Things were good in my life when I came across the Ancestral Healing Practitioner Training run by Ancestral Medicine. I had a lovely office I shared with kind and thoughtful psychologists. It was in an old Colonial building with high ceilings and wood floors. We worked together as an unofficial co-working space, sharing the costs and responsibilities of managing the space. I got so much out of the group supervision we gathered for once a month to discuss our challenges with our work. I had regular clients and participants for my classes while I was there. I had no reason to change what was largely working. I could have easily continued building my classes and coaching practice while enjoying working in a peaceful office space.
I also really didn’t have the time, money, or bandwidth to take on a new training course, let alone one I had to fly twice in a year to the East Coast of the US for. I was four months into a two-year mindfulness meditation teacher’s certification course, and this was alongside working with coaching clients, as well as running meditation classes. I was also working with a business strategist over the course of the year to develop my coaching programme and classes.
But at the time, I was looking for more tools and approaches to healing ancestral trauma, which I’d recently incorporated into my coaching programme. And what I liked about the ancestral lineage healing approach from Ancestral Medicine was the focus on psychological and ritual safety. This was something I felt was missing from the other ancestral healing approaches I had come across.
The animist approach of Ancestral Medicine was like a homecoming. I’d encountered shamanic teachings through my work with plant medicines and on my psychospiritual counselling course, but it had been many years since I was immersed in nature-based spirituality, though it had always stayed in my heart. The focus on welcoming different ancestries, cultures, spiritual backgrounds, and being LGBTQI-friendly was also so welcome. It just felt so respectful. The acknowledgement as well was that not all the dead were equally well aligned with my experience of doing work with the ancestors, and I liked that historical harms and intergenerational trauma were acknowledged. My sense was that this approach to ancestral healing offered the potential for greater healing and transformation than what I had come across in the past.
I joined the shorter open online courses run by Ancestral Medicine while waiting to hear back from them about my application. This was to see if I liked the content and who was in the network. What struck me from the very start was the aliveness of those I met on those courses. I noticed that many were doing work that mattered to them, making a difference in areas such as music, academia, social justice, palliative care, spirit-work, and the healing arts. The content of the courses was no less impressive, in both its richness and the sheer wealth of what was being offered.
This all validated a sense of having found the right people and my next steps.
The consistency of engagement, care, and respect coming from the teachers and supporters was deeply settling. This was a group I could learn from and grow with, I thought. I was especially impressed with how conflict was handled and learnt a lot from the space that was given for messiness and difference of opinion or perspective. In the Ancestral Medicine community, conflict is a given. It’s not that it is sought or wanted, but that it’s assumed that at some point there will be conflict and difference of opinion so preparations are made for it and, most of all, a willingness is required to stay engaged in a respectful way through it. This just made me want to join even more so I could stretch my learning edges around conflict.
Planting New Seeds
I knew that if I did want to take on this new training, though, I needed to dig deep to make space for it to grow and germinate just like we do when we’re preparing the ground for new seeds. We need to take out the unwanted plants and weeds so that they don’t steal sunlight, moisture, and resources from the new plants we want to grow. Likewise, we need to take out what would compete with the new seeds we want to plant in our lives. Sometimes it’s even necessary to remove ‘good plants’ to ensure that there are adequate amounts of nutrients for our new seeds and plants to really flourish and mature.
This is what it means to be mindful and live in an intentional way.
We move in our lives in a thoughtful way and give our focus and care primarily to what we want to grow in our lives. We are present with both the bigger picture and details of our lives and in particular when we’re breaking new ground to prepare the way for meaningful growth and change.
Sure, I did my homework to research the course, but once I was confident that this course was well run and had the tools and teachings I was looking for, I also took steps to create space for it that helped me move toward it more smoothly and help it really take root.
I prepared the ground by pulling back from relationships where I felt like I was doing a lot of the heavy lifting and emotional labour. I distanced myself from people in my life I felt were mostly offloading onto me their stresses and weren’t respecting me and supporting my goals. There were relationships where I didn’t feel seen or nourished as well, like casual friends I would spend time with and whose company I enjoyed but struggled to really connect with in a deeper way. There were also those who crossed boundaries that I decided I would no longer engage with. I no longer wanted anyone in my space and life that didn’t feel like a positive influence. I also left WhatsApp groups that I wasn’t active in or staying in out of obligation, so I only belonged to groups that felt resourcing and nourishing.
I then decided to leave my office in anticipation of being accepted onto the practitioner training. I would take a year off to focus on learning, so not having to pay rent for my office space would help me to cut down on costs during this time. My intention was to move my work online.
I had a few months left to the end of the lease and told the people I shared the lease with that I would be leaving. It was a hard but necessary step and they found someone soon enough to not only take over but do so a month before the end of the lease so I could leave earlier, saving me more money.
The Space for Something Great
Within days of moving out of my office, I received news that I’d been accepted onto the training.
When we create space, we’re investing in our intentions and goals. We’re making a statement of support for ourselves and what we’re trying to create. We’re taking a leap of faith, yes, and being vulnerable and trusting what feels true for us. What I found, though, is that when you take a leap of faith and trust in what feels like the right step for you to take, you’re investing in the life that calls to you from your heart and the deeper layers of your being. You’re laying down the foundation for a life of greater potential and aliveness. There are no guarantees here and it can be scary to risk what is working for something not certain and new. But sometimes you have to give up something good to create space for something great.
In my experience, these nudges toward a great life are subtle and they don’t often come with a strong sense of certainty. They feel tentative because much of the time we’re operating from our rational minds, so living from a place of heart and soul isn’t an orientation that we’re used to. It’s new and, like everything new, takes some getting used to. It can feel counterintuitive at first, to put ourselves out there and risk what we already have, but that’s kind of the test.
How much are you willing to invest and sacrifice for what you truly want?
Are you willing to risk what’s known and feels secure for greater goodness that is freer and unbound?
One where you’re making your own choices and reinventing the wheel, rather than following a known and well-worn path?
You’re making a choice of heart and with faith in your greater potential rather than from a place of fear and insecurity, and there is a need to cling onto what you know.
My own life has transformed in this last year in so many ways because of the ancestral healing training, and I feel like I am where I’ve been working toward for the last 20 years. It’s like I’ve arrived, though there feels like there’s even more to come.
I’ve completed the training and in the end, because of the pandemic, I didn’t need to go to the US. I’m now offering ancestral lineage healing sessions, as well as teaching for Ancestral Medicine, an offer that came again after I left a few more groups I felt were no longer alive for me.
I’ve also had the privilege to watch the transformation of my clients as they do this work and heal a lifetime’s worth of pain, depression, and self-doubt so they can live life more freely. We don’t realise how we’re being impacted by the unhealed wounds and challenges of our ancestors and end up repeating these self-defeating cycles in our lives, feeling frustrated that we’re stuck and not really getting anywhere in our lives or living fully.
Ancestral healing helps us to transform inherited difficulty and vulnerabilities. It is an effective way to heal generational trauma and dysfunction.
It is a catalyst for cultural repair and a healthier, fuller, and more vibrant life experience.
When we are well with our ancestors, we’re resourced and harder to manipulate. There is a healthy pride and protection against the unhealthy aspects of culture. We can seek guidance for our life paths and relationships and we can experience good fortune. We can claim the gifts, blessings, and vitality of our lineages. As has been my experience and those I’ve had the privilege to witness as they journey with their ancestors.
If you’d like to find out more about ancestral lineage healing sessions, you can go to the link below to make a booking for a first session: Ancestral Lineage Healing Session
What new seeds do you wish to plant in your life?
How are you preparing the ground for these new seeds?
How can you risk a little more and make choices that reflect your faith in your greater potential?