Part 2 of a transcript from a Conscious Conversation with Sara Fancy, Alisha Chapin and guests at Mindfulness Meditation.
Guest 2: Can you comment on what happens after a Horse Constellation when the client experiences a heart opening as in the previous example you mentioned.
S: When that shift occurs, it’s a different way of being than where that person was at before, consequently they have a new energetic shape.and their experiences fit this new shape, the old one is no longer happening. We invite different experiences to match our new energetic shape. You see this in family constellations around siblings and parents …. if someone doesn’t like their parents for whatever reason … they left me, they did this or that to me … or they were alcoholic, drug addict, whatever. When the person realizes this is their parents no matter what happened, that this person brought them in and gave them their life. When the client or person can accept the truth of this, the truth being, these are my parents. Whether you want your parents to be your parents or not, the truth is they are. When you embody this, the relationship to the parent changes. And it’s noticeable. The type of feedback I get is ‘after the constellation I spoke with my mother and I’m no longer angry’ … or.. ‘I couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth and I didn’t tell her anything’. This is because when we experience an energetic shift our experiences change. Does this answer?
Guest 2 Yes thank you.
Alicia: Would you mind leading us through a meditation?
S: Sure. This is a wonderful meditation which was introduced to it by my teacher, Francesca Mason Boring. It’s good for anyone who wants to explore what’s behind. When I say what’s behind I mean where you came from..... we all came from somewhere.
If you don’t know who your parents, grandparents or great grandparents are for whatever reason such as being adopted, it doesn’t matter you can still participate in this meditation. They exist whether in physical or spirit form. Ok here we go:
Imagine your mother standing behind your left shoulder. See her face and notice her posture and notice where she is looking. Now imagine your father behind your right shoulder and notice how he stands, posture facial expression and where he is looking.
Now imagine your maternal grandparents behind your mother. Your grandfather behind her on her right and your grandmother behind her on her left. Notice where they are looking. Now go to your father and imagine your paternal grandfather on his right and your paternal grandmother on his left. Notice how they are standing, any gestures, their postures and where they are looking. Now imagine their parents two sets there and the same on your mothers side. Now imagine their parents and more ..... and more .....and more, suddenly there is a lot of people behind you, just breathe and take it in, all these people behind you. Notice how this is for you in your body. Maybe you hear sounds.
Now in your imagination you are going to turn around and look at all your ancestors.
And what do you notice, feel and see? As you look you see something being passed down, an object and it’s coming towards you…. its coming closer ... until your parents are holding it and they present it to you …. do you take it? What do you see? What is the object? What do you do with it and how do you feel? This object represents your life, the gift from your ancestors which represents your life. And if you hold this gift can you in your imagination look at your ancestors and slightly bow towards them and say ‘thank you for my life’. And as you say this how do you feel in your body? The object is yours to do whatever you want to do with it. You could draw it, write about or have an effigy of it.
How was this of you guys?
Guest 2: Yes.
S: I believe the ancestors are proud of us and want us to do well.
What about you Alicia?
A: I loved it in the way that we are doing everything on our own, living dying, going to the grocery store. And the fact that we are always in community. I loved the experience and presence of acknowledging we are not on our own! There are hundreds like thousands, lots and lots of people behind us.
S: It’s infinite right? How far back can we go? You know there are a lot! We have the awareness of who and where we come from. If anything was out of place back there we wouldn’t be here. If someone didn’t survive or if someone made a different decision, we wouldn’t be here. They are all part of us, you know?
I use this meditation for someone who has a bias or an opinion about where they come from….Like me (laughs) who comes from England! I used to openly say ‘I hate England!’ (laughs) I would say this to people when they asked me where I’m from. And I meant it. But when I got into this work I realized this is not true. I hated the experiences I had in England but I don’t hate England! England is quite amazing. It has a lot of culture and ancient history. For me to deny this, I deny a part of myself and my ancestors because my ancestors are from there.
Guest: How do you work with people who don’t feel safe with their parents or who don't want to connect to their lineage for whatever reason.
S: We just had this experience of volume back there, behind us, and the love, did you feel love when we just did that?
Guest: No I wasn’t feeling a whole lot.
Guest: Some nervousness. I wasn't in awe
S: There is a source of love back there underneath all the family drama there is love from the mother, from the father to their children. When you connect to that source of love it blows open any of the negativity or the experiences that said there isn’t love in this family. When you tune into the love it negates all the other stuff that might be specific to one person, or two people. It's like the antidote. Just having this conversation with you, I would know exactly where to go into a constellation with you. And we would address what’s in the way of that love or why you are not able to feel or connect to it. And we would do some work around that and hopefully the work would clear that.
You can resource from back there, you can look it like that, a resource, the cultures, wisdom, talents, skills and the love and the care.
Maybe my mother wasn't so nurturing, but I know there is a mother back there who is! She knows how to love and nurture her children in a way that the children feel loved. The children get their needs met. There is a mother back there who knows how to do this. So I will resource her.
Guest 2: I was getting images of animals beyond the human family.
S: Yes, I was telling someone recently how it was late in life that I got involved with horses. In my forties. I didn’t grow up with them or know too much about them. I’d had a couple of experiences that weren’t pleasant. Which actually turned me off horses. But when they came into my life I followed it, pursued it and started to adopt them. I was concerned and questioned if I was making the right decision. I felt I was,… the first horse being Silver. There was no turning back. I became a horse person. I knew I had to change my lifestyle if I was to have horses and I knew I was ready to be a horse person. And it continued from there.
When I got into Family Constellations I became interested in my family, (laughs). For the first time, I really wasn't that interested before. I found out that my maternal grandfather was in the first world war at fifteen years old and his job was to take care of the horses in the trenches. It was a traumatizing experience for him. He wouldn’t talk about it when he came back. He was gassed and everything but he survived and here I am! He had a very prominent experiences with horses and maybe they wern't so good.I think it was his parents who had a draft horse hauling business in London and I have drafts. Why did I end up with draft horses, I could have gotten miniatures! But this is just how it worked out, it wasn’t like I planned on getting draft horses it just turned out this way.
And then my great uncle from my fathers side owned race horses. It’s not something I’m particularly into, race horses, but he had horses in his life. So then I was like wow I come from people who actually worked with horses. They cover a wide spectrum, race horses, war horses, working horses. So it kind of felt right for me to have a life and a business with horses. It felt right for me to be doing what I’m doing even though I had no experience with it. Finding out about my ancestors involvement with horses validated it for me.
The first constellation I had was around my grandfather who I mentioned and my grandfathers name was Jack. And after this constellation I felt I really wanted to honor my grandfather by naming the next horse I got after him. And then an hour or so later it hit me that I already had a horse named after him and this was my mare Jackie. Yes female but same name. And that felt so right. What I’m doing is perfect. Do you see what I mean, when i talk about resourcing? Getting supported.
There’s a term people talk about in constellations called entanglements and atoning. Atoning for what went down back there. It’s possible I could be atoning for what happened to my grandfather in the war by adopting rescue horses…. draft horses, because they probably used draft horses in the trenches to pull the heavy artillery like the cannons. All my horses are rescues meaning they were going to go for horse meat.
Alicia: What’s the idea behind entanglement?
S: The idea behind entanglement is that we’re unconsciously enacting out something that’s to do with our ancestors. Or we’re living the destiny of them. Like in illnesses, 'Oh my grandmother had breast cancer, and my mother and now I have breast cancer.' That could be an entanglement. Your entangled in your mothers suffering.
Alicia: In this work there might be an unconsciousness knowing about what your dis entangling You might be unconscious of what your great great great grandparent did right?
S: This is what the beautiful thing is around this work is that its going to show itself. It will show up in some way. And when you become conscious of it that’s when you let it go right? It has to be identified in some way so you know what you’re doing …. ‘oh I don’t want to do that anymore from now on I’m going to live my own destiny'.
Alicia: That’s a good one
S: And this can be stated. It can be a conversation between the mother and the daughter and the daughter says ‘I give it to you, it’s not mine, I’m too small and I’m the child. I’m too small to carry this heavy burden. Maybe the mother was raped. And the child is carrying the shame the guilt or whatever comes with this experience …. trauma …. the child looks at the mother and says ‘it’s not mine.’ And the mother says ‘yes it’s mine, give it to me.’ The mother is never going to say, yes you carry that! Mother is not going to say that, but we as the child carry it out of loyalty. Because we love our mother so much, it’s called hidden loyalty.
As a facilitator I look at the patterns in the family system, for instance the mother, the three daughters and the grandmother have the same cancer. Had the same breast removed. I’ve seen this before and it needs looking at, the reoccurring pattern. And the pattern can skip a generation which happens a lot where for instance I could be entangled with my grandmother in some way. Somehow how it skipped my mother.
I watched a documentary, called Horse Boy about a father who takes his autistic son to Mongolia to see the shamans. It was interesting to see how the shamans work. In diagnosing the kid they have a different language around it. In the documentary one shaman said that the maternal grandmother was tormenting the child or haunting the child, something like that. The way I'd describe this situation is that the child is entangled with the grandmother. I felt it was spot on … anyway I suggest you check out the documentary ‘cause its very good.
Alicia: I heard a story about Constellation where a grandfather had committed suicide in his late twenties and when the grandson reached the same age he started getting really depressed, this showed up in family constellation work. What’s poignant about this story, for me, in a phenomenological way is the same time frame, it’s not a co incidence, its like an imprint, the exact same pattern its not even a stretch.
S: When I’m talking about resourcing from behind you, … growing up I never really had a male role model who had their own business or who was financially successful. But then I found out about my great uncle, (laughs) who was incredibly successful as a British film producer. He was the longest running film producer in England. My brother told me about him and said read about him online. 'Google his name' which I did. And I read these things about him and one of them was about him stabbing his accountant in the groin and his accountant had to have his leg amputated.I thought Oh my God he must’ve had a temper. (laughs) and I thought it kind of reminds me of me, a little bit…..(laughs). And he had his wife and two children living in one house and his mistress and their two kids in another house, all on the same property. This was back in the forties. They were all aware of each other. And then I find out he has the exact same birthday as me! It was a shocking and brilliant discovery. So I’m asking you, are there people in your family where you have the same birthday, the same name? Did they die on your birthday? This kind of thing happens a lot. I don’t really know too many people with the same birthday as me.
Alicia: Do you see this coincide with marriages etc?
S: Not so much, more in births and deaths. Like my horse Silver, his birthday is the same day that my mom died and her name is Sylvia.
Guest: What happens in the field when you bring a couple together and you have two family lineages? I don’t know if you’ve worked with couples?
Guest: Does the partner take on the patterns of the other partners family and can they resource from that other family lineage?
S: Ok when we did that guided constellation earlier we were looking at our blood relatives. If we have a partner then they have their own blood ancestry behind them. It’s a different connection than ours. It’s like when we have a step parent, or adopted parents it’s not the same. In family constellation work, half siblings are considered to be our siblings but a step sibling who is not blood related is not the same. They don’t really count along with the step parents. The interesting thing about couples is the question, did my ancestors have something to do with yours? This came up recently with my partner when i discovered that from my ancestral tribal community, where I’m from in Kent, England, there was a man who introduced small pox blankets to my partner’s ancestral tribal community in Pennsylvania. The Delaware tribe that he’s related too. This happened back in 1740 something. My tribe wiped out his tribe. Sneakily, as a gift, here’s a gift, take it ….’Oh sorry it killed you .. good. Ha ha we’re really happy about that.’
Horrible! That’s in our systems. And here we are, 2016. Interesting … I’m not going to comment on what that’s about or anything, it’s just interesting the chances of me even meeting my partner. I’m from England, he’s from America the chances of us coming together and having a relationship. And then finding out the people who we’re from …. not necessarily blood related yet from the same area, as in I was born in Kent, and his name ,Jeffrey Amherst, travelled to America and that went down. Strange don’t you think?
I feel this work is very good for people who’ve been adopted who feel disconnected, who don’t know who their parents were or what their culture is. Or where their grandparents are from or how they got here. Constellations offer a way of having the feeling of coming from somewhere, you do come from people, culture and you were loved. You are loved! It’s incredible … after a constellation something shifts …I’m not saying that suddenly the parents are going to appear and it’s all sweet and fluffy and everyone is happy and cuddling and all that … but maybe there’s a sibling who shows up or something happens that validates who that person is and where they’re from. It could be a whisper from the ancestors in some kind of way. There’s a possibility for this to happen now because now their heart is open.
I’m not adopted and I don’t know what it’s like to feel like that but I can imagine feeling resentful to the parents for abandoning them or not wanting them. I’ve seen a lot of stories of people coming together, for a romantic evening and the woman never sees the man again and is left with a child. So she adopts the child out because she’s not in a position to keep that child especially back in the day, it was really difficult. In actuality that child came out of a beautiful moment full of passion, romance and a lot of joy! That person came from that and they may not know, you see what I mean? But a constellation can show this. When the parents are set up you look at the relationship between them. How do they feel about each other …. or it could be an affair as in the man is married, or the woman is fifteen years old and her parents tell her absolutely not you cannot have this baby. We’re going to send you away so you can have the baby in private no one will know and the baby will go to another home and the young mother could be absolutely heart broken. But the child doesn’t know this. He thinks that the mother must have hated him because why would the mother abandon him. What happens is you're able to see these situations where it’s not about the child per se but about the situation.
Alicia: I think when you distill a very emotional situation down to the facts it could definitely be a way to be able to shift into a new perspective to see it differently to help you open your heart.
To conclude I want to bring it back to the horses because I talked a lot about families and relationships. The reason I feel the the horses are great at supporting this work is that as social beings, they understand systems and they want balance and harmony in the herd. So they work it out. In the herd, there’s a hierarchy. There’s the order of love in family constellations, similar in that it’s a hierarchy. And the horses can feel the tension and unbalances within the family system and they will promote balance. This may look like them nudging someone towards their mother. They’re encouraging them to take their mother. Or could be they block you from that or they want to wake you up by pushing you gently. This always makes me laugh because someone may be so entrenched in their feeling of ‘ but you did this to me’ and the horse will say, 'that’s your mother wake up!' The horses don’t share the same religious doctrines that we have. They understand primal needs and primal emotions and feelings, like abandonment, rejection, love, family community, birth death, they’re aware of all of that. For instance if someone has an abortion and they did it even though they are a Catholic then this is not being a good Catholic right? So they did it in secrecy and have held a lot of shame for years and years which got buried. But it’s probably going to play out in some way in your life and when it comes up the horse doesn't understand that it’s shameful to have an abortion if you are going to be a good Catholic or whatever, horse doesn’t understand that. What the horse understands is love, sex, passion and babies. The horse helps to diffuse the energy around the shame. The way my horse Silver does this is to just stand there very close and he goes into a trance. And you can feel it clearing, feel the pain lifting, quite special. I wanted to share this with you so you understand the support the horses offer in this work.
Thanks to everyone for listening and for your great questions and for Alicia for this conscious conversation.