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Reviving Ancestral Connections: Dr. Ame Cutler's Path to Transgenerational Healing and Regeneration

Reviving Ancestral Connections: Dr. Ame Cutler's Path to Transgenerational Healing and Regeneration

The inspiration behind the founding of the Transgenerational Regeneration Institute (TRI) is rooted in Dr. Ame Cutler’s personal journey of reconnecting with her ancestors and addressing the deep disconnection from her ancestral traditions.

Her experiences, combined with the wisdom shared by Indigenous teachers, highlighted the importance of healing transgenerational trauma to foster both personal and collective regeneration. Dr. Cutler’s background in trauma resolution and somatic therapies further fueled her passion for creating a method that addresses the legacies of trauma affecting our families, communities, and cultures.

In this interview with MysticMag, Dr. Cutler shares how TRI was established to promote the Regeneration Process Method (RPM) and inspire regenerative action, aiming to heal the planet and humanity through interconnected efforts.

What inspired the founding of the Transgenerational Regeneration Institute?

What inspired me to create the Transgenerational Regeneration Institute was a combination of many life experiences.

One element of inspiration came from decades on a personal path of recovering a reverent relationship with my Ancestors as a European American woman who experienced both the deep disconnection from my ancestral traditions and stories who also benefits from the many privileges I am afforded by being white in North America.

I am deeply grateful for the wisdom shared with me by people within an Indigenous paradigm, as well as those who have suffered greatly as a result of actions by white people who have taken over centuries of colonialism. Finding my way back to my own Ancestors and connecting with them would not have been possible without the generous teachings and guidance from Native and Indigenous teachers, and those of European descent who were also recovering a lived Ancestral connectedness.

Another is my longtime passion for the healing of trauma, and specifically the trauma we carry for our Ancestors.  I have been fortunate to work within the field of trauma resolution and somatic therapies for 3 decades and have taught clinicians worldwide how to help their clients resolve trauma through body-oriented techniques. In my doctoral dissertation in 2014, I called for the need to expand the traditional three phases of trauma treatment to four, citing the fourth phase of treatment needs to address the healing of transgenerational trauma and a reconnection to one’s relationship with their Ancestors.

I have also been fortunate in my adult life to have found teachers in the area of Ancestral connectedness who have supported me to see that trauma resolution can only truly come if we consider its larger impact on our family, communities, and ultimately our various cultures. This led me to my understanding that the cycles of violence perpetuated as the perpetrator/victim/perpetrator intertwine and create a repetitive cycle. Early in my life, I was driven by the question:  What mass traumatic event happened to my white people to lead us to become so violent and oppressive toward other people? Both my personal and professional life have been focused not only on finding the answer to this question but also on finding ways to stop the cycle of violence and oppression by helping both the survivor and the perpetrator/oppressor to heal from the legacies of trauma.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I needed to step back from the insanely fast pace of my professional life. I had worked through chronic injury and vocal loss for years but still could not stop “doing.” It was a lifelong habit of being overly productive that I finally came to terms with when my body could no longer be pushed.  At that point, I stopped to heal and regenerate myself. Less than a year later the pandemic created a global situation that called us all to stop what we were doing in the ways we were doing them and shelter in place.

During this time we were able to see that in a matter of months, Nature was regenerating herself. Skies were clearing that for decades had been filled with smog, and wildlife was returning to areas on land and in the sea that hadn’t occupied the regions for a long time. At the time, I remember saying, “This is it! This is the time in our human history when we wake up and make the changes we need to make in order to rebalance Nature and Humanity:  reduce emissions, and bring our attention back to connection and caring for our community members. This is the time we have been waiting for so long for.” I was hopeful, with all the social justice demonstrations and the ecosystems having an opportunity to revive, this was a time of possibility as much as it was a time of great loss. However, when the politicians pushed to return things to normal and desperate masses followed suit, my hope turned into conviction. I already witnessed and experienced firsthand in my own process of regeneration, that it was possible to heal ourselves and our earth by just choosing to do things differently than how we have been doing them. I deeply believe we humans, no matter where we live in the world or what our circumstances are, have an inherent desire to take actions that will benefit our children and grandchildren, our future generations. It is just a matter of widening our vision of the future to include all peoples and our shared humanity.

This is when I decided to create a new transformational method bringing together the paths my life has taken and the wisdom from elders and teachers along the way that moves beyond personal transformation to collective positive change through regenerative action. It is called the Regeneration Process Method [RPM]  and the Transgenerational Regeneration Institute [TRI] was created to promote RPM and innovative projects designed by others in service of the regeneration of our natural environment and humanity. To help inspire people to co-create regenerative change. The regeneration process method is a somatic-spiritual framework to help us transform outdated ways of co-existing.

Can you explain the concept of transgenerational regeneration?

I have learned from years as a student of a variety of teachers within cultures who still practice Ancestral communion, and who hold their Ancestors in a place of reverence: various Native American, African, and Asian cultures for example, that Ancestor refers to not only those generations who have come before us, but also the yet unborn future generations. And that when we heal something inside of us, that we heal not only the future generations because we do not pass it down, but also the past generations.

Our Ancestors are healed through us.

To regenerate means to recreate, renew, revive, to become spiritually reborn, to restore to original strength and properties, rejuvenate, and to change radically for the better. It is what I believe is possible when we heal our Ancestral lines when we heal transgenerational trauma. Transgenerational regeneration speaks to just that, to heal in a way that brings forth radical change for the betterment of humanity and the natural world on which we depend. Healing can no longer be seen as an individual encounter. In our current times of climate collapse, ever-increasing wars, and systemic violence, we need to see healing as participatory with each other and with nature.

Our mission at TRI is to create worldwide engagement in the regeneration of the planet by healing residual transgenerational trauma from the degenerative legacies of racism, oppression, and the consumption of natural resources. Through the reconnection to body, spirit, nature, and community we support the transformation of outdated ways of living into regenerative action for the benefit of all living beings.

How do your programs support individuals in their healing journeys?

The answer to this question is multi-layered because we encourage people who are already leaders in their community or want to become leaders in the regenerative action movement, and we also encourage people who do not see themselves as leaders, but as ordinary citizens within their respective society who want to get engaged with climate action and social justice yet they may not know how to take the next steps.

We offer learning communities grounded in the renewal of connection. A community in which you are supported to create positive social change that matches your unique contribution and calling, while you re-member and align with the natural pace of life.

Our programs are designed as regenerative learning environments. That means we follow an organic pace which is slower in order to offer a more connected experience with the material and with one another. We encourage stepping out of linear time by honoring the emerging flow of experiential learning. Each learning environment is participatory, a community creation based on shared wisdom. We nourish a shift in self-identity in whatever form emerges for each participant, supporting a growing capacity for connection and action in service of the whole. Ultimately, our programs explore human potential, and possibilities rather than problems.

Participants are supported to move through the 6 phases of the regeneration process method [RPM] beginning with clarifying their commitment to creating regenerative change in their lives. This leads them into the process of deconstructing what holds them back from living in a regenerative way, the blocks that are created by legacies of trauma for example, or the disconnection and isolation they experience and the cultural beliefs that have helped to create the lonely and/or overwhelming lives they live.  The outcome is a combination of feeling personally regenerated and motivated to make positive change in the world—what we call regenerative action.

Regenerative action is an action that supports ecological recovery, replenishes body and spirit, heals transgenerational trauma, helps to create systemic change, rebalances humanity with nature, and builds a shared global vision of peace.

What role does community play in your institute’s approach?

In our current times, we live in an illusion of connection through social media, when in reality many people (especially our younger generations) have a challenging time connecting face to face and in the community. The increase in experiences of social anxiety, social phobia, and loneliness are so obvious when you try to make eye contact with a person passing on the street and offer a smile, and they are deep in their smartphone. In-person social interaction is difficult for so many people these days.

Humans are relational by nature, we need each other, and we are designed to thrive in connection. At TRI, we believe that bringing people together in person and off screens is healing in itself. Add to that, participants learn, share, and grow together in service of bettering the world, which generates more healing potential. On top of that, providing a platform for storytelling, Ancestral wisdom, the traumas we carry or traumas that were acted out in our lineage—speaking them, emotionally processing them, being witnessed in them, and ultimately learning how to hold accountability for them brings healing. Then, as we engage in wider conversation circles out in our world we bring that healing potential to our larger communities.

Healing in a community brings healing to the legacies of transgenerational trauma in an environment that supports us to stay connected even when it is uncomfortable.

Our programs are designed, to begin with the personal journey through engagement with the RPM course, and then progress to collective healing of transgenerational trauma in the Ancestral Regeneration course. Ancestral Regeneration is an engaged process of recovering a reverent relationship with one’s Ancestors. It supports participants in discovering the gifts, the wounds, and the wounding of their lineage. Together through multi-level inquiry, we learn to hold accountability for the past actions of our Ancestors and to heal them in connection with others. In doing so, we engage in a deeper conversation with the world and learn to live in the relationship with our history.

Transgenerational trauma rips us from a sense of deep belonging to the natural world. Our programs support reconnection.

Can you share a success story from your work?

I like to share a seemingly simple success, but if we think further we can see the ripple effects. In one of the 2 Day RPM workshops, there was a participant who was already gardening within a regenerative framework—allowing the plants themselves to regenerate the soil after harvesting, not using any pesticides or fertilizers to grow their vegetables, making sure the seeds planted aligned with specific seasons for better harvests and sharing their vegetables with neighbors.  It was on the second day following an experiential designed to dream of a future possibility for our world that they expressed they had a plan for their own regenerative action, to use their remaining half an acre of land as a community garden for their larger neighborhood so that their community could also enjoy regenerative gardening. I love this story because it is a small gesture of generosity that is community-minded. Just think if more people made that offer in their rural or even urban environments.

A success story regarding the healing possible, when we include our Ancestors in the process, comes from a woman who at first did not believe that it was possible to access a felt-sense experience of Ancestral connectedness. Yet, on the 2nd night of a 3 Day workshop on integrating Ancestors into our healing, she had a dream in which she met one of her great-grandmothers who not only thanked her for doing the healing work, but also told her a story of how she carries the healing in her bones, and how it is needed in her work as a psychotherapist. The success is in seeing someone who has not experienced Ancestral work light up with enthusiasm as the numinous shows up in their own healing path.

How can someone get involved with your institute?

The best way to get involved is to come join a workshop. They are in-person events where one will meet like-minded people who are inspiring and motivated to create positive regenerative change. We offer scholarships & work-study programs.  Alternatively, if a TRI Offering is not in your region, you can become a local organizer and we will come to deliver a workshop in your area.

We are also looking for collaborators. My vision is for TRI to become a hub that offers resources and connections to a wide variety of regenerative programs and initiatives.  So, if people have a particular area of expertise in the regeneration movement connect with us through our mailing list, and let’s set up a meeting to see how we can work together.

https://www.transgenerationalregenerationinstitute.org/

Please make sure you check out all the “About” pages and sign up for our mailing list!

We understand that the regeneration of our natural world and our shared humanity will only come through collaboration and shared wisdom.  Let’s do this together!

We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links. Advertising Disclosure
MysticMag contains reviews that were written by our experts and follow the strict reviewing standards, including ethical standards, that we have adopted. Such standards require that each review will take into consideration independent, honest and professional examination of the reviewer. That being said, we may earn a commission when a user completes an action using our links, at no additional cost to them. On listicle pages, we rank vendors based on a system that prioritizes the reviewer’s examination of each service but also considers feedback received from our readers and our commercial agreements with providers.This site may not review all available service providers, and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
About the author
Writer
Luka is passionate about the environment and wildlife, captivated by the intriguing domains of energy restoration and hypnotic therapy.