My Story

Hi, I’m Joanna Marcela (she/her/hers/Ella)! I’m a multiracial immigrant from Colombia, living nomadically connecting to the places and lands where I am guided.

I’m an animist and intuitive medicine practitioner with over two decades of experience creating sacred spaces that foster healing, transformation and regeneration for individuals, groups, organizations and systems.

 

I began my career as a program developer, community organizer and activist advocating for juvenile justice reform and for victims of human trafficking in New York City and San Francisco.  I’ve remained committed to social justice through my work with refugees, immigrants, victims of human trafficking, crime victims, BIPOC, LGBTQ and other marginalized communities, as an experiential, trauma psychotherapist, advocate, leader and visionary. 

I’ve been honored to walk alongside people who are healing and transforming from trauma and while I have found my work as a social worker and psychotherapist rewarding, it has become increasingly challenging for me to ignore the restrictions, the oppressive and colonized practices of the systems these two professions belong to.

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As I’ve continued my own healing and decolonizing path, I’ve reconnected with the wisdom found in my lineage, helping me reclaim my own soul, body and spirit medicine and the healing traditions of my abuelos and my ancestors.  Being soul-led and guided by Madre Tierra, my ancestors and guides, today I feel a call to reclaim and restore the healing modalities that are rooted in the wisdom of the earth through Her teachings about Regeneration.

 

REGENERATION

“The process of renewal, restoration, rebirth, that embraces the natural cycles of life:

all things have an ending, an in-between, and a new beginning.

When we choose regeneration by embracing the wisdom of the cycles, we return home to ourselves, we shed the layers that dehumanize us and others, we reclaim who we are

and we take our righteous place within our collective.”

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My Approach

My work is rooted in my story, my lineage and ancestry, my soul’s and body’s Knowing, my connection to Spirit and my personal regeneration.  I am committed to this process and would never ask that you embark on a journey that I haven’t been on or are not willing to walk myself.

My work also integrates my training and experience as a social worker and trauma psychotherapist and it is embedded in transformational liberation, anti-oppression, anti-racism, and decolonizing practices.

I embrace that transformation is messy and cyclical, and I’ve surrendered to the fact that I am in a constant state of regeneration. So, I don’t have anything “figured out” but I do feel a deep knowing and aliveness when I am co-creating spaces with others as they journey home to themselves.

At this moment, I am called to work with women who are actively working on transforming ecosystems and who support others in their healing journeys.  I work with those who understand that we cannot bypass doing our own work and personal transformation, especially when we desire to create something new from a place of soulful liberation and conscious integration of all parts of ourselves.

 

Why This Work Matters

Our Earth, the systems we are a part of and our global collective are undergoing healing, transformation and regeneration. To know where each of us belongs within that process and to know what our role is during this phase of the collective’s regeneration, we must return to ourselves.  We must know who we are at our core, reclaim our wisdom and medicine and take our righteous place within our collective. 

Because we are interconnected, our individual healing brings healing to our collective.  When so much of how we engage with ourselves and the world is rooted in oppression, white supremacy, heteronormativity, colonialism, patriarchy, we have to begin with ourselves to rewire the parts of our internal working models that are embedded in these oppressive and dehumanizing beliefs.  In transforming ourselves, we begin to transform the collective. 

As transformation makers, we can no longer sacrifice ourselves to “save” others or for the sake of the movement. When we neglect and dismiss ourselves, we become, tired, resentful, angry, cynical, we start to feel fragmented; we get burned out and start to feel disconnected from ourselves and from the people and movements we are hoping to support.  We take on identities and roles that are not aligned with who we are.  And from a place of feeling burnout and disconnected, we create systems and practices that reflect our fragmented internal states and that perpetuate the oppressive dynamics we are trying to transform. Instead, when we return to ourselves, we begin to heal and are grounded in who we are, we know where we belong within our collective. And we create from a place of wholeness, freedom, liberation, abundance, kindness and love.

 

Your personal evolution is required for your community’s revolution. 

 

Honoring Teachers

I’ve also had the privilege to be supported by and learn from many incredible sisters, mentors, and teachers including: Claudia Barfoot,  Andréa Ararê,  Susana Tapia Léon,  Jacqueline Rolandelli,  Zoe Rodriguez, Kristen Roderick,  Deborah Singletary .

 

I encourage you to check out their work should you feel called to work with them.