I am writing this morning in response to experiencing my normal interactions with two friends today to be anything but normal. Both people where very activated, and having no awareness of why that was the case. Both are highly sensitive folks as well. It is a good to be mindful of all you encounter and what is alive in the collective field on this September 11, 2013. Every year we pass through the energetic trauma field of September 11. Over time it has dissipated but it is still ever present in the morphogenic field of this date. This year it feels to be much stronger since we are already in a activated state with the Pluto /Uranus square that we have been, and will continuing to be engaged with collectively, and in our own way. The body remembers what the mind forgets. From the Systemic Perspective this is my offering for honoring this day: Remember to resource yourself in ways that best serves you, allow your ancestors to be there for you. Be aware if you are having feelings that are not your own, get grounded and give them back. Include everything, exclude nothing, and bring extra love, understanding and awareness to all your encounters to begin creating a new energetic resonance to this day. Remember you have these tools, others may not, so share lovingly.
The effects of war are always present with us. Someday we may realize the consequences that reverberate through every generation that follows. We see this consistently in the practice of Family Constellation Work. A few years ago I had the opportunity to work with clients in Japan, at the invitation of The Knowing School in Tokyo, and had a profound experience that I would like to share on this Peace Day and Anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan.
It was a expansive experience to work with issues unique to the culture of Japan. It has endured natural disasters and wars that show up time and time again in our Constellations. The great Earthquake of 1923, separation from family and country, participation in WWII, and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, all showed up in a substantial portion of the Constellations that I have performed for Japanese clients there, and in the US.
I had a knowing that I would be doing one very significant Constellation for the atomic bombing of WWII. It was the last Constellation of the last workshop with a wonderful client whose family was from Hiroshima. The client's presenting issue felt very connected to the great loss experienced by her family over two generations ago.
I felt the magnitude of the Constellation as I set it up and it began to unfold. Over the hour and half we were immersed in one of the most memorable and moving Constellations of my 13 year career. We worked in a deep silence, as one by one, participants where added to the circle as the need emerged. Representatives for the family of the client, and the lost and dead relatives and community, someone to represent (in this case) the” bomber”, someone for America, and someone for Japan, and lastly the “bomber s“ parents. Over time the huge Constellation circle was filled with all those that needed to be seen and included. Only 2 or 3 participants where left seated.
The first movement of opening came from representatives of the clients family as they, burdened with grief moved to “see” those they lost, the movement continued as the family was “seen” by the “bomber” who had to be supported by his family, and country that he had been in service to. For those representing the dead all were not at peace, each had to be acknowledged separately and allowed to make a peaceful transition. One did not come to peace. It appears to die a sudden death does not allow a serene passage for the soul. Ultimately America and Japan “saw” each other. A strong feeling of peace overcame the circle, and we felt complete. But the circle kept moving, amazingly the Constellation continued with a very slow movement of America seeing everyone and moving towards Japan. America continued its movement towards the Japanese side of the circle, finally come to a stop at the foot of the one restless dead. With that movement the dead came to final rest. Now the peace was complete as America stood with the dead facing Japan. We stood in silence occupying this rarefied space for a long while as the healing moved out into the room and beyond.
I will never forget the feeling of openness, relief and strength of my client and the Representatives for her family. I closed the circle with the assistance of my wonderful interpreter Yuriko. As a first generation American on my mother’s side, born in Germany, and my American father in the service in WWII, I was well aware of everything moving within myself as well. For the first time ever I found it difficult to speak the words of closure in releasing back to the client. We were seated and rested in the energies that where moving out from the heart of the now unified circle to my client, her family and out into the world. We took a short break to get fresh air, and eat and breathe.
Upon returning I could feel many where not complete in the group as we took our seats back in the circle. Much was moving indeed. My client was doing marvelous, and expressed her profound gratitude, and joy. Others in the circle where having deep responses to what had just transpired. As I shared a little of what we had just experienced the consensus was surprise that one could be so moved and affected by that which they had no direct experience. It is important to note, I set up every Constellation blind, meaning no one knows the issue. The only people that knew who they were representing where the Reps for the client and her parents.
One by one I brought the participants that needed assistance to me to facilitate what was moving with them. Eventually bringing in an ancestor that could help, to stand behind them and sit next to them as they returned to their seat. One woman who was not in the Constellation found she was feeling very emotional, and shared her family was from Nagasaki. She was amazed that she would have such a strong response and be affected by something that happened so long ago. After I placed in support behind her as she sat next to me, I explained to her and the group once again our connection to our families run deep and all pervading, and that the love and the trauma is passed genetically. Everyone one in the group now had a visceral experience, and healing of that fact. The woman calmed and opened with that information and support as she returned to her seat in the circle.
I reminded the group when we do this work it is not only a personal transformation but we are participating in a global healing. I closed the workshop that day moved beyond words and deeply altered. I wanted to write about the experience but only now on this anniversary date of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki do the details come back to me of that Constellation we did that moved out into the collective field to be part of a healing whose time has come.
The effects of war are always present with us. May we someday realize the consequences that reverberate through every generation that follows.
Until we have healed the wounds of the past why would we expect anything to be different?
Have you ever considered with all the disturbing news and events that populate our lives that we may be looking in the wrong direction for answers. Response and reaction runs the gamut of human emotion, which tend to distract from something essential beyond the pain. For myself I have to sit with everything that is present in the situation, and find my place in it all. I am aware I can get caught, and lose my center for a moment. It is only when I allow myself the spaciousness to include everything that I come to a level of understanding. For me that understanding is available through the Systemic Perspective. When I see today's disturbing events I see how they have their origins in yesterday's unresolved trauma.
The truth of the conflict that carries on within us did not originate with us.However it ours to address, if we expect any real change to occur. Racism, sexism, any ism is a schism, a separation, a break of communion, and only a painful out picturing of the problem that has never been looked at, and given its place to heal.
There is much talk that we are going back in time 50 years. My observation is the source goes back much further. Laws may change so that it appears we are evolving, but that doesn't mean we change along with them. Until we have healed the wounds of the past why would we expect anything to be different?
You can be as conscious and spiritual as you wish, but the truth is we are the living future of those that came before us, if anyone in our linage experienced pain, suffering, prejudice, and exclusion (and everyone has) it carries on in us until it is directly addressed.
For solution and healing we have to go to the source, and America is not big on looking back, and never has been. This country was founded on leaving, moving forward, and not looking back, now the consequences of this movement of disconnection is showing up louder, and more disturbingly every day. This is not a judgment, it is the observation that everyone here came from somewhere else except those indigenous to this land.
Just as I listen when I facilitate, when I receive news of this type, I listen, feel, and see who stands behind and "with" the person of focus, who's voice is speaking through that person, whose actions are causing the reaction. This in no way infers that we are not responsible for our actions. We are responsible to take the opportunity to heal our epigenetic inheritance that carries on within us.
Next time you feel shaken, angered, or hopeless by a tragic personal situation in the news, try this exercise from my upcoming Systemic Perspective Immersion Teleclass.
Take the time to center yourself and imagine standing in the family linage three generations behind the person at the center of the event. Who is the real person at the center, is it the victim or the perpetrator? They are both at the center. An important reminder is no one came out of the womb a perpetrator. After you have discerned who are drawn to stand with first, notice how does that ancestor feel in the body, what are sensory responses to being there, are they drawn back, if so follow that movement and look back, what is happening, how do they feel? Are they available to look to the future and see to see their grandchild? How does it feel? Then one by one, stand with everyone involved in story or life situation the same way. Stand at least three generations back. Don't leave anyone out.
If you do this with an open heart and spaciousness I assure you it will at the very least add a new dimension to your perspective if not bring about a healing to your heart and understanding. If this exercise is difficult for you, you are not alone. I can assist you in the process, and facilitate the change you seek.
This is just a peak at the healing available in a Systemic Family Constellation. After 20 years we are still patiently waiting for the US to catch on to this profound work that a great majority of the world has embraced as a powerful healing of the past, in the present, for the future.
I invite you to discover for yourself. Participate in real change, if not now, when?
It is only a few generations ago that any“abnormal” attribute could be considered grounds for a person to be institutionalized. This occurrence was not uncommon in an era when mental disorders were a shame on the family. A family member could be sent away without their consent, for almost anything, many never to be seen or spoken of again. We see in Family Constellation Work these excluded ones have an impact in our current lives.
This poignant photographic exhibition, The Willard Suitcase Project by Jon Crispin has me reflecting on a Telephone Constellation I did last week. My client had “felt shut out, and unseen” all of their life. The Constellation revealed a grandmother that had been set away for being “unusual” and, further work showed us that the grandmothers “craziness” was connected to an ancestor that was left behind when the family was forced to leave their homeland.
These facts can be sad to hear and see, but there is nothing like Systemic Constellation Work for developing deep compassion for the unseen and unheard by standing in the others shoes ..all the others. The outcome of the work is healing the clients current issue at a source that would not be found otherwise.
It may seem surprising that a person being sent to a mental institution a generation or two back could have any connection with current issues of depression, a child’s illness, or a spouse’s ability to experience intimacy.From the Systemic perspective we know from years of experience those that have been excluded will be “represented” later in the family, and show up in any manner of current issue. It is only a few generations ago that anything “abnormal” was grounds to be institutionalized. This occurrence was not uncommon in an era when mental disorders were a shame on the family, to the point that overcrowding was always an issue. A family member could be sent away without their consent, for almost anything many never to be seen or spoken of again.
Jon Crispin’s touching photographic project is getting attention as it shows in venues around the country. He writes “I never got over the idea that there were people here without their consent, largely because they were having problems that today we would be able to treat — grief, obsessiveness, Asperger’s, Depression, Epilepsy - having seizures - was grounds for lifelong commitment. Young women who were promiscuous, gays and lesbians and mothers who couldn't get over the grief of losing a child in three months or less could all be subject to commitment” His work is a gift allowing us to see, and remember these members of a society that where shut away.
Every family has something that is affecting later generations. Systemic Family Constellation Work creates the sacred space that gives everyone their proper place in the family allowing the current generation to thrive in peace and wholeness.
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Jon Crispins Willard Suitcases Project
__"All therapy is about taking our parents"..Bert Hellinger
_My relationship with my mother hasn't always been as warm and connected as it is today. Not that it was horrendous, but there was definitely something there that did not allow our hearts full access to each other, no matter how hard I tried or what type of healing work I did.
As I began my work with Family Constellations I discovered there was much standing in the way. My mothers mother died when she was a little girl of two. Later as a young women going through WWII in Germany, she experienced the loss of her dear brother, and the loss of her beloved, the father of her first child. When she married my father there was again the loss of a child before I was born.
_To know my mother you never ever would have guessed it. She was one of the happiest, cheerful women you would want to meet. I had a happy childhood. So what was wrong with me..unhappiness, depression, difficult relationships, immune diseases. I was determined and courageous in my search for solution but nothing quite addressed the issues at the level required.
Then one life saving day I was introduced to Family Constellation Work. My world expanded and my heart opened, as I began to discover that it was I that held the pain, grief and trauma for my dear mother, and it was showing up in my life in the most challenging ways.
I discovered this is quite common, we all do it to varying degrees. This holding or identifying it is done on a soul level, out of love, as we are in service to our family. These deep energetics points of separation, and paradoxically bonds of love do not go away, they are to be held by someone in the family for many generations if necessary until seen, honored, and given a place in the hearts of those it belongs to.
Today the lead or weight that I carried for my mother has been forever transformed, and turned into gold through the alchemical process of the Constellation Work. My mother now has a place in my heart that is joyful, spacious and full.
I feel blessed to facilitate Systemic Family Constellations for the past twenty years. I bow to the mystery of the soul that unfolds and reveals the love that is brought to light.