Today I’m chatting with Darla Antoine, a mixed-race Okanagan (Syilx) Tribal member who grew up in her ancestral homelands in the Okanagan highlands of Washington State, now living and raising her family in Costa Rica.

Darla is a spiritual worker specializing in ancestral healing, and we talked about how well the fairytale of the Ugly Duckling speaks to the experience of being mixed race, being guided by ancestors,  a beautiful love story, talking to trees and diet culture and bodies, creativity and cooking, and more. I even got strangely shy about the thing I was most excited about – living on Darla’s ancestral lands…

Enjoy our ramble through the fairytale of The Ugly Duckling as well as Darla’s relationship with her body and creativity.

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Resources from this episode:

Connecting with Darla:

Connecting with Janelle:

Things we chatted about in this episode:

A beautiful love story, ancestral work and healing

  • the fairytale The Ugly Duckling
  • on being mixed race – has always felt like an insider/outsider
  • Living in another culture/language and in isolation from communities and cities
  • Rediscovering roots and connectedness and sense of belonging has been a long journey
  • On having always felt guidance from ancestors as that little voice
  • On sensing something coming, without having a timeline for when it will happen
  • The importance of being able to rest with the ‘old woman in the woods’
  • How connecting with the ancestors is a homecoming, an experience of being guided and seen
  • How reconnecting with one’s own ancestry is the antidote to cultural appropriation
  • When you don’t remember that you have ancestors you don’t remember that you have descendants, which serves patriarchy and colonialism very well


  • relationship with body
  • On falling into diet culture, chronically undereating and overexercising, afraid of fat
  • How her body decided to make up for the deprivation during her pregnancy, how she’ been experiementing with accepting her body as it is and not trying to lose weight anymore
  • On being a highly sensitive person with young children
  • Diet culture means that when we are consumed with how we look and how much shame we’re taking on based on how we look we don’t have the capacity to do good work in the world
  • The 70 billion dollars spent in the diet industry
  • Imagine all us women being happy being chubby and happy being exactly as we are
  • How rare it is to hear a woman say ‘I love my body and always have’


  • relationship with creativity
  • how her relationship to her creativity is tied to her relationship to her body
  • The more freedom in body the more freedom with creativity
  • Food and preparing food connected to ancestors and creativity
  • Not being into menu planning or meal planning – much prefers going on improve based on what’s at hand and what needs to be prepared and how to be creative with what’s on hand
  • Creativity, spirituality, and how the forest is her best friend right now
  • When feeling lonely or needing to talk with someone and get out of her head, she goes to the forest
  • How having a spiritual teacher and learning to connect with plants and rocks and the land is spiritual nourishment
  • How we cycle energy when we’re connecting with nature as well as with each other