The group was a mixture of newcomers and those familiar with Constellation work. We were given a brief overview of the process by the facilitator, introduced ourselves (briefly, revealing very little) and drew lots to see who would be having their “intention statement” (see below) explored. There were nine of us in total, so given we had to have breaks etc., only four constellations could be run. I was disappointed my name wasn’t drawn but as it turned out my “issues” emerged during the day. What a surprise and I know without asking others felt the same.
For those unfamiliar with this kind of soul-searching let me reassure you. The facilitator through her skill, presence and determination ensured one of the safest environments I have ever worked in. At my stage in life protecting my vulnerability is not something that concerns me unduly. Releasing something that has concerned me for decades has a greater priority. Feeling vulnerable? No matter what your previous experience you will be able to express it without fear.
I’m not going into the minutia of the Identity Constellation process. Go on a workshop. And “safety” also means confidentiality so no names will be given, nor will what they shared. The easiest way of doing this is to illustrate it through my unused intention statement. The real experience of the other four people who were taken through it may be imagined, but with difficulty as it was so intense, as I create a fictitious vehicle for my own resolution.
“Put my adoption to bed.” The statement must be captured in six words or less.
Then I would write each word separately on five labels. I would then intuitively ask each person who I felt could help me most with the chosen word. For example (all names are made up), I could ask Chris if he would accept the label “put”. It didn’t feel right for him, he could decline. And that’s okay. I would then go around the room doing the same for the other four words, not necessarily in the same order as in my statement. The group then pauses, the explorer/client stands with the facilitator and we await what unfolds. This is called resonance. It is where those with the labels experience some (potentially very strong) emotions. Some of the group members sit in silence, some get up and move around, and some adopt rather dramatic poses and postures (foetal position, angry, dominant, passive and so on). Let me say here that one word from the least visible person in the group is sufficient to make as big a difference as the dramatic performance of another. Although this could be described in some ways as role-play, it isn’t. The “brief” is one word. No-one tells or instructs you what to do. You find yourself magically resonating with the “part” of the person that word represents. It happens automatically, sometimes in seconds. Truly incredible. And this is from someone, myself, who has been involved with hundreds of training courses including role-plays, dramatic episodes and high emotion. There is no script, no advice, no direction from anyone. Only two rules. If you feel potentially violent or experience any kind of sexual feelings, naturally you do not express them. You go into “witness” mode, describing them, rather than feeling them.
For everything else the whole process works through the expression of feelings. The facilitator and seasoned participants will through their own example and occasional statement encourage and nudge everyone to get out of their heads, to stop thinking and to feel. Even if you are like me, a recovering academic with an overdeveloped left brain, logical, thinking persona give yourself permission to feel. By doing so the group dynamics and the group norms will make it impossible for you to stand back and mentally or verbally run a commentary. Powerful stuff.
And before you get the impression the whole thing sounds and feels like complete chaos I can assure you it is the opposite. It is a structured, deeply insightful and intuitive, massively liberating and unique experience. You might be party to high emotions, but in my experience on the 19th no one “lost the plot”.
It unfolds. The client/explorer goes where their feelings take them, or the facilitator may suggest someone and they interact. The other participants interact as they “resonate.” Loosely coordinated (divinely inspired) partially scripted chaos…
The two most significant experiences for me, in terms of my personal changes, were when I was given the words “understand” in one constellation and “rage” in another. I just knew I would get these. The rage was fascinating. I felt it of course but have held it under control all my life. It has been released very, very rarely. On those occasions it was destructive. All I can say is being confronted by one of the other participants who had “I” as her label generated a huge insight for me even though the Constellation was about someone else. To experience massive, barely controlled rage in one moment and then for it to transform into “bemused” during the hour was stunning. There is a beauty about this process. As a participant being left to your own devices, underpinned by the unspoken goal of helping the person move to their “healthy self” is incredibly satisfying.
However sometimes after the Constellation, the person may still be in a state of confusion, may still be processing the event (is always processing the event) and feel a degree of frustration. The trust element is that we trust ourselves to move towards resolution. We may need another Constellation, we may need to work with a therapist. No-one emerges unable to cope.
How important is it to become spontaneous, aware and authentic? Isn’t this something you would seek in others? So why not you?
As a subscriber to a guided (guidance from spirit-spirit guides and “departed” loved ones, our “soul contract”, and letting in thoughts from trusted sources, not least our higher self) life, to spend a day with “my” people using this amazing process was always on the cards. I hadn’t been ready for it. I was then and am now. And I can see ways in which it might be enhanced. Bert Hellinger, the late (September 2019) godfather of this work, was into experimentation and the spirit of inquiry. He will do for me.
Jack Stewart, Monday, 21 October 2019.
P.S. Put “authentic” into Ecosia’s search engine and click on images. 90% of what you will see are shoes. The world isn’t problematic?