Periodically I offer retreats, an opportunity to create a parenthesis, a safe haven to cocoon, in order to create clarity of intent and direction without the “busyness” rewarded by our culture that can feed distraction. Sometimes we work in the area of family lineage. I’ll share with you the introductory paragraphs of the process sheet I give participants as one approach in this area.
There exists a collective unconscious—a field of information—in your family line; what is passed down in underlying knowledge and expression through generations.
History/Herstory. Her story. His story. Your story.
Now is an opportunity to bring to consciousness what was unconscious. Witness. Inquire. Reflect. To choose what is yours—your own heartbeat and what of your lineage aligns to it.
Marking out space on the floor as a timeline, you have those who came before you—your ancestors—and those who came from you—your descendants. We all leave our fingerprints on others in ways wider than we might imagine, even if we have no biological offspring. Stepping back to witness interwoven connections over time can give a whole new meaning to your own personal choices in the present and what you can and do affect.
I have people work as partners, trading off once complete. The partner acts as a witness to the explorer’s process, also to document significant aspects and prompt questions. In this way, the discovery and its effect have depth.
First, they just observe from a point beside their lineage timeline. Then I invite them to walk beside the timeline and note their own responses and, when their body is drawn, to step onto the timeline and into the body/subtle energy field of that ancestor. I encourage them to do so even when it doesn’t make logical sense; an ancestor generations back isn’t even known to them. After “becoming” the ancestor these are some of the questions answered: What intelligence is communicated through posture, sensation or energy? What is the patterning? Is there a gift?
Usually the draw has to do with a vibratory resonance. Something within them has found a match in some way. The origins of a talent may be suddenly explained through this sort of inquiry. Or maybe the discovery of a detrimental pattern, having skipped a generation or two, but active in the present through the past, is now apparent. What are the stories that have been passed down through the family field of invisible information?
These new awarenesses are but seeds. From this place, answers to follow-on questions can emerge, and means of getting there can present themselves.
What are the gifts you’ve been blessed with that you wish to pass on?
What are any dreams that you’ve taken on that aren’t yours to live?
What are any wounds to be healed that are not yours to be borne?
As the reader, you might wonder how anything could come from this exercise. Here’s what I’ve found to be true through many years of guiding such inquiry and undertaking it myself. There’s something in play—during the parenthesis of a retreat—when we take off the overcoat of our everyday selves. Then an inner intelligence has a chance to take the lead, delve into areas usually not given notice and integrate the results into day-to-day thoughts and actions.
This particular line of inquiry is produced from the person’s own energy body, their resident field—not through analysis by the mind. In fact, if the everyday mind takes the lead in this process, the explorer will likely be hindered or stalled. Although, insight will be channeled to the mind through energy intelligence.
Whether it turns into conscious awareness or not isn’t really important from my standpoint. For those who are used to intellectual investigation, this pathway can be especially frustrating because they may not know what created the shift. But in the end, is that really important? Or is it more meaningful that life—after such a level of work – naturally evolves to include clarity and joy?
Note: This process was inspired from NLP and the ground-breaking work of Virginia Satir and Bert Hellinger in family systems. Then it was further produced from inquiry into my own lineage and ongoing exploration into the ways of energy. If you’d like to know more about retreats go here or get in touch.