Let's Talk About Spiritual Bypassing

Often we name spiritual bypassing as the pattern of using spiritual practice to avoid the darker, more complex and at times painful, aspects of what it is to be human.

New Age “love and light” rhetoric tells us to “keep our vibe high” and “just think positive.”

But we came here for a human experience, didn’t we? And that experience includes shadow, sorrow, loss, death, and rebirth.

Beyond spiritual bypassing in our individual experiences, spiritual bypassing of the collective reality is, to me, even more troubling.

Gone are the days of mountaintop spirituality and the illusion that we somehow become more holy by disengaging from the messiness of our current global reality - one that includes gun violence, economic injustice, racism, and climate crisis.

Yes, our spiritual practices can give us refuge and solace, can inspire us to hope and save us from the paralysis of despair.

But if that’s all we’re doing, how are we actually shaping a new earth and creating a world that embodies our spiritual ideals of truth, compassion, and justice? (hint: we’re not)

And privilege is clearly at play here - if I can somehow prevent realities of oppression and injustice from entering my sphere of awareness in order to maintain my love and light bubble, I am uniquely and incredibly privileged.

The vast majority of the human family does not have this luxury.

I envision a world where it is no longer acceptable to bypass in this way.

I envision a world where all “spiritual” people marry their journey of personal healing with the call to collective liberation.

I envision a world where spiritual practice sustains us in the long and slow work of creating the world of radical equality and fierce compassion that we know to be possible in our heart of hearts.

This vision is the fuel behind the HEAL + LIBERATE podcast space I steward, and the underlying fuel behind everything I do, both online and offline.

Because the world needs me, and you, and all of us, to step up to the challenges, put our values into practice, and birth liberatory systems + ways of beings in + through the messy, shadowy, but not irredeemable, current state of our world.

September Musings

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This Virgo season/September portal has got me feeling curious, curious about how I structure my days 🌿

how I create space for everything that wants to flow through in the offline and online realms 🌿

how I expand my container to hold space for the integration of healing and liberation, especially for folks who benefit from Whiteness and have the privilege to bypass the collective reality in their spiritual practices 🌿

how I can commune with my ancestors more deeply and unravel the complexities of what it is to be here on Turtle Island in a body raced as White and made from the multiethnic Açores islands🌿

how I can step up and step into my intuitive gifts more fully🌿

and how I take good care of myself along the way 🌿

and as a virgo celebrating 26 laps around the sun this now, now feels like an extra potent time to rebirth, renew, realign, and reinvigorate myself for the new year of life ahead!

what’s calling to you this month?

Why I'm No Longer Calling Myself A SPACEHOLDER

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I had been referring to myself as a spaceholder here, on the podcast, and basically in all of my online (and many offline) spaces.

I chose this word because I fundamentally believe that we are each our own healer, our own coach, our own guide and best teacher.

It felt strange to present myself as a “healer” or “coach,” as the industries around these professions contain threads of professing to have the answer in a way that isn’t wholly empowering + in integrity for me.

And, if I’m honest it was also a way to play small, to stay ambiguous, to not allow my full capacity to anchor in transformation and liberatory ways of being to be seen and valued.

So, the title “spaceholder” has been exactly that, a spaceholder.

And with this September/Virgo/birthday month portal MASSIVE clarity has been coming through about my gifts, and who I’m here to offer them to.

The time has to swap out the ambiguous, deflecting spaceholder energy for a crystral clear naming of who I am and what I’m about.

  • I am Lauryn Miranda (she/hers), a White woman living on Turtle Island in the unceded ancestral lands of the Mechoopda Maidu people.

  • I am the daughter of Northern California pines and the granddaughter of maternal and paternal Açorean immigrants.

  • I am a healer + channel for liberatory people and systems.

  • I call spiritual white folx into intersectional antiracism.

  • I podcast and write on the weaving together of healing, justice, and liberation.

  • I am a lover of the Wild, a devotee of the Divine, and a seer of new possibilities.

  • And I am commited to always learning, deepening, making mistakes, receiving, and evolving in all areas of my life and work.

It feels so good to be this clear, after months of seeking + coming deeper into my path.

May we all feel alive and aligned in the work we came here to offer.

Let's Talk About Social Media Activism

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I love coming to online spaces like Instagram to learn from others, to get updated on movements that matter to me, to support the work of public intellectuals in the realms of justice/liberation, and to catalyze how I am called to SHOW UP in alignment with intersectional antiracism and decolonization.

But, I wonder, do I sometimes read, repost, and write in a way that funnels energy away from offline activism and systemic change?

Is the way I engage here getting me + others (especially those who are most oppressed) free?

Does all this online stuff we do matter?

As with most things, it’s a BOTH/AND for me.

How I spend my time online, who + what I give my attention to, the messages + content that I share with others - it can all contribute to this global collective effort to usher in deeper healing + more expansive liberation.

And yet, if this is all I do I’m missing an opportunity for more and perhaps even doing harm.

I come here to be catalyzed, then I log off activated to take concrete steps towards creating the liberatory communities, systems, + world I know are possible.

This really come up for me around the atrocious appropriation of indigenous culture perpetrated by Dior + their new Sauvage line. Yes I was horrified. Yes it was important to talk about. Yes I probably wouldn’t have known about it without social media.

But rather than post + repost, adding to the frenzy, I chose to step back and evaluate how I have or haven’t been relating to indigenous folx where I now live.

I learned more about the Mechoopda Maidu whose land, health, and way of life was all but destroyed by westward bound, gold rush lusting settlers. I committed to inquiring about a land tax with local tribal leadership and showing up at their next public event to see if/where my support + solidarity is needed.

This is how I am allowing what sparks my sacred rage online to fuel aligned action for justice + offline.

Say it with me: I ALLOW WHAT CATALYZES ME ONLINE TO ACTIVATE ME OFFLINE

We MUST weave the online and offline realms for true transformation. Am I right?

You Are the Dream of Your Ancestors + Embodied Antiracist Lineage Healing | podcast transcript

listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or on this site

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Hello, and welcome back to HEAL + LIBERATE, our space for nurturing personal healing and catalyzing collective liberation for a more vibrant and just world.

I’m your host and spaceholder Lauryn Miranda, and I’m so thankful you’re here with me today. 

This is a solo episode I am creating today in response to to a piece of writing that I shared recently.  I wrote, 

YOU ARE THE DREAM OF YOUR ANCESTORS.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I woke up with these words⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Echoing in my mind.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

You are the dream of your ancestors.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Let that land, allow the image of you⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

As the imagining of your

Wise + ancient kin⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

To sink all. the. way. in.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

You have been called here ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

By the prayers and hopes⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The tears and visions⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The strength and fire⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Of those who have walked before you.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Lineage can be a complex web of joys and sorrows⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

We are all busy transmuting ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Patterns and pains⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

That no longer serve.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

But don’t let all that ancestral healing⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Make you lose sight ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Of the beauty and majesty⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Of what it is⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

To have been called here, now⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

To this lifetime⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

By your people.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

You are the one they have been waiting for.

I invite you to take a deep breath, and just allow anything that stood out to you, that resonated, to sink in.  

This feels really important to me, because there’s a lot of talk and a lot of practice around ancestral healing that is happening, which is so beautiful that we are living in a time when many of us are reclaiming ritual and connection to our ancestors in new ways, but also in ways that connect us with our roots and our lineage.

It’s actually, if we take the long view of human history, quite strange or unique to be in a place where many of us (I’ll include myself in this) can live fairly disconnected from our more ancient and ancestral ways of being.

Part of that is the reality of modernity.  We do so many things each day that your ancestors never did:  we drive in cars, we record podcasts, we connect on social social media.  And part of it too is this sense that, as the world becomes more globalized, people have moved away from their ancestral lands, whether through chosen migration, or forced emigration for folks who are refugees.

There is a wide variety of reasons why our lineage in particular might have come to a place where we feel a call to ancestral remembrance, to reconnection, and to healing.  

I know particularly for myself, as a woman of Acorean Portuguese heritage, my people come from the Acores islands, which are an autonomous region off the coast of Portugal, a little like Hawai’i is to the US, very far geographically and very different culturally, but still part of the same country.

Anyways that’s where my people come from, and they chose to come to the US. My most recent ancestor who made that choice is my paternal grandfather.  And on my mom’s side, that choice goes a couple generations back.

We chose in many ways to give up our culture, our language, our food, our way of life for the privilege of becoming “White.” 

Really whiteness, there is no biological or real foundation for race, it’s something that has been created. Although the ways that race has been institutionalized are real and having severe and violent impacts on people of color every single day.  And that’s part of our work, as people who have been raced as White, to really show up in antiracist ways that can allow us, as a collective human family to dismantle this destructive system of race that has gotten us where we are now.

That’s a bit of a digression, but anyways, my people, unlike many immigrants, where able to pass as White, be raced as White, to receive the privilege that comes with that.  But Whiteness isn’t only bad for people of color, it’s also incredibly dehumanizing for folks who are raced as White. And really I see myself and many people of my generation waking up to this reality, whether their people immigrated or came to a new place really recently, or whether that happened a long ways back,

we’re waking up to this need to be connected to those deep roots, to those ancestral ways of being, that will really be the key to living on this planet, in a way that has longevity. 

I find myself, and I think many people are doing the same, looking back and asking where did we go wrong? What is it in my lineage that needs healing?

What are those wounds, those pains, those ancestral traumas, perhaps from war, or famine, or slavery, or abuse that are still living in my body?

This isn’t only a spiritual reality, this is a biological reality.  We see this in epigenetics that the experiences of our ancestors become encoded in our DNA.  And the beautiful thing is - this is more of a spiritual perspective - that when we do that healing in our bodies here and now, when we transmute those old wounds and pains that we no longer wish to carry into the future, we clear that from our ancestral line. 

Our ancestors smile on us when we can shift patterns of codependency, when we can break cycles of abuse, when we can decolonize ourselves in whatever way is needed for our lineage, and show up more fully, free from systems and structures that have sought to dehumanize our people in whatever ways, free from those systems of privilege that have elevated our people in ways that were violent and unjust. 

When we get free from that in our own lives, when we do that personal healing work, we directly impact our lineage, and we contribute to collective liberation.

I think though that a lot of energy in ancestral healing spaces is spent on understanding what went wrong, what the shadows are that we carry.  And this piece I just read about imagining ourselves as the dreams, as the visions, of our ancestors, came through as a balance to that.

Sure, there are ways that our ancestors went wrong, there are pains that were inflicted on them by the times that they lived in. And, at the same time, they hold our lives in deep love and hopefulness and resiliency and strength. 

And it’s just as important, maybe even more important, to connect with that well of deep love and connection that our ancestors hold for us.

And to know that we are supported by centuries and generations of people in whatever our work and our purpose and our mission here in this lifetimes is 

I like to think of myself as being chosen by my ancestors for this time. 

I’m probably the first woman in my family that has had the options that I have to choose to have kids a little later, which is not that late, I’ll probably have kids earlier than many in my generation because I do feel a strong call to motherhood.  And I’m the first one perhaps to have full sovereignty over my womb.

I have the capacity to create work and a life for myself that goes beyond traditional roles of women but also includes those aspects of mothering and nurturing that I personally feel called to.  I can find creative ways through the internet, through things like podcasting, to share my voice, to share the medicine that comes through me on a larger level.

There’s so many ways in which we are living in such an exciting time and I imagine for each of you listening, there are components of your life and your journey that your ancestors are so proud of, they are cheering you on, they are celebrating you. 

They laid the foundation for you to be who you are today.

And of course, it’s a mixed bag, of course there are painful things we are transmuting, and there is also whole lot of strength and power and medicine and giftedness held in our ancestral lines. And the more we can connect with that, the more we can show up as our full selves, the more that

we can live the kinds of lives that will make us good ancestors for the generations to come.  

So I invite you, whenever you’re feeling small or uncertain, or perhaps a little lost and confused, perhaps you want to take a little time closing your eyes, putting a hand on your heart, and remembering that

you are connected to generations and generations of leaders, and medicine people, and storytellers, and family sustainers, and people who walked on the Earth with great reverence, and love, and devotion.

And they are with you, they are celebrating you, as you untangle any threads of pas trauma and pain that are still lingering.  They support you fully in this. Allow that to really settle in, knowing that you are so supported beyond time and space, and that your ancestors now are surrounding you.

I heard a really beautiful image in an interview on the Medicine Stories Podcast recently, and it was this image that

our ancestors, in whatever realm they exist, are holding ritual and ceremony for us continually, are literally sustaining our existence on the planet, in this human form.

I was just so blown away by and awestruck to receive that image.  I had never quote heard it articulated that way before. And part of me had been approaching my connection to my ancestors as something I needed to do, and really work on, and really hold space for.  But no, they are holding space for me, they are dreaming me into existence with each day. And just feeling that and sinking into that, is a big sigh of relief.

I hope these words have been nourishing for you, I would love to hear what you think. If you’re listening, feel free to take a screenshot and share on social media.  You can find me @laurynmiranda. I would love to connect with you and hear what’s moving in you from this episode.

Thank you for supporting the podcast, for subscribing and rating and reviewing and sharing.  It means so much and really allows me to feel energized and energetically sustained in this work.

And a final note, I am visioning with a dear sister and powerful catalyst for change, Lauren Elizabeth - we happen to have the same name spelled differently -

we’re visioning a retreat grounded in ancestral remembrance, elemental healing, and earth honoring for next summer, June 4-7, 2020 here in Northern California. 

I would be honored to receive you, and hold space for you, and be in circle with you.during those days. Feel free to send me a little note via social media or over email at hello@laurymiranda.com, and I’ll make sure you’re the first to now when enrollment opens on Oct. 31st.  

In addition to the retreat, there will also be spaces before and after the retreat to deepen in these themes, to have circle space online where both those of us who will be at the retreat and folks who are just interested in these themes in general, can connect and share and feel nourished. 

I’m really excited about this offering, and I would be so honored if this calls to you. Let me know and we’ll chat!

Thanks you being here today and until next time keep healing and liberating.