Most people know me by the name of Pearl, but my given name is Constant Motion Woman. I’m Hunkpapa Lakota and Dakota from Standing Rock and Anishinaabe from White Earth Nation. I'm eagle clan and currently reside in Mni Sota Mahkoce. I have gravitated and continue to learn Anishinaabe ways of life and continue to learn about my ancestors and teachings of my people.
When I became a mother, I realized the one part of health that I wasn't always thinking about before- love. Indigenous love. As a parent, I understand the great responsibility I have in doing everything more intently and purposefully with Indigenous love at the forefront. This includes checking in on how I am taking care of my physical and emotional health, as well as my spiritual health. It continues with co-parenting my tiny human. There were times when I had doubts, fears, unforeseen anxieties, and was unsure of myself. Growing up not knowing my language or much of my own family's history, and how we expressed (or didn't express) emotions in our home, really surfaced when I became a parent. I had to dig deep and find ways to heal from feeling disconnected to allowing myself grace to have all kinds of emotions. When I started to learn more about birth, first from a western perspective, I did start to feel more empowered. As I learned about birth from an Indigenous perspective, that's the. moment I really began to heal from various traumas that my spirit was carrying, my body was carrying, and traumas that run through my blood that are not my own.
I firmly believe that by reclaiming Indigenous love through birthwork, we can restore our connections to body sovereignty, family empowerment, and truly remember what is sacred and respecting what is sacred. I believe that with Indigenous love, we can heal ourselves and our relations- with all beings- undoing the impacts of what colonization has done. Within Indigenous love, are ways to care for one's self and community in a compassionate way, to avoid burnout, to do things with a clear mind and good heart, and to work every day towards mino-bimaadiziwin or wolakota. This is the journey of continuously decolonizing and centering Indigenous love, is the one that brought me to the practice of yoga.
I was experiencing stress, anxiety, and had postpartum depression from doing all the things as a full-time working and nursing mom, and taking on a lot in a western world. Often times, having to compromise who I am and how I show up to get a paycheck to provide for my family. I felt drained. I needed something to help me feel good. And with a public health background and growing up as an athlete, I knew the benefits of eating healthy, of exercising, of moving my body, and staying hydrated, sleeping well, etc. But, I had a hard time with being low energy and fatigued. When we were finally able to afford a gym membership, I was about 2 1/2 -3 years postpartum. That's when I started working out again and wanted to get back into it because it made me feel good. I decided to try a yoga class included in our gym membership and noticed how different it made me feel. I think I cried every time I went to yoga class, no matter how often or seldom it was. I left feeling centered. So blessed that Animikii had chose me to be a mother. And by doing so, it would heal us all. The practice of yoga brought me back to Indigenous love.
Perhaps like me, you may have had moments of uncertainty or self-doubt. Moments of stress and fatigue from the systems of colonization and oppression. Or just have felt alone in this world of parenting or birthing. I can tell you, that from this journey and unfolding these passions of mine, it takes time, patience, compassion, and support to do this work. To invite Indigenous ways of love in, you first, have to start with yourself. It's hard. It's scary. Sometimes, it seems impossible. But, it is possible. It can be done. As you have the ancestral wounds within your DNA, you too have the solutions, healing, and love within your ancestral DNA. The ways in which I approach birthwork and yoga are intended to do this. To free yourself from the narratives that colonization has conditioned you to hear or believe, and to reclaim your narrative, your wisdom, your love. You are your greatest teacher.
I can't do this work alone. We need each other. We need you, to build a community to reclaim Indigenous love.
My (short) story