Family Constellations-How to recover from a visit with the family after the holidays

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The holidays, the time of year where we eagerly travel to see our loved ones. Some people travel only a few miles. Some individuals travel several thousand miles. We seek the company of those who we belong to. People we shared our journey from childhood to adulthood. There are moments these same loved ones can say something simple and trigger a whole host of emotions-irritation, anger, frustration, exasperation, sadness…to list a few. You thought you were playing a simple game of scrabble. Then something else happened.

How do you recover from this? You arrive home. Back in your sanctuary and the feelings linger. Maybe you find the more you think about it the more the feelings grow. What you really seek is to let it go, for peace and calm.

Here is a simple exercise to gain a new point of view.

Three Chair Perspective. You will need three chairs, space to set them up about a few feet apart. Set two chairs facing one another. Set the third chair a few feet out to the side, distance directly in the middle of chair 1 and chair 2.

It should look like the below diagram.

Use this Chair picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1st Chair-This is your point of view.
The 2nd Chair-This is the point of view of your family member that you are having the strong emotions with.
The 3rd Chair-The meta position. The objective 3rd party that can see both sides of the story.

1st Chair
Sit in the first chair and experience the situation through your own perspective. What are you experiencing? Feeling, thinking, hearing? What is your body posture like? Can you look over at the 2nd chair? As you look across to the second chair, in your mind’s eye, see the family member you are having the strong emotion about.

Now step out of the 1st chair. Leave your perspective in the chair 1 and walk over and sit in the 2nd chair.

2nd Chair
As you sit in the 2nd chair, step into the point of view of your family member. In your mind’s eye see yourself (Chair 1) sitting across from Chair 2. What is it like for this family member to look at you? What are they feeling? What are they seeing? You can speak out loud as if you were this family member.

Now step out of the 2nd chair. Leave the family member perspective behind and sit in the 3rd chair.

3rd Chair
As you sit in this chair-observe both “people” in the other chairs. Notice how these individuals relate to one another and to the situation. What can you see that the other two people cannot? What would you want the two of them to know?

Now step out of the 3rd chair. Go sit in the Chair 1.
What is your perspective now? Has your point of view changed?

This exercise is a fantastic way to see a new perspective, to say words that need to be said and to fix disagreements you may have experienced. Notice that the feelings change when you see things from a different point of view.

Consciously Create 2014 and Let Go of 2013

 

The New Year is upon us.  It is the time where 2013 has come to her end. All of her offerings given.  Our triumphs, our sorrows, our victories, our defeats.  All moments have value.

As you step into 2014, what are you ready to let go of?  Let go with the dignity and respect for what it had to offer?

Can you say Thank you?  Without you, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

For those of you out there that experienced extreme heartache in 2013, maybe you can’t feel the Thank you.  That’s okay.  A simple acknowledgement can move mountains.  Acknowledgement that you are angry at the year, or sad at the year.

As the year unfolds, she shows us who we are.  How we react to life.  What we enjoy.  What we do not like.  We do not need to embrace everything.  A simple Thank You acknowledgement for the value offered is enough.

As we step into the New Year-2014, a new unfolding, what would you like?

What do you want to experience?

If your mind goes straight to “I don’t want experience that again!”  Ask yourself what would you like to experience?  How do you want to feel?  What do you want to see?  What does your vision sound like?

Conscious creation is a dance between noticing the Do Not Want and the return to what would I like.

The do not want usually sounds anguished with deep emotion.

Can you put equal emphasis on What would I like!

Take a moment to write it down.  Share your vision with trusted loved ones.  Read it out loud.  It’s magical to share.  Have a fulfilling New Year!

2014

Yoga: Your Body Is Your Friend -Not the Enemy

Regular people yoga

We all see the pictures on the web and in yoga magazines.  A tiny woman bent with her feet on her head with a radiant smile on her face.  I often wonder how many takes it took to take that picture.  In my challenging poses, I struggle to remember to breathe and to take my time to move into the pose.

How often do you compare yourself to the person next to you in yoga class? Or any exercise class?  Are you scared to have a home yoga practice because you won’t look like the pictures or your teacher?  How many times do you look at your legs, arms, belly, hips, feet, chest…and whisper bad things to your body?

Stop that!

We are not legos!  Every one of us comes in different shapes, sizes and ages.  We are not alike!  It is natural and normal for each person to experience asana (poses) in a different way.  Every day is different for the your body.

Your body is your greatest ally.

Every time you feel pain, it is the bodies way of saying “hey, pay attention to me!”  What I reflect the most is that when we are injured or can’t do something, it is so easy to make our body the enemy.  To complain about a bum knee, or stiff hips, or tender shoulders.

We all have stories about our bodies.  The truth is your body is your greatest friend.  It is constantly working to keep you healthy and in homeostasis.  You cannot not heal yourself.  Your immune system is constantly on alert.  When you have a cold your body is doing its best to rid itself of it.  Have a hangover, your body naturally does its best to remove toxins.

Your body is intelligent.  Every inch, every piece of it.  You and your body are a team.

If you can’t move like you would like to move, here a a few questions to contemplate.

1.  Have you moved in a way that is perfect for you right now?  How does that feel?
2.  What does it mean for you to touch the floor or to do a pose ‘correctly’?
3.  What does having that do for you?

We are meaning making machines.  It is actually the meaning we seek by touching our toes.

The practice of yoga is about presence.  Can we appreciate where we are right now in our body, mind and spirit?  Whether we can touch our toes or not.

Next time you are in yoga class (or any form of exercise) and your body is reacting in a certain way… If your muscles are tight and you begin to compare yourself to others…Return to these questions.

Give some love and encouragement to that place on your body that you always criticize.  You and your body are a team!

In Times of Overwhelm-Who do we call?

 

 

In this video learn how to call upon your ancestors for support.

In times of overwhelm.  In the places where you need to make big decisions.

Call upon the wisdom of those who lived before.

Our Grandparents, Great Grandparents.  Whether you knew them or not.

 

 

 

 

The Secret to Transformation

caterpillar-to-butterfly

When I say the word transformation what image comes to mind?  What does transformation mean anyways?

What does it mean?  It is simple.  It simply means you want to change something in your life.  You want to be different.  You want the way other people treat you to be different.  Something needs to be different.

Most people think of transformation as the caterpillar and the butterfly.  The caterpillar builds a cocoon and then emerges as the glorious butterfly.  A complete change in identity.  Bam!  And it didn’t look like the caterpillar had to work at it.  It slept on the inside as everything changed.  Unfortunately this is NOT how we humans undergo change.

In fact our critter brain doesn’t like change.  It is focused on survival.  Which is why you may experience so much resistance when you want to change something in your life.  It focuses on: Do I belong and Will I survive?

Unfortunately for us, we can’t sleep our way through changing our life.  It takes action, will-power, dedication, and determination.  And some help with some friends.  Your local life coach, therapist, physical trainer, nutritionist and many others can help.  Someone who is trained to help you face the RESISTANCE.

What is change really like?  It’s about coming against your edges.  The edge is the uncomfortable.  It starts as vaguely uncomfortable, kind of weird, and can build from there.  The good news is this is a place where you have a choice.

I help many people to create action steps to change their life.  I see time and time again this resistance come up.  I am going to identify what RESISTANCE is in every day examples you can relate to.

*You signed up for a gym membership.  You decide 3 days a week, you will exercise.  Day 2 comes along and anything else sounds better.  The resistance is the internal debate, the feeling, the potential decision.  The edge is heading to the gym.

*You want to meet new people, have signed up for meet-up.  You come to the event determined to speak to new people.  Except when you are there the old feelings come up.  You can either talk to people anyway or not.   The resistance is the internal debate, the feeling, the potential decision. The edge is having a conversation.

*You want to attend a class you are interested in.  You think about going.  But its after work, you are tired and the commute is too long.  You can go anyway, enjoy the class or go home.  The resistance is the internal debate, the feeling, the potential decision.  The edge is to go to the class.

*Common themes to resistance are usually related to health, family, and work.

The RESISTANCE is the too tired, too long, too hard, too much to do.  It is all the reasons why what you want isn’t worth it RIGHT NOW.  That is resistance.

And there may be something valid in each of these situations.

Here is the deal.  If you want to change your life or for life to be different, you will have to be willing to experience life in a different way.  To experience the unknown, the uncomfortable, the weirdness.  This changes to comfortable and fine with time.  Especially after the critter brain realizes whatever the situation is survivable.  Most of the time it turns out to be enjoyable.  You want change for a reason.  This reason is a very good one.

What do you do?  There is no right, no wrong.  However, no one can walk the path for you.  Others can stand on the sidelines cheering you on.  A fantastic coach can HOLD THE VISION FOR YOU.  When you can’t hold the vision for yourself.  It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to support change.

The butterfly can be your outcome.  The road is not straight.  It is curvy, squiggly, and everyone has their path.

When the resistance comes up,  (when you want a new diet, new exercise, new job, new relationship)  you have an opportunity to make a new decision.  Notice it. See it.  Recognize it.  Invite Resistance to become a friend.  And see what happens when you take action anyway.

 

 

 

Discover Solutions to Your Problems with Yoga Pose-Legs Up the Wall

viparita-karani-pose

Do you feel stressed, stuck in a rut, having a blah kind of day?  Are you replaying problems over and over in your head without new solutions coming to you?  The more you think about It (relationships, finances, work)  the worse you feel?

 

Yoga Practice to the rescue!  It sounds so simple.  It is.  I have found many solutions to my stuck places on the mat.  There have been many times I came to my mat stressed and frustrated from work.  On the mat I would find answers that I couldn’t find in my logical rational mind, sitting at a desk.  Lately I am seeking new ideas and new solutions for my business on the yoga mat.

 

The yoga mat is the practice ground for me to be in touch with exactly how I feel and how I am reacting in any given situation.  It is just me and my mat.  My mat never judges.

 

Yoga is a place for awareness and a place to practice patience.  It is a place where I receive answers to many of my life challenges.

 

My favorite pose to quiet my mind and to gain a new perspective is Legs up the wall, Viparita Karani.

 

Physically placing your body upside down allows the blood to move in a new way and for the mind to think in a different way.  Imagine all your neurons firing off in new patterns.  For most of us, we don’t spend much time with parts of body upside down.  My favorite part about this pose- it calms me down.  As I calm down new ideas come to me.

 

Check out this short video demo to add this simple pose to your practice.  Or if you only have time for one pose, try this one out.  10 minutes of legs of wall can be very relaxing and rejuvenating.  And watch the new ideas come to you.

 

Want to read more about the benefits or cautions for this pose check out Yoga Journal.  http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/690

Family Constellations-How do we learn more about family history?

Heart shaped splash

In Constellation work there is a belief that all that happens in a family is an expression of love.   Though the actual actions in life may be dysfunctional, harmful, painful, and devastating, it may be a way for family members to belong to another.  Or a way to show acknowledgement of something tragic that happened in the past.

If we contemplate our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents lifetimes, you may notice they went through a lot.  There have been several generations that left their families and moved across the ocean to America.  There have been members of families that went off to war and witnessed actions so horrible it incomprehensible to the human spirit.  Not so long ago, it was common for babies to die young.  When we contemplate these realities, perhaps a place of compassion can come to us for what they experienced.

We can never undue the past for our family.  The best thing we can do as young ones in our family is honor the dignity of the fates of those who came before us.  It is not our job to fix what happened for them.  The truth is, what happened in the past is the past.  If you are recreating it, this is not fixing it and can cause even greater stress in your life.

There are simple actions you can take to begin the journey of transforming the  dynamics of your family system.

  • Talk to family members about where your family came from.  Were there any children that died young?  Do you have aunts and uncles that went off to war? Are there generations that married multiple times.  Look for common repeating patterns.  Older generations generally like to talk about their parents and what life was like for them.
  • Find the genealogy buff in your family.  My sister is one. She has been a great source of information about my family.  There many websites, such as ancestry.com that can help you get started on learning more about previous generations in your family.
  • Email me.  I have simple short checklist that identifies certain events as  triggers for entanglements.  My email is meta@coachingbymeta.com.  Send an email in the subject line Triggers for Entanglements.

In the upcoming months I will discuss more about the triggering events and the power of healing words.

 

 

 

Importance of Warm-ups in Yoga Practice

Check out my August video on the importance of warming-up the body BEFORE you move into Asana-posture practice.

 

Taking on Uncomfortable Emotions

 

I have been resting and recovering from the amazing Divine Woman Yoga Retreat.  I led 7 amazing women in yoga, dance and connection to divine wisdom.  I simply can’t put into words what the experience meant to me.

I have been experiencing a wealth of emotions, right before and up until after the retreat.  My intention is to be honest about what transformation is like for me.  Know you are not alone on your journey, when you come across the same edges.

After of years of taking on new projects, and recently changing directions in my career, the feelings and emotions that come up are familiar to me.  I can jokingly say I am sometimes comfortable with being uncomfortable.

What did I feel as I took on developing my retreat?  This project that was mine alone.
Excitement about the project.  Unease of what is involved.  Support and Encouragement from my teachers.  Frustration in finding a web designer.  Excitement on finding beautiful pictures.  Relief in having the website complete.  Nervousness in marketing.  Relief in talking with colleagues and friends.  Trusting that it will turn out exactly as it should.  Agitation with more marketing.  Excitement in developing material.  Anxiety as the day approaches- so much to do.  Anxiety regarding the check list. Relaxation as I meet the participants and lead the retreat.  Delight-as we move through the practice together.  Peace in sharing my knowledge.  Pride in watching transformation in others.
There was so much laughter.
I left with so much gratitude.
It was worth it.

I am comfortable with the uncomfortable because I know the end experience is worth it.  All of it, the darkness and the light is valuable.

It is the blissful gratitude I feel that makes the uncomfortable worth while.  It is the look on all of my circle sisters faces as they drove away that makes it precious.

What in your life would you like to take on, even though you feel nervous about it? What would it mean to the deeper You to do it?

Being uncomfortable is part of the journey, but know that you are not alone.
Being uncomfortable doesn’t last forever.  Most of the time the uncomfortableness lasts until you share with colleague what is going is going on.  You can write it down or call a supportive friend.  A good coach can help you identify exactly what you need at that moment and what action steps you can take to fulfill that need.

 

 

When Perfection Holds You Back

 

Life isn’t about being perfect.  It’s about doing your best with what you have at any given moment.  I write this to share with you and to remind myself.  I was struggling to find the perfect words for this post, the perfect words to share in my newsletter.  I wrote 3 articles.  Each one didn’t feel right.

I sat at my computer for 3 hours.  I wrestled with the words.  I was visualizing myself, a 5’5 woman wrestling with words and paper.  Words win!

I took a break and as I was shaking out my laundry it came to me what I wanted to share.

There are no perfect words.There isn’t a perfect time.  Nor a perfect moment.  If I can relax into that, then the words flow to me and I can share them with you.  In the past I had been paralyzed from taking movement in fear that it wouldn’t be perfect.

Where in your life are you waiting for the perfect opportunity?  The perfect meeting?  The perfect person?  The perfect time?   Are you forcing it?  Are you doing nothing at all?

There is a life force within us all.  It flows with creativity and expression.  This life force becomes stuck when we try to warp  it into the “perfect” creation.  Or forcing it to take shape in a certain way.  Sometimes we give up trying unless we know the outcome will be perfect.

When you acknowledge what is true for you in any given moment, this allows life to move once more.  What is true for you today?  What action can you take even it if it’s not perfect?