Isha  0:01  

Welcome to the Revolutionary Rompereglas podcast, where we meet at the busy intersection of trauma healing, sexuality, spirituality, embodied decolonization and radical self compassion. I’m Isha Vela, trauma psychologist, somatic expressive coach and energy alchemist. I’m passionate about how the healing of our intimacy wounds and dismantling of our social conditioning contributes to our collective evolution. I believe that embracing our full human experience is a holy process and that our greatest gifts are sometimes alchemized from our deepest pain. I’m interviewing healers and leaders who are sharing their personal liberation journey and how they created a life, love and business in alignment with their purpose. My intention is that the conversations and tools shared in this podcast will inspire and support you on your own liberation journey. So get ready to drop into your emotional body, tap into your intuition and unveil your fierce and flawsome expression.


Hello, I am here with Ornella Matta-Figueroa and I’ll let you –


Ornella  1:08  

Hi, Isha. 


Isha  1:10  



Ornella  1:11  

Hi my name is Ornella, I live in Vermont, I’ve been doing some form of healing work now for the last five years consistently. I’ve had you know an immense privilege I will say to be able to focus on my healing work for the last five years. And yeah I don’t know what else you want to know about me. I’m working on a phd in mind body medicine, I have a master’s degree in public administration and I run a local nonprofit as a co-director, because we have a shared leadership model, where I help run – I support the running of a nonprofit, always working on that hierarchical language as well. So yeah, I’m happy to be here. Thank you for having me.


Isha  2:10  

Absolutely. Um, I want to share a little bit about how we met because it’s a demonstration of like Puerto Rican culture in action and also like Rompereglas.


Ornella  2:12  



Isha  2:13  

Definitely. We met through a mutual friend, right? We commented under this mutual friend’s post, right? And you reached out to me in a private message.


Ornella  2:43  

Well yes because I’m always looking at synchrony and I respond very much in that – in that language. Like I listen to synchrony and respond to synchrony and I had been searching for collaboration, it’s really lonely work. When you’re in the U.S. as being little only, me necessarily – in Vermont, for example, feeling very alone. I don’t see any people of color where I am. And also meeting other Puerto Rican women who are doing the intentional work of decolonization. So, when I saw you, in my mind I was so excited and also a little afraid, right, how is this gonna go? But in my mind, I remember – I remember telling myself, you can never respond and if she responds then it’ll be fine, right? It’ll be something I’m supposed to explore more and get to know this person. And then we talked and I just honestly my biggest memory is you showing up at my house this summer.


Isha  3:59  

Well wait, back up. Because we connected just a month before the pandemic, right? It was like –


Ornella  4:06  

That’s right. 


Isha  4:07  

February, beginning of March, and then it – and we had made plans to do this witch camp together that eventually got canceled, and then you said why don’t we do witch camp at my house in Vermont? And I was like okay, and without even knowing you, having just you know sent a couple of back and forth messages on whatsapp, I showed up.


Ornella  4:30  

Oh, we did have a couple of phone conversations.


Isha  4:32  

We did.


Ornella  4:33  

Ha, we may have, we may have had a couple of phone conversations before, too, yeah.


Isha  4:38  

Just feeling each other out I think, and sharing our stories, like our childhood stories and sort of like, what part of the island we both come from and were we there at the same time and did we like – because, you know, we might have known each other and not known it. 


Ornella  4:54  



Isha  4:55  

Right and then I showed up with a tent at your house, with my children. Right? And I remember that moment showing up. That was the first time I thought, well shit, what the fuck am I doing? 


Ornella  5:13  

No but I said, stay for the whole week. Right? 


Isha  5:18  

Yeah. And what happened was that it was really seamless.


Ornella  5:23  

For me, it was the ways the kids related to one another that felt so impressive, right? To me, I was amazed by the ways that it was like, whoa. They’re all kind of rigged the same. 


Isha  5:40  



Ornella  5:40  

And it just worked, they just understood. There was the way in which, there was this culture that we had given them that then translated, and when they related to one another, it was really beautiful. It was really nice. 


Isha  5:55  

I think that that’s what was really special about that, really seeing the way that you parented and for me feeling really validated in that style of parenting, because I’m also like, lots of freedom and lots of boundaries, and getting, like really carving out space for myself. And you and I have like very, very similar tones of voices. And that was very affirming to me.


Ornella  6:21  

It was for me, too, especially because we get so much shit in our culture for doing it this way. I’m gonna say that. We get so much shit, at least I have from my family of origin and I think everybody has a way of imitating the ways I used to talk to my three or four year olds, just to tease me still to this day, they still like joke and make fun about, “Are you sure you would like that? Why don’t we take a moment and breathe right now.” Um, so it was really affirming and nice to be able to share that, to share motherhood with someone who understands and is also thinking about it in that, in gentle and direct and self aware ways. 


Isha  7:18  

Yeah. Yeah.


Ornella  7:19  

You know, that prioritizes the self while also prioritizing the children, while also being kind to them, and treating them like full adults, like whole people rather than less than.


Isha  7:39  

And I mean, the way that it makes it sound like it’s so like soft and gentle. But at times, it’s just like, it’s the hard no. It really is like, I said … da da da da da. And it is- it does have a little bit that Puerto Rican flavor of, hmm don’t sass me now, or whatever it is, but it is gentle and firm at the same time.


Ornella  8:05  

Yes, without being – I tell my mother – without being emotionally damaging, or emotionally manipulative, which is also a part of a Puerto Rican culture, in a sense, right? In the ways that women relate to children. You know, what would you do without me?


Isha  8:28  

Right, exactly, exactly. One day, I’m going to die. And – 


Ornella  8:31  

One day I’m gonna die! All you have is one another. 


Isha  8:36  

So Puerto Rican. Right? So I didn’t, I didn’t get that piece. I got some – 


Ornella  8:44  

That’s right. 


Isha  8:45  

It had its own, like it’s – I needed to unpack that also, and still do unpack it. But I want you to speak a little bit about your why. Right? Like, why you are so into decolonizing? And, you know, talking about the process of motherhood and how like that is part of your healing journey. 


Ornella  9:07  

Hmm, thank you for asking. Why, why, why? Honestly, what pushed me towards decolonization was searching for a way to live. In my most, my most honest and vulnerable, I will tell you that conforming made me want to die. For lack of, you know, it’s just that simple. It really pushed me into spaces of unhealth and suicidal ideation. And in searching for myself in that, what I realized was that this – that’s what decolonization – which I’m now using decivilizing over decolonization these days, because of the indigenous ties and ties to land. I’m trying to find different language for myself to describe the work that I’ve been doing. And motherhood is tied to it because it was when I gave birth or I think even with the birth of Mackenzie, who my partner carried, it was in that process of me caring for another being that I really became aware of the things that were not okay in my body and in myself to be able to be a person that could raise another human being well.


Isha  10:32  

So – sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt. 


Ornella  10:36  

No, it’s okay – go ahead. 


Isha  10:37  

I just love how you said like, conforming made me want to die. And when you and I were getting to know each other, part of what really like rocked me and just had me so fascinated with you, is like how we grew up in the on the same island, but our childhoods were so different. Like, I want to, I want you to share a little bit about what it looks like, what it looks like to conform in your family. Because I think that, that is the craziest part for me.


Ornella  11:11  

Yeah. Oh, where do we begin with this? Right? I come from a family who was very focused on my education, I was provided very good opportunities for education. I come from a family who was involved in politics as well. So there was this, you know, my grandfather had these big hopes and wishes and dreams that this was the life that I was going to pursue, and he contributed to my education in ways that would, in the future make that possible. I also had an aunt who was a model so she worked for Becky Mitt, and she would come to my house to give me private lessons. And, and I was expected to walk with a book on my head, up and down the stairs. And if I made the mistake of like, running up the stairs, there was this whole, you know, my grandmother would come at the bottom of the stairs, and I was made to come back, walk down them one more time, and then walk back up correctly. Um, you know, a lot of table manner. It was like a recording, you know, sit up straight, bring your food to your mouth, not your mouth to your food, are you using, you know – so there was a lot of this kind of civility training that was, you know, and I valued that for a very long time, I worked very hard to, to follow all of the rules, to sit correctly, to open and close doors correctly, to have the demeanor of someone raised by my family in whatever ways they wanted me to be. And then, you know, moving to the United States gave me a whole lot of freedom of expression, to my family’s grief, I imagine, because being so separated from them meant that I had a whole lot of freedom. And while I’m still fitting into the boxes, then you know, I came out as a lesbian, I decided to have children with a woman who I then divorced, and then raise children with her still to this day. And I have all these weird and different ways of having family. But internally, I still had this pressure of, I remember realizing that I would talk about my family, and I would, the ways in which I would, I would explain things, I was asking people to be like, here look it’s just as good as a straight one. You see how well we’re doing this? We are just as good as a straight family. Can I get your validation now? And it was this energy that I really carried into everything that I was doing, because I was searching for that validation from the outside, from my family still to this day, like oh my god, the last two days have been daddy issue central for me, you know, like this is like, we’re always working through pieces that come up, even pieces you think are done, and then all of a sudden, they’re like, hello, we’re here again for revaluation. You know, like, there’s, this um, what’s the word? Um, you know, it’s the process. 


Isha  14:45  



Ornella  14:45  

It’s a process. Yeah, I feel like that went on and on there.


Isha  14:51  

No, no, this is great. Because I want to know a little bit about like, what made you decide, like what was – I know that it’s a series of moments, but oftentimes we have like this wake up call this like, that’s it I’m done. Or that moment you make a decision to be a Rompereglas right or to break some of the internalized stuff you grew up with, where you’re just like, yeah. I’m done. Or, I’m going to take this leap.


Ornella  15:20  

Yeah, I don’t know if there was a specific moment for me. I think I’ve always been a bit of a Rompereglas, even in my rule following. It was just more allowed in Puerto Rico than it was here. So culturally, I think that Latino culture allows for women to be more of a Rompereglas regardless. And American culture doesn’t allow that. So in that self perception, I think that, I don’t know if I think that, that it’s been a progression, right of layers, of – it wasn’t one moment, it was like a whole bunch of little moments in which I sat with my body and realized that what I was doing was at such dissonance with my soul. Right? Like that, that parenting in ways that continue to control my children, for example, was at dissonance with the ways in which I felt in my heart would make connection, that focusing and having unconditional positive regard, for example, which I know has a name, which was what I was doing, but it was what came out, right, it was what felt most synchronous with what was happening. And just choosing to follow that synchrony and follow that heart instead of following the old toxic models over and over again. Right, instead of continuing to spank, continuing to use manipulative language, continuing to bribe, continuing to you know focus on the external rather than the internal, encourage cultural patterns or cultural norms that I didn’t feel were in sync with my heart, etc, etc. So I think it’s a whole bunch of little choices. For me, it wasn’t this one big from now on, I am going to do it this way. 


Isha  17:36  

Right. So I want to come back to this, you know trauma healing through parenthood and motherhood. But I also want to go back to what you said about Puerto Rican culture gives a lot more freedom to break the rules, whereas maybe white American culture doesn’t, and I want you to elaborate a little bit on that, because I’m really curious how you see it. I agree with you. And I want to hear your take on it. 


Ornella  18:07  

Well, I think it’s all oppressive paradigms. As somebody who’s a minority and a culture, we’re always over policed. So there is like, we don’t get away with, you know, nearly as much as people who are, you know, white in America. I didn’t know that because I moved here when I was 16. So my experience of schooling had been primarily in Puerto Rico. So when I moved here, it was really shocking to me, all these boxes that Americans put their teenagers in. And, um, all of the ways in which I could only be one or the other, all of the ways in which your behavior then limits access in the future, right, like in schools and the ways in which teachers are racist, and all of these kinds of things that I just did not have any, like real experience with until moving to the United States. Not that there isn’t racism and colorism in Puerto Rico, but it’s a totally different experience of racism and colorism in Puerto Rico. 


Isha  19:20  

Yes. And I feel like what you named is like a sense of fluidity. Right? And because Puerto Rico is not such a structured and organized space, like there is a lot of societal rule bending, right? It’s just like, if you get a ticket from the police, you may be able to talk yourself out if you give them a good story, or you can run a red light at a certain time of night. I mean, stupid things I grew up with, like, the rules can bend. So I had that like as part of my understanding of the world, right? Like Puerto Rican high school culture like, there wasn’t the nerds, like there were nerdy kids but they were also cool kids and they were also sporty and they were also – right so there’s fluidity in – right? 


Ornella  20:14  



Isha  20:16  

Yeah. Okay.


Ornella  20:17  

Yeah and something about rules and Puerto Rico is that when you’re a colony, there’s a lot of rules that don’t make sense. So for a long time, and this is something that is actually in synchrony with a lot of the things that i’ve been talking about and thinking about just recently, so I’d like to name it just for whoever listens. But that’s something that I really see too is that in Puerto Rico there’s a lot of laws and rules that don’t make any sense, that continue to oppress society because they’re all colonial rules. So I think that there was a freedom of applying them and like and even in the self perception of the people who are enforcing the rules in Puerto Rico, there was a lot of that kind of dancing between what is necessary, what is – there’s an inner dissonance between the rules that are enforced and the rules that exist and the rules – because they know it’s bullshit. Right? Even the people enforcing them are looking at them like why are we doing this? Yeah. So I just wanted to note that little bit too the we can –


Isha  21:33  

That’s a great point. I think that we do grow up with this – I mean it’s like, it’s all made up anyway.


Ornella  21:40  

Mm-hmm. Somebody else is controlling us, somebody else is deciding it. So there’s also this inner fight, you know, that happens at every point in which we’re trying to store our like our natural selves, from the colonizer control.


Isha  22:03  

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.


Ornella  22:03  

And if there is any of that awareness which for me it was present because my mother was somebody who taught me that.


Isha  22:11  



Ornella  22:11  

Right, my mother taught me Puerto Rican history in a way that told me the Native Americans were murdered by the Spaniards, that the Tainos were killed by the Spaniards. I wasn’t ever – I didn’t have this Mr. Happiness perspective on Puerto Rican history, you know like the majority of my peers had, because my mother was someone who really challenged those notions while also making me walk down stairs…


Isha  22:48  

I want to briefly pause the conversation to share some exciting news. I’m going to be launching my live four week group program starting on February first, called Own Your No, creating sovereignty with boundary energetics. I created this course out of my own experience of lack of boundaries and painful self betrayal, energetic depletion in my relationships and sometimes at work. I see the same pattern over and over again in many of the conscious, caring and compassionate people that I work with and I believe that if we’re to shift the energy dynamics of our culture to one that is more balanced and reciprocal we have to create that balance and reciprocity within ourselves and our immediate relationships first. So in a nutshell this course is a deep nervous system dive for women who feel compelled to give to others even when they don’t want to or who struggle to say no without feeling guilty. You may be someone who wants to get to your own projects but you can’t find the time, maybe you have headaches or auto immune systems that keep you from taking up more space in your life, or maybe even you under charge for your level of knowledge and education, maybe you get pushback when you do say no. So the class is really about getting crystal clear about expressing your no fiercely and clearly so that you have more time and energy for yourself and so that you can thrive physically, emotionally and spiritually, fundamentally, so that you can experience a sense of sovereignty in your own body and create more intimacy and meaningful connected relationships that match the level of clarity of your boundary. So we begin February 1st and the free introductory workshop is on January 15 at 3pm eastern. So click on the link in the show notes and register so that you can watch and decide if it’s something that would support you in owning more of yourself and taking up more space in your life.


Yeah, and so let’s play with that, that is a beautiful segue. That’s what is to, right, like how you are, right how, how you were, and still are in the process of that healing journey through motherhood, getting synchronous getting aligned, getting congruent. 


Ornella  25:22  

Hmm. It’s interesting, because I’ve been thinking about that need for congruency. And trying to challenge that with flow with process. Right. So it’s really hard for us to put structures over emergence. So I’ve been trying to work in presence with my children, and trying to give them what they need in whatever moment without necessarily putting a structure over it and deciding ahead of time what that’s going to be, deciding ahead of time how it is that I’m going to interact with them, which is really in conflict with the notion of children needing consistency. The consistency I offer my children is unconditional positive regard. I could keep everything else outside of consistency. But if there’s an argument in my household, I go to talk to my kids first, I always focus on the relationship over the punishment or over the argument, I always focus on connection with them, no matter what is happening around us. No matter what’s going on, no matter what the rules are, what rules were broken, what rules, I don’t, you know, I don’t ever have a clear sense of that consistency with them now because of trying to work in presence, and slow. And I just focus on that unconditional positive regard and that personal connection between them and I, at all points.


Isha  27:02  

Right. Right.


Ornella  27:04  

Um, and also speaking from a vulnerability, so also connecting with them as a human being and as a person who’s trying to solve whatever is in front of us, and we’re working on this together, so normal teenage things – the room, a messy room, right? There, is a messy room, um, I will ignore it for the most part, until one day, I will go in there and say something like, you know, Christmas is coming? Where are we going to put anything you get? There is no place to put anything in this room. 


Isha  27:49  

It’s kind of like, oh I guess we have some stuff to throw away, which is like…


Ornella  27:54  

Yeah, I think, I think that, yeah, like, I don’t think we can give you any other presents, because there is no place to put ’em. And imagine that room got cleaned pretty quickly, right. Um, but I didn’t make it, I don’t make it, I don’t make things a huge fight, I don’t make things, I ask for their timing, I try not to be in controlling spaces or to treat them like they are not people in our home, who also have thoughts and ideas about what they want to do with themselves in their day. So it’s, it’s a – so going back, I don’t necessarily have a structure, I try to work in flow, and try to also challenge that inside of myself and the need for the structure and the need to control and trying to learn how to live in emergence, which I think is so necessary for our society, right now, overall. And it’s something that we need – in my opinion, right, not need as in like righteous need, and everybody needs to do it my way – but I think I like the fact that I am practicing in my house on what does it look like when we live in emergence? I always say that we create around what’s needed right now and give right now what it needs, whatever that may be. So we can all feel full, we can all feel safe. We can all feel loved and resourced and supported and held and, you know, respected and whatever it is that we may need in whatever moment and outside of fear, outside of shame. 


Isha  29:36  

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that all sounds amazing. And I think that I pretty much do that, too. And I know that there is a lot of things that I’ve really needed to let go of that there’s been some … So, there’s a little bit of the messiness in the process, because I know that even just –


Ornella  29:59  

Oh my gosh. 


Isha  29:59  

[In Spanish].


Ornella  29:59  

Yeah, no, and it’s still messy, right? I experienced lots of having to show gentleness for myself because motherhood self judgment is so hard. It’s the worst of all of the things I will say. So spent a lot of time, hmm?


Isha  30:22  

Especially if you care about the job that you’re doing. ‘Cause if you care, then you’re like I want to do it right, right? Which is part of the shit that our brain tells us.


Ornella  30:34  



Isha  30:36  

You know, just the way of presence, the way of flow, give us an idea of what that looks like.


Ornella  30:44  

So, so many things. Oh – I used to spank my kids, not very often, but that’s one of the things that has really really changed since they were born to now. We have a no paja rule now, which would have been different even three years ago. It could have happened, not that it happened very often, but Savannah unbuckled herself from her car seat in the middle of the thruway as a three year old, and I had told her 50 times not to do that, and I’m pulling to the side of the thruway with a three year old, running around the minivan at that point, and the fear, the anxiety, the – you know I remember like, whacking her little legs just a couple of times and then, this is what stopped it, and this is one full stop, right. This is one thing that really changed the way I parented, was that a couple of weeks later, I was upset about something and I walked towards her and I watched her recoil from me.


Isha  31:51  

Ugh. Yes. Yes.


Ornella  31:54  

And still to this day like I’m trying – still to this day, that is one of the most impactful moments in my life, was to witness of my baby not trusting me enough to come towards her – and I wasn’t going to spank her at that point in time, it wasn’t something that happened very often at all. But just at that moment of watching her recoil was enough for me to just – I apologized right there to her, I told her I am sorry, I’m sorry that’s what I did, I should have never done this, and from now on we’re going to have, we’re going to figure out how to do this without spanking. And still to this day there are days in which I’m so overwhelmed that I will go, you guys are leaving me no other option, do I need to go back to papaos, right? And they still, they don’t ever push me there, they don’t want that either, right, so they’re really – they really try to be collaborative and loving and in that you know they don’t press me into those spaces. There’s been many mistakes that I’ve made over the years, with like even potty training, even sleep training. Oh my gosh when I look back there’s so many things that I just didn’t know. And we just apologize and we just keep moving right? We, I’m very honest with them when I make mistakes, and they’re very gracious and very kind to me, and they forgive me and we do it better next time.


Isha  33:40  

Yeah, I think that that’s really important in my life is that – for people listening, that you know, when you grow up in a family that was either really rigid or where there’s abuse or whether there’s some form of trauma, right, in whatever direction it goes in, that when we parent, we try to do it differently and we don’t know what we’re doing. We’re trying to, just from a place of like congruence, like really trying to find that place in the universe that just feels right, it’s just following your intuition, and it’s a lot of, there’s a lot of unknown in that space of like, right? We try this and that didn’t work out so well and we try that and then we finally find our way but it’s messy.


Ornella  34:34  

My mother used to say that the children are not our children, right, they belong to the world. She used to say this when I was being stupid, trying to remind herself even if in action she did it differently. But she always told me that, like children belong to the world. And that’s something that I think as parents we should remember is that the children come with their own things, the children are equal, they come with their own things. They come with their own learnings. They come with their own knowledge. They come with their own energy. And the more we understand who they are, and we get to know them as individuals in this world, and connect in a way that supports their self expression, over stifling it. It’s something that, you know, I think that parent, children and community relationships could be so different, just from acknowledging that a sense of self in the child that at times is so controlled, ignored, manipulated, and I think that that’s where a lot of teenage oppositional behavior comes from. Yeah.


Isha  35:56  

Right. Also, that’s ultimately why you’re doing it the way you’re doing it, it’s because you want to raise free people. You want them to have that sense of agency over their own lives every day. Right, it’s like, yeah, the goal is so much bigger than just like the thing that’s happening right here in the house. It like extrapolates infinitely.


Ornella  36:25  

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that when we look at children, and when we look at the fact that we are creating culture, right, we’re so used to everybody telling us how to do things that it’s really hard for us to trust our own creation. Many of us struggle with creativity, many of us struggle with self expression and all of those ways, and with that authenticity, because we’re so afraid of who we are, and I mean, we’re so afraid of how who we are is going to be received out there.


Isha  37:00  



Ornella  37:02  

And with our children, that’s pretty much what we’re doing. In our families, we’re creating whatever, whatever we want. We don’t have – it doesn’t have to look like anything else. And it doesn’t have to look like the ways our parents did it. And it doesn’t have to look like what anyone else does it or what it looks like on TV or anything like that. And I think that’s hard for people to walk without rules, to walk, trusting their own gut in what’s happening, to understand that, you know, if all children are different, there’s never one way of doing anything. There’s not one way of parenting. And I believe that wholeheartedly. I believe that every child needs to be parented differently, depending on who they are, and what their needs are.


Isha  37:49  

Yeah, and you make an excellent point around, like, orienting inward through that sense of trust.


Ornella  37:57  

Orienting inward, yup. Good, good, good language for that, orienting inward. That’s exactly it. Yep. And that’s hard. That’s very, it’s a, it’s a practice. 


Isha  38:09  



Ornella  38:09  

It’s definitely a practice, especially for colonized beings. But you know, we’re all, we’re all in one way or another, no matter the color of our skin, or our culture, in some way maybe, in different parts of the world, it would be different. But let’s stick to America, in the United States of America, I imagine that we’re all struggling with that control, some, that external information. 


Isha  38:37  

Completely. Yes, I agree. And we talk a lot about regulation. Tell me what that looks like for you.


Ornella  38:49  

Self regulation? 


Isha  38:51  



Ornella  38:53  

Oh, I’m very fortunate to have been able at this point to set up a very different life. Right. So I will start with any type of like, I understand and acknowledge my privilege and the fact that I parent full time, two weeks out of the month, the other two weeks, my ex parents full time. Um, that gives me and affords me a lot of privilege, the kids and I are constantly in touch over email, over video, over – but it does give me and afford me a whole lot of freedom that I know is not something that most mothers have in the world. And I just really want to acknowledge that, because it’s true. I also worked really hard to create that. Right? So I will also say that, that in working with my co parenting relationship, and in creating the space for me to be able to have that I believe that it could be possible for a lot more people to live in different ways, if they try and if they go through the work of creating that space for themselves as well. I think I spent a lot of time in self regulation. I – every day looks different for me. I’ve been working and you know, so I, I cry when I feel like crying. The kids are used to it. So if I feel like crying, I cry, and they’re like, are you okay? Do you need any support from me? Type of interaction. And if I say no, they know that – we use, better out than in. You know? Crying is better out than in. And if it stays in, it festers, and that’s language that we will use often, in expressing, you know, they were crying to cry, because it feels like crying, and we’re gonna purge it. What else? I, you know, I have counseling almost every week, I have good, collaborative friendships that I touch base with often to, you know, to support my, my witness, to support the work that I do in the world, nothing I do happens in a vacuum. None of the work that I give other people happens in a vacuum. None of the work that I create, or supporting community, everything is supported by a whole bunch of counsel and ears that are also doing this work, and who are there to offer their witness and their checks at times as well. Right? It’s good to let ourselves be known enough that people around us can say, hey, hey, I’m seeing a piece of your shadow work right there. When we can’t do that for ourselves in whatever moment, right? What else…


Isha  41:50  

It really speaks, it really speaks to the importance of being held accountable. Right? And a lot of people who are healers, like do the work, right, who hold space, space builders, connectors, weavers, we need to be supported. We didn’t think –


Ornella  41:54  



Isha  42:15  

Right. And even when it is motherhood, right, where it’s not – where it feels very localized, and very immediately in front of you and doesn’t feel like it’s connected out there, which absolutely is, we need to be supported here as well.


Ornella  42:32  

Oh, absolutely. I honestly think that it’s one of the social aspects, like the structural social things that I would, like I wish we could change right away, is to give mothers lots of circles of support. I think that mothers are too alone. I think that, I think that in our, in our communities too of healers and magic makers, and I’m even choking a little on this, right? Like, this is how, what a big deal, this is for me, so please excuse me. In our communities, we weren’t allowed to raise children before. So when we look at magic makers and literature, when we look at women that used to hold these types of healing responsibilities in community, our children were either taken away, we were supposed to be giving them away when they were 11. If we look at all the examples of, of priestesses, for lack of a better word, right, I still don’t like the hierarchal, I still, but I’m just using the words that exist right now, without wanting those types of things associated to any of me or any of us. But when we had those responsibilities, and when we work in trance, when we work in spaces of healing, we weren’t allowed to keep our children. We – it was – we gave them up, other people raised our children. So there is a lot of these kind of internal insecurities that are coming up, too, because it is so hard to both do the way, the work of healing, to do the work of healing in the world, and also to do the work with our families. It is so hard. And I see that and I wish I could change it. I wish that we could offer women more motherhood circles, more spaces for women to be able to share child rearing responsibilities. How beautiful was it when you were here that week? And there was space, you know, you could go for your walk, the kids were fine. There was, you know, there are spaces of being a able to like have this shared support, like some days you make dinner, other days somebody else makes dinner, we all ate. The kids were directed. And you know, it’s, it’s really a big – these types of community spaces for mothers would be so healing and so supporting to the overall health of our communities. And I think that that’s definitely like a good place to start. If people are like, what should we work on? Offer mothers a lot of circles, a lot of support, can we start there? Because this whole thing, like the expectations, especially right now, the expectations for mothers is something that’s completely unrealistic. And it’s just too hard for women to be able to offer healing to others, work on their own healing, and also parent. It’s just unbelievable.


Isha  45:58  

So good to hear you say that, and thank you for weaving that back into conversation. Because this touches on a piece that we talked about when I was up in Vermont in August was, right, that there are a lot of women who never had a chance to raise children, and now we’re doing it, we’re doing it, we’re doing it for you. And even just like, I don’t know, healing generational stuff is very powerful. Really, really powerful.


Ornella  46:28  

And transmitting the culture, and transmitting the magic, and teaching our daughters or our sons or our children, right? Not that we have to gender them. But teaching our little beings how to interact in the world in ways that are whole and healthy and so they can just be in whatever capacities they have, right? Because not everybody’s meant to do the same work. Not everybody’s supposed to be a witch or a healer, not that you know, and everybody has their own, their own work in the world, whatever that may be. And – but there’s this beautiful awareness, right? I’ll never forget the day that Mackenzie went outside and she goes, it’s gonna rain. 


Isha  47:15  



Ornella  47:15  

To me, that was such a powerful moment. In my little, you know, I was like, she’s connected to nature enough to know, I can smell rain. And that’s, that’s all we want right? When you know how, that to me is witchcraft. 


Isha  47:33  



Ornella  47:34  

To me, it’s magic, to be able to feel the water and say, hey, I think that a storm is coming because this water is rushing, you know, in the river, or to be able to feel the warming of the earth around February, right? You can stand outside and you can actually feel the earth warming up. And, and then what they do with all of that is theirs. Because this is not indoctrination. This is not control. This is just them having the modeling, the witness of the ways that we live, too. Right, like, whereas before, they wouldn’t, they would be raised by someone else and they wouldn’t have our modeling and the ability to witness that in the ways that they can now.


Isha  48:27  

I mean, so beautiful. So beautiful. It’s almost like, get out of the way. Right? It’s like it’s presence and getting out of the way. Right?


Ornella  48:39  

Yeah. Presence and getting out of the way. And I think lots of, you know, just love. Love for who they are, love for who they love, for ourselves. Right? Because it’s – the more that we’re able to love ourselves and accept ourselves in our wholeness, the more we are able to offer it to our children. So, I am so reluctant to create labels for things right now because I’m really challenging my need for labels in the world. But yes, let’s call it hashtag get out of the way parents. But I’m really trying not to need labels, but it’s hard not to. 


Isha  49:20  

That’s great. That’s awesome. Is there, like, if you were the host, what’s a question that you would ask? Is there anything that you think is really important for our listeners to hear?


Ornella  49:32  

Just gentleness with themselves. Just that, that space of just holding the truth about like being honest with ourselves, holding the truth about what we see and who we are. And just having that be okay. Just loving ourselves wherever it is that we’re at, in whatever moment, and just going from there, right? And whatever it is that we are in that moment, just, you know, we’re all, if we’re here listening to this podcast, I bet we’re all doing the work of self reflection, of growing, of healing, right? So, I see so much, I see so much pain and harshness lately in the ways that people treat themselves, that I’ve just -and in the ways in which people don’t, because, because now, this work is trendy. So there’s a lot of energy around this self development work, which I so admire and appreciate. But there’s also all of these, I’m going to call it a culture of dominance, culture of dominance behaviors, like sense of urgency, that are also wrapped into these self help structures and all, you know, in our self assessment of them, right, and how well we’re doing, how fast we’re seeing results, how, you know, this is this, or how it never ends, like people really want this self reflective work to at some point, it’s hard work. It’s hard work to be in a place because of our parenting structures and the ways that parenting was used in the past and the ways in which we treat ourselves based on the ways we were parented. There’s this real harshness that’s involved in the ways that people self perceive their growth. So as we’re entering another cycle, it’s – we’re entering another year and all of these things – I encourage people to just, if they’re already, if they’re already doing their checks, I encourage folks to just continue to practice gentleness. Continue to self observe. And to take it easy. To just, it’s okay. It’s going to take time. It’s, it’s okay that it takes time. It’s going to take practice, it’s okay that it takes practice. We’re going to screw up, things are going to come up again, and it’s okay that they are. You know what I watched sometimes, how – I noticed how much time – to like reward myself, oh, it took you less time to be aware of it this time. I do that a lot. Like oh, you totally did that again. But you noticed it this time. You noticed. You noticed that thing a day sooner than you did last time. You know, oh, you’re in codependence again. Look at you, being codependent again. Let’s do that. Let’s, let’s check that. What happened here? You know? So just using the kindest, most unconditional positive regard voice for our own selves.


Isha  53:11  

Yeah, self compassion, tiene tantos nombres, it has so many names. 


Ornella  53:17  

Self compassion. Yeah. 


Isha  53:19  

Like, right, if we don’t use a gentleness and are speaking to ourselves in a harsh voice, and it’s like we’re, we’re, then we’re incongruent. Right? We’re not in congruence. Yeah. Ornella, thank you so much for, I want to say for being here, because it feels like I’m hanging out with you and it feels so good.


Ornella  53:40  

I know. I’ve missed you. So nice to hang.


Isha  53:44  

And where can listeners connect with you online?


Ornella  53:48  

Oh, wow. That’s right. Um, I have a Twitter that I use most often. Which is at ornella. No, it’s at decivilising right now on Twitter. My name is on it though. So you’ll be able to find me easy, Ornella Matta-Figueroa. I am taking five outside of my community clients this season. So that’s something that I’ve been kind of called to extend the reach of outside of just the people that are right around me. So I’m coaching, I’m accepting five new people this season for winter. And then you know, I’ll do five in the summertime. I don’t have a lot of capacity right now. So I’m, I’m wanting to share connection and share support. But now I can’t do a whole lot of clients at the moment. And, yeah, email, they can connect to you and you can connect them to me.


Isha  54:57  

I’ll put all of that in the show notes. I’ll include your email in the show notes. 


Ornella  55:01  

Awesome. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. And thank you for having me, it was a  pleasure. 


Isha  55:06  

Yes, que bueno. Thank you so much. Okay, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope that this conversation moved some energy for you. And if you found this valuable, it would mean so much if you contributed to the sisterhood and shared it with a friend. Remember to hit the subscribe button so that you get notified of new episodes dropping on the new and full moons of each month. If you haven’t already, leave us a five star review. Make sure that everyone who needs this transmission gets it. See you next time, Rompereglas