Channeling the Wisdom of Our Ancestors
Have you heard statements like this before? “You carry your mom’s energy and love for life!” “Grandpa used to love traveling, too.” “Sharp as a tack, just like your uncle.” Like me, your youth (and possibly adulthood!) has been peppered with compliments around your actions, thoughts, and conversation. However, while often made purely as an observation, these statements have a deeper, more connected meaning.
We may think that our actions, thoughts, and conversation is our own. But, in reality, every action, thought, and discussion we have channels our ancestors. Our DNA is encoded with viewpoints, personality traits, and intelligence from our ancestors. So the way we walk, carry a bag, sit at the table, or perform a task comes from more than just ourselves and our upbringing – it comes from our connection to those who came before us. Let me give you a few examples.
A few years ago, my husband Paul and I were in the car together, and I had my hands resting on my purse in my lap. My husband looked over and commented on how my grandmother used to do the same thing with her hands on her bag. I had not made a conscientious decision to hold my hands in the manner I was – it simply felt right.
Similarly, Paul’s cousin was an intern with him for a few months in the summer of 2020. Paul took a photo from behind of his cousin working at his desk and sent it to me. My first thought was, “where did Paul get that shirt?” His cousin’s body posture at the desk – including the tilt of his head and how his hand was resting on the computer mouse – was a mirror image of Paul’s body posture.
I am excellent at being able to eyeball if pictures are straight without needing a level. Why? Am I a trained architect? Does my career involve this type of work day after day? Nope, but my grandpa was a bricklayer, and his keen eye for detail was passed down to me.
These are just a few simple examples of how we carry our ancestors with us. Whether it be body posture or the ability to see if a picture is straight without a level, all come from our lineage.
Think of your belief systems, things you are good at, or your career. How did you come to believe what you believe about the world, other people, and the universe? How did you hone your skill to be successful in your career? When you look deeply into your core and explore who you are as a person, what do you see? Many people may be tempted to say they are self-made. They may claim that all their accomplishments are because of THEIR hard work, THEIR learning, THEIR dedication. But, the truth is, who you are today is because of your ancestors.
You carry your ancestors in your heart, just as you carry memories. They are always with you, although you may not realize it or acknowledge it. They are as much a part of you like your bones, organs, and tissues are. You cannot separate out who “you” are from your ancestors – you are one and the same.
This month, we celebrate Dia de Los Muertos – a day to remember, honor, and acknowledge ancestors and loved ones who have died. November 1 is a day to celebrate children and beloved animal companions, while November 2 is dedicated to adults.
During November, I encourage you to find a way to honor your ancestors. It does not have to be on November 1 and 2, but it can be. You may visit the graves of loved ones, bring them a special gift (something they liked to eat, drink, or do), or simply sit at the graveside and share happy memories. You may choose to create an altar with photos, candles, and things that remind you of your ancestors. Do an activity that one of your ancestors liked, sing songs they enjoyed, visit establishments they frequented. Perhaps just sitting in meditation while connecting to their energy through positive memories feels right to you ~ you may be surprised at what they have to say!
So much of our time and energy – as it often needs to be – is dedicated to the here and now and ourselves. So let’s take November to celebrate our beloved ancestors and celebrate who they were – and, through us, who they are today.