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The soul dance of Family Constellations

In Mind and Movement by Yildiz SethiLeave a Comment

Coming to a place of peace and acceptance of our roots connects us fully with our life force, leading to spiritual growth and more inner peace – but how can we accept our past?

Many of us look for connection and self-development through spiritual work, meditation, teaching, coaching, therapy or healing sessions. However, most of us are blind to the biggest spiritual tool we have at our disposal, coming to a place of peace and acceptance of our roots, regardless of how difficult this may seem. If we can do this, it connects us fully with our life force, leading to spiritual growth and more inner peace.

Cutting ourselves off from family and looking for connection in other ways, is only an escape of this fundamental reality. From a personal development perspective, looking within and unconditionally accepting ourselves and where we come from is a vital part of our life purpose and the foundation of huge potential growth.

Why we often run away

From adolescents onwards the task of separation becomes such a strong motivation that it is almost every young person’s duty to rebel in some way. There is a strong need to stand alone or apart from the family. We want to find our own way in the world. As an adult, in trying to individuate and form our own values and lifestyle, we often continue to seek escape from our family. We can feel that to get too close could easily result in being sucked into the dysfunction of old patterns of behaviour forever. On one level, this is understandable. We often don’t know how to cope with family complexity, craziness, harshness or dysfunction.

Families should be loving and supportive

It is interesting that many of us have an expectation that parenting and family life should be fully functional and perfectly supportive. So what is going on that most of us do not experience our families in this way? Has nature or God, if you believe in him or her, made a mistake? In fact the same belief system operates regarding our life on earth generally. Many of us believe that it should be a utopia of peace, love and abundance. Which is generally a long way from our physical reality. Look at the mess that our planet is in and the games being played out by the governments of the world in globalisation and the impending catastrophes of global warming, fuel shortages, over population and famine.

So it seems that humanity has belief systems that do not seem to be in tune with reality in respect of family and global life. This can be a great source of distress and misery in itself.

We don’t know

Truth is we don’t know the bigger picture. Perhaps we are born into these situations to help us grow our wings to help us find our own way and to become ingenious and to find new perspectives. All we can do is the best we can with what we know and what we have, just as our parents and ancestors before us have done.

At a base level the family we are born into is our entry into the world; so if we have any spiritual beliefs at all, we must accept that there is a reason for this connection. What I have discovered for myself and from countless others, including many spiritual masters, is that coming to an acceptance of ourselves includes coming to a place of gratitude to our physical parents too. Put simply, without them we would not be here.

Family Constellations

The development of Family Constellations, with its shamanic style healing rituals, is the spiritual alternative or complement to therapy that allows you to observe your personal soul energy within the greater family soul energy. You can gain a glimpse of what this is telling you. This experience is often quite different from ‘the story’ that most of us have in our heads about how we came to be the way we are.

This process often offers you a different perspective. And also a way of connecting more healthily to your roots, so that you can receive your full life force from your ancestors. This is a highly respectful process for all concerned, and often powerful and profound. Being more connected enables you to live more in the present, make the most of your life and your relationships.

What is a Family Constellation?

Usually in a workshop situation you set up the people of your issue, using representatives from the workshop. These people are placed in different positions from each other in the room, according to what ‘feels right’. (The real people involved are generally not present.) Normally the facilitator and the people in the workshop will know very little about you, just a few facts.

From this point onwards, you will usually observe the process. The representatives start to ‘pick up’ the energy of the real people involved. A ‘knowing’ field is formed in the room, which has tapped into your family system. From here on, the facilitator guides the process. They identify and release emotions, finding the ‘orders of love’ that give strength and healing to you and the system. This is an intuitive and psychotherapeutic process that heals on all levels. Intellectually, emotionally and spiritually you can heal, if you allow it in.

Examples of family constellations

Difficult parent/child relationships

This is the family constellation of a woman who was unable to have a good relationship with her daughter. The facilitator asked a few factual questions about the family history and then set up the constellation with representatives. The woman also had a difficult relationship with her own mother. Representatives of the woman, her daughter and her mother were set up. The feelings and physical positioning of the representatives were noted.

The woman is loving but can’t make contact with her daughter, who is angry with her. The woman is then turned to face her own mother. It is clear that she doesn’t respect or accept her mother. Some time is spent here in allowing things to be put back into their rightful place. This continues until the woman and her mother are in contact and feeling comfortable. Now the woman is turned to face her daughter. The daughter has become interested in coming to a resolution with her now. The family constellation finishes with the family system feeling relaxed and comfortable.

If you have a difficult relationship with your parents, it may be difficult for you to have a good relationship with your own children.

When a relationship breaks down

This is a family constellation of a divorced woman who was experiencing difficulties in her subsequent intimate relationship. A constellation was set up with representatives of the woman, her ex-husband and her current partner.

The woman’s ex-husband is feeling very sad and hurt. She can’t look at him and says that she feels anger towards him. In seeking a resolution, it’s discovered that the woman is finding it hard to accept responsibility for her part in what went wrong between them. Once an appropriate resolution is found and accepted, the couple is able to let each other go. This frees the woman to focus on her present relationship.

A relationship that has broken down needs to be resolved completely, before you successfully go into the next one. Many of us know this intellectually, but it is often difficult to do this fully for ourselves.

An unresolved parent/child relationship

This is a family constellation of a man who had a difficult and unresolved relationship with his mother. His mother died when the man was 17 leaving him feeling bitter and angry.

A constellation of the man and his mother is set up. The man’s mother reports feeling ‘cut off’ and unable to focus on her son. The son reports feeling sad. Gradually the mother turns from the son. She feels pulled from behind.

The man’s mother is turned around to look at her father. She experiences great emotion here, first anger, then sadness and then abandonment. Her own father had died when she was a child. She had very much missed her father. Once the situation is acknowledged and the mother is reunited with her father, she is able to turn around with her own father behind her to give her strength. From here she can make a strong connection with her son. The constellation is over when the mother is honoured and respected by her son, and she is able to wish her son a fulfilling life. And the son is feeling connected to his mother.

The man may now be able to take part in a good, loving relationship with a woman as he now has his mother in his heart.

About the author

Yildiz Sethi

Yildiz Sethi is a Family Constellations practitioner, counsellor, hypnotherapist, NLP practitioner, educator and Vedic astrologer who has always had a fascination for understanding karmic cycles and is now using Family Constellations to resolve the negative patterns that bind us. She works in both Brisbane and Sydney.

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