A Day in a Life: Shedding Ancestral Baggage

Seeking the road to wholeness and freedom... - Photo by Chuck Ketchel
Seeking the road to wholeness and freedom…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

We are born with ancestral baggage. We are attached to and burdened by the energy of our ancestors, our families of origin, and our life’s circumstances. We pass this burdensome energy onto our children and all who come into contact with us. We will suffer until we free ourselves. Others too will suffer until we free ourselves.

When spirit calls, it is asking us to free ourselves of our emotional baggage, our physical attachments, our mental constraints, and our spiritual limitations. It asks us to methodically unburden ourselves, to face the truths of our lives with utter honesty and humility. It asks us to question who we truly are, why we think the way we do, and if our thoughts really reflect the deepest truths of who we are. In 2001 I finally paid attention to that call from my spirit. I met Chuck and began the process of reclaiming my true self, the person I always knew I really was but was so afraid to be. I kept this person hidden.

As an artist I found a means for her to live, as I discovered I could covertly reveal her personality, her innocence and her darkness alike. In expressing myself as an artist anything was acceptable. Over the years I knew there was a lot more, a deeper level that even my artist self was not willing to enter. In the caverns of my soul lay the untouchable self. Alongside her lay the wretched remnants of that which could not be spoken.

Although this self was unknown to me, she flashed up every now and then, freaking me out, sending me deeper into the river of depression that flowed through my life. Eventually, I knew I would need to address her, or at least the feelings that I could not handle and the crumbling of the world I was trying to uphold. That was the beginning of my recapitulation process.

When I first met Chuck, he and Jeanne were deeply immersed in the shaman’s world, specifically that of Carlos Castaneda and the practice of Tensegrity, going to workshops around the world on a regular basis. When Chuck learned the recapitulation sweeping breath he noticed that it’s bilateral movement was similar to the bilateral aspects of EMDR, a trauma treatment process that he’d been studying. Quick intuitive that he is, he immediately saw the clinical potential of recapitulation. His hunch was to prove true.

I have just published the third volume in the Recapitulation Diaries series, Into the Vast Nothingness. This is the continuation of the recapitulation journey that I unknowingly embarked on when I met Chuck on that fateful day in 2001. I say “unknowingly” because I didn’t know that it was what I was going to be doing. As we worked together the process unfolded, the journey took us, though Chuck was deeply aware of it, always patiently waiting for me to find my way. Eventually, the word “recapitulation” became synonymous with the work I was doing; there was no other word to describe it.

I reveal just about everything about myself in my books. I see no value in holding back because I know there is someone else out there with similar baggage who might be helped. I offer my books as incentives to unburdening, even if only privately and in the safety of one’s own inner world.

The shamanic practice of recapitulation, however, comes with its own powerful energy. It has a habit of infiltrating into life. It asks us in a myriad of ways, just like spirit, to examine ourselves minutely. It asks us to face our deepest selves, presenting us with new ways of seeing, asking us to deal with what we no longer need in our lives. As we shed the old baggage, we discover that there isn’t really that much of our old world or our old self that need accompany us forward.

Just as I reveal my deepest self in my books, I don’t hold back about the difficulties of the journey either. Recapitulation is a difficult road, a solitary and lonely journey, but it’s a thorough means of achieving the great unburdening that our spirit asks of us. It’s a choice that we make or refuse, but it’s really only a choice if we know exactly what it is that we are choosing or refusing. Do we take the journey to freedom and wholeness or do we continue to carry the baggage of our lives, ancestral and otherwise? As Chuck always told me: When you are ready the journey will meet you and if you are not ready then wait, it will catch up with you soon enough!

At one point during my recapitulation, I realized I was carrying more than just my own depression. I was carrying the depression of generations of women in my family, that ancestral baggage! I no longer wanted to be the bearer of it. It did not belong to me! And furthermore, I did not want my children burdened by that which did not belong to them either, but I knew I could only free them by freeing myself. In freeing myself, I am able to free them to face life on their own terms, free to be who they are truly meant to be. They do not need to uphold the ancestral world, at least not because of me.

There are many tools to spiritual awareness. Recapitulation is a deep and lasting tool to unburdening the self, not only of that ancestral baggage that we all carry, but everything else that holds our spirit back from truly living.

Cover of Volume 3 of The Recapitulation Diaries
Cover of Volume 3 of The Recapitulation Diaries

I send another book out into the world. In publishing Into the Vast Nothingness, I free myself of attachment to it, even as I hope that others will find it and read it, because I wish for others to be free too. I hope you will read the books and learn that everything can be spoken about, everything can be talked about in the right, safe setting, and everything can be let go of.

Should you feel inclined, I invite you to write reviews of the books, as what you say may help others as they seek not only to heal from their traumas, but to heal from the ancestral traumas we all carry too. May your own journeys be journeys of freedom.

Blessings on your journey,

Here is a link to the new Book: Into the Vast Nothingness in our Store.

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