A big, tender hello to you…
My name is Sarah Hogland-Gurulé, and Healing in Color is my love offering to all the Black and brown bbs out there living with chronic illness.
I’m a queer, mixed race Xicana, and I pour my soul into my work as a dance artist, educator and cultural worker. I’ve also journeyed with autoimmunity since 2015.
In the beginning experiences of my illness, I had no idea what was happening to me. My body was simultaneously panicking and shutting down, I felt foggy in my brain all the time and my soul felt far away. It was scary, overwhelming and really confusing. Like, is this for real? Am I gonna be like this forever?? But what about this whole life I was trying to get into?! Yeah. I felt pained and constricted by internalized ableness that kept telling me I was just weak and should be able to push through. I also felt immense grief for the ongoing sickness I was experiencing in my body, as well as what I seemed to be losing because of it.
In an ever unfurling process that continues to this day, I am slowly learning how to welcome my illness in as a teacher. I don’t say that to be deceptively positive or cute. Illness is often harsh, unforgiving and painful, but it can also present us with an opportunity to experience immense transformation if we are open to being changed and if we have the skills to be able to work with it.
That’s ultimately why I’m sharing this offering. There’s so much that I don’t know, but I do know what skills and resources have helped me to be able to collaborate with my illness (versus resisting it or trying to “kill it”) and experience sustainable, long term healing.
There is deep, deep medicine that exists inside of the healing journey. This process has helped me to remember so much that was previously lost, including the wisdom and practices of some of my ancestors, how to get into what adrienne maree brown calls “right relationship” with other people, non human relatives and with the land, what self love actually feels like, and a lot more that exists beyond any words I know.
I’ve also spent a lot of time feeling into how much harm has wound its way around my body and heart. I’m learning how I suppress this harm as a survival strategy. The effects of colonization, racism, capitalism, white supremacy, cis-hetero-patriarchy and so much more have caused tremendous harm to us, especially as Black, brown, trans, queer and poor people. I feel it in my body, the ways that these systems try to distort and fracture our dignity. How they demand that we make ourselves small and internalize shame for simply existing.
Ya basta. Enough.
Chronic illness has helped me to understand healing as a deeply radical process of remembrance. Remembrance of a body and soul that is and has always been whole, full and beautiful. Remembrance of indigeneity. Remembrance of the power, wisdom and love that has always existed inside of me and my people.
Healing is deep, real love. Healing is celebration of our bodies. Healing is subversion and decomposition of toxic systems. Healing is resistance against oppression. Healing is re-indigenizing. Healing is feeling into our rage and allowing it to guide us into just action for ourselves, our communities and all who inhabit the planet. Healing is our birth right. Healing ourselves reverberates healing forwards, backwards and sideways through time to our ancestors, our descendants and our communities.
(Thank you Alexis Pauline Gumbs for offering this mind blowing framework on the nature of time and time travel!)
I created this website as a way to offer what I have learned and continue to learn about healing the body and soul from chronic illness. Of course, there is no one answer that will serve us all in the same way. Whatever is shared through this offering is just that, an offering. There is freedom here to work with what resonates, to remix the offerings so that they best serve you and to allow your intuition to continue to guide you on your own healing journey.
I’m so humbled to offer Healing in Color to you. I wish you deep and vast healing and wellness.
Con amor, bendiciones y solidaridad,