A DIY Constellation
In my previous blog this month, I explained a little bit about Systemic Work & Constellations, and how facilitators use the 3D mapping process known as a “constellation” to dimensionalize issues and reveal formerly unknown/invisible patterns, relationships, images, ideas, conclusions and reactions we carry about events, issues and family members. These unconscious patterns all too often end up running our lives until we identify them, see their gifts and then use those gifts to grow in a new and remarkable direction.
Below is a framework, that will enable you to create a basic constellation on your own, map out a personal issue and come to a new understanding and transformation.
1) Name your issue. Pick your own issue. For the purpose of an example, let’s say you want to understand why you can’t seem to break into a six-figure income bracket, no matter how hard you try. (And you’re trying hard!)
- List all your current thoughts, feelings, and actions around this issue.
2) Create a constellation around your issue. For the sample issue above you would write down the name of each person in your family on individual pieces of paper—Dad, Mom, yourself, siblings, grandparents (if they’re close) and any other close members of the family. Also write the word “money” on its own piece of paper.
- Take your pieces of paper and lay them out on the floor in a spatial relationship to one another as it feels right for you. Notice where money lands and notice who it’s close to and distant from.
- Walk through your constellation. Being able to see and walk around an issue gives you a multi-sensory experience that may trigger previously unconscious connections/insights about money into surfacing.
- If you don’t have room to do this in a way that enables you to actually move between the pieces of paper, then set up your constellation on a tabletop.
3) Examine your constellation. Notice spatial distances and relationships. Let’s say you ended up placing mom and dad surprisingly far apart. Or maybe another sibling or an aunt or uncle or grandparent stands between them. You might not have even been conscious of the interference or distance until you see the spatial separation you unconsciously created. Suddenly you see what’s been previously invisible to you.
Let’s take the example of mom and dad being placed far apart in your constellation. Why are they distanced from each other? Why have you placed your father closer to his father than your mother? “Well,” you say, “Mom was always on about wanting dad to make more money. And he never did. And that drove them apart.”
Why didn’t dad want to make more money? Look where he’s “standing.” Look where you placed him, next to that piece of paper on the floor representing his father. Maybe your dad didn’t make more money because his dad only made so much money and he didn’t want to outshine the father he admired. Unconsciously his way of being close to his dad may have been by emulating him and thus belonging.
Notice where the paper for money is situated. Is it closer to your mother/father/some other relative? Did they do well with money? Was there a money event in the family that sparked a whole slew of thoughts feelings and actions which in turn created mindsets? For example, a major stock loss? Losing the family home? Etc.
AHA! Suddenly your own issue about money comes clear. Maybe you struggle to break into the six-figure category because you, too, are unconsciously trying to belong by emulating your father just as he did his father.
The magic that happens with a constellation is that you get the opportunity to consciously explore a family issue that your father, mother, or other family members may not have investigated.
4) Identify the new pattern that wants to start. The nature of all systems is to evolve and grow. The reason you’re unhappy and dissatisfied with your economic situation in life is because the family pattern of smallness is no longer working for you or anybody else. In this case, YOU are the family member that’s going to evolve the family system around the issue of money. You’re now going to identify and claim the new pattern that only you can start by first creating a statement that sums up the old money pattern in the family and stops the pattern from repeating. For example, “I see how all of us have struggled with money and it’s time for this to stop. I will think, feel and act differently around money.”
Now you look towards a new, healthier pattern. You might create something like the statement: “I am the one growing wealth in the family.” Growing wealth is the new pattern you’re setting in motion. This is your driving statement and the fuel that will keep you learning about money and handling it differently for a different outcome. But just sitting there repeating your new affirming money statement won’t get you there. Now you must take action.
5) What might change if your issue were to be resolved? Ask yourself: “How will I look and feel different and how will my life look and feel different by adopting this new pattern of wealth acquisition?” Perhaps your answer is “I would feel safer.” Or “I could take my family on vacations and we could have more fun.”
6) Make sure the new pattern gets you excited. Getting excited about your new pattern and your new goal ensures that you will invest in it by taking action. Your new goal must have a stronger pull for you than where you are now. For example, “I’m going to make a little more money than Dad” is hardly an exciting goal to get behind!
7) Determine one new thought, feeling, or action that will get the ball rolling in the direction of your goal. For example, “I’m opening a bank account specifically for vacations.” Or “I’m signing up for that real estate broker’s course so I can get my license and start my own business.”
Congratulations! You’ve conducted your first constellation. These steps may seem simple, but their effects are profound and elevating. I cannot overstate the power of constellation work. If you make doing this process a habit when you find yourself running into an issue or block, you will soon see things begin to shift.
Join me at a live event where we use this approach with human representatives. It yields remarkable insights and breakthroughs!