Family Constellations is work that I love. The work is beautiful, breathtakingly beautiful at times, and is such a powerful tool for healing and transformation. And that healing and transformation works on the individuals who attend, the families into which they were born, the families they find themselves in now, and even the larger world itself. So I love it, but it's one bear to write about! I'm going to do that here, anyway, in hopes of sharing with you what I think makes Constellations work so powerful, and why I think you should come to know it. First: Constellations is not astrology. In fact, it has nothing whatsoever to do with stars. (Well, except for the fact that we, ourselves, are star stuff.) Family Constellations is a therapeutic way to heal our relationships, bodies, minds and spirits through an exploration of the unseen energetic patterns at play in our families. We acknowledge that we receive many gifts from our families, some of which serve us well, and some of which do not. In the work of Family Consteallations we seek to uncover the hidden energies in our family systems, and to create healing "movements" that liberate us from the gifts that do not serve us well. Having thus cleared space in ourselves and our families, we are able to invite in ever greater blessings and gifts, which serve to strengthen us, and to help us thrive. One very beautiful part of the work is in HOW we create that healing. In Constellations work, we create a visual, emotional and kinetic reproduction of your family's dynamics, and look at what movements, revelations of truth and healing words and actions can bring about your best healing and transformation. [...]
"The stairs are your mentor of things to come, the doors have always been there to frighten you and invite you, and the tiny speaker in the phone is your dream-ladder to divinity." Everything is Waiting for You --David Whyte So here we are, together, in the place between what was and what will come to be. It feels to me that January is a time of our standing on a threshold, an "in between" place. The wheel of the year is coming 'round to laying to rest the last round of last year's life, to allowing to die what has lived out its use. And the new year, the infant waiting to emerge into the world, is still sleeping, still growing, still imagining what it will become. We who think in the shamanic way tend to view thresholds as places of great power; standing here, we can gather ourselves and prepare for whatever we emerge into on the other side of this passage. There is energy for emerging that is gathering now; energy for being born into life--for the first time, for the second, for the 6oth or 80th. In the shamanic way of understanding the year, we will welcome Spring on Feb. 1. We who live in a scientific, technological world, wait until Spring evidently arrives before declaring it the new season. But if we are able and willing to tune into the energy of this Earth, to feel into the bones of it, to sense the stirrings of spirit and life itself, we know that the seeds of what is to come are stirring now; the seeds of what life presents next are dreaming of what is to be, what is to come. Are [...]
Look: When the call to the shamanic path comes, it is strong. It is compelling. It is, in some ways, irresistible. It thrums in your ear as you go about your day: there is more, there is so much more. It enters into your dreams, showing you both sorrows and delights that you never before knew existed. It accompanies you as you walk about your day, saying: oh, look here, the birds have so much to say to you. Or: oh, look here, at this human sorrow that is waiting for you to bring it resolution and healing. The call has so many manifestations. If you are like I was, you've used all of your power to hold closed the door to shamanic work that asks you to surrender, to allow that opening. Because it is so frightening or so costly or so fraught with the possibility of abandonment. And yet, the knocking on that door, the knocking to step into your own power, to claim and declare who you truly are, the knocking to be the healing presence you stepped into this human life to be: that knocking never stops. It knocks each and every day, with a persistence that cannot be quelled. Look: I pushed the calling aside for so many years. I eventually came to see that holding that door closed bought me nothing. I was still not like everyone else; I still could not buy my way into proper society. I didn't gain a single moment of happiness or peace in my turning away from the call I heard each and every day. No matter what achievement I obtained in the material world, I still heard that I was destined, that I'd [...]
I think about the element Fire a lot. It's the earthly element we shamanic folk call on when we want rapid, even instantaneous, transformation. When a situation is so intolerant, so in need of transformation, that we can't stand it for one more year, month or day. And the element of Fire always seems to rise to the occasion, burning away in a flash the old structures, making way for the new dreaming. Sometimes we experience that fire as devastating, taking away comfort, protections and structures that we have come to rely on-- even if we find ourselves stuck in that structure. Sometimes we need the power of ancient, all-burning Fire to bring down structures that imprison us; the ego structures, our shadows, and our family stories that are ready and destined for release. I wonder: what would it look like if you lit a fire beneath and within the tinder of your ancient family stories and structures? What if you consigned your shadows to the fire of transformation? What bright horizons could you see free of what holds you behind? Let's talk about what your free, bright, light-filled horizons might look like and how we will plot your escape to there.
Here is what I know about our ancestors: We are the children of their dreams. Think about it. Whether you are a parent or not, you've dreamed about what you will leave behind with humanity when you depart this life. Will your life's work be valuable? What about what you do makes it easier or simpler for your fellow humans to live on this earth? What can you do to answer the unmet yearnings of your ancestors? What can you do to meet the unmet yearnings from those ancestors that live, still, in your heart? When we are in relationship with our ancestors, the ancestors have our backs. Our ancestors want, more than anything, to be remembered. They want us to hold their lives, their destinies, in our hearts. To honor what they lived, what they sacrificed, to bring the next generation into being. They want us to honor and respect their love for us by our reciprocal love and respect. Their experiences, their ecstasies and their agonies, live within us. And when those old experiences, good or ill, entangle us we may not be capable of living our fullest expressions of who we are. I call that our Soul's Purpose: the reason we, as a Soul, embodied as human on this earth and at this time. The sometimes mysterious or hidden purpose that drives our lives. I've spent a significant portion of the past two years studying to be a certified Family, Systemic, Organizational and Nature facilitator of Constellations. I've struggled to find a way to talk about Constellations and the power of that work to heal both individual circumstances and larger circumstances of families, businesses and our world. I'm ready to bring this work into the world; [...]
There are times when we are called to step forward, roll up our sleeves and take on the job of doing the important work ourselves. That might be because we are fostering our power, and need to learn where our boundaries truly lie. Or, perhaps we have grown a deep curiosity about understanding the "guts" of something, like the technology we blithely take for granted, and so take up learning about how to maintain our own cars, or upgrade our computers. Or maybe we want to place ourselves more firmly in the rhythm of our lives by, for example, growing a home garden so we can experience the circle of sustenance our food provides to us. Or maybe we are just moved by the grace and beauty of something important, and want to put ourselves into the center of that. My husband Jon recently had the opportunity to deepen his own connection with music by taking two weeks out of his busy life to attend the Whetstone School of Lutherie in Brattleboro, VT. He's been a player of all kinds of musical instruments in his lifetime, from various wind instruments, to piano, to mandolin and guitar. His deep curiosity about what makes each musical instrument unique, his appreciation of the beauty of the result and the process, and his great enjoyment of working with wood, combined to inspire him to learn to build guitars on his own. In two weeks, he was able to transform a pile of various pieces of wood into a unique and beautiful instrument. In the doing, he has gained a deeper knowing about wood and music, and a greater understanding of his own power in both of those realms. He thoroughly [...]