When you ask, I’ll tell you about…

When people ask me what constellations do, I explain that it allows a person to tap into “The Field” of the situation, with other individuals acting as tuning forks to see how different elements of the field interact.  Usually, we are talking about The Field of a family, and the constellated pattern of the individuals helps focus the way The Field operates, and what might make it work more smoothly.  The effects of reading the patterns and tweaking the field reach far beyond the individuals in the room.

My favorite example of this is a family who adopted a toddler.  For 2 1/2 years, this beautiful little girl woke every single night with screaming terrors.  They had little background on the child.  She had been adopted at 18 months.  Her mother was Kazakstani and her father was Russian.  That’s all they knew.  The parents had done everything they could imagine trying to stop the night terrors, ranging from medical assistance, to soft lights and/or music in her bedroom, aromatherapy, allowing her to sleep with her parents… on and on, but they couldn’t get the situation to improve.  In desperation the adoptive mother tried a family constellation.

In a constellation, individuals–quite often total strangers–stand in for important family members.  They are told not to imagine their roles and not to act, but simply to tune in to their own feelings and report them when asked.  In this case, the adoptive mother and grandmother attended the workshop, selecting representatives and watching the process.  Specifically, the adoptive mother selected representatives for the child, the adoptive mother and father, and the biological mother and father.  Then she “sleep-walked” them around the open space in the room until it felt like THIS was the place to stop.  When she finished a stunning pattern emerged.

The pattern is best described if you look at your hand with your fingers splayed as wide as you can spread them.  Now visualize one person at the tip of each finger, running AWAY from the wrist.  It almost looked like everyone was fleeing a huge explosion–so I asked another person to stand at the center of the “explosion site”–just above the wrist– to focalize that energy for the representatives.

Immediately the tension in the group increased.  Representatives said they wanted to run away from that “person” standing near the wrist.

To make a long story short, it turned out that the powerful energy source was the child’s biological grandmother.  It appeared that this woman became pregnant as a young girl and was forced into a marriage that was desperately unhappy.  She both resented her daughter and loved her, and seeing her pregnant without a husband, wished to protect her from a similar fate.  The daughter felt that the pregnancy and child were a distasteful inconvenience, and she didn’t want anything to do with the baby.  The biggest surprise was the biological father.  We have no idea if he knew the child or not, but at a soul level they were extremely close.  He clearly loved her and was in great pain at losing contact with his child.  The child (the representative) had no interest in the mother or grandmother, but was drawn to her biological father (representative) with great love, longing, and loss.

The tension was resolved when the biological father asked the adoptive father to “Please deliver MY love to my daughter, as I am unable to do this.”  Interestingly, the representative father reported “I don’t believe any of this stuff, but when I agreed to represent the adoptive father I kept leaning to one side and the other, utterly confused as to what my role was as parent.  When the biological father asked me to deliver HIS love, the confusion left, and I felt secure in my role.”

Despite the fact that the child and the adoptive father were not present, and the mother agreed not to discuss it with her husband for several months, that night was the first night the child slept without nightmares.  And the terrors didn’t come back.  Ever.