I’m so honored to have Lyla June joining me on the Belonging Podcast. Lyla is an internationally renowned public speaker, poet, hip hop artist, and acoustic songwriter of Diné (Navajo) and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) lineages. Her music and poetry focuses on intergenerational and interethnic healing. In this episode, Lyla shares her journey with connecting to her European ancestry and how it conflicts but also supports her connection with her Diné and Tsétsêhéstâhese ancestry. Much of that journey is a beautiful lesson in forgiveness and compassion for imperfect ancestors who have carried deep trauma through the line.
“Forgiveness is not saying that what happened was okay. What it’s saying is we choose to meet hatred with love.” -Lyla June
- Thank you to Starhawk for putting Lyla on my radar!
- “The Vast and Beautiful World of Indigenous Europe” article by Lyla June on White Awake
- I mentioned this episode where Lara Vesta said “naming is the first magic” – Belonging Episode #20: Rites of Passage with Lara Veleda Vesta
- Lyla mentioned speaking on stage with the Miwok people at the Bioneers Conference
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It’s taken me a long time to realize this. Forever chasing my name chasing fame… Chasing a place for me in the sun. But now I know: In the end, it will not matter how many people know my name. It will not matter who I dated. It will not matter what kind of car I drove while I lived on earth. It will not matter how many politicians I slandered. It will not matter how high i climbed on an imaginary social ladder. In the end, when i am looking my Creator in the face, what will matter is how deeply I tried to love, who I helped in this world, how hard I fought for future generations to have a beautiful life, how hard I laughed with friends, and how deeply I appreciated the splendid weaving I am woven to by the delicate and loving hands of Creator. This honor has nothing to do with admission to some heaven or some hell. I know the Creator will embrace me just the same if I were a saint to all or a soul who became lost in the pain of greed and lust. I know that we always have another shot at this game the next go around… And I know Creators arms made the sky so wide so that everyone could fit into what some call Heaven. It has only to do with what my heart yearns for beyond all the illusion. Beyond a world that races by me and sweeps my mind into a hurricane of hollow folly. Beyond all of this, there is a place where I am home. Where I am returned to that precious nest of who I am who we all are: Warriors for Creator.
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Haha well done. I actually “dressed up” as a blind person when I was in middle school and didn’t even think about it. I would also add: don’t dress up as a witch because that dishonors the thousands of women who were burned alive by the church for being traditional medicinal practitioners. Thanks for putting me in line 🙏🏽
More from Lyla June:
How do you find compassion and grace for your ancestors?
Credit for the phrase “be a good ancestor” goes to Arianna of Quw’utsun’ Made