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From Little Things Big Things Grow

Sometimes we walk away from a constellation workshop completely transformed. The step we take, the connection we make, the healing sentence we repeat, the movements we do reverberate in our body and touch our soul. We know that something profound has happened and that we are changed forever with no return to our previous state.

Some other days our experience is more subtle. Nothing much seems to happen for us, we don´t notice any major change and we may think that we didn’t hit the mark.

In his book Reality, Peter Kingsley argues that in order to become more conscious, we need the willingness to “be shocked”, to “see the gap between how things are and how we assume things should be”. To see the difference between reality and our assumptions. This takes courage, which means seeing with our cor, with our heart, not with our reason. We can achieve this through stillness, not with theory or thoughts, but rather through the experience of reality.

Constellations help us to see this gap between how things are and how we would like them to be. They take away the veil and reveal little chunks of our reality that we couldn't see before. Pieces of our family’s unconscious ready to be released and integrated into our life. How much or how little of this unconscious will show up and how much or how little we will be able to integrate varies every time.

In my experience though, there are not such thing as “good or bad outcomes” in a constellation. I have seen so many different ways in which people are touched by this work, so many different flavors, textures and intensities in the experience of the participants. For issue holders, representatives, participants, facilitators, this work creates a sacred space of utter stillness in our busy lives, it is an invitation to wait, to listen, to see. If we can bear to stay present, regardless of the outcome, the constellation will show us a glimpse of what lies behind the curtain.

Then, little steps can be taken,

- honoring the serious illness of my mother

- remembering the first wife of my grandfather who was killed in an accident and left the place available for my grandmother to marry him

- hearing the acknowledgement of how hard my life was as a child

- seeing that I am carrying my older brother’s heavy destiny, just because I am his sister and I love him

- feeling held by the group in my vulnerability

- feeling seen and witnessed without judgement in my pain

- having for the first time the experience of trusting someone (the group)

- taking a first step towards my estranged father

- realising I am replacing someone for my mother (a lost child, an absent parent)

- realising I am positioned next to my daughter (taking the place of her partner)

- representing a father for the client (not being a father myself)

- representing the daughter of a divorced couple (being a divorced parent myself)

- witnessing someone else’s process which resonates with mine

- noticing that I cannot bow to my mother’s destiny

This myriad of micro-experiences, of little movements that happen in every workshop, might feel irrelevant or of not much consequence, or might even pass unnoticed to us. If, for instance, we “could not bow to our mother’s destiny”, deciding to continue to carry her pain instead, and limiting in this way our capacity to thrive, we might end up with a sense of frustration. We had an experience of what in psychotherapy is called “resistance”. A “no” to our mother’s fate. A “no” to change our attitude. A “no” to life as it is. However this can be a key moment for me, the realisation that there is something more important to me than bowing and surrendering to my mother’s fate. That my resistance is protecting something, or that something is still missing before I can take that next step. The invitation here will be saying yes to that “no” and bringing curiosity to my own process. The constellation shows us the path that we need to follow while honoring our “no” and recognizing that there is something that hasn’t been included yet.

It also happens that a healing sentence voiced in the constellation may make no sense whatsoever on the spot… only to resurface a year later in all its strength. It’s like a penny dropping. Aha!!!!! This is what it was all about! We know that this work unfolds in mysterious ways. If we stay aware we will often see how the seed that was planted in the workshop will take root and blossom later on.

A healing sentence, a disorder in the family, an insight, a resistance, a subtle opening in our heart… Constellations show us the path to humility, make us aware of our humble existence and our role in the bigger movement of evolution. They open the door to our contribution to the collective destiny and bring us in tune with the movement of life. We only need to stay awake, listen to life’s whisper and not take ourselves too seriously.

Kingsley says that “We are just like someone who has caught a strap on a door handle. The only way forward is to start by going back, is to detach ourselves from the misunderstandings about our past and about what we are.” Let’s help each other to detach ourselves from the door handle!


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