Empowerment Through Self Awareness
“Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” Jelaluddin Rumi
I could not have understood this statement, or accepted this invitation, from Runi had it not been for Family Constellation work. In the framework of a larger, historical context most actions taken by our ancestors seem to logically follow in the wake tragedies too heartbreaking to speak of. Rather than judging right or wrong, the work seeks to remember those missing or excluded ones and acknowledges the suffering of lost hope, lost love, or lost life. Finally, family members take their rightful place so that order is restored. Those who participate experience a sense of peace.
If you are ready to explore Rumi’s invitation, check out a Family Constellation workshop near you.
Did you ever feel stuck between two emotions, or two options with no idea of how to move forward? If so, you are not alone. It happens to most of us at one time or another. So what can be done to get “unstuck”? Last time I explained the “two chair” model that helps get in touch with the reasons and feelings related to each choice.
Hellinger style resolution between two choices looks a lot like the “two chair” method. The difference is in the field. Hellinger’s work relies on people who or objects that represent each option. I prefer people for issues related to choice, so I’ll explain it from that perspective. Feel free to ask questions if you’d like to know more about working with objects.
One client worked in the family business – three generations of business law. Her hobby was dancing. When her dance teacher asked her to turn professional and go on the road, she found the idea captivating. Stuck between loyalty to the family business, and the enticement of professional dancing, I asked her to choose a representative for law and a representative for dance. They stood in front of us at first, and then moved to where they felt comfortable in relation to each other and the client. The representative for law was resolute, turned away from “dance”, and partially away from the client. The representative for dance was exuberant, moving boldly, bumping into “law” and the client at times.
I asked the client to stand in front of “law” and look him in the eye. It was clear from her stance and facial expressions that she was deeply connected to “law”. No words were spoken, though they could have been. Five minutes or more passed before a peace came over the two of them, their faces calm, their shoulders relaxed, their faces neutral or smiling.
I then asked her to look “professional dance” in the eye. “Dance” was beaming, always moving some part of her body. The client stood for a long time, six or seven minutes, looking at “dance”. Twice she looked over at “law” who turned to watch from about three feet away. I noted the client’s posture and her facial expressions, but said nothing aloud so she could focus on her own feelings. Eventually she turned to me and stated, “I got what I needed. Thank you.”
Why does this method work? The client is literally faced with two choices. Somehow, presumably via Sheldrake’s morphic field or Jung’s collective unconscious, the representatives know something about the choice they represent. “Dance” was exuberant, and “law” was resolute. Through these representations, the client was reminded of why she chose law in the first place, and could see why becoming a professional dancer was attractive. The silent dialogue between the representatives and the client allowed her to safely connect with all of her thoughts, feelings and motivations in the face of both choices. As a facilitator, I could bring awareness to her body posture, sensations and breathing if necessary. I could also bring awareness to the repeating pattern of dichotomy (exuberant/resolute) by including representatives for family members had it seemed appropriate.
In the “two chair” method, the participant does the talking, the noticing. A facilitator may or may not be present to observe and report. The Hellinger method requires more people, and space to set up the field, but the feedback of the representatives is constant and the facilitator is available to bring awareness to things that might otherwise be missed. In both methods, awareness and respect of each option brings the client to resolution.
Next time you feel conflicted by a choice or emotions, give one of these methods a try. Your feedback is always welcome.
Secrets, tragedy, and estrangement are common fare in most families. Family Constellation work is an uncommon way, at least here in the United States, to reframe the family dynamics so resolutions can be found and reconciliation can be forged.
What if you could see the events that shaped your ancestors beliefs and created the behaviors that push you away? What if, instead of taking their behavior personally, you could see that they are drawn toward death, stuck in fear, or filled with anger that seems to have no end? What if you could also see how this came to be and what needs to change so everyone can breathe and be at peace?
There is a way. In a Family Constellation Workshop, representatives stand in for family members who are relevant but may be troubled, ill, victimized or even dead. Others stand in for spouses, siblings, and parents. As each finds their place in relation to other members, the energy of each relationship and that of the whole is illuminated. Patterns that repeat themselves are clear, hidden loyalties come to light, and ways of loving that are harmful suddenly make some sort of sense. From this springs resolution. Secrets are spoken aloud, tragedies are acknowledged, and unhealthy ways of loving are reviewed and re-ordered. Suddenly everyone has a place in the family, and that place supports each member.
Most often people say the work brought them a peace they had never known before. Others say the work transformed their relationship with someone they love – a sibling, parent, spouse or child. Others change their relationship to abundance, money, living well, loving well. No one leaves unchanged.
For more information on upcoming workshops in the San Diego area, see the events page. If you prefer a workshop in Texas, Chicago or St Louis, please email me at Tina@Phasetransition.biz for links to upcoming workshops across the United States.