This week I have been getting the message loud and clear to go out past the edges of my comfort zone. On Saturday I had the opportunity to share the magic of Family Constellations at Unity of Houston in Texas. In addition to setting up traditional constellations, I felt strongly guided to create an exercise around Hurricane Harvey. In the five years I have been doing this work I have seen over and over again that when an event of this magnitude happens emotions can get stuck. Those emotions need to be expressed. No matter what the cause of the trauma, there usually isn’t time to process the emotions surrounding it. We feel we have to toughen up and keep going in order to get through it. Family Constellations provides a safe space to finally express those emotions whether they’ve been trapped for forty days or forty years.
Many Houstonians whose homes were ravaged by the flood waters are experiencing frustration and depression as they wait for the resources to clean up and make repairs. Most of us felt helpless as we watched the events unfold on our television screens wishing there was something we could do. Some living in Houston who did not get flooded were carrying a form of “survivor’s guilt.” Why did this happen to them and not to me? What I know for sure is that everyone in that city and beyond was affected by Harvey whether flood waters reached them or not. I wanted to be sensitive to where each participant was in the healing process while creating an experience that would be meaningful and beneficial to all. In the days prior to the event I took the question of how to accomplish this into my meditation and prayer time. Spirit gave me some ideas, but I wasn’t clear how all the pieces would fit together.
On the day of the workshop I thought about skipping the exercise because I wasn’t exactly sure how to set it up. However the urge to offer an opportunity for healing was too great to stay in my comfort zone. As I do before every constellation, I asked Spirit to guide me step by step on what to do. Once I got out of the way, the exercise kind of created itself. I instructed participants to form two circles as a sort of living mandala in the center of the room. The inner circle was composed of those that experienced the flood waters in their homes or neighborhood. I asked these people to stand in the center facing outward. The larger outer circle was made up of the participants that the flood waters did not reach. I invited these people to stand facing inward looking at the inner circle. Then I had them speak to each other with sentences I provided. “I was scared. I didn’t think the water would ever stop. I felt helpless. I didn’t know what to do.” I also gave them time to say anything else that was in their heart about that event. Once the emotions from both circles had been expressed, I invited them to close the gap between them and physically connect by placing their hands on each other’s shoulders or arms. The participants reported immediately feeling relieved to no longer be separate. Next I asked them to say aloud together, “What happens to one of us happens to all of us.” I wanted them to feel the truth of this statement while they remained physically connected.
While this was happening there were four participants I purposely left outside the mandala to be the observers. These were people who either evacuated or did not live in Houston at the time of the storm. Now it was time to assign each of them a role without them knowing who they were. I wrote down what they would represent on small pieces of paper, folded the papers up, and handed one to each of them. Once they had their roles I asked them to find their place in the mandala. At first they attached on the outside, and then I invited them to make their way into the center. I asked each participant to somehow connect to one of these four new unknown elements so that everyone was touching at least one of them. All reported feeling better with these four there intuitively knowing they were there to help. These feelings of relief and comfort increased as each of the four revealed who they were by reading what I had written on their paper: God’s Love, Human Kindness, Infinite Resources, and Compassion.
The positive feedback I received after that exercise from the participants made me so grateful to have listened to Spirit and stepped outside my comfort zone. As if I needed confirmation, the message that Rev. Michael Gott shared at Unity of Houston the next day was titled, “At the End of the Comfort Zone.” Message received!
Could you use some assistance getting out past the edges of your comfort zone? You don’t have to do it alone. I would be honored to assist you with one of my four, six, or eight week Life Coaching programs, or with a private Family Constellations session. We can work together in person, by phone, or via Skype. Please look around my website for more information about all of these opportunities.
Until next time, take a few steps out past the edges of your comfort zone. That’s where the miracles happen!