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Ancestral Healing Wasn’t What I Thought It Would Be

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I took a DNA test and my whole life turned upside down when I found the man I had been told is my father, is not. It catapulted me down a path of ancestral healing that has been profound and liberating.

Years ago, Ana Flores, the founder of #WeAllGrow Latina, mentioned ancestral healing in a conversation. I honestly had no idea what it was, but as soon as the words came out of her mouth, I knew on a very physical and spiritual level that I wanted to do it. However, I did not actively go about finding a coach to guide me on that journey. 

Still, as the months and years passed, I would occasionally think about what my perfect ancestral healing guide might be like. I knew I wanted a bilingual woman,that I could trust to safely guide me and care for me through the process. I’d ask the Universe to send someone like that my way and trusted that when the time was right, that person would appear. 

Then, in 2019, after attending that year’s #WeAllGrow Summit and listening to Academy Award nominee Yalitza Aparicio talk about her heritage, I was compelled to take a DNA test. A few weeks later, when I got the results, my entire concept of self was turned upside down. 

I had always assumed that, thanks to colonialism, I was a mixture of things since, as far as I knew, both my mother and father were from Mexico. Imagine my surprise when I opened up my results to find out that at the very top of my ethnicity estimate was 38 percent Iran/Persia, followed by 15 percent Indigenous Americas—Mexico, 14 percent Spain, and 12 other ethnicities. 

I expected the Indigenous Americas, Spain, and everything that followed, but the Iran/Persia part was a complete surprise and did not fit my origin story. Turns out that the man I had been told is my father, is not even a little bit my father. I say that because I was raised by a single mom and have had very little contact with him, so I can’t even claim him as a father figure. 

The same day I got my DNA results, I found out who my biological father was; that he had passed away a year earlier; that I had three half-siblings, two sisters and a brother; and that I had worked with one of my sisters for years without knowing what we were to each other. I know it sounds like a telenovela plot, but no, it’s my life. 

Cue, the world coming to a screeching halt in 2020! For two years, I dealt with something I couldn’t name until I heard poet and therapist Kim Guerra use the term “cultural dysmorphia.” Culture has always been such an important part of my identity. To find out that I was Iranian hit me hard because I know so little about the culture. How can I claim any of it, and do I still get to say I’m Latina? So much to process. 

In 2022, as the world attempted to get back to business as usual, I could not wait to immerse myself in the magic of that year’s #WeAllGrow Summit, and what happened to me there was beyond magical, it was spiritual. The stars aligned, the Universe provided, and my ancestors showed up. 

“The Universe sent me my ancestral healing coach, and it waited as long as it did because I needed to find out who my father actually was before I could proceed. “

Claudya Martinez

Get this! As I was sitting, sharing my DNA story with two women, another woman I’d never met walked over and sat with us. I briefly filled her in on what I was talking about and continued my story. When I was done with my story, I learned that the woman that joined us is Carina Ponce, energy healer and intuitive life coach.

“While you were speaking, I kept hearing ‘Claudya, June,’ but I don’t know what that means,” Carina said. Quite frankly, I was confused by the whole “kept hearing” part and why she didn’t know the meaning of “June.” Then one of the other women said, “My husband is Iranian and ‘joon’ means ‘dear’ in Farsi.” Goosebumps! My ancestors were calling me Dear, Claudya!

And talk about divine timing! The Universe sent me my ancestral healing coach, and it waited as long as it did because I needed to find out who my father actually was before I could proceed.

After a compatibility session to see if we were a good fit, Carina and I embarked on my ancestral healing journey, and it was not at all what I assumed it would be. I thought that ancestral healing meant my ancestors would come forward and heal me, but that’s not how it works at all. Instead, I was the one who would help them heal. 

I also thought that some of my recently departed ancestors would choose to come on this journey with me. Instead, the ancestors that came were from many generations ago, ancestors I’ve never heard of or met. 

For me, the process has been liberating. It’s helped me truly understand that so much of the trauma that I have carried my whole life isn’t mine to carry. It’s trauma that has been passed down from generation to generation, and for whatever reason, I’m the one who gets to let it go so it doesn’t keep getting passed down. 

Below, I’m sharing Carina’s responses to a few questions about the healing process because even though I know this kind of healing isn’t for everyone, I want to share this information with those who are called to heal in this way. 

As told by Carina Ponce

What is Ancestral Healing?

“Ancestral Healing refers to a type of Spiritual Healing that acknowledges that there are traces of trauma within the body that the person did not experience directly, but were passed down or inherited (epigenetics). 

These traces of trauma often manifest themselves physically or emotionally in different ways, such as a fear of drowning even though the living person has no negative experiences with water or in pronounced situations where several generations have defined patterns of alcoholism or abuse to name a few. 

Acknowledging that you have traces of trauma that are not yours, your body can identify what is yours and what is not. The actual Healing requires, acknowledgment, intention to heal, and moving of the energy. It is a process in which you connect to an Ancestor that experienced the trauma directly and you agree to be the living nexus to release this trauma for them and for yourself.”

Why is Ancestral Healing beneficial to the living person doing it?

“By the time we become aware that this is within us, we have more than likely already begun to work on healing ourselves. Ancestral Healing is the next step in our healing journey. It helps us release trauma that still affects us in many ways. To decide to heal our Ancestral Trauma is something the living person does to release not just themselves, but also future generations of the family from having to continue to experience the effects of the trauma.

Also, I’d like to add for your consideration that Ancestral Healing is not something that is done via a reading, or something to ‘cure’ with affirmations or meditations. Ancestral readings, affirmations, and meditations are tools that can help in the process of Healing, but healing requires energy to be moved, and that is a process.”

As a result of this ongoing journey, I’ve become much more receptive to receiving messages from my antepasados and trusting that I am not delusional or imagining that they are communicating with me. 

For example, I have never been fond of the saying “ni de aquí, ni de allá.” I’ve used it, but it’s always rubbed me the wrong way because it makes me feel disempowered. Anyway, after starting my ancestral healing journey, I came across that phrase in a book and my body reacted to it like the sound of nails on a chalkboard. Then very clearly, I heard my ancestors say, “Eres de aquí, de allá y de donde chingados quieras ser.” 

My ancestors wanted me to know that they worked hard so that I can proudly take up space and be my whole self wherever I go. And I’m sure yours do too. 


About the Author

Claudya Martinez 

Claudya Martinez is a writer and content creator with a sense of humor. She loves collaborating with #WeAllGrow. You can follow her at @byclaudya on IG.

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