Super Native Unlimited

Super Native Unlimited. Aboriginal and First Nations specialists in leadership, facilitation and collaboration.

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“My People” – exploring Kinship in the lead up to Reconciliation Week.

Hi folks and welcome to my Friday Reflection.

Last week we reflected on how the stories we tell ourselves and others hold memory, identity and belonging. This week we are looking at another dimension of story. We’re exploring how story holds kinship.

Defining Kinship

“Kin” is an old-fashioned word which can be translated as ‘people having common ancestry’. While “kin” is not commonly used in popular culture, some cultures readily use the term “kinship” which can be translated as the ‘relatedness or connection’. In short, we use stories to tell our ‘kin’ about ‘kinship’. That is, we use stories to tell those who share ancestry with us and each other about our collective understanding of relatedness and connection.

The stories we tell ourselves and others can be used to bring shared understanding about our common ancestry, our relatedness and connection.

You might notice these stories in your own life when you use them to sustain your connection to your families and friends.

You might notice an absence of these stories when you hear about people and places where you feel little relatedness or connection.

Cultivating Kinship

My encouragement to you is to be active in making your stories cultivate kinship with your fellow Australians. As we approach National Reconciliation Week you might notice some of the stories we tell ourselves and others will increase our relatedness and connection with each other, and some stories will decrease it.

Earlier this year (16th February) I mentioned my personal practice to expand my sacred loyalty story among my fellow Australians. I told the story about how I literally sit in food courts of shopping centres and scan the diversity of humanity around me. As I do, I tell myself, “These are my people”. I am actively reprogramming a neural pathway by using stories to hold kinship with my fellow Australians.

My encouragement and challenge to you is to think about the stories you are telling yourself and others about your ‘kin’ and ‘kinship’? Who are the people you feel you share common ancestry with? Who makes you feel relatedness and connection?

Embracing Openness

Are you challenging yourself to think beyond your existing boundaries to find relatedness and connection? Are you actively reaching out using stories of kinship with others? Or are you using stories of separation and disconnection to sustain your comfort and safety?

I hope that you can find ways to tell stories to yourself and others that will increase your openness to find common ancestry, relatedness and connection with all your fellow Australians.

Be encouraged and encourage others.

Mark Yettica-Paulson