"Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands." ~ Linda Hogan 

How to prepare for a Constellation

There is no honour in suffering on behalf of others, it simply begets more suffering.~"Shavasti"

 Background and Using Constellations

As a society, we have lost touch with our ancestors and our ancestral lineage. What stories do you remember hearing about your great-great-grandfather or grandmother? We don't seem to have the storytelling coming through our family lines. Most people can only recall some details back to their great-grandmother or great-grandfather. Usually, these are very early childhood memories or stories told about them.

​Many older cultures always involve their ancestors deeply in their lives in ways that may seem foreign to us.

​Some ways Constellations help us:

  • ​Bring into consciousness what is subconscious and make visible what is not seen;
  • ​Avoid repeating old patterns and shift away from the old story;
  • ​Make confusing situations clear;
  • ​Find solutions to complex situations;
  • ​Develop new perspectives;
  • ​Clarify goals;
  • ​Connect with where we belong;
  • ​Access the bigger picture;
  • ​Comprehend that the issues are symptoms asking to be seen and acknowledged;
  • ​To feel the movement/s of the Soul;
  • ​Lean into the field (the greater Soul);
  • ​See the significance of order and being in the right order;
  • ​Accept what was and free ourselves from judgment opening up to compassion and comprehension;
  • ​Be at peace with your parents;
  • ​Access the invisible field of information.

Constellations are definitely the tool you need in your toolbox!

Family Constellation vs Organisational Constellation

Family Constellations (FC) are where participants seek insight into a symptom within the family of origin. It may be something like illnesses that repeat generationally, or it may be a symptom such as mental illness or failed businesses that may have a link back through the generations. We often get caught in our small view of our own immediate family which may consist of our children, us and then our parents and maybe our grandparents. If we think about it we are the result of thousands that have gone before us, yet we limit our view to the generations just mentioned. What we are experiencing may go far beyond our grandparents. This is where the amazing work of FC comes in. This process can uncover what a system is carrying and explore what the next step toward healing might be.

Organisational Constellations (OC) are when we view the organisation as a system and look at the symptom/s of the system. This is often where linear thinkers are, and the concept of constellations, which is not linear, can at first appear to be woo-woo and not be given the respectful place it deserves. If you think about it, what are organisations made up of? People, right? Each and every person in that organisation comes from their own family system and merges with the organisation, which creates another system. There will be reasons why each individual has been drawn to the organisation and the part they play within it. The gold in OC is that you can gain incredible insights into what is not seen. So instead of symptom management, we get to explore symptom reason and, from there, seek to resolve what needs to be resolved. The more open to this process the organisation is, the more the organisation will be able to receive. Just as an aside, how many times have you heard people speaking about their work family? Or, how many times has there been someone in your workplace who brings the same reactions as your own family members?

​The main difference between Family Constellations and Organisational Constellations is that we refer individual work to a different setting when working with organisations. We are respectful that people are not over-exposed emotionally or by sharing information that may cause shame post the constellation. As a facilitator, I take great care to keep the constellation at a level that supports all attending. If there is something in an individual's system that may need more work, then it is suggested that they make time to explore that privately.

​This information is offered as a suggestion and is not a pre-requisite for you attending a constellation. It may support you to receive the most out of the day. During a Family Constellation day, it may happen that not everyone does their own personal constellation, and I ask that you trust the process of what work needs to come, comes. I never know what the work will be until it happens on the day. What I usually notice and hear is that by participating in someone's constellation or witnessing someone's work as a group member, the answer to your own work may be found. We are all connected, and often, one person's work is another's work as well. Sometimes the participants say that every piece of work that was done throughout the day was relevant for them.

​Being a representative does not involve acting in any way, and it's also not role-playing. It's standing in a particular person's position or as a symptom and experiencing the representation of whatever it is you are representing. You simply voice the sensations, feelings and impulses that spontaneously arise in you. This is very experiential and makes more sense once you have been in this position. Your mind will automatically want to turn this experience into a logical and comprehensible situation and may say things like, "I'm just making this up" or "This is crazy, and I feel stupid." The experience of saying something that has an impact on someone in the constellation or on the seeker of the constellation is undeniable. This is a very normal reaction to something that is a new experience that doesn't have any validation for you yet.

"Some think they are seeking their own Soul's truth but the greater Soul is thinking
and seeking through them." ~ Bert Hellinger

What to expect from a Family Constellation

Everyone's experience will be different. Here are my tips that have come from my own experience and from the feedback I've received from many participants over the years.

​For Organisational Constellations, read through this information, and where it refers to family issues, just bring to mind what the organisation is seeking. Not all of it will be relevant, but things like the organisation's lineage and founder are important. There is an opportunity for us to have a free consultation that will help us define what can be done for the organisation's system.

Field Theory

I mention the field when discussing Constellation work, and I want to give a little information about it.

Field theory has been described as 'the theory of everything.' The assumption that an individual is limited to an independent, inherent existence is part of a linear and mechanistic perspective and is true only within a limited frame of reference.

​Field theory expands our view of experience, behaviours and problems to comprehend them in terms of context. There are multiple layers to this context, which can also be described as nested systems. The further out we go, the greater perspective we have, but the harder to apply it to the specifics at hand. At the base, everything is interconnected.

​This provides what has been referred to as a holistic orientation and draws on traditions such as Gestalt Psychology, Jan Smut's evolutionary ideas, and especially the work of Kurt Lewin.

(Reference: Gestalt Therapy International)

Before

You may experience disturbances in your field prior to the constellation. For example, if you don't usually have disturbed sleep, you may find that you begin to experience this. Or you may find that the issue that pulled you toward constellation work intensifies prior to attending. The main thing to remember here is to be gentle with yourself and your environment and simply bear witness to what is unfolding.

​I have found that there is a dance in the energy surrounding a constellation, which I have always found very beautiful and nourishing. It has helped me feel my ancestors around me in a supportive way.

​Do your best to be well-rested before the constellation. It is helpful to wear comfortable clothing and stay well-hydrated.

​Prepare yourself in mind, body and spirit. This is done through awareness of what's happening in your mind. Be the observer of your thoughts. It may be helpful to write down what's happening in your mind leading up to the constellation. To support your body, make an extra effort to nourish it well prior to the constellation work. To prepare spiritually means to bring more awarness to your spiritual connection. This doesn't mean the dogma of religion unless that is something that supports you. It can mean that you spend a bit more time connecting to nature or your animals. Whatever for you deepens your connection to why you are here on the planet.

It is helpful to create your intention for the constellation:

If you are part of the Healing Humanity Through Truth ® Research Project, you won't be doing your personal constellation work. We will be looking at the transgenerational collective cultural trauma that remains unresolved and continues to play out in our society to this day. So an intention for this work may be something like, 'May I be of service to what is needed to be unearthed today for the greater good of humanity.'

If you are part of an Organisational Constellation, you will not be doing your own personal constellations; you will be representing whatever is needed to explore the symptom agreed on prior to the work beginning. An intention for an organisational constellation may be something like - 'May I allow myself to be open to what the system wants to show me."

If you are planning on attending a constellation where you may have the opportunity to do your own family system work, then an intention may be something like - 'I want to see what this (issue) does for my family system.'

Tips for preparing for your own Constellation:

Reflect on what you are seeking from the work and have an idea of what you want to see so it is a clear, simple sentence, as mentioned above. The clearer you are, the more clarity will show up in the work. It is worth spending some time contemplating the prior to attending. It's also fine to come along and not know what you are there for. The work may show up throughout the day. Trust the pull to come.

It is useful to know the basic facts about your family (don't worry if you don't). Consider who had special fates, for example, dying young, chronic illnesses, who is excluded from the family, major traumas and think about who belongs to your family system such as:

  • ​Your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and generations beyond these'
  • ​Your brothers and sisters;
  • ​Aunts and Uncles;
  • ​Your children;
  • ​Children who died young, including stillbirths, miscarriages and abortions;
  • ​Significant others such as former partners of parents or grandparents as well as all those who misfortune or death brought the family an advantage or gain;
  • ​Victim of violence and murder in the family or by any members of the family.

You do not need to know or think of all this informations. This is offered to you for contemplation. Take some time before the workshop to sit quietly and allow whatever needs to come drop in and come along with an open heart and mind.

"The essential dilemma of my life is between my deep desire to belong and my
suspicion of belonging." ~ Thumpa Lahiri

During

As the constellation begins, you may start to feel body sensations that just appear out of nowhere. It may be something like a swirling in the belly or discomfort in the head. This is normal, and it is how the constellation talks to us. You are already feeling the pull into the work.

​You may or may not feel drawn into a constellation. The facilitator may invite you to represent something that is needed in the constellation. You do have a choice if you participate or not. Most people know that it is they who need to represent whatever element is needed. The thing to remember here is that there is a greater force moving within us that has roots in thousands of ancestors who have gone before us.

​This story comes to mind of a lady who came to a constellation not really knowing what to expect, and she had a pen and notebook. She was expecting the typical training scenario where she would listen and take notes. When we were in a circle and everyone was adding their voice to the group, she said something like, "I think I'm in the wrong place." I smiled on the inside because I knew she was exactly in the right place; she just didn't know it yet. I gave her the opportunity to leave, and I would fully refund her money. She decided to stay and had a beautiful constellation around her mother. This is an example of how this field works within us. Sometimes, we are very conscious of it, and other times, we aren't.

​It usually doesn't take people long to allow themselves to be fully present to the potential of this work, even if they don't comprehend it. I still am in awe of this work after over 10 years of working with it and trying to explain it in words just doesn't do the experience justice.

​When you have the privilege of being a representative within the constellation, simply embrace it and allow the sensations, thoughts, words, and actions from the field to flow through you. The facilitator checks in with each representative and supports the field to continue in a healing movement.

​You may do or say things that you wouldn't normally do. Other representatives may also have the same experience. What's important to remember here is that everyone is in representation, and it is not personal.

After

Once you have finished your representation, you need to let go of what you were representing. Scan your body, recognising that you are you. Take a walk outside on the grass and feel the earth beneath your bare feet, again feeling totally yourself. If you are having trouble releasing your representation, please see the facilitator.

​Keep well hydrated and eat if you are hungry.

​If you did a personal constellation, it is preferred that you continue to recall the last ending picture over the next couple of months. The information has gone into your Soul, so don't worry if you don't recall it all. Only remember the final picture.

​It is advised not to analyse what unfolded in the constellation, remembering this is Soul work and often doesn't make sense to our analytical brain.

​You may feel fatigued or emotional after a constellation, or you may feel a huge sense of relief and calm. Whatever the experience, it is perfect for you. You may need to make sure that you have the space when you go home to be able to rest and restore and just be present to the shifts that have occurred for you. (Maybe organise to have a takeaway that night or something prepared in advance so you can keep connected with yourself as much as possible. It's also a good idea to warn your family that when you come home you may feel like being alone and quiet. Go gently with yourself and those around you.

Allow for the effects of the constellation to continue to settle into your being over the next few days, weeks and months.

"The black sheep of the family brings new life to the family tree." ~ Jonathan Hoban

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