There is a soulfulness that resonates in diverse cultures, steeped in spirituality and oneness with the universe and each other that comes from ancient times. This explains why diversity is the answer to healing.
We are the keepers of the beliefs, the knowledge and spirituality that fosters empathy and care for each other. As we live in communities, this diversity is shared with others. And so is the knowledge, but only if we bring that ancient diversity forward.
Transcript of Episode 25 – December 22, 2021
[Intro with music]
Winter Solstice – The Longest Night
Welcome to Episode 25, the last episode of our first season that began on July 14th of this year, 2021. For all our listeners that have contributed to our growth, our evolution and happiness, thank you so, so much for your support and kindness. It really meant a lot to me to have you support this at a time when you were all trying to maintain your own level of happiness. This has been a dream of mine that was delayed for so long. Without all of you, the wait would have been my biggest regret. Instead, your enthusiasm during this harsh pandemic is a blessing. I wish all joy and goodness to you in the new year and may we continue to find a way to each other in empathy and understanding.
Today is December 22 and so, it’s the Winter Solstice so congratulations! You have made it through the longest night of the year, although I’m sure a lot of these nights have felt way too long! From here on, we are headed towards longer days, more sun and less of the mole life when we are going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark and just have these beady little eyes transfixed on streaming TV at night.
I could never be on the poles at this time of the year where they don’t get any sun at all. That would drive me absolutely delirious. I could do the opposite summertime, 24 hours sun. That would be fine. I can do it. There’s enough caffeine in the world that would get me through that.
How Diversity is Brought Forward
December 22nd is one of the most special days of my life, both in a lot of struggle and ultimate pure joy. It’s a perfect time of year though to share this as we pause and take time to look back over this really difficult year. Pandemic year, 2.0. I tell you, this is getting long. They used to say long in the tooth. Do they say that anymore? Something about the roots. I don’t know. We won’t go there. That’s disgusting.
So reflecting back on this day, 31 years later, I realize how much power women have gained over their lives again. Back then, I felt so helpless, removed from the empathetic world of my mother and her Latina friends and left in the hands of this modern thinking; no empathy. All that warmth that I grew up with, their natural understanding of what to do in struggle, how to make me feel safe and loved and not alone. That was both generational and cultural for them.
And that’s what today’s episode highlights, how that cultural and generational knowledge gets lost to modern age convenience, but then thankfully comes rumbling back in power, just in time.
In my lifetime, I’ve seen the discoveries, air quotes, discoveries of modernization, knowing that they were already lived by generations of women of different cultures. Most of today’s problems are being resolved by turning back to where convenience changed behaviors. That’s where we start over. We start with this new knowledge we have now and the new resources, but we go back to when modernization led us astray.
So, no worries. The answer is here for you. Just follow the breadcrumbs back to the answer you need to feel complete and happy where we are now. Those breadcrumbs dropped by generations of women in the past.
We are linked together across generations and cultures. How fortunate are we to have so much knowledge literally being handed over to us? The beauty of this moment of this modern day of connectivity to people worldwide because of technology and the access to resources that were out of reach just one generation ago.
Convenience of Technology Causes Disconnect
Can you imagine not having today’s freedom or power of choice, or more so, power of voice? Technology has illuminated our minds just in time to process and understand our reality and how we got to this point. How did we get here? Technology has also given us the power to act together in empathy to correct the past when it leads us off the rails. It’s given us the voice to speak out en masse and reach our peoples for support, regardless of how far away they are.
But, technology can also leave us isolated, disconnected from humanity. It has been used to polarize us and fuel discontent. Technology has us relying on convenience to the point of not having to leave our homes at all. And, as it tries to replace humans altogether, how much of our daily actions are contributing to this? How do we heal from the mistakes of the past, from modernization that went astray, while we continue to create new ones in the present?
That’s what we’re asking today. That’s what we’re talking about.
It’s really difficult to come up with the answer. We want to evolve. Making life easier for ourselves provides us with more energy and time to revel with the people we love.
Modern conveniences have definitely improved our lives, but at what cost to the world and its people? It’s an ongoing struggle from generation to generation, for sure. Each generation thinks they have the solution. But, it’s proven to be a solution for the moment and not for decades. Over decades, it’s created unforeseen problems. Rather than change at the time when the problems began occurring, we stayed with it. Stayed in it. We figured this was the new norm. This is where the profit lies.
Yet, acting in empathy has proven to be the guiding light to our answers. Empathy based on human relationship and connection. Considering others before we act can make all the difference to healing us personally and as a whole.
And that’s what we’re going to consider today; the actions being done now. Where we think they will become the new normal, have we really looked down the pipeline?
Have we considered where this will be in two and three generations and what the impact will have? Will we find ourselves regretting that direction? Just like we regret having plastic introduced into our environment.
Generational Knowledge Brings Healing
One of those modern conveniences created my biggest disconnect from humanity on what should have been the happiest day of my life. Those conveniences, coupled with separation from my Latina women, would create the perfect storm of isolation, which, if you have been listening, is not a good thing. It’s just not natural to me. A sense of helplessness that had no immediate solution but could readily have been resolved through love and empathy of another human.
On the winter solstice 31 years ago, I realized that the pains of the night prior were not my dinner. They were labor pains. My first born, already 11 days late, was destined to be born on the coldest day of the 20th century. But that wouldn’t keep my family from being there with me to see their first grandchild. They were becoming uncles and great aunts. I remember my mother and I trying to call each other at the same moment that day. And I was thinking, “Wow! The power of the universe. We are in sync”.
But, that solstice night would prove to be even longer than the hours that ticked away. The longest night of the year would seem endless. Delivery can often go awry no matter how much modern knowledge and equipment exist. It was definitely a moment that couldn’t be scripted because I didn’t know what to expect. As the day turned into night, excitement turned into anxiety. And then, without any planning, all the pieces came together and so did I.
Where modern technology had created the problem, human touch had brought the healing. I am so grateful that women have gathered in strength to deconstruct the reliance on technology in childbirth and brought back the knowledge of generations that keeps mother and child safe and together. Childbirth surrounded by a mother’s most trusted people, advocates, lovers and friends. Newborns being instantly handed into their new womb of their mother’s arms. That’s the life knowledge of generations that brought childbirth back to the miraculous moment of the millennia that has always been.
Technology Goes Too Far in Childbirth
My experience with my first born was sadly nothing like this because of the medical thought of the time. I arrived at the hospital at 11 am and was told to expect my little one by 6pm. I thought that wasn’t bad; that I could endure the pains and have my little one before dinner perfectly.
What happened next was the beginning of the struggle, as if childbirth isn’t enough of a challenge. The nurses strapped me to a bed with a fetal monitor across my belly. I was told this was the new modern technology that would monitor the well being of the baby and if nothing else, I was not to touch it even if I needed to get up.
Anyone who has given birth, or witnessed the process of giving birth, knows this is the worst advice to offer a mother in labor. Generations of women knew this too but that knowledge was lost on my generation. We were born in hospitals where the doctors smoked, removed babies with forceps and left fathers in waiting rooms not knowing what was happening with their loved ones.
So it made sense that one generation later, they were going in the same modernization process. There I lay, in ramping pain, and being told through a speaker to stop moving. Apparently, I was throwing the monitor off by writhing in bed. But, my request for the nurse to come and remove it was met with silence. No one came to see me. This is when creating the Metaverse has me wondering where we are heading. My husband figured there was nothing he could do so he went to his office holiday party. My family was trying to get organized to travel to be with me. But until then, I was left alone and so, so scared.
By the time my mother arrived, I was sobbing. Thankfully, she demanded the nurses to remove the device so that I could let gravity do its job. Without her advocating for me, the situation would have been even worse. Still, too much time had passed with nothing happening since lying down stalls labor. I was exhausted from pain, saddened by the feeling of failure and just wanting my little one with me.
As the clock neared midnight on that longest night of the year, the doctor declared nothing could be done that night. Even though they had hastened the possibility with medications, I was too exhausted to deliver the baby. Instead I was scheduled for a C-section the next morning, my third day of labor.
Mothers Need Their Newborns to Heal
My mother was terrified. She didn’t need technology to tell her that the baby was in duress and should be delivered immediately. Her demands went unanswered and she turned to her strength for solace: prayer. I drifted off to sleep with the vision of my family surrounding me on the hospital bed, holding hands and praying that the two of us would be safe by morning light.
When I think about it now, I realize how lucky I was. I wonder how many families would have stayed to make sure that we were okay. If we just relied on the fetal monitor and no one was there watching, what would have happened to us?
I was awakened to get prepped for surgery. My family had all slept the whole night in the waiting room overnight, which made the nurses think just where we came from. I left the security and warmth of their presence and entered the hostile white lit surgery room. My doctor was waiting for me masked behind a plastic shield, ones that we see all too common now. But, the anesthesiologist arrived unmasked and sneezing over me as the doctor began the incision. Okay. Again, no medical education needed to know this is not a good thing.
I remember thinking my little one and I were doomed at the possibility of all these germs entering us. The joy of the moment kept getting disrupted by the absence of women’s life knowledge. I just wanted, in that moment, to be surrounded by my Latina women. I knew they would have the answer. I knew we would be okay all together.
But then, there she was. My little one rising above the tented sheet, not crying, just looking around with her big brown eyes. Gratitude swept over me as I asked about her well being. Was she okay? Did she have 10 fingers? 10 toes? Was she going to be alright?
She was handed to her dad and sent out of the room while I was sewn back together, still without my little one. The emotional pain is nothing near that experienced by other women who lose their babies. I try my best to go that deep in pain but my frail humanity holds me back from feeling that hurt. That’s devastation. All I know is that being unable to hold your child is the most tragic of human experiences.
By the time I was ready to hold my baby girl, the doctor returned to say she had been admitted to ICU with an elevated temperature that could be indicative of meningitis. I lost it. All the faith of my childhood came roaring to the surface and I prayed imploringly that she would survive. I couldn’t believe that I would have endured all that only to struggle with facing the worst possible outcome.
Every Day Should Feel Healing
I was admitted to the hospital, not as a mother but as a patient. One who had to be monitored from surgery versus taught how to be a new mother. My little one was behind glass and I wasn’t allowed to hold her. I wasn’t allowed in the room and I couldn’t touch her. I leaned against the wall of glass wondering if she would still remember me. So many babies removed from their safety and love of their moms, lying alone untouched, but monitored.
Thankfully, at that time, prior to insurance companies profitization, I was still in the hospital on Christmas Eve. I know that sounds awful wanting to be in the hospital on Christmas Eve. But, if my baby was there, I was grateful I could still be there.
The hospital did its best to make the mothers feel comforted by providing a special candlelight dinner. And it was actually really good. I remember steak and peppermint ice cream and champagne. And after nine months of not drinking, I don’t care what that champagne was, I know it tasted good.
Christmas Newsletter of Peruvian Recipes
Christmas Eve is the most special night in my Peruvian culture. Decades of Midnight Mass followed by a major party of food and desserts and revelry define the night. We would go to bed just hours prior to the sun rising and beginning the American tradition of running to our stockings. Only to be disappointed when the Peruvian tradition of oranges and hard shelled nuts are placed in stockings and not candy and toys.
But still the party is fantastic on Christmas Eve and the recipes for those goodies are in our December newsletter. You can make Peruvian Tamals and Arroz Con Leche. Read background stories of the celebration just by popping over to our website at Thelnxx.com and signing up in time for the end of the year. Hopefully you have some time off to enjoy the recipes. Tell me what you think.
Christmas Eve Miracle of Healing
So, on that Christmas Eve, 31 years ago, I could hear groups of children singing in the hallways. It reminded me of the times when we would go to the senior homes at Christmas to comfort those alone.
The loneliness is searing. And at this time of year, it seems to worsen. The need for human connection ramps up severely when we enter the holidays. Perhaps it’s acknowledging the time of year when people are really making an effort to gather and to go en masse to be with their families, all together. But, we always have the power within us to think of others, to understand their situation fully and empathize with kindness, with human connection. We don’t need to wait for this one time of year.
As it was nearing midnight, all I wanted was to hold my baby by Christmas day. No one had told me when she would be with me; when they were going to send us home. Then suddenly, the nurse walked through the door and handed me my little girl. Just like that, no preparation, no heads up.
My prayers answered. Her and I locking eyes. Finally, after 3 days of separation, never seeing each other, never holding her, we were together again. As I rocked her, feeling blessed by this little miracle, a shadow came into the door. I heard a voice introducing himself as Daniel and asking if he could sing to us.
I don’t know what my response was. I just remember seeing him backlit. The only vision was his shoulder length hair hitting his slight frame. With the candles still burning from our dinner, Daniel began to sing ‘Silent Night’. Although the song had always held power to me, that night, as a new mother, it took on a whole different meaning.
As his gentle voice filled our room, the candlelight twinkling like the stars outside, I stared into her big brown eyes in gratitude and grace. Promises were whispered, love overflowed. Then, Daniel’s voice resonated, “Mother and child, Holy infant so tender and mild…” It was as though we were tethered again, everything shared and flowing between us.
Human connection. Human touch. The end of modern day convenience of technology and instead, empathy from a stranger. The end of trauma from the modern day convenience of technology that had created our separation and our struggle. And instead, empathy. Empathy from a stranger, created in that ethereal moment. And I began to heal.
A reminder that as much as we try to evolve beyond what we know now, some aspects of our humanity must remain. Leaving it behind, thinking we know better, may find us struggling in new found problems that still have their answer in the knowledge of our past.
Midnight Is My Healing
To this day, staying up all night is not a challenge. I pulled all-nighters in college in desperation to catch up for my spontaneous living life fully during the Quarter. But, since that Winter Solstice night, the passing of midnight brings me hope of the new day and its offering of new beginnings. Perhaps, the end of struggle and perhaps, the healing from empathy. As a mother, keeping my daughters company through the night is never a hardship. Being with them at midnight, knowing I will hold them in the new day; that has a whole new meaning.
But, it’s also a time when many are left alone on the streets, unhoused. When parents are leaving for their second or third jobs to make ends meet or worrying how to acquire one. So many mothers were pushed out of the workforce during the pandemic and remain struggling to recover.
Even now, we all owe each other more than one day of consideration. The one time we take a break from taking and have a small moment of giving. We owe each other human connection, in person, rather than behind a screen or through the airwaves. We may be comforted by the sound of a voice or the vision of someone; but we haven’t forgotten the power of being held.
I know you may be thinking that I am way too old school to understand where we are headed. Maybe. And yet, today’s youth is showing duress from technology and the lack of human connection. We talked about that at the end of Episode 24, ‘It Only Takes One’. How young girls between the ages of 12 and 17 are struggling from the separation of their friends during the pandemic.
That’s two generations from me and they still want human connection.
Healing of Generational Diversity
So just how many generations will it take to remove that want of human contact. And should we be trying to create that?
The power of keeping our diversity helps us transfer knowledge from one generation to the next. Knowledge that is ancient from the earth. And if we still have it now, then it’s because it works for humanity. We need this knowledge to go back to when our evolution, in our current modernization, doesn’t work. When it leads us to a place of harm or a place of unsustainability, we go back to it.
Can you imagine losing the ancient art of meditation? What would have happened now that you rely so heavily on it in this stressful situations? Can you imagine losing the ancient belief of faith? Can you imagine losing the ancient art of medicine, which we actually did here in America? The native people, who held this ancient art of healing, were disregarded and sequestered and could not share their knowledge of healing. And so, at the turn of the 19th century here in America, we languished.
This is the power of diversity. The keepers of knowledge that have helped humanity persevere and survive today. We need to treasure this same knowledge from the cultures that live it daily and live it out loud. For as much as we are evolving forward, we must bring this ancient knowledge with us because we have relied on it for thousands of years to help us, heal us and teach us how to care for the earth and our survival.
This podcast is focused on inspiring young women of diverse cultures to live their heritage fully and out loud. There is a soulfulness that resonates in diverse cultures, steeped in spirituality and oneness with the universe and each other that comes from ancient times.
We are the keepers of the beliefs, the knowledge and spirituality that fosters empathy and care for each other. And as we live in communities, this diversity is shared with others and so is the knowledge. But, only if we bring that ancient diversity forward.That’s the power of diversity.
So ladies, as we wind up the end of this year, another really difficult year that we can put behind and look forward to a new year, I’ll hand these words to you: Choose to gather rather than turn inward; seek to help others rather than ignore; cherish a new day, a new beginning, and begin a new with a change of heart.
Happiest of holidays to you. As we close out December and a blessed New Year with health, happiness, and human connection. See you in 2022!
Step into your truth, Ladies! Ciao!
[Outro with music]