How I work
- Systemic Constellations
- A Course in Miracles
- Way of Council
- Somatic Presencing
- Connect with Nature
Taught to me by Judith Hemming, herself a student of Bert Hellinger. The original application of systemic constellations was mostly concerned with issues arising within families, themselves systems wherein people are, in the main, connected by birth or marriage. Applied like this it acknowledges that our issues are echoes of what remains alive in our family that has not yet found peace. The application of systemic constellations has widened enormously in the last five years and is now applied within much larger systems such as education, business, law, community and environmental action groups. It is also increasingly applied to inner systems which relate to an individual’s physical, psychological and spiritual well being.
What happens in a Being Whole constellation?
Every constellation is different. People, their inner systems and the systems to which they belong are unique. The timing of a constellation also profoundly affects how it unfolds. Quite simply a constellation is like life, constantly evolving and unique in every expression. However, here is an outline for a basic structure for a constellation with two or more people.
The focus is brought by one person in the group. They are guided by the facilitator to request that people from the group represent different aspects of their system. Once the representatives are chosen and standing at the edge of the working space, the focus person may place them in the space according to their own intuition or the representatives may be invited to find their place themselves. The representatives then allow the field to guide their movements, i.e. they move intuitively, slowly, and are present to their subtle internal responses that change with the movement. The focus person may recognise their movements as consistent with their experience of the aspects they are representing.
The facilitator encourages the focus person to remain present with an open heart to the constellation as it unfolds. We refrain from too much talk and analysis of the movements in preference for an attitude of allowance .
What is the purpose of doing a constellation?
By observing the movements, the focus person brings consciousness to that which was unconscious. The attitude of allowance or non judgement is the necessary condition for relief to be felt within the system. This is because we are welcoming home any part of the system which had been excluded. Exclusion of any part for any reason creates a strain within the whole system. In order for any system to function harmoniously, all of its parts must feel that they belong.
The constellation demonstrates that the system is moving towards harmony through the movement of the representatives. Often, but not necessarily, to a picture of resolution where relief is palpable and reconnection is immediate. At this point the focus person may be guided to step into the constellation and replace the person who has been representing her/him so that she/he may get a visceral sense of the healing that has happened.
What will I get out of being a representative?
As a representative, after the constellation, you may wish to reflect as to why you were asked to represent a certain aspect of a system. Many representatives find that there is a resonance between their personal story and that of the constellation. This often inspires them towards adjusting their attitude towards their own issues.
In addition, because being a representative calls us to tune inwards to read the energetic field, it sharpens our awareness of our own inner compass. We can carry this heightened somatic awareness into our lives and use it to guide our own movements in our daily lives.
Being a representative helps balance a human tendency to go outward and out of ourselves in our efforts to figure out the best course of action. The constellation teaches a representative that their body is signalling our direction to us constantly through its feelings; we have but to listen.
How do constellations work?
The best answers in scientific terms can be found in the study of morphic resonance. Rupert Sheldrake offers some helpful handles. There are many theories. My take is that a constellation is an exquisite demonstration of our oneness. I am in awe of the gift that systemic constellations present to our evolving understanding of who we are and profoundly grateful to be sharing it.
I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.
Ho’Oponopono is an ancient and much respected Hawaiian process of clearing and forgiveness. It reaches far back into the past but was recently made more widely known by the extraordinary work of Dr Ihakealaha Hew Len.
You can read about his story in the book ‘Zero Limits’ which he co-authored with Dr Joe Vitale. In short, Dr Hew Len was employed as a psychologist in the secure unit of Hawaii State Hospital between 1984 and 1987. The unit held male prisoner patients convicted of heinous crimes who were also diagnosed with various mental illnesses. After only a few months of Hew Len taking the post the ward started to transform from a dangerous place where restraints, seclusion, violence and sedation were normal practice to one where patients were baking biscuits, playing tennis and walking around freely. In the three years he worked there he healed 28 of the 30 men and without ever seeing one of them. In his words:
“I didn’t cure them, I healed myself.”
He did so by each day attending to the details of the inmates’ stories. He allowed that the tragedy and dis-ease of the inmates were also his own. He dissolved the separation between himself and them and took 100% responsibility for their situation. He understood that we can only influence problems in the external world if we heal the corresponding inner resonance. Hew Len was able to effect healing within these men because he accepted that they were expressions of himself. Then from this place of feeling no separation between his inner and outer realities he said the four sentences;
I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you.
Of course this makes no sense when we see the world from a dualistic perspective, where everything is separate and unrelated. However, taking full responsibility for every aspect of our lives including our perception of others’ lives is understanding that our world, inside and out, is of our making, our creation, and thus completely within the realms of our healing.
Ho’Oponopono lines up with the discoveries of quantum physicists. They see that not a single subatomic particle can exist without being connected to another particle and that those particles change when observed. Not only that, they change according to how they are observed. Masaru Emoto’s water experiments demonstrate that water responds differently to the vibration of music and words that are harmonious and music and words that are disharmonious.
Ho’Oponopono is the act of bringing harmony into how we see. Like this, the sub atomic particles of our world respond in kind. Ho’Oponopono is a process that cleans the lens through which we experience the subatomic particles that make up our inner and outer worlds. When we make a Ho’oponopono we are Love observing itself. The result can only be more Love. What you put in you get out.
Ho’Oponopono often features in Rememberings. It is pivotal in the movement participants make towards experiencing wholeness. Within a constellation I will often invite the focus person to make a Ho’Oponopono; to speak these sentences to an aspect represented in the constellation. In nearly every case as soon as this is done the whole system softens and there is a movement towards resolution.
It was whilst meditating that I found the inspiration to bring Ho’Oponopono into systemic constellations. It is a profound practice and one that I hope participants of my workshops will share with their friends and family and integrate into their lives.
A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is a complete spiritual thought system. Through self-guided study, it teaches that the way to universal love and peace—or remembering God—is by undoing guilt through forgiving others. ACIM focuses on the healing of relationships. It highlights that however and whatever we give, so we receive; whatever we think about or do to another ultimately affects only our self. Consequently even though the language of the Course is that of traditional Christianity, it expresses a non-sectarian, non-denominational spirituality. A Course in Miracles is a universal spiritual teaching, not a religion.
Many people find the language of ACIM language off putting. God is referred to as Him and women as well as men are Sons of God. Over years of study the feminist in me has increasingly made peace with the language because the overall effect of its content on my perception of myself and my relationships was so liberating. Two books written by Brent Haskell have also been profoundly useful in making the essence of ACIM come alive in me. They are ‘Journey Beyond Words’ and ‘The Other Voice’.
The teaching of ACIM is now in my cells, it informs how I facilitate workshops and individuals.
The Way of Council is ancient communication technology. It puts listening and speaking from the heart at the centre of a sharing circle. It calls us to speak spontaneously and to be lean of expression. It lives within indigenous communities the world over. More than a practice, it is a way of being. It allows and includes all voices equally. It assumes that each individual gathered has a piece of wisdom for the whole.
The pace is slow, the speakers are essential in their expression, often revealing the lilt of their soul. Sometimes their hearts sing through movement, other times in song. A talking piece is often passed. If there is dialogue, it is between the one and the all, not between individuals. There is a clear beginning and clear end. Towards the end, when all is heard, there is time for silence. The question or need which drew the circle into council will either have been answered or transformed into a deeper, more subtle question.
The first time I experienced council was at a Rainbow Gathering in Brazil. It lasted seven days. People came and went but the talking piece kept circling in the direction of the sun. I experienced that our stories wove a red thread that spiralled slowly upward around the inside of the tipi. On the seventh day it reached the opening and Council was complete.
The second time was with Gigi Coyle, a wilderness facilitator and elder of the Ojai Foundation in California. I learnt The Way of Council through her stories, her sparkling simplicity and quietly spoken wisdom. She told us that in 40 years of facilitating council she had only interrupted two speakers. I learnt a lot from her trust in the intelligence of the whole.
Council is at the beginning of all the gatherings I hold. Council is ceremony. It says ‘we do this together’.
Means presence in the body.
Animals do not suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. If a buck is chased down by a lion and manages to wriggle from his grip to freedom, he processes his near death experience by simply shaking it off. And it is important for his parasympathetic nervous system that he does shake. But then he goes back to grazing, as if nothing had happened. Wild animals do not doubt their instincts nor do they conceptualise their lives. Humans do both in order to survive in a stressed environment. Over time we shut down certain parts of our being; mentally, physically, emotionally.
Somatic presencing is the act of bringing awareness into the details of the sensations within the body. In the beginning our awareness can be blunt and we perceive only the more obvious gross sensations. Over time awareness becomes more subtle, more curious, more sensitive.
We can allow our imagination and our awareness to lead us into a more intimate relationship with the subtle dimensions of our interior anatomy. Like this we get close to the heart of matter.
All of the Rememberings landing page will invite you to a deeper presence in your body.