Who Are You When You Embrace Gratitude?

It may sound strange to think that Gratitude affects your life directly but I want you think about this for a minute: 

There are two important things to know about systemic work and constellations:

  1. The decisions you make about events in your system become language and actions that run your life, and 
  2. We are affected by multi-generational patterns that we follow quite unconsciously. They create mindsets that can empower or limit us and we inherit them just like we inherit our physical DNA. 

Decisions You Are Making

Taking that into consideration, you might ask yourself what decisions you are making about events in your life right now?

When you keep telling yourself how stressed, tired or unhappy you are, this becomes your truth, You and your children repeat it. 

However, when you begin to introduce gratitude into your personal and professional life, your life changes.

Through this lens you can begin to see how much and how often you are blessed, do things right, are capable and are creating a life that responds to the way you shape it. You can teach yourself what’s possible simply by being conscious of what you already do! 

Gratitude focuses on what’s working, what you are creating and receiving and when that becomes your focus, your language, actions, and mindsets have no option but to change. So do the ways you describe your personal and professional self.

Instead of being stressed, sad, lonely, struggling, you begin talking about yourself as lucky, blessed and engaged. 

That becomes the new truth in your systems. Yes. I hear you say but I’ve had THIS happen to me.

And my question is:  What did you make that mean in your world?

You are given remarkable gifts, sometimes the wrapping isn’t too pleasant but look at it through the lens of gratitude and ask: “What’s possible here” and you will find the remarkable life you are looking for. It’s right there waiting for you to speak or action it into reality.

The Constellations Piece

Now the constellations piece – dimensionalizing what I’ve just said. In other words, being able to see, feel, touch and even taste gratitude. Here’s an exercise that will help you to begin gaining a sense of what I mean. ( We call that transforming yourself)

The Life-Changing Event

I want you to write down one of the worst things that has ever happened to you. (Not one that will freak you out just one you can look at.) 

  • Write it out on a piece of paper and place that paper on the floor. That is your life-changing event. 
  • Walk around it,  stand on it or near it or notice how you may back away or move closer.   That is all information.
  • Write down each limiting thing you say about this event on a different piece of paper and lay them down to the right of that piece of paper with the event written on it.
  • Feel how that feels in your body and notice your thoughts.
  • Be aware of how these thoughts and feelings affect your life. 
The Gift

Now. Please notice what skillsets, coping mechanisms, talents, careers, you have developed as a result of this event.

For example, you might say it’s made me too afraid to speak out- yes – and have you become really good at seeing things that others don’t, or only speaking when you can bring wisdom? You might say I am hardly alive- yes- and did you thank yourself for surviving? Are you grateful for the gift of life?

  • Write down each gift, skillset, coping mechanism you have developed onto a different piece of paper. Lay those down to the left of the piece of paper with the event on it.
  • Notice your thoughts, feelings, sensations in your body. 
The Full Picture

Take a step back and look at the full picture. 

  • Walk towards the limiting side and see how true this feels for you.
  • Go back and then walk towards the gifts, skillsets possibilities etc. and notice how that feels for you.
  • Notice what limiting language or actions on those pieces of paper, you are ready to put down. See if you can acknowledge them and turn the piece of paper over.
  • Now notice from the papers on the left, what you are ready to embrace, start, make a reality in your world and acknowledge them.
Gratitude

Write down the word gratitude on a piece of paper and take that in your hands. 

  • Notice if anything changes for you.
  • Notice if anything else wants to stop or be embraced. 

You might want to take a picture of your layout to remind yourself who you are when think you are limited and who you are when you embrace gratitude.

You are quite likely two very different people and how you emerge is your choice to make.

____________________

We think we are living our own lives but all too often we are simply re-living a history until we become aware of the strengths and limitations that we have inherited as a way to belong or not belong in our families. We feel these patterns in our bodies and repeat them in our thoughts and feelings. They are also incredible unlockers of our limitations and our purpose in life and their effects and potentials are profound. Decoding them and using them wisely we are able to unlock our own profound wisdom and potential. 

We all have this ability; we just have to learn to use it. Once we begin to work with our patterns we are amazed to discover just how big we are. We were born to do the profound, the uncommon and the incredible. We are literally able to change our patterns and our lives. 

What is the chapter that only you can write? How big are you willing to be? 

Come and Find out at the Emotional DNA Workshop

Case Study: Beaten and Broken

what is systemic coaching?

Patterns that keep us stuck often begin in prior generations with decisions made about events that then become law in our universe.

People have to flee, and subsequent generations struggle to find a place to belong. Someone is told they’re a terrible communicator by a senior and that becomes the truth for them. What we don’t always realize is that patterns don’t just use repeating words and actions they also incorporate things as clues to what’s happened in the system as you will see in the following case. 

Initial Meeting:

The older heavy-set woman who made her way into the room leaned heavily on a cane and lowered herself carefully onto a chair her eyes downcast, her shoulders pulled up. When she introduced herself, participants had to lean forward to hear her. She was there to learn and listen she said quietly but didn’t volunteer much more than that until she sat in the chair to do a constellation. 

Once upon a not so long time ago, she had been a successful law enforcement agent until she was beaten by one her own with a stick and injured badly, hence the cane. Since then life had been difficult. She’d been poisoned by a partner and become severely ill and depressed. She wondered if she had ‘risen above her raising’ and was now paying the price. Perhaps she’d deserved the beatings and injuries. She felt ashamed and just wanted to make peace with it all and find a place to belong. 

 

There were several striking aspects of her language but there was an element that would prove surprisingly important. 

I asked if anyone else in her family had suffered something similar and her eyes widened with shock. Her grandmother came from a very poor background but was very pretty and had had an affair with a prominent businessman in the town and gotten pregnant. Great-grandmother took her to the town square and beat her up with a rod telling her: “That’s what you get when you rise above your raising. You’ve brought terrible shame upon this family.” It left grandmother crippled, broken and excommunicated from the family. The child that was born was my client’s mother who always felt guilty that she’d caused her mother so much pain and would ‘beat herself up’ for being such a burden. 

Looking at the pattern together, we could see how the shame, the beating, the fear of getting too big, had traveled through the generations as a way to bring attention to her excluded grandmother. This client was repeating history like most of us do, rather than living her own life.

Now she had a real chance to write the chapter that only she could write and change the pattern in the family. We worked together to understand how the stick could move from a punisher to strength. We also looked at how she could include her grandmother and great-grandmother and how she belonged in the family. First as a fellow sufferer and now as a change agent. She left in a better frame of mind. 

Six Months Later:

Six months later at a subsequent workshop, a slim young woman bounced into the room with a smile and bid everyone a happy hello. No one knew who she was until she introduced herself and several people gasped in shock. The stick was gone, the extra weight was gone and the person in the room looked nothing like the woman who had shuffled into the room on a cane. 

She said she had felt the weight of the shame and betrayal leave her during the constellation. Her thoughts and feelings about herself had shifted and she’d shed the burden and with it the pounds. There was a lightness about her. She shared that she had begun a foundation to help some of the many wounded warriors in the country and she held up a stick to show us that she now carried the baton for others who needed to heal. What had been an instrument for inflicting pain, was now a symbol of hope.

____________________

We think we are living our own lives but all too often we are simply re-living a history until we become aware of the strengths and limitations that we have inherited as a way to belong or not belong in our families. We feel these patterns in our bodies and repeat them in our thoughts and feelings. They are also incredible unlockers of our limitations and our purpose in life and their effects and potentials are profound. Decoding them and using them wisely we are able to unlock our own profound wisdom and potential. 

We all have this ability; we just have to learn to use it. Once we begin to work with our patterns we are amazed to discover just how big we are. We were born to do the profound, the uncommon and the incredible. We are literally able to change our patterns and our lives. 

What is the chapter that only you can write? How big are you willing to be? 

Come and Find out at the Emotional DNA Workshop

It’s All About You, It’s NOT All About You, It’s All About You!

When you come to a systemic work and constellations class, you may have heard that this is a highly interactive approach and you may have heard that it creates remarkable shifts. You know more is possible in your life and you want it and you’ve heard that this may be a way for you to finally get that life you want. If you actually experience a constellation then you bring an issue you want to deal with or a limitation you want to get past. In other words, it’s all about you…or perhaps…

In systemic work and constellations, many of the places where you get stuck or hit brick walls seem inexplicable. You are doing what you know how to do and yet you still hit those limits or self-sabotage right at the point of success, or just can’t seem to flourish.

And that’s where it may not be about you. You may be unconsciously, let me repeat that… unconsciously entangled with a limitation or pattern from a predecessor. Imagine that! You might have inherited a pattern that has outlived its use and when patterns do that, they become a problem.

What was once a solution for a predecessor is now a problem for you!

When someone tells you, you are just like your mother, father, uncle, you want to pay attention because someone is pointing you to the source of your stuck-ness. Now. That doesn’t mean that you have someone to blame. It simply means you have insight into what may have you stuck and yes – originally it may not have been about you. Science now shows that trauma can pass from generation to generation. Neuroscience shows you that until you start thinking and feeling differently you may be simply repeating history.

And here’s the breakthrough.

Systems look for inclusion and carry significant clues to your success and failure. In other words, everyone has a place and when someone is displaced or excluded, the pattern that caused that displacement or exclusion finds a way to emerge again through a later generation in order to show what wants to come into a state of balance. In other words, what hasn’t been resolved in one generation can seek resolution in a later one through you and that’s where you come in.

Where you feel stuck, limited, frustrated, that’s the pattern asking to be seen, so that something different is possible. And that…is where you come in. You see, your frustration or deep desire is simply your subconscious trying to get your attention and what can happen next is goosebump worthy!

Once you see and feel what has you stuck or isn’t working, you can choose something different.  If you choose that change then not only does your life change, the entire system changes and your purpose has the space to emerge! This is the chapter that only you can write, and it is profound. When people invest in their purpose and growth, the remarkable can and does happen.

At the Advanced course in Disney, where we explored purpose and clarity, it became quite evident that purpose is an antidote for all the limitations and excuses we use to keep ourselves stuck when we don’t know what to look for. Purpose will propel you past all the limitations, roadblocks, frustrations, un-worthiness and doubt. If you choose it.

And this is again where it is indeed all about you! Once you invest in the new pattern that’s trying to emerge through you, you begin to experience your bigger self – your true self to be exact. The welcome home carpet rolls out and you are finally doing the thing you were born to do.

Of course, at the same time, you are changing your own life, the rest of the system is evolving. The minute one part of a system shifts that system is no longer the same and so, of course, it’s not all about you …and yet it truly is, and the beat goes on.

Now the constellations piece. Tuning into your purpose.

So many of you ask me how to find your purpose and there’s a long answer to that but here’s a short way to begin getting in tune with it.

Please bear in mind that purpose is a life-long commitment, but it all begins with one choice and one step. It’s yours to take now.

One of my favorite places is stuck. Stuck lets you know right away that you have outgrown your box and you have a few options. Try staying small, give up and shrink to fit or grow! And contrary to popular thought, growing can be a lot of fun. Your Purpose lives there.

  • Find a place where you are stuck. Name it and write it down on a piece of paper. Place it on the floor
  • Write down all the ways you are stuck, each on its own piece of paper and place them in relation to the place you are stuck
  • Now allow yourself to think, feel and sense all that this stops you from doing.
  • Was anyone in your family system ever stuck in this way?
  • Step away from that and ask yourself: “What do I really not want?”
  • Write that down and place it on the floor too.
  • Feel that
  • Now write down how or where you want to be and find a place to place that
  • Stand near that and again allow yourself to become aware of your feeling’s thoughts and senses.
  • Can you feel the difference?

How big are you willing to be?

Our first workshop of the year is doing the work of Emotional DNA.  Find out more here: Emotional DNA Workshop

Live Call: Rewiring Your Emotional DNA, Changing Your Life

Just as you inherit your physical DNA, your emotional makeup is also handed down from generation to generation. This Emotional DNA is a blueprint for the family system that we and our ancestors have created, a unique set of patterns and outcomes based on past events and decisions we made about them.

Emotional DNA is inherited–and it’s yours to change.

I can help you rewire your Emotional DNA and change your future through systemic constellations. Systemic work and constellations are used by Fortune 500 companies and top executives to explore complex issues, facilitating deep insights and breakthroughs.

Listen to the Live Call here (start at 17:00)

Forget the Imposter Syndrome. You Have Pioneer DNA.

Working with leaders across diverse business sectors, I often hear this: I’m afraid people will find out I’m a fraud or imposter–and the game will be over. This little voice inside is common, and imposter syndrome is a constant, nagging fear.

Prepping for a workshop recently, I pored over my notes to see what drove those feelings, and an insight emerged. When viewed through the systemic lens, people with imposter syndrome are actually in the process of breaking limiting cycles–and stepping beyond the rules of the system can feel disconcerting. With good reason.

Order, belonging, and the balance of give and receive.

If we look at the three components inherent in all systems, we might notice a few commonalities among leaders with imposter syndrome:

With order: A leader may have had to step up at an early age and take a position that didn’t really belong to them. For example, filling in for a missing parent, stepping into shoes that felt too big.

In belonging: Leaders might feel lonely–or like an outsider entirely–until they learn to inspire supportive growth and create great teams.

Balance of give and receive has it own set of dynamics which determine the kind of leaders we will or can become, and whether we will be burdened, demanding or balanced leaders. With respect to imposter syndrome, many leaders feel like they may be overpaid and will either work tirelessly to justify it or feel guilty or even fail in order to restore what they perceive as balance.

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Turns out, people like this aren’t suffering from imposter syndrome at all.

In order for a system to grow, its members must extend the systemic boundaries, breaking limiting cycles and boundaries. These leaders may feel like imposters, or be viewed as mavericks and renegades. Truth is, there’s another more accurate descriptor for them.

They are pioneers. And they have the courage to do what others have not, to look at the world differently, and to take the steps to find the answers that are needed. Good leaders have to be more so that their teams can do more. It’s a crucial step for growth.

So, the next time you feel like an imposter, remember it’s the pioneer effect. You’re willing to be bigger–and the world gets to benefit.

Re-coding your Emotional DNA

Why is my family system so important to me?

We all belong to a family system–from before birth to after death. It’s our primary pattern-maker. We succeed or fail in collusion with, or reaction to, what has happened to those before us and the ways they think, act, feel, succeed or fail and even die. Following patterns is often our way of belonging to the system. It is deeply unconscious, yet faithfully and blindly repeated. And until we understand what lives in our family systems and the purpose it serves, we’re reacting to events in our lives through old and outdated patterns rather than creating our own lives.

How is Emotional DNA created?

Events create decisions. We support these decisions through unique language and actions with ourselves and others. What we tell and teach ourselves creates the way generations now react in similar situations. And that’s how systemic patterns are created. For example, an event might lead to you say, “I will never speak my mind again–it’s too dangerous.” This can become a pattern of withdrawal and a repeated behavior of not sharing thoughts or feelings.

In the very same way, positive patterns also emerge from events in our past and our ancestors’ lives, for example showing up as: “In our family we all become successful doctors.” We’re continually creating imprints that become blueprints for the way our systems act and react. Once we realize what lives in our systems, we also realize that we can break free of limiting cycles and make different choices.

How can I use Emotional DNA to achieve success, fulfillment and happiness?

Healthy Emotional DNA is created through first understanding and acknowledging the past exactly the way it is without wishing for it to be different. We need to know who and what belongs–all of it, its correct order or place, and the correct balance of give and receive. Once we achieve those three components of Emotional DNA then we can learn to make mindful choices going forward.

Physicians and mental health professionals have known for a while that our minds can influence our physical health, but we’re beginning to discover that our minds can also change a fate into a destiny. Once you learn to see patterns and understand what they mean to your system, you can begin to choose what you wish to repeat, grow and do differently in your life. You’ll find that even one simple word or small repetitive action can be an important part of unlocking and rewiring this system.

When you put these concepts into action, you begin to lay down different neural pathways. New insights and perspectives lead to new emotions and thoughts, which in turn lead to new language, choices and actions resulting in new outcomes. Research shows, that you may even be able to activate or deactivate the physical genes that you carry. So instead of being a helpless passenger, you can drive your future–and change your Emotional DNA for generations to come.

Emotional DNA: What is it and why does it matter to you?

Emotional DNA is the way we act, react, succeed or fail in response to events, some of which may have occurred in prior generations and their legacy is the way we repeat and react without understanding why. Let’s start with the last part of that question. Understanding your Emotional DNA is important to you because it shows you what lives in your system and what you can do to change it or enhance it. Your system is a treasure chest, filled with clues to what happened, how it was handled and what you need to do to change that… Only when you can see and fully accept what lives there – all of it and accept that it lives there, exactly the way that it does without wishing for it to change, can you do anything with it or about it. It’s your own clay to mould! 

The key is that you can change what lives in your system. It’s yours to change and it often shows up in your life as an opportunity to create a new and different outcome. New insights and perspectives lead to new emotions and new thoughts which in turn lead to new language, new choices and new actions that result in new outcomes. You are no longer stuck in the old ways. Instead you are able to mindfully and consciously change those patterns and create a different future.

So, what is Emotional DNA? –

Emotional DNA is the blueprint for the system we and our ancestors have created. This blueprint is a set of patterns and outcomes based on past events and decisions. As our lives unfold, we repeat versions of these patterns that may have been created generations ago—many times in response to an ancestor feeling excluded or shutting down in a situation. Following patterns is often our way of belonging in the system. It is deeply unconscious, yet faithfully and blindly repeated. Until we understand what lives in our systems and what purpose it serves, we are reacting to our lives through old and outdated patterns rather than creating our lives. We are frequently more in reaction than creation until we understand what lives in our systems and what purpose it serves. Until then, we keep repeating versions of patterns that may have been created generations ago in response to something that resulted in an exclusion and a shut down. It is often our way of belonging in the system. It is deeply unconscious, yet faithfully and blindly repeated.

How is Emotional DNA created? When a significant event occurs we make immediate decisions. We tell ourselves things about what has happened. We might say I will never…or I will always… this creates the ‘way’ we now react to situations like these – that is a systemic pattern. The language is highly specific and we call it systemic language e.g. ‘second sons are cursed’, ‘men disappear in this family’ This creates a pattern or the way things are in this system until we choose to do things differently. When we do this mindfully, we break limiting cycles and the language, actions, thoughts and feelings all change to align with the new way of thinking and being

Events create decisions., We support these decisions through action and communication with ourselves and others. And that’s how patterns emerge. that result in language and actions to support these decisions and these become patterns we follow – e.g. For example, “I will never speak my mind again – it’s too dangerous” can become a pattern of withdrawal and a repeated behavior of not sharing thoughts or feelings. On the other hand, positive patterns can emerge from events in our past and our ancestors’ lives. In this case, you may see a pattern  like, “In our family we all become successful doctors”. Simply put events and decisions about them create imprints that become blueprints for way systems act and react Emotional DNA is a collection of patterns that have resulted from our ancestors’ and our own decisions.

How can I use Emotional DNA  to achieve success, fulfillment and happiness? 

Once you learn to see patterns and understand what they mean to your system you can begin to choose what you wish to repeat, grow and do differently in your life. You’ll find that even one simple word or small repetitive action can be an important part of unlocking and rewiring this system.

When you put these concepts into action, you begin to lay down different neural pathways. So you’re changing the way you think. You  may even be able to activate or deactivate the physical genes that you carry. We’ve known for a while that our minds can influence our physical health. But we’re beginning to discover that our minds can also change a fate into a destiny. So instead of being a helpless passenger, you can be the driver when it comes to your future. It’s been long known that our minds influence our bodies and now we begin to see that our minds can also change a fate to a destiny.

Healthy Emotional DNA is created mindfully through understanding, acceptance, and acknowledgment of the past. In order for that to happen, we need to know what truly happened belongs in the past, its correct order, and the balance of give and receive along with learning what. Then we can learn to make mindful choices going forward. For the first time, we can consciously create a future that fulfills us and sets us and our children up to make choices that say “yes I can,” rather than “I am stuck.”