A patient named Karen was being interviewed after an operation that split off the right from the left hemisphere of her brain. It was done, as it has been for decades, to cure severe epilepsy. The corpus callosum, the thick bundle of fibers connecting the two halves of the brain, is severed.
“What are you doing?” asked the doctor, shocked to see Karen’s left hand unbuttoning her blouse. “Oh my goodness,” said Karen, and she fastened the buttons again with her right hand. But the left hand followed along and just unbuttoned them once more. The doctor called his colleagues and said, “Hey, we’ve got a problem here.”
Split Brain = Split Awareness
I heard this reported on NPR, but it goes back to Nobel Prize winning work done by Roger Sperry in the fifties. In most people, the left brain controls the right side of the body, and the right brain, the left side.
By studying people who had undergone this “split brain” operation, Sperry proved that the two hemispheres had distinct jobs and even quasi-distinct consciousnesses. Sever their connection, and you often get a “secret self” that can and does do things, but cannot speak about them.
So what’s that got to do with family constellations, with recovery from personal and/or ancestrally inherited trauma? Well, actually, quite a lot.
Music I make myself is a large part of what keeps me alive and well. Hear some of my performance songs on YouTube here. But participatory music, as opposed to consumption of it, is a human birthright and a huge help to real health. Here's a blog about why this is true.
WHO Earns Twice the Pay?!
Imagine you are part of an expedition 200 years ago, venturing into the Canadian Northwest. As a voyageur, you strain from dawn to dusk to help paddle a 40-foot canoe. Where there’s no water, you hump a 90-pound pack, and later the canoe itself.
Up and down wind the portages, across treacherous, rock-strewn ridges. Hernias, or bone-breaking falls are common. Either, in this wilderness, can end a life.
Still you only get paid half as much as the little guy sitting next to you with the prodigious memory and loud voice.
Who’s he? the boss? the guide? No, actually he’s the chanteur, the expedition’s singer.
He leads the different songs sung many times a day by your entire company. It’s his contribution that is worth twice yours. Shared music brings rhythm to your strokes, and keeps a smile on your face. In some fundamental way, the songs keep hope alive in your struggling heart.
OK. So our low-tech our ancestors placed a high value on sing-alongs. That’s nice, but surely not relevant to us, struggling with climate change (and its denial), health care uncertainty, and dysfunctional governments in the time of Trump. After all, most people, we know, can’t even carry a tune.
And who needs to, with CD’s and smart phones that play our favorite music perfectly on demand. Who cares if ragged bunches of backwoods grunts sang there way across the continent? Had iTunes or Spotify been available, wouldn’t those voyageurs have all plugged in to enjoy their separate favorites?
In group constellation workshops, the intake interview is a short one. It homes in quickly on the problem, guesses at ancestral blocks, and moves directly into setting up representatives. It’s in the nature of a workshop that it has to be this way. Four to six constellations happen in a day.
But what happens in one-on-one constellations? Or rather, what should or could happen in private versions?
Do We Just Copy the Workshop Approach?
Many facilitators I know do something similar. The constellation, whether remote or in person, happens in one sitting. Some exploration of the issue and creation of a shared set-up of representatives is followed by the client and constellator both “feeling into” being parts of the family system.
A dynamic is observed, and a resolution is achieved, more or less—and the interaction is over. It is, in many many cases, an isolated, one-time event.
Early on, I stopped doing and teaching private constellations this way. Too many things, starting with sufficient rapport with the client, and moving on all the way to subsequent follow-up—were left out in this approach.
So an initial private constellation with me, whether remote or in person, evolved quickly into three sessions. Here’s what happens in them.
(Take advantage of a special, August price on this package from now until 9/9--see how HERE)
3 Steps to Safety in Extreme Weather
Power up Your Affirmations with Breath
Personality Layers--Why Some Wounds Need More Than One Healing
Seed Time--or Grow a Good Future
Solution Focus Solves the Problem
Can Empathy Win at Armageddon?
Earth, Families, and Personal Transformation
Good Health as a Sacred Fire
Your Safety as Earth-Changes Accelerate
Karen and the Alien Hand--Why I Do Inner Family Constellations
Music, Migrations, and Health--In Tough Times
Better Private Family Constellations: The Three Session Package
Five Facts About Personal and Ancestral Trauma