What It Means to Be a Good Ancestor with Jana Lynne Umipig


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Do you feel like you’re a good ancestor? What does it even mean to be a good ancestor?


In this episode, Jana Lynne Umipig and I talk about what it means to be a good ancestor as you decolonize your life. We discuss how colonization impacts Filipino people, the intersectionality of intergenerational trauma and colonization, and tips for those of you who are struggling with familial boundaries in your liberation journey.


Jana Lynne Umipig, also called JL, is a cultural/knowledge bearer centered on intergenerational liberation and decolonization work. JL is a Creator with intentions of planting generative seeds through her multidisciplinary art and her role as a liberation educator, intuitive bodyworker, and Ilokano healer.


Shame is a keyword in the lives of BIPOC people. We’re often shamed by our elders for not being the people they want us to be or not doing what they want us to do. This shame and pressure breeds into resentment, guilt, and a lack of agency over our sacred selves. 

It’s important to understand that these are not functions of our ancestral culture, they are functions of colonization and white supremacy. 

Of course, no matter what culture you come from, it’s a respectful and loving act to honor and care for your elders, but when the needs of the elders become more important than you and your children’s needs, that’s when major problems can arise.


Liberation must include autonomy, agency, and boundaries. Decolonizing your life requires setting boundaries, prioritizing you and your family’s needs, and understanding what it truly means to be a good ancestor.


What does it mean to be a good ancestor? How do you break the cycle of generational trauma?

If you want to be a conscious parent and a good ancestor, the best thing you can do is figure out your “why”. Why do you want to do this? My “why” is that I want me and Gia to be friends when she’s an adult. I want her to trust me. So, who do I have to be in order for that to happen? 

It’s a powerful exploration to embark on.

Luckily, we now have way more tools and resources to navigate and cope with all the challenges we face in this world and to build a brighter, freer future for our children.

“What our generation is contending with the most is finding the balances of the ways in which we’re figuring it out so that we have more rituals to really move with… when it comes up with our own children as they’re being raised.”  – Jana Lynne Umipig 


JL believes that having good, healthy relationships with others, building good community, and intentionally building a good family are integral parts of being a good ancestor.


JL’s tips for people struggling with familial boundaries in their liberation journey:

  • Be patient and have compassion for the complexities in any given moment. When you don’t hold complication, you run straight into conflict and stay there for a long time.
  • When you’re in conflict with your family, take a deep breath and figure out what you’re not seeing at that moment. What are you simplifying that’s always more complicated than this moment? Do you have the capacity to hold that?
  • Have patience with yourself when you don’t have the capacity to hold complication.
  • Celebrate yourself when you do have the courage to step into moments of complication.
  • Ask yourself: What do your boundaries look, feel, and sound like? What is it going to be like when you’re apart from your family? What does this distance do to you?

With a foundation built on integrity and love, that has room for growth and boundaries, we can model what we want the future world to look like. 


About Jana Lynne Umipig (she/her):

Jana Lynne Umipig is the daughter of Rosemarie Caldetera Umipig (Pagudpud, Ilokos Norte) and Godofredo Peralta Umipig (Santa Maria, Ilokos Sur) born and raised on the Kingdom of Hawaii, Jana Lynne currently resides on Lenape Territory (Bronx, NY). She is a cultural/knowledge bearer, centered on intergenerational liberation and decolonization work. JL is a Creator, with intentions of planting generative seeds through her multidisciplinary artistic expression/creation work, role as a liberation educator and as an intuitive bodywork and Ilokano healer. She has been doing direct service organizing and healing work with intersectional communities all over the US and Internationally in detention centers, rehabilitation centers, community centers, schools and the homes of those in need, for over 12 years. Founder of the Center for Babaylan Sudies Decolonization School, host of Pilipinx Podcast Kultivating Kapwa and creator of the Kapwa Tarot Deck.


To connect further with JL:
Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jlcreator 


Read the TRANSCRIPT here: click here


This episode was produced by Crys & Tiana.