“Most people see what is, and never see what can be.”
- Albert Einstein
I had a client tell me the other day that she doesn’t feel like she is herself. Have you ever felt that way? This woman has felt that way as long as she can remember. When we can’t be our authentic selves, is it even possible to know and embody our creative passions?
This woman is a fun and adventurous person. If you met her you would think she was a happy, fun, outgoing person. Yet she doesn’t think she is anymore. She doesn’t feel authentic. Which also means she doesn’t feel passionate or creative.
In our work together, we decided to take a look at her family history to see where this feeling came from. My client’s grandmother was one of sixteen children. Her grandmother was one of the oldest and therefore helped her mother take care of the children. She had always wanted to be a nurse, and never became one.
My client’s grandmother got married and had two children; one girl and one boy. Her daughter, my client’s mother, was very close to her mother. You could say they were merged. My client’s mother grew up and got married and had seven children. My client is the oldest girl of these seven. My client perceived her mother and father as unhappy together. She saw her father as critical and stubborn and mean. As a good daughter, she was loyal to her mother and was also upset with her father and viewed him as she perceived her mother viewed her husband.
Do you see a pattern yet? My client is close to her mother, and merged with her mother, and my client’s mother was merged with her mother. When we merge with another, we don’t see ourselves as separate from the one we are merged with. We don’t feel we can live separate and independent lives from who we are merged with.
In addition, my client’s mother and father used her as a bridge or go between each other. Their communication was not good and they used their daughter, my client, to help each other talk with each other. My client didn’t feel valued as herself; she was used as a bridge for her parents. As a child, she felt she needed to do that so that she would have both her parents and they wouldn’t leave each other. And yet, she felt like she wanted her mother to leave her father because she was loyal to her mother’s angry feelings.
My client was aware of these things on a semi-conscious level. When I work one on one with clients who are semi-conscious of something, I often use felt footsteps or little figurines to help them see another image and to help them step into and feel someone else’s footsteps, so to speak. How could my client value herself as herself if she was used as a bridge? And, how could she be herself when she was merged with her mother, who was merged with her mother? Being an independent, separate person felt good and yet strange to my client. As my client stood on her own felt footsteps with her parents behind her (rather than on each side of her as before when she represented a bridge between the two) she felt more alive and passionate.
With her parents behind her supporting her, it also allows her to be a child to and with them, and not an adult with them. She is also open and available to herself and to what happens in front of her; her self and her creative passions. There is space for her to be herself. She can also find and develop her own voice and own expression. She had been experiencing vocal and throat problems and thought this physical problem might be a manifestation of her not feeling her own voice in the world.
How wonderful it is for us to be able to have the world in front of us like a canvas ready for us to paint our picture. Being able to express ourselves and be ourselves where our creative fire originates. Authenticity is integral to our self-worth and value; to knowing and feeling that we have a right and privilege to express our creativity in the world.
As we separate from our old pictures and images that limit us, we can step out and develop a new picture, one in which we are our own person capable of following our creative passions. As my client steps into her authentic place with her family, she can see and feel the rightness and openness of what unfolds for her. She can listen to her own voice and fuel her creative fire. Who knows what can now unfold?
What are your creative passions? When was the last time you pursued them with the abandon of a child or the seriousness of young adult who felt destined to be a great artist? Why not make June the month of following your creative passions and see where it leads you? I’d love to hear about your journey and how you choose to dance in the midst of your own creative fire!
Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results:
Get a pencil or pen and paper. Carve out ten minutes each day for a week. Begin by sitting down and grounding yourself by having your feet on the ground in front of you. Make two columns on your paper. On one column write a list of adjectives that describe who you are. Don’t censor yourself. You will probably come up with adjectives which will surprise you. In the other column, write down what you love to do or would love to do. Don’t censor yourself here either.
Every day make sure you get a fresh piece of paper and don’t look at what you wrote the day before. After a week, take all seven papers and put them one on top of the other. Read them in order. Then on a new piece of paper, put all of them together and read them. Just be with them for a few days. It takes no other action than having the out in the open of your mind.
To learn more about this new story and image process as I went through with my client, go to my web site, www.bodypresencing.com. Click on Family Constellations and also on Body Presencing. Then, go to the events page where you can also read about an Afternoon of Constellations which I am offering June 23rd which is a great place to introduce you to this life changing work.