new zealand bush, Maori land, native nz trees, group of maori, Ha tool, ha habit, nature nz

Moving Beyond the Past: Overcoming Historical Intergenerational Trauma and Whakamaa

I felt the need to touch a little on Historical Intergenerational Trauma today because it can affect so many of us whether we are aware of it or not.


On my father’s side, I’m Māori.  On my mother’s side, I’m Pakeha. I have Dutch & Jewish blood flowing through my veins.


On both sides, I can see the impacts of Historical Intergenerational Trauma.


Historical Intergenerational Trauma refers to the transmission of trauma experienced by a group of people across generations, for example, through colonization, genocide, war, or forced relocation.


On my Māori side, significant harm has been done to our cultural heritage, which has persisted across multiple generations, with the purpose of eradicating our traditional ways of living.


My Jewish tipuna (ancestors) have experienced trauma through genocide, the deliberate eradication and killing of our people.


I bring this to awareness because there are many of us that may not know why we are experiencing debilitating anxiety or depression. We might not know why we feel deep whakamaa (shame, inadequacy, embarrassment) about who we are. We might not understand why we react in certain ways to events. 


If trauma affects your genes/DNA, it can have effects on:

-your body’s inflammation process
-your fight, flight, freeze, or fawn responses
-your brain chemistry

The good thing to know is that we can interrupt these trauma cycles that may be passed down from generation to generation.  We can learn to be more compassionate towards ourselves and others when trauma is triggered.


We don’t need to carry the shame, despair, and devastation of our tipuna. We are not the trauma we experience or the trauma our ancestors experience, but this can so easily be forgotten. 


While trauma can be a part of our history, it does not need to be the defining factor of our present or future.


When we learn our true identity and peel back the illusions created by systemic structures, our upbringing, and societal and cultural norms, we step into our power.


At our core, we are intelligence/all-powerful. We are taonga (gifts) to this world. We can rewrite our story at any time.  The trauma we experience is for our learning and growth.


If you have the desire to change, put the intention out there. Seek the help that you need. With each conscious breath, we’ll be guided to the very people and places that we need to move forward.




-As we learn to connect to Hā, we feel safer in our tinana (body) & hinengaro (mind) to experience uncomfortable emotions.

-As we learn to connect to Hā, our awareness, reasoning, logic and focus expand.

-As we learn to connect to Hā, we get better at doing the inner work needed for transformation.

-As we learn to connect to Hā, we get better at connecting to wairua (highest selves/Atua).

-As we learn to connect to Hā, we get better at seeing our life experiences through the lens of Aroha(compassion).

As we learn to connect to Hā, we start seeing transformation in every area of our lives. 

If you have any questions, please reach out. 



Hā Habit Founder | Julia Wikeepa


P.S If you're interested in our Hā Taonga (aka Hā Tools), go to this link here to find out more on how to develop a Hā (breathing) habit.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.