I thought I had a topic for my blog, and then the events in Ukraine knocked me off balance. I allowed myself some time and space to be present with what I was feeling, and an unexpected inspiration gave me a fresh perspective.

Whatever lenses you are using to view current world events, they highlight some core concepts of systemic and integrative coaching including:

  • Choice – the meanings you create and the actions you take based on them
  • Perception – the lens/filter/map through which you view the world
  • Patterns – conscious and unconscious and how they manifest in your life
  • Projection – the parts of ourselves we reject and how they are mirrored back to us

In systemic work, we can reject parts of our ancestry; excluding people and/or events either consciously or unconsciously. When these aspects are excluded, they are mirrored back to us as patterns that expand and replicate until we choose to look. Choosing to look more deeply at parts of our family ancestry can lead to a new perception regarding inherited patterns.

After all my transformational work through the years, including 18 years of family and organizational constellations, I realized an area of my family tree I had unintentionally left out of my exploration – a deeper understanding of my paternal grandmother’s lineage. For me, she was a loving and kind-hearted person who always made sure we had yummy food to eat and who inspired some of my first creative endeavors which in turn became gifts to her. My realization came in part, when my cousin confirmed that my grandmother was born in Ukraine. While her entire family came to live in the United States in the early 1900’s, the recent events brought her birthplace to the forefront of my memory.

A further nudge to remember –

One way that I am reminded of people, places, and events is through things that appear in my everyday world but have another layer of meaning, if I take a moment to be present to them. The other day a mourning dove appeared in the bird bath in our front yard. On the ground beneath it, another one wandered a bit and then hid amongst the shrubs. At first I wondered about the meaning of a mourning dove. With the help of Google, I saw that it was a spiritual messenger of peace, love, and faith. But then I had a sense of something deeper. On the day of my father’s funeral many years ago, a morning dove was present in the trees at the cemetery above his grave. As I thought of that and the two mourning doves that appeared, I felt a connection to both my father and my grandmother.

As I continued to think of my grandmother, I was reminded of something she used to say to my mother – “a good mother worries”. As I watch the events in Ukraine unfold, I catch glimpses of where the pattern of my grandmother’s worry began. I can also see why my mother chose a different pattern, something based on her family of origin.

Consider for a moment the patterns you recognize in your family ancestry. Do they serve you in your present day life? If they no longer serve you, rather than simply dismiss them, consider the circumstances that led to their creation. Next take a moment to thank and honor your ancestry, then choose to do something differently.

If you are challenged to honor your ancestry or need support choosing something different, please contact me to explore where patterns begin.

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