How to Release Inherited Emotional Patterns with Genealogy

Genealogy has long played an important role in the lives of people around the world. We understand where we came from and how we belong, and that gives us a sense of lineage, community, and place. We understand why we look the way we do and have certain physiological predispositions for physical health and disease because of our physical DNA. But all of this tells us nothing about our emotional patterns.

There has always been a suspicion that our ancestral past has a lot more to tell us about our emotional well-being and how we act in our daily lives than we know. Yet until the present moment, there haven’t been any good reasons to believe those feelings were anything but suspicions.

However, I have made a breakthrough discovery that allows you to gain personal insights and unlock your hidden potential by linking your genealogy and genetic information to your emotional-behavioral patterns. We now have a breakthrough in genealogy. We now have a way to understand unwanted behaviors at a deep level—mental states and negative emotional patterns that influence why we succeed and fail in various areas of our lives—by using our genealogical information.

Effector patterns

Not only do you inherit your physical DNA, you also inherit patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions that were generated by decisions made by your ancestors about events that occurred in their lives. Each decision generated thoughts, feelings, and actions that resulted in outcomes that in turn affected subsequent generations—patterns I refer to as your Emotional DNA.

All it takes is for one family member to experience a significant event in their daily life—say a fire that destroyed the family home and all personal possessions— for negative patterns or positive behaviors to emerge out of that event. These emotional reactions create a cascading effect. The decisions and assumptions that were made by your ancestors and the conclusions that were drawn as a result of a traumatic event are often responsible for creating systemic patterns that operate in our family systems.

Let’s take the given situation of a house fire for example. Negative emotional patterns arising from that event can take on multiple appearances. One ancestor might develop a flight response to any sort of open flame. Two generations later you wonder why nobody in your family enjoys outdoor cooking, camping and bonfires. Another negative expressive response could be the development of a belief that “Nothing lasts” or “You can’t count on anything being there when you need it.”

Perhaps an irresponsible mental pattern of “carpe diem”—live for the day—begins to flow through the psyches of many family members.  Instead of relating to people, situations and personal possessions in a healthy way, they blow through money, houses, jobs, and relationships, letting things and people slip through their fingers. After all, “It might all be gone tomorrow.” Why try to hold on?

Positive behaviors and positive emotional patterns resulting from the same event might be the development of resilience and the ability to bounce back from anything.

Neural pathways

Our reactions to events generate neural pathways that can either limit or liberate members of our family system. The science of epigenetics shows that if emotional experiences affect us deeply enough, they can affect subsequent family members for generations. Knowing your genealogical history can thus unlock a world of insights and possibilities for the individual. It gives you a way to understand your sometimes inexplicable negative emotions, emotional responses, and even your physiological responses to life experiences. It also explains why you are drawn to certain partners, careers, experiences, cultures, and so many other aspects of your life.

For example, have you ever wondered why you need two of everything or have an obsessive need to not waste? You can likely thank your great-grandparents and the Great Depression for that one. And what about your painful emotions based in stressful situations with money? Who in your family lineage made a bold financial move and lost it all? And now you sit in fear of taking risks of any kind and struggle with the inability to see opportunity when it arrives on your doorstep.

When we feel ourselves overwhelmed by emotional-behavioral patterns it is not uncommon to find a prior family member who has experienced something similar. In other words, we are now out of the present moment and repeating the emotional experiences of someone else’s life. How wild is that! And yet I see it all the time. Studies show that we are more frequently repeating history than we are present and living our own lives.

Autonomic nervous system

In systemic work and constellations, we recognize that living our own lives begins when we are fully present, laying down the burdens that don’t belong to us, yet respecting our genealogy. Instead of going into fear-based thoughts and a state of inherited overwhelm when we get triggered, we begin to realize that there are good reasons for the emotional patterns in our lives.

The good news is that there are now increasing ways to explore unwanted behaviors in a healthy way. Rather than being embarrassed or ashamed of painful emotions, jealous reactions, or failure, it’s important to realize that often all these things are not all on you. You may well be tapping into the nervous system and emotional patterns of your family.

When you realize this—the response/emotional reaction that was once a solution to a problem that has now become a problem for you, can be set down or transformed. The next humongous evolution is that once you understand that your experiences may not be your experiences, you are able to rewire your brain. Which means you will actually able to finally have an original thought and an original experience. In fact, you may just be able to find out who you are for the first time as an individual and what you are capable of achieving.

Questions to ask to release inherited emotional patterns

  • Where did your negative emotions come from?
  • Which ones cause you the most pain and perhaps even cause physiological responses?
  • Does another family member exhibit similar negative patterns?
  • When you focus on these patterns and negative emotions what (and who?) has no room to grow in your daily life?
  • What would you like to love?
  • How would you like to be?

The last two questions often take people by surprise and bring them into the present moment. They have to think about their current emotional state and then choose what they might like to experience instead. By doing this I am linking them to their genealogy in order to identify where the flow of joy and success may have stopped and how they might restore it.

The next step is: Think about your own genealogy. What objective experiences (events) have your ancestors experienced that have created subjective experiences and decisions for you? Let me give you an example: Let’s say you have an inexplicable fear of traveling. Anything outside of your local environment causes you distress. There’s a part of you that would love to see the world but for you that brings up terror which makes no sense for you. 

Asking “What would you like to love? And how would you like to be?” triggers the answers: “I would love to see new and even strange places. I would like to feel free to explore!”

The genealogy chart of the person above reveals that their great-grandparents on their mother’s side were forced out of their home in Russia in a pogrom. They were beaten and almost died. They traveled to three different countries before they found a place to settle, each worse than the last. They had no friends for a long time and formed a very tight, safe, family unit.

Immediately you can see where the fear comes from. You can see how back in the day, safety was important. But now it has outgrown its usefulness. Body and mind yearn for more freedom. The past event is past. It has lived in the bodies and minds of three generations and now it is time for something else.     


1) Write down a pattern that lives in you that runs in your genealogy—a pattern/habit that you would like to change.

2) Looking at that pattern ask yourself:

  • What triggered this genealogical pattern in me?
  • Who else in my family was or is like this?
  • What is the common factor?
  • How do I feel connected to them? Does this pattern give me a sense of belonging/comfort/shared unhappiness?
  • What was/is the payoff for staying that way?
  • What would happen if I chose something different?

3) Now ask:

  • When I am this way what do I not have space for in my heart?
  • What is the antidote for this?

4) Take two pieces of paper. On one write: Family + family pattern. On the other write: The antidote. Place both pieces of paper far apart on the floor.

  • Face your family + family pattern and tell them how you feel. (In the above example the feel was safety + limitations + )
  • Really feel your emotional reactions. Really feel the pull of your pattern and its basic emotions.
  • Thank it for coming to you to change it and ask for its support.
  • Turn around so you can feel it at your back and feel that support
  • Face the antidote and name it. (In the above example the antidote was )
  • See how close you can move to that piece of paper as you name it and see if you can say a full “yes” to it.

You want to make sure that you feel what you are saying. This is very important. Emotions drive motion and keep you engaged. You are now consciously wiring new neural pathways into your thinking brain and that plays an important role in establishing positive changes and changing that genealogical pattern. You are also changing basic emotions.

The more you embrace the new direction with new thoughts that feel good and cause positive changes the more affect yourself and others in a healthy way.  Positive thoughts create positive behaviors. Essentially you are creating new emotional DNA and that is very good news. You are becoming the change agent you were born to be.  

A final thing to remember as you disentangle from a genealogical pattern is this: The pattern came to you to inspire growth and emotional intelligence. It is not a burden. It is a gift and always part of your purpose.  

 I look forward to showing you how to release your fear DNA and unleash your fullest potential. For more information about my 2024 events click here.