The Antidote to Fear and Isolation

If you’re reading this then you probably have experienced the miraculous process known as Family Constellations. For those who haven’t, Family Constellations is a powerful healing tool that reveals hidden dynamics in families and other groups using representatives to stand in for key people and elements in the system. I’ve been doing this work for almost 7 years and I’m still in awe of what happens every single time. The constellation we set up around the coronavirus while I was in Virginia last weekend was especially awe inspiring. If there was any doubt that something beyond what can be seen or defined is guiding constellation participants to move where they move and say what they say, this one absolutely put that doubt to rest.

We had a small, intimate group of 7 people on Saturday. I’m incredibly grateful that these courageous  participants were willing to explore the unprecedented situation occurring on planet earth right now. Drawing on my intuition and ideas that emerged in conversations prior to the workshop, I secretly assigned each of them a role. I wrote them down on 7 small pieces of paper, folded them up, and gave one to each person. Their only instructions were to not look at what was written on it, hold it to their heart for a moment, then stand up and find their place in the room wherever they felt guided. 

One of the participants recently had knee surgery and requested a role that did not require her to move around or stand a lot. I gave her the role of Health Care System. As I handed her the paper, I realized the significance of assigning the role to someone who was temporarily compromised after a recent experience with the very thing she was representing. The person representing Fear & Isolation stood up and immediately reported that she felt like she was “in the air” as if she were floating. Although she was not representing the coronavirus, her words could not have been more true. Fear is definitely in the air these days! 

The representative for Health & Vitality saw herself seated with her feet up next to a blazing fire in a fireplace inside a cozy cabin. She felt really good and wasn’t all that concerned with the other representatives. Once the representative for the Coronavirus stood up, Fear & Isolation immediately moved towards him and they began flowing together as a unit. They liked each other very much, and settled in a spot near the Health Care System. Remember, none of the participants knew what they were representing so it was both surprising and not surprising when these two gravitated towards each other so quickly.

As soon as the representative for Compassionate Leadership stood up she felt like she wanted to “get on top of” Fear & Isolation. She was not happy with her and kept saying she wanted to push her down. Eventually, Compassionate Leadership made her way over to the dancing duo, stood up on a chair, and hissed at them. Both the Coronavirus and Fear & Isolation were startled and quickly moved to the other side of the room. It is also interesting to note that Health Care System said she was not happy when Compassionate Leadership stood on the chair. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions there. 

Meanwhile, the representative for Humanity kept running around the house like a scared rabbit. She couldn’t stand still because nowhere felt safe. I couldn’t believe my eyes when Humanity finally stopped behind Compassionate Leadership once it stood on the chair and scared the Coronavirus and Fear & Isolation away. Humanity said she still wanted to run but reported she felt better behind the person standing on the chair.

The last piece of the puzzle came together when the representative for Oneness & Connection remained where she was sitting and reported that she felt like a turtle. She carried her shell on her back so she was at home everywhere. Like Health & Vitality, she was unaffected by the drama unfolding among the other representatives. However, as the constellation progressed, Health & Vitality said she sensed a storm coming and she wanted to fortify all the windows in her cabin. There was no sense of fear in her. She felt strong and safe but simply wanted to prepare. 

Finally, when I asked if any of the representatives wanted to move, the only one who took me up on the offer was Oneness & Connection. She placed her chair in the center of the room and sat calmly between the two opposing teams. Humanity and Compassionate Leadership were behind her and the Coronavirus and Fear & Isolation were in front of her. It felt like the perfect resolution. Oneness & Connection are indeed at the center of it all. 

One by one, I had each of the 7 representatives read what was written on their paper so we could reflect on what just occurred. Everyone was amazed when they found out who they were. The constellation clearly showed that Compassionate Leadership is needed now more than ever to calm Humanity. That’s all of us, not just our political leaders. We must all become compassionate leaders by making choices from love. We can comply with social distancing guidelines not out of fear of getting sick, but out of love for those who are most susceptible to the virus. We demonstrate compassion by only buying what we need at the grocery store so others can get what they need too. By focusing on Health & Vitality we can stay peaceful. To prepare for the storm, fortify the windows by making healthy choices that boost your immune system. When we stay grounded in the vibration of love, miracles happen!

The central role of Oneness & Connection was a powerful confirmation of what many people have been saying the past few weeks. If this virus has shown us anything, it’s how connected we are. The illusion of separation is fading. There is no “other.” This isn’t happening to other people on the other side of the globe. It’s affecting all of us. As we’ve seen during other crises, people are reaching out to help one another. Strangers are buying groceries for elderly people who are afraid to go into stores. People are buying gift certificates from their favorite local small businesses to keep them afloat while they remain closed. Countries are sending medical supplies to countries that need them. With this kind of altruism happening in so many ways on so many levels, it’s easy to see that we are hardwired for cooperation, not competition. We are all in this together. We are One Human Family. Oneness & Connection is the antidote to Fear & Isolation, even if we have to connect via technology or from six feet away!

To close the constellation, all of us spoke these words three times to the Coronavirus and to Fear & Isolation. “Thank you for showing us these truths so clearly. Thank you for teaching us these lessons. We see how connected we are. Your services are no longer needed. We surround you with grace and we release you with love.” Both representatives reported feeling peace and a lightness of being that allowed them to rise up and out of their roles. Everyone felt the energy in the room shift. Whether you believe there is significance in what happened or not, I trust this story will give you food for thought, perhaps some comfort, and inspiration to be a compassionate leader during these times of uncertainty.

Until next time, may you remember that we are always connected through love despite the appearance of Fear & Isolation.

Alone we are all lowly, but together we shine with brightness so intense that none of us alone can even think of it.

A Course in Miracles – T-13.X.14:2

New Tricks for an Old Dog

I don’t love that I’m writing about another injury in my weekly stories, but I can’t ignore them when they provide such powerful lessons. My ankle injury last summer reminded me of the value of slowing down. A few weeks ago I injured my shoulder when I lost my balance during a yoga pose. I’m grateful for my 15 years as a massage therapist so I know how to work on the trigger points myself and to seek help from other healers. In the meantime, I have lost some range of motion in my shoulder so I have to be very gentle when getting dressed. Do you always start with the same arm when slipping on a shirt or jacket? In the last few weeks, I have become painfully aware (pun intended) that I always put my right arm through the sleeve first and then rotate my left arm backward to find the second sleeve. Ouch!

After 50 years of repetition, I’m finding it very difficult to train myself to start with the other arm. While joking with my partner about this he very accurately remarked, “Pain is a great motivator for change.” We both laughed at the humor and universal truth of his statement. On the physical level, pain shooting through my left shoulder as I externally rotate my arm to find the shirt sleeve is a great reminder to start with the other arm! You’d think it would only take one time to learn that lesson, but moments later I do it again when putting on my jacket. It’s a great reminder that if we don’t stay conscious and aware we can slip right back into old ways of doing things, thus experiencing the pain all over again. 

There’s no need to despair. Although pain is indeed a great motivator for change, there is another way. Indulge me for a moment. Think back to your school days and try to remember a teacher that you couldn’t stand. One that was overly strict, unfair, or perhaps incompetent. Do you remember anything you learned in that class or do you mostly remember how much you disliked the teacher? Now think back to a teacher you adored. One that was fun, inspiring, and  creative. One who brought out the best in you. How was that experience different? Did you do well in that class? Do you remember anything you learned? Did that teacher or class have a positive impact on your life? There will be exceptions, but chances are you remember a lot more from the teacher you loved than the one you couldn’t stand. A Course in Miracles puts it this way:

There is no need to learn through pain. And gentle lessons are acquired joyously, and are remembered gladly. What gives you happiness you want to learn and not forget.

T-21.I.3:1-2

This week I encourage you to be aware of situations and circumstances that cause you pain and discomfort. You can definitely learn from them. However, I encourage you to be even more vigilant for situations and circumstances that spark joy in you. Those are the breadcrumbs that will lead you out of the forest and into a life beyond your wildest dreams!

It would be my great honor to assist you with this endeavor with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Please look around my website for more information about both or send me an email with any questions you may have. 

Until next time, remember it’s never too late to make a different choice!

What’s on Your “To BE” List?

I’m one of those people who loves a “to-do” list. I love them so much I have three of them! One for my personal life, one for my business, and one for my role as President of the Board of the Big Sky Retreat. Having three separate lists helps me keep track of what I need to do for each role without getting overwhelmed by all of it at once. But if I’m being honest, it’s more accurate to say I love crossing things off those lists than the lists themselves. It gives me a sense of satisfaction to know that I’ve accomplished something as I draw a line through the item. However, there’s always another item waiting to take its place, so am I truly satisfied? It’s not like those “to-do” lists will ever be done.

There is a section in Chapter 18 of A Course in Miracles titled, “I Need Do Nothing.” Among other things, this section emphasizes the importance of rest. “To do nothing is to rest, and make a place within you where the activity of the body ceases to demand attention.” In the next paragraph it says, “This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent.” Said another way, when we make time for stillness, we can remain peaceful and grounded even during busy times with lots of  activity.

Sadly, most of us place a much higher value on doing than being. You might have noticed when someone asks you how you’ve been if you answer “busy” they almost always say “that’s good!” But is that good? What if you’re so busy that you neglect self-care or the people that matter to you most? Sure, being busy might get lots of things crossed off of your “to-do” list, but will it bring you satisfaction?

This week I read a great article in The Holy Encounter (a free bi-monthly ACIM publication put out by the Miracle Distribution Center) called “Happy New Year… Happy Timelessness.” The author, Gerald Jampolsky, casually mentioned something he and his wife share with each other called a “to-be” list. That stopped me in my tracks. What a wonderful idea! The ego loves my “to-do” lists because they will always keep me striving to do more. But what if I focus on what I want to be rather than what I want to do? Wouldn’t I feel more content if I set the intention to be more loving, joyful, kind, compassionate, and peaceful? What things would you put on your “to-be” list? This week, I encourage you to think about what qualities of being you value most. Compile a list on your phone or somewhere you can see it every day. Set your intention to be those things everywhere you go no matter who you are with or what you are doing. I believe the results will be very satisfying.

If your doing and being feel out of balance, I would be honored to assist you with a 4, 8, or 12-week Life Coaching package. All of my sessions are based on the strong principles found in A Course in Miracles, Family Constellations, and other New Thought teachings. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information. You will also find free coaching videos on my website to help you live a more peaceful life.

Until next time, remember we call ourselves human beings, not human doings!

Now you need but to remember you need do nothing. It would be far more profitable now merely to concentrate on this than to consider what you should do.

A Course in Miracles – T-18.VII.5:5-6