I. Constellations are not dealing with the past.
Sometimes they seem to do so if you hold an attachment to a story or a feeling from your past, but don’t fool yourself: constellations show the present moment of someone, his very now, nothing else. Constellations focuse on the present way of a person or a group of persons to deal with their life. There may be threats, facts or stories out of their own or their family’s past they couldn’t stop to struggle with. These threats, facts or stories themselves neither are the issue nor the goal of constellations. They are what they are – stories in the past. Issues or problems only can arise out of the present way of peoples dealing with facts oder stories from their past.
Therefore I don’t believe in entanglements with our past as an active part of. The past itself can not do anything, and nothing can be done to it. It is over, that’s all. As well: nothing can be done to the future, and the future itself does nothing. It is not here, not yet. The only moment you can do something, and the only moment something can be done to you, is now. Your life is nowhere except in the present moment, and this is the only moment a constellation can be a mirror for.
That leads to the next point: The only one who is active in my so called entanglements is me, myself. I seem to be in need of them, otherwise I wouldn’t do so. In order to be more precise: some of the „selfs“ who I have been earlier in my life, may be an embryo, a child or an adolescent, seem to need „entanglements“ for their own security. Until now they seem to feel threatened by an overwhelming story, feeling or situation they had to deal with. They seem to struggle with them like they did in my past, because they couldn’t see that I survived. They act like soldiers who can not believe the war is over.
So constellations show how we actually deal with all that things we went through. They show our present relationship to that stuff, not the stuff itself. Therefore it makes no sense to look for family secrets or other lost informations by constellation work. The ‚fact itself’ is not availiable. No one will get it. Since it is gone by, it is really gone. The only thing you are able to reach is your current memory of it, that means your present way of dealing with the bygone fact. If you try to reach the fact „as it really was“, the fact itself, you will fall in the trap of your own child-like couriousness. And by this way you are falling in love with your issue, in other words with your threatening past.
To be here in the present is the whole salvation. More is not necessary. By the way: the only job of your problems is to bring you from fighting your past into your now, that means into peace, into relaxation with yourself. This way your problems as well as your symptoms play an important part in healing you. They want to make you whole. Your problems lead you into unseen parts of your alifeness which want to be seen, which want to belong officially to your now. Opening yourself for the present moment, for your now, will bring you the relief without any further efford around your problems.
II. Constellations are showing movements.
They do so, no matter if you look at your relationships („me and the others“) like in family constellations or if you look at yourself („me and the earlier selfs of my life“) like in Wilfried Nelles’ life-integration-process. In both cases the visible movements in any constellation rely on that person who brings in the issue. This person serves as one focal point of a resonance field. All people who are involved take from this resonance field: client, facilitator, representatives, participants. Inside all of them the resonance field evokes body sensations, emotions, thaughts, ideas and insights. This field may lighten up their truth of the present moment, but only for this moment.
If constellations show movements, they take their energy out of prevented, hindered or stopped movements, out of inner states in your client which couldn’t yet relax themselves. The tension inside a prevented movement serves as the fuel for any constellation. In our daily life we feel this tension as suffering pressure, if we can feel it. The tension of an unrelaxed movement usually shows up in the covered way of problems or symptoms. If a prevented movement is allowed to relax and to flow during a constellation, it goes along with a contact to the primary pain or fear, the original ache. This pain goes down together with the movement, as far as it is possible this time.
In your past this pain may have been unbearable, because you may have been too young. Therefore the soul (or however you call the instance who is active to protect, to support and to unfold your alifeness) covered you from this pain by stopping the movement according to it. Now you are not threatened anymore, obviously because of you are here and fine. You made it, you survived. Now the soul may let this movement flow and allow you to feel a late echo of the pain in order to tell all your cells: Yes, it’s over, I’m alive. To show you this and to take it in constellation work may do a really excellent job.
Movements in constellations can only unfold as far as they happen inside the client. The constellation very precisely acts like a mirror. It reflects his or her relevant relationship to themselves as well as the relevant actual states of their bodies and their conciousness. If a movement is allowed to flow until its own total relaxation, the pain goes away as I described. The tension is gone, peace is coming. But be aware of a facilitators phenomenon: movements in constellations are allowed to unfold only as far as the facilitator is free to let them unfold inside himself. He or she is holding the constellation field in the sense of holding space. The facilitator serves as a resonance point of the resonance field as well as the client. The resonance field will hinder any movement the facilitator unconsciously refuses to go on and to unfold inside him or herself.
While facilitating a constellation sometimes an issue of my client begins to resonance with an unrelaxed movement, a pain of my own. If I can’t let it happen as it wants to, this minimized ability of resonance will minimize the ability of resonance in the whole constellation field. I am a client of the constellation as well as the official client beneath me. Nevertheless, the longer someone is doing this work, the more his inner space will grow, the more of the inner pain will come to flow, the more of prevented inner movements will relax. Constellation work works as good for me as a facilitator as for my clients. It will let blossom the inner processing of everyone taking part. This phenomenon makes constellation work a jewel for myself, an melt of challenge and bliss.
III. In constellations everyone who takes part will see himself.
Imagine we had a client around fifty who wants to see his parents, brothers and sisters in a constellation. The constellation would show where and how inside himself a prevented movement related to his first relatives is eager for relaxation. The constellation reveals a spotlight of this very moment, of that what now happens inside this man. The representatives show precisely what kind of attachments towards his past actually are active, what kind of movements have been stopped oder prevented, are under pressure or tension until now, which may be attachments, identifyings, loyalities, unconscious binding love or what ever.
The representatives will not show what „really“ happened in his past life. Nobody will reach it for shure. Like I said before, constellations don’t show the news about facts, they show relevant inner attachments, tension-states and movements in their present relation to these facts. The tension in his or her prevented inner movements writes the screenplay of his or her constellation. This tension immediately will go in resonance with all persons taking part.
That means: in a constellation you will see yourself, nothing else. Not only the client but every participant without any exception goes in resonance by the way of their own prevented inner movements. No matter if you take part as a client, facilitator, representative or participant – the only thing you will see in the current constellation, the only thing you will feel, is you. In order to be more precise: The only thing you will perceive is your own prevented movement resonating with the prevented movement in the client, showing up in the movements and dynamics of the constellation. This resonance with your own prevented inner movements for example serves unconsciously as an indicator for choosing you for a certain role. While beeing a representative this resonance may allow your own prevented movement to come in a flow as well as it may be the case inside the client or other participiants. This is the way a role may serve you as if you had set up your own constellation.
Of course, the constellation reveals what indications or hooking-points of attachment inside our example client deliver the energy for the tensions he is suffering from. They may hold the line to past stories of his own biography, his family, his town or his whole country. Not rarely these attachment-points are related to a long lasting threat in a way creating a trauma. „Trauma“ is an inner point where survival patterns hooked up within themselves (according to Peter A. Levine) in a way they can’t stop doing what they are bound to do. Until now a trauma has not been able to let go the frozen survival power from dealing with the deadly threat of a certain moment in the past. A trauma doesn’t know that it has made it, that you are really alive and safe. In a constellation the depictions of particular traumatic attachment points, for example an abusing father or an overwhelming mother, stay always dizzy. Any journalistic approach will not be served. What sharply will be depicted is your present relation to those hooking points.
IV. No solution seeked.
Facilitating in a phenomenological way or looking for solution: how will we go on with the revealed picture of prevented movements inside our fifty year old example-client? Shall we solve the frozen movements we found? Sometimes people confront me with this expectation, especially collegues in love with solution-orientated-constellations. I am not shure if it really would be helpful to my clients. In my view I am not allowed to lay my hands down intentionally on a frozen or prevented movement inside another man or woman. Who am I to know what movement is the right one for him or for her? And more of that, to initiate the „right“ movement in another person? Systemically you can disturb a system, but the direction of it’s further movements you have no power about. The oneness of body and soul of my client’s may find a more relaxed balance after my interventions, may be. But wich kind of new balance it finds and where its new movements will lead him – who knows.
So I don’t search for a certain solution but simply follow the unfolding movement, where ever and so far it may go. I take it as a sign for the steps we do together and walk my client through his own movements until they come to an end. I simply follow the arising phenomenons and take them as the present reality, no matter if they arise in myself, in the client or in the constellation. If the end of a movement arises soon and the flow seems poorly, I stay there for a while to allow my client and myself to take this deep inside. There is nothing wrong with self-stopped movements in a constellation. They point to a currently greater love than the love for motion. They show how far his soul is ready to go at this very moment. I have to respect it and make my client aware of it. That’s all. It will do it’s own work inside my client, and it will do better than any facilitator would be able to do. I simply trust the precision of the phenomena arising. They are more precise than my thoughts about them could be.
Sometimes the representatives show very intensely certain states indicating heavy pain, humiliating, faint, abuse or other existential threats. This way they are revealing movements stopped extremely hard. Most often I see the „broken movement to“ mother or father, the fight-or-flight-movement frozen in trauma or the movement into the own adult freedom held down by unconscious binding love. My challenge as a facilitator is to recognize these movements as they are, stopped and frozen in the described states. I have nothing more to do except looking at them openhearted and temptating my clients to do the same way. Every hindered movement is able to let loose step by step and come to a flow, no matter how hard it has been stopped and how much survival energy it holds covered. All it needs is a loving space and a little time.
Wilfried Nelles calls this phenomenon the „potential of a movement“. It only can unfold if you let the prevented movement come to your own heart by doing nothing except waiting. Waiting without doing something and without any backdrew seems to open the „room of possibilities“ which these states may find a relief in. As far as this happens, if the often since decades lasting tension can begin to relax, the movement itself begins to change. Now may show up that there is more than the deadly threat. Often arises the so called shadow, the unseen backside, maybe the success of dealing with this threat. It may reveal powerful resources like unharmed alifeness, helpful supporters, special competences or the own power and magnitude that one may not have noticed yet. Sometimes the shadows are very light.
V. It’s all about resonance.
A resume: constellations are a resonance phenomenon. If they are facilitated in a phenomenological approach, they unfold like a mirror in more than one dimensions, wich every participant shows him- or herself in the very moment. With stunning precision constellations reveal the now of a man or a woman, the now of a system of relations, the now of someones attachments to the past. The past itself they don’t reveal, it stays covered. Constellations help to perceive wich hindered or stopped movements in the soul/the body/the system currently are ready to relax, to melt and to flow.
In order to go really deep into the potential of constellation work we need a clear decision between the now, wich is used to be safe and fine, and the past, wich may have been deadly threatening. In the past itself there is nothing to do. It will stay as it was, no matter what you try. The only space to let some frozen movements come into flow is the now. It has all we need. The flow of frozen movements will take a particular direction. It is the direction of life itself. You can’t give it another direction, you must let it go. If it finds the direction of the alifeness in your client while you are working with him – very good. If not – very good. Life itself will find it, it has its own ways, it never fails.
This leads a little further into the inner approach by facilitating constellation work in a phenomenological way. First it takes me one little step back from the whole dynamic a constellation may reveal. I am more like an eye-witness. Then it lifts all that stuff from my shoulders that doesn’t belong to my work: There is nothing to repair in my client, there is nothing to change, nothing to prevent or to force. My client does not need any help in the most common sense of helping = doing somewhat for another person. This is not necessary and not possible. Clients deserve a more efficient support in order to get one or more steps into their own alifeness.
For this sake it leaves only one responsibility to me as a fascilitator: I have to serve them as an anchor for sensing themselves in the here and now, beeing safe and alive. The very clear differentiation between the now and the past is my core business in facilitating constellations, may they be family constellations, life-integration-prozess or other formats as well. This responsibility leads directly to my main task: holding my clients in contakt to their present moment as stable as possible. So they can perceive, see and feel the distance between their now and their past. The rest is non-doing.