of waiting for a solution, we get to be the solution.

Do not doubt the seeds that you are planting today and what they will blossom into. 

You’ll be hearing a ton of stories from my friends who I will be inviting to this space, and please be kind as we are all remembering, reclaiming, and unlearning so much of what we’ve been taught together.

You existed long before your birthday, since we were seeds in our grandmother’s womb hearing her secrets and prayers - so believe me when I say you are the answered prayer of the ones who came before you.

Speaking of connection, I do have a private Facebook group for us to continue our conversation that you can visit at

*Last but not least, one of the greatest gifts you can give is A REVIEW ON ITUNES DURING THE FIRST FEW WEEKS OF THIS RELEASE SO THAT WE CAN AMPLIFY OUR VOICES. Beyond magic, there are a ton of resources that go into making this possible and FREE for you, so this simple action will make the world of a difference in getting this labor of love out there.**

 I hope you enjoy raising this baby with me, and I’m also looking forward to hearing your story medicine - because someone out there is praying for your story to be heard.

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