Family Matters - How Gestalt Applies to Family Issues and Dynamics
"If you think you're enlightened, go spend a week with your family"
- Ram Dass
After spending almost 3 weeks in Croatia, it's good to be back in the States and working again. While vacationing with my family is wonderful and rejuvenating, it's also a very intense experience for me. I call it my annual Gestalt Therapy workshop...It's my version of continuing education and a reminder of why I do what I do. And, here's the kicker: I actually enjoy & love my family! There's just this thing called family dynamics...
Family dynamics are the patterns of relating, or interacting, between the family members. Each family system and its dynamics are unique. No matter how much personal development and work we do, spending time with family of origin may trigger us; we revert to old behaviors and patterns we've work so hard to change (often within minutes!). It's an excellent opportunity to discover where you are now, in the present moment....with yourself that is.
Later this fall, I'll be offering a workshop for those interested to explore the topic. Email me here to be notified of future date.
In the meantime, here are 3 nuggets for you to consider when interacting with your family next time:
Practice presence. The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be, otherwise, you'll relive the past over and over. Old unconscious patterns take over.
Become aware of expectations. Do your best to relax and reduce expectations (both positive & negative) you may have on yourself and your family. Expectations often cause suffering and disappointments.
Accept them (and you!) where they are now. Practice compassion for their pain. Be observant and curious instead of in judgment and blame. This creates an opening for connection and intimacy.
Now, if you will, share if you can relate to family dynamics. I love hearing from you!