We all want to show up in wholeness as our authentic selves, but how do we do that? Kneading Change co-founders Camila Furr Márquez and Rachel Arlene Redeye Porter guide this process through programs like Reclaiming Wholeness, Indigenous Centered Storytelling, and Connect With Your Ancestors. Through education, consulting, and coaching, Kneading Change empowers individuals and businesses to embrace their multiple identities. In this interview, Camila and Rachel share their personal stories of Reclaiming Wholeness and suggest valuable tips for self-reflection and connecting with our ancestral histories.
Tell us about your journey of Reclaiming Wholeness
Rachel: As the mixed race, White-passing daughter of a Seneca man and a non-Native White woman, I grew up at the intersection of Indigenous and settler relations. My Reclaiming Wholeness journey has been about learning to sit with the ways in which my ancestors experienced both privilege and marginalization and the ways in which I experience both power and oppression in my own life. Reclaiming Wholeness for me is about embracing the multiple truths that live within my body, taking action against White supremacy in all forms and not looking away from complexity when it feels messy and hard.
Camila: As human beings, we are constantly shifting, growing, changing, and to Reclaim Wholeness means to see where we are as we progress through life and honor those shifts in whatever form they may take. I identify as Nepantlerx which talks about being in the spaces in-between, specifically in regards to being both Indigenous and White from Mexico. I've spent a lot of time exploring my identity in ways that honor where I come from without dismissing my complexity. My journey has also involved acknowledging the importance of my physical and mental health and how I can really tend to those things consistently.
What do you do to show up in wholeness?
Camila: Journaling is my jam. I’m someone who takes a lot of time to process, so getting my thoughts down through writing really helps me work things out and take time to sink into the moments of life that feel really juicy. I also love co-regulating with nature. That’s one of the quickest ways I can re-energize and return to who I am at my core.
Rachel: One of the most important things I do is cultivate relationships with people who are actively Reclaiming Wholeness in their own lives. Sometimes a phone call with a supportive and understanding friend is all you need to help you shift a negative thought pattern or remember the strength within you to resist the systems that fragment us. When I'm stressed, I also make time to relax in water, stretch my muscles and eat good food.
What's your favorite prompt for self-reflection?
Rachel: How's your heart?
Camila: What do I need right now? It can be so easy to become distracted or bogged down by what’s outside of me. This question allows me to notice what I need, what is within my control, and how I can tend to me.
Another practice I really recommend to folks is writing vows to themselves and reading them aloud every morning. You will spend your entire life with yourself. With that in mind, what commitments do you want to make to yourself?
What's the importance of connecting with our ancestors?
Camila: Connecting with ancestors and the stories of our past can be supportive in locating ourselves across space and time. It can help us see what values have been passed down - like innovation, connection to the land, and resilience - and what have been passed down that needs to be healed. It can also be helpful in noticing how tied to one another we really are and can be a huge grounding point in looking forward at what impact I desire to create in the world and how to dismantle the hierarchies that keep us apart from one another, plants, animals, and the earth.
What can we do to connect with our ancestors?
Rachel: Ask yourself, where is the land that held my ancestors and what is the story of that land? Chances are that as you learn about the land where your ancestors once lived, you'll also learn about their relationships to that land and how they lived on it. Next, ask yourself the same questions about the land that holds you and compare your life with the lives of your ancestors. What resonates, what has stayed the same, and what do you want to change as you move forward?
Camila: Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On one side, write down the pain that you do not want to pass on to future generations and the communities that you're a part of - what ends with you. This might be things like financial scarcity, alcoholism, suppressing sadness. On the other side of the paper, write down the joy that enlivens you and you want to continue passing forward. Use this list to identify the small changes you can make to reduce the pain and increase the joy.
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