At your family holiday table, have you ever felt like an owl at a dive bar?
A client recently told us about a family holiday where she, her husband, teenage child, and widowed mother, gathered with extended family at her divorced sister’s tiny New York City apartment. Squeezed-in over a beef rib roast, tofu casserole and countless bottles of wine, family members took turns playing nice, cracking jokes, throwing daggers, and spreading resentment and bitterness around the table.
Between screeds about Trump and the perils of climate change, her sister complained that their parents had not given enough financial support. This triggered their right-wing brother to argue with her, while their mother repeatedly broke in shaming her daughter for the divorce and its impact on the whole family. A niece confessed to suffering from an eating disorder, a remark that everyone ignored. Eventually, the alcohol took hold, with some withdrawing into silent shells while others boisterously acted out in unapologetic expression. Eventually, the evening grinded to its insincere and inebriated end.
Our client said she felt like an owl at a dive bar, the one perched above the fray, seeing beyond the bad behavior and recognizing deeper patterns of unexpressed grief, guilt, and shame. She understood from the inner work she had been doing with Dan and Emily that the seeds of the evening’s dysfunction were sown long ago by past generations’ wounds leaving tracings that persist in the bodies of children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. For this family, we represented in the field and made contact with a great grandfather and his sister whose score against each other remained unsettled. That which was insurmountable or unspeakable, what could not be expressed or resolved in our ancestors’ lifetime, transmits genetically, and expresses itself through pain, martyrdom, and illness in descendants.
We know this experience exactly, as we have sat at countless family holidays, wide-eyed as a perched owl, present to the landscape beneath the surface that rises up when tradition and ritual take place. Both of Emily’s grandmothers loved a beautiful holiday table and adorned the surface with candles, flowers, and the finest linens, gold trimmed plates, silver utensils, and inherited family crystal. The settings were always magnificent, but like many families, the exchanges were often dismissive of the children and tense among the adults. This year, upon arriving to her family home, she took in the beauty of her parent’s table with all of the accoutrements passed down from earlier generations; but was particularly surprised to find her Mom had scattered Turkey feathers among others across the surface.
Emily keeps a Systemic Family Constellation Altar where she actively collaborates with her ancestors, soul council, and elemental forces to free any binds that may be holding her or her family from the power of love, flow, connection, and rhythmic presence. This year, just before the holiday, she added Turkey feathers to her home altar and invited the Spirit of Turkey, her ancestors, and the ancient mystics, shamans, and healers in her lineage to dinner. Her Mom’s feathers felt like an acknowledgement from beyond that the invitation had been accepted and that the multidimensional collaboration was fulfilled. Although almost every Blefeld holiday erupts in laughter and joy, among bursts of tears, we are grateful that this year love overcame difference and the whole family was present for the first time in a decade. The power of systemic healing is undeniable.
Join us on December 11, 2023, from 12-2pm Eastern, for a Free Workshop on Looking Systemically at Family Holiday Gatherings! Learn tools to source love, healing, and connection among those gathered both in the flesh and beyond.
At Seeing with Your Heart, our Family Constellations (individual, group, or even object/altar constellations) are a reliable method to identify and unravel the knots of these family generational traumas. Applying our tools of tuning-in, representation, and healing sentences between the living and the dead, we release the entanglement from our lives and body and free the ancestors to bestow their blessings (in the case of our client, the great grandfather and his sister). While we are not Taoists, we recognized a correspondence between our process and a principle of traditional Taoist Alchemy which says, when one person frees themselves from an inherited entangled fate, “seven generations of ancestors will ascend to the Heavens.”
To those readers who are dreading this year’s holiday gathering or yearning for a lost connection with an estranged sibling or child, please know that it is possible to transmute any conflict and alienation.
In this special event, you will receive‚
- Tools to stay steady, not grasp too hard for pleasure, and avoid getting overheated or left raw by relatives’ words or behaviors
- An interactive experience to release the tension of family entanglements from your body and repair the broken threads in our hearts
- A Systemic Constellation to demonstrate how the surface turbulence that runs deep in every family can be brought into rhythm and flow and navigated with love and compassion
We invite you to consider our upcoming Seeing with Your Heart Alchemical Constellations Training and Facilitator Certification. We designed it for individuals ready to untie the tangled threads of past generational sorrows, free themselves to live into the possibilities of spontaneous creation, and expand their lives, healing practice, and work with Constellations.
One of our aims is for all of our students to arrive at next year’s holiday season feeling lighter, more loving, and connected with the roots they grow from (even if this feels close to impossible considering current circumstances). Beyond helping you to release the weight of being entangled in your family system, our deeper goal is to train you to share this ability with your loved ones, friends, clients, and customers.
Creativity brings a rapture, an ecstasy and jubilation to our lives. It allows us to communicate with our playful spirit, wild essence, and source self. Like being in love, creative living spreads through our entire being. We recognize it; we seek it, and when we give space for it to awaken within, our soul is invigorated.
We invite you and your inspired ideas to enroll in the Creativity to Spark Your Soul and Source Your Movement Two Day Virtual Workshop on January 21-22, 2023!
Facilitated by Emily Blefeld, LICSW & Michelle Bias, MA
What You Can Expect:
- Constellations to spark your soul and source your movement
- Creativity prompts to awaken flow and inspire depth
- In-circle time to arrive, fully show up in collaboration with the Mystery, and create
- Community to share in heart and art and overcome barriers to soulful expression
- Recordings of the retreat for review
If you are interested in working privately with Dan and/or Emily, we welcome you to CLICK HERE to learn more about our services. Together we will identify the inherited patterns present and the pathways to create space for the possibility of the future calling you forward.