An Indigenous Vision for Seeking Wholeness Every Day
by Kaitlin B. Curtice
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Pub Date 07 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 21 Apr 2023
Baker Academic & Brazos Press, Brazos Press
"Curtice is a fresh and intelligent voice."--Library Journal
"Shares an expansive, generous vision for how to find meaning and make a place for ourselves in an often exhausting and hostile world."--Booklist
In an era in which "resistance" has become tokenized, popular Indigenous author Kaitlin Curtice reclaims it as a basic human calling. Resistance is for every human who longs to see their neighbors' holistic flourishing. We each have a role to play in the world right where we are, and our everyday acts of resistance hold us all together.
Curtice shows that we can learn to practice embodied ways of belonging and connection to ourselves and one another through everyday practices, such as getting more in touch with our bodies, resting, and remembering our ancestors. She explores four "realms of resistance"--the personal, the communal, the ancestral, and the integral--and shows how these realms overlap and why all are needed for our liberation. Readers will be empowered to seek wholeness in whatever spheres of influence they inhabit.
“In a moment in which ‘resistance’ is a hashtag and ‘wholeness’ is an industry, Curtice’s Living Resistance—a reckoning, reclaiming, and remembering—is a lifeline reconnecting us with our human calling. Curtice beautifully honors the ancient and eternal promise of liberation as not only our sacred birthright but our marching orders.”—Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed; founder of Together Rising
“In Living Resistance, Curtice fiercely yet gently calls us home to care about our souls and our bodies, about each other and Mother Earth. It’s a timely and timeless call to live resistance every day as we build the world we want, together.”—Rev. Dr. Jacqui J. Lewis, senior minister, Middle Church; author of Fierce Love
“Living Resistance forges a path to a more whole now and a more whole tomorrow. It shows how healing ourselves, our communities, our Earth, and our society are all inextricable, and how to gently integrate all levels of being and doing so that our daily acts of living become ways of resisting oppressive forces and bringing new possibilities into being.”—Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of On Repentance and Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World
“In Living Resistance, Curtice lays out a compassionate call to action for all of us to return to the source, to the root, to that which is love. Curtice writes poetically and sets out a clear and beautiful path that feels accessible to all. This book is a bold, reimagined way for us to stand courageously in our truth.”—Joél Leon, poet, author, storyteller
“For those who have been hearing the call for a more equitable, compassionate, and humane world, Living Resistance is the road map we have been looking for. Curtice invites us into a multilayered understanding of resistance with love and justice at the center. Through a tapestry of ancestral, personal, and collective wisdom, she shares both practically and poetically. In a time where we are being invited to rise up and move toward liberation for all of our kin, this book reminds us of the fire we hold in our bellies and the spark we carry in our souls. I am so grateful that this book exists; it’s a must-read for all.”—Asha Frost, Indigenous Medicine Woman; bestselling author of You Are the Medicine
“There’s so much injustice in our world today and so many reasons to resist. Yet we don’t have many models of how to engage with our world in ways that make our lives better. In Living Resistance, Curtice taps into Indigenous wisdom for how we can push back while also creating wholeness and happiness for ourselves.”—Simran Jeet Singh, executive director, Aspen Institute’s Religion & Society Program; author of The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life
“As a rabbi, as a Jew, and as a human, I am profoundly grateful to Curtice for inviting us into the sacred realm of Indigenous wisdom. For all of us rooted in a faith tradition that seeks healing for a broken world, this inspiring book offers an accessible path of resistance to oppression. May every reader of every background find joy in journeying toward liberation and wholeness together.”—Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director, Religious Action Center; senior vice president, Union for Reform Judaism
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 14 members
I sat down with Kaitlin B. Curtice's "Living Resistance: An Indigenous Vision for Seeking Wholeness Every Day" about a week after having been diagnosed with bladder cancer, the latest in a long line of significant health issues that began when I was born with spina bifida over fifty years ago.
This is my second experience with Curtice after "Native," a book that informed, educated, inspired, and challenged me in a myriad of ways. I must admit that I initially found Curtice intimidating, a combination of her undeniable intellect and her passionate exploration of the intersection between Indigenous spirituality, everyday faith, and the living out of church life.
I was changed by "Native," deeply so, and with "Living Resistance" I have found a literary companion to the life I live as an activist, a friend, a neighbor, and a person living with disabilities who sometimes feels as if I am living in this world as an "other."
I was almost immediately struck by the emotional resonance that radiates throughout "Living Resistance," a soulful transparency that brings Curtice's words to life in a glorious way. While Curtice's relentless intellect remains vividly at the forefront of her writing, "Living Resistance" also brings to life Curtice's charismatic presence as a poet, storyteller, and speaker.
There's a quote on Curtice's website from Barbara Brown Taylor - "Kaitlin Curtice is one of the braver writers I know. She won’t smooth any edges for you and she won’t let you change the subject, but she’ll support you digging as deeply for your roots as she has for hers.”
Indeed, I must confess that I was initially intimidated by Curtice precisely because she doesn't smooth the edges or lower her expectations. I have seen this very truth come to life while following her on social media and in my own limited encounters with her. Even as Curtice's writing in "Native" convicted me, something I acknowledged in my review of the book, I surrendered as my sense of intimidation transformed into a deep respect for this author who feels like a wise elder (acknowledging, of course, that I am in fact the elder here!).
As I began reading "Living Resistance," I began to realize that the universe had, once again, placed in my hands the perfect book at the perfect time in my life. While I had been convicted in "Native" regarding my far too #Hashtag filled approach to my own Indigenous ancestry (my family has strong connections to the Choctaw nation), as I approached "Living Resistance" it became apparent that this would immerse me in my life within the disabled community into which I was born and which has defined my very roots.
I have often proclaimed, admittedly with more than a little anger, that the prevalent ableism in healthcare has disabled me far more than my paraplegic, double amputee body. This ableism is prevalent throughout society and, yes, is also displayed more internally than I like to admit. "Living Resistance" imagines a world where we learn to practice embodied ways of belonging to ourselves and one another through everyday practices. Curtice explores four "realms of resistance" - the personal, the communal, the ancestral, and the integral - and shows how these four realms overlap and why these four realms are needed for our liberation.
I will confess that I cried more than once during "Living Resistance," initially at this idea of "belonging" to ourselves as I realized that my first challenge in now living with cancer is to learn what it means to love my body in this way. It is not easy, but it is essential.
As is always true with Curtice, readers are empowered to seek this wholeness of which she writes and by the end of "Living Resistance" will feel motivated to and better equipped for the journey. "Living Resistance" is not a prescriptive book, however, but rather a book of visioning and surrendering to the possibilities.
For Curtice, "Resistance" is a basic human calling and is for everyone who longs for a world where everyone is provided the opportunity for holistic flourishing. In my own life, this has been lived out at times in various grassroots ways like my 6,000 miles on the Tenderness Tour and now in my professional position as the first person with a disability to be the Director of Provider Relations for the state agency serving individuals with disabilities. "Living Resistance" offers a road map with twists and turns, peaks and valleys on the journey toward a more equitable world with love and justice, hope and mutuality at its center.
In the disability community, those of us of a more progressive nature often challenge those who say we "inspire" them by responding "What do I inspire you to do?" Inspiration is not inspiration unless it is followed by action. Indeed, I can easily see Curtice saying the same thing "Save the platitudes. What are you inspired to do?" By the end of "Living Resistance," I felt better equipped as an activist, a friend, and a neighbor to care for myself, for others, and for the world around me in increasingly tangible ways.
And yet, perhaps most of all at this time in my life, I also felt myself ready to love myself with cancer and to share this journey as transparently as possible in a way that speaks to the holiness of this journey and the worth of my body for healing, wholeness, and to give and receive love.
With remarkable openness and profound insight, Kaitlin B. Curtice's Living Resistance" is a bold, compassionate vision for a better world for everyone.
Living Resistance is an absolutely beautiful book about connecting deeper to the Earth, ourselves, our community, our ancestors, and the universe at large. The curiosity that Curtice wants to instill in the reader is a theme throughout. We are given historical and cultural reference points and the opportunity to explore our own thoughts and feelings about each category no matter what our spiritual leanings might be. This book is a tool for those seeking connection, something sorely lacking these days. I feel inspired and ready to practice my own form of Living Resistance after reading this extremely thoughtful and well written book.
We’re so lucky to be alive and learning from Kaitlin Curtice in this moment. I saw her speak years ago and have been following her work and writing ever since. Living Resistance is beautifully written. A blend of personal story, research, and vision casting, Curtice leads us on our own journey of understanding resistance in every realm of our lives. I really appreciated the prompts for reflection throughout the book and the original poetry Curtice opens each section with. Highlights abound in my copy!
I voluntarily reviewed an early copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
I was drawn to this book for almost all aspects, such as the premise and the author being Potawatomi. Being Potawatomi myself, this author has been on my radar for awhile and it was about time I read one of her books. It was my first Potawatomi book and it was long overdue!
I loved how Potawatomi culture was woven into this book, from our words to the creation story and other customs. I could see the influence of our culture within the pages which was such a wonderful experience. It made everything the author said feel so much more genuine because of the premise being centered around resistance. That reconnection that she speaks of in the book is present so that was lovely.
This book has wonderful messaging and utilizes so many aspects of life to discuss resistance. The research and thought that was put into this book is obvious. And the representation beyond Indigenous people even more so. She cites so many people from all walks of life in this discussion of resistance. There is unity and awareness which is important in the overall messaging.
My one critique which held me back from a full five stars was how some points felt repetitive. This, however, is subjective in my opinion. Although it didn’t work for me and sort of slowed down the pace of the book, I think others will appreciate this. Especially those who are eager to learn more through this mixed Indigenous perspective or those who primarily read this genre. Even more so, those who need the reminders that are found here will undoubtedly feel heard, represented, and understood. Ultimately, the repetition took me out of it just a little but I can still appreciate what it wil provide for others.
Overall, I will be recommending this book highly!
A huge thank you to Netgalley and Brazos Press for the opportunity to read and review an arc of Living Resistance by Kaitlin Curtice in exchange for an honest review.
This book is one of the most important books out there in regards to decolonizing faith and spirituality. Kaitlin Curtice is both gentle and fierce in her convictions while teaching us hard truths. This book is broken up beautifully into four realms so the reader can approach resistance in accessible ways in different areas of their life. In doing so it provides us with a vision of how things could be and ways to learn how to dismantle oppression within ourselves and in the world. This is a book that takes it time, because you cannot rush the deep work of resistance and I think that is reflected in the writing style and the format of the book. By taking my time to read it I noticed the ways the author was working to have the reader begin to integrate her teaching, through repetition, through the return to the 'arriving' meditation, and through the practices at the end of every chapter. This is a book that I cannot wait to have in my hands so I can read it again and I will be recommending it everyone I can.
I just st finished Living Resistance by Kaitlin Curtice. It took me a while because it made me think and process and think some more. Just the chapter titles alone are a hint to what is ahead. A key take away is seeing, knowing, being resistance. “Our spiritual realities do not exist in a vacuum. Anything that happens to one happens to all …” This is a book that teaches and enlightens.
"In an era in which "resistance" has become tokenized, popular Indigenous author Kaitlin Curtice reclaims it as a basic human calling. Resistance is for every human who longs to see their neighbors' holistic flourishing. We each have a role to play in the world right where we are, and our everyday acts of resistance hold us all together."
What a stunning work.
Is it both difficult and painful to mirrors held up to systems of which you're a part? Yes.
Is it necessary? Also yes.
There are so many good quotes in this book, both from Curtice, and from others, but my favourite came from the very beginning.
I am human. I am always arriving.
I have incorporated that simple set of sentences into my daily breath-prayers. What a gentle and true statement.
I loved how the author brought her Potowami culture and practices, as well as those from others' into the work, weaving them into her story of healing and resistance.
I love the mind-pictures we're given - the concentric circles of different colours. I'm a visual person, so it's allowed me to recall the Venn Diagram during moments of calm.
I loved that concrete steps (thought experiments, writing prompts, etc.) were given along the way. Reading puts things into your brain. Doing puts things into your heart.
This is my first work by this author, tho' I've listened to her on several podcasts. I'm excited to go searching for her previous books.
I'm so grateful for the work Curtice does.
Thanks to NetGalley and Brazo Publishing for this transformational ARC.
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Brazos Press for the opportunity to read and review an Advanced Reader Copy of Living Resistance by Kaitlin Curtice in exchange for an honest review.
Upon reading Living Resistance, I was immediately drawn in by Curtice's open and authentic voice, filled with compassion for her readers. It is so evident that the words of this book are Kaitlin's heartbeat for our planet and it's people to live a life of freedom and abundance and this book is the blueprint for how to do just that. The writing is practical and accessible. Curtice points to example after example of so many individuals from so many walks of life that are living lives of resistance in their own ways that honor their own cultures, yet model the principals she lays out in her book.
I consumed these pages and found myself highlighting nearly ever paragraph of the advanced reader ebook before deciding that I had to have the physical copy so I could mark it up and write in the margins like I would a Bible or other well-studied text ripe with wisdom. This book is a must for anyone who desires to walk their own path of resistance in a way that fully embraces love for their neighbors and our planet while honoring the indigenous pillars and principals of the Indigenous peoples who have gone before us.
I will definitely be getting my hands on the physical book once it comes out Tuesday, March 7th and you should too!!
Kaitlin Curtice paints poetic words that mobilize and inspire. If you’re looking for a justice read that will call out unjust systems while keeping your hope intact and giving you practical ways to resist, you should definitely read Living Resistance. It’s a simply stunning, wildly inclusive, and desperately needed book.
Living Resistance: An Indigenous Vision for Seeking Wholeness Every Day by Kaitlin B. Curtis is a firm but gentle guide to seek out internalized -isms and deal with them in an honest, shameless manner. Curtis guides the reader through their personal spaces, communal identities, the history of their peoples, and their spiritual being to find and holistically address the cancer that has rooted in our lives and spread to every area.
This isn’t the only book one should ever read in the pursuit of building an equitable and loving world, but it is an excellent starting place and a devotional that can be revisited regularly with great impact.
So thankful to Curtis for sharing this work with the world. So thankful I was able to receive this gift.
This review is based on an ARC provided by NetGalley and Brazos Press.
In late 2021, I immediately fell in love with Kaitlin B. Curtice’s poetry and prose after subscribing to her Substack newsletter, The Liminality Journal. This is the first reason I preordered her new book, Living Resistance. The second reason is the book's subtitle, which spoke directly to my heart: An Indigenous Vision for Seeking Wholeness Every Day . I respect and value Indigenous wisdom and sacred teachings, and want to learn and grow. And the third reason I could not wait to hold a copy of this book in my hands: the gorgeous cover art that depicts the overlapping realms of resistance.
If you tend to skip a book’s preface or introduction, I recommend you don’t gloss over this one, which orients, guides and grounds the reader. Kaitlin begins the Introduction in a personal way, writing to the “Dear Reader, Feeler, Explorer, Un-learner, and Friend”. Then, in the next few pages she articulates her vision of living resistance and its four overlapping realms: The Personal, The Communal, The Ancestral, and The Integral. She explains how to actively engage with the book so it becomes a become a “space for us to examine the journey together.” Kaitlin also gives the reader a “kind of medicine” to repeat when the reading becomes heavy or overwhelming: “I am a human being. I am always arriving.” This supportive, inclusive tone continues throughout the book.
While reading Living Resistance, I filled many pages of my journal with quotes from the different sections within each realm.
Here is a sampling:
The Personal Realm
“[M]any of us on the path of healing are realizing that we must reclaim our curiosity toward ourselves and the land around us; we must start asking questions we didn’t ask before. As we do so, things begin shifting, and naturally, resistance follows. For many of us, this is also where we begin the journey of deconstruction. ”
The Communal Realm
“[S]olidarity work really is about the work of being human. In our humanity, we are meant to love ourselves well, to love one another well, and to love earth and the creatures around us well.”
“Solidarity means choosing not to look away from one another but instead leaning into each other’s stories because they matter…we care for one another because we are kin. This is resistance.”
The Ancestral Realm
“[Resisting] hate in the world requires that we draw from a deep, sacred well as humans. We recognize that resisting hate means living generously in any way that we can.”
“When our souls align with our power, and when we push fear of scarcity aside, generosity happens, and the world changes.”
The Integral Realm
“We have been given a certain kind of world, we have helped create a certain kind of world, and we get to dream of what kind of world we want to exist in our future years and after we are gone. This is where the realms overlap, where the space between becomes the center of everything. Who we are becoming today, the ways we choose healing for ourselves and our communities, and the lines of people who came before and will come after — it all matters.”
In each realm Kaitlin emphasizes that healing ourselves and relationships with others cannot be separated from healing our relationship with Mother Earth.
This is a book that requires us to ask questions we are holding deep inside ourselves, some that we might be reluctant to bring to the surface. It is a book is for seekers of wholeness, meaning and healing. Kaitlinn B. Curtice shows us how we can — and why we must — resist the status quo of intolerance and injustice, and the impacts of colonialism. Even the smallest and commonest of acts — such as writing a book review instead of doom-scrolling — is resistance.
In Kaitlinn’s own words, “In an era in which ‘activism’ and ‘resistance’ are tokenized hot topics, I want to restore these ideas as a basic human calling, one that each of us lives into every day we fight for love….No matter who you are or what you ‘do’ in the world, you have a role to play in finding, understanding, and sharing sacredness, and your acts of extraordinary resistance are the truths that hold us all together.”
With her beautiful, brilliant, visionary book, Kaitlinn has activated this calling within me.
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