How our past lives in our present.

“You live through that little piece of time that is yours, but that piece of time is not only your life, it is the summing-up of all the other lives that are simultaneous with yours… What you are is an expression of history.”

– Robert Penn Warren, World Enough and Time

You are more than just an individual. You are part of a family, a culture and a time. This history has an enormous influence on how you act and how you relate to the world in which you live. Quite often the way in which you relate to the world and how that is then expressed through your nature is suppressed by the way you have been conditioned to think in order to belong to your family of origin; such conditioned thinking is inherited from the past, as opposed to being true to your intrinsic nature or serving your best interests in the present.

Through his work with thousands of family systems, Bert Hellinger has found what he describes as a natural order of love which is deeply embedded in the family history and memory. There is a conscience unique to each family that in an invisible and unconscious way for its members is passed from one generation to the next, and which conditions the behaviour and mode of survival of each of the individuals of that family. What one generation leaves unresolved is taken on by members of succeeding generations, in an innocent and unconscious effort to re-establish balance. This can often lead us to assume behaviours and challenges which do not belong to us and in fact create more disorder instead of less. We often bring this disorder with us to our couple relationships for example, but many other areas are affected also. Issues for example around work, depression, finances, difficulties with children, and relationships with parents and siblings.

There is very little written about the work of systemic family constellations, for the simple reason that it detracts from the liveliness of the work; there are no absolute truths to be found in its theory without context, as each life situation is different, unique even. With regards to relationships in particular, it is understood that a balance needs to exist between give and take; much like breathing one can only breathe in as much as one can breathe out, the nature of life demands that a balance be sought and sustained between opposing forces. In the following clip from youtube one can see a demonstration of Bert Hellinger working with a couple. The simplicity of the approach is apparent, so too the peaceful resolution to the issue reached. It is a fine example of restoring the balance of give and take, first in the relationship with mother and then in the couple’s relationship. One is reminded of the power of gratitude to resolve seemingly intractable relationship issues.

You can watch the clip here. Gratitude

Our hidden loyalty to our family system can even be expressed through the body in a wide range of illnesses that have at their core a systemic root. Alcoholism, panic attacks and epilepsy all have systemic components to their origin. Life Therapy, through the lens of family constellations, is an honest yet humble way of looking at the systemic causes of repetitive suffering.

As such Life Therapy offers the opportunity for a shift to occur as a new image – perception of the family is revealed that supports a more balanced and healthy family system, a paradox that by coming closer to your family in one sense and recognising your unique place in the overall  system there is suddenly a space and, often for the first time, a sense of liberation that enables you to move beyond the parameters of the family dynamic.

“When the family has been brought into its natural order, the individual can leave it behind him while still feeling the strength of his family supporting him. Only when the connection to his family is acknowledged, and the person’s responsibility seen clearly and then distributed, can the individual feel unburdened and go about his personal affairs without anything from the past weighing him down or holding him back”

– Bert Hellinger 

Inheritance.

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When we’re still young, many of us are determined to be different from our parents. We say we’ll never make our children suffer. But when we grow up we tend to behave just like our parents, and we make others suffer because, like our ancestors, we don’t know how to handle the energies we’ve inherited. We’ve received many positive and negative seeds from our parents and ancestors. They transmitted their habit to us because they didn’t know how to transform it.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Accept yourself.

Most of the time the things you need will conflict – you will want love and you will also yearn for independence; you will want stability and you will dream of adventure; you will want one person and you will also want the world. Do not resist this, do not apologize for it, do not try to fix it.

Accept your own complexity, your own conflicts and uncertainties. Accept that you are a being, a live, wild thing that keeps on growing and changing. Accept that you are many things, and then love yourself for it. Nurture your many needs. It is not selfish, it is caring.

It is the greatest act of love to accept yourself exactly as you are.

If accepting yourself is holding you back in life then Life Therapy with Zita offers wonderful ways to support you in living your true potential. Make your heart happy today with some heart centred healing.

Burning Man 2015

One of the most powerful art pieces at Burning Man this year: The sculpture of two adults fighting, back to one another… yet the inner child in them both just want to connect and love one another. Age has so many beautiful gifts , but one that I could live without is the pride and resentment we hold onto when we are in conflict with others. The forgiving, open and free spirit of children IS OUR TRUE NATURE ;  And I know I’ll be remembering this next time I ‘m feeling stubborn. ” ~Alexi Panos.

Transgenerational Healing

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As more and more awareness of transgenerational trauma is coming to light, children and grandchildren of holocaust survivors are taking steps to heal the wounds of their ancestors’ past.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/03/holocaust-survivors-grandchildren-inherited-trauma

If you are a descendent of holocaust survivors, Life Therapy with Zita offers a unique and all encompassing opportunity to heal the wounds of the past, such that the trauma might stop with you.

Real generosity towards the future, lies with giving all to the present. – Albert Camus

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For more information call or email to book an appointment now.

Before you.

“Before we were conceived, we existed in part as an egg in our mother’s ovary. All the eggs a woman will every carry form in her ovaries while she is a four month old fetus in the womb of her mother. This means our cellular life as an egg begins in the womb of our grandmother. Each of us spent five months in our grandmother’s womb and she in turn formed within the womb of her grandmother. We vibrate to the rhythms of our mother’s blood before she herself is born. And this pulse is the thread of blood that runs all the way back through the grandmothers to the first mother.”

Layne Redmond

How to be Amazing!

Low self-esteem is sadly far more common than we often realise. It is the main reason why so many people struggle to accept that they are already amazing. They just don’t really believe it. Everyday I see clients for whom low self esteem lies at the root of their troubles. I am not saying that your life will ever be trouble free, however, there is a difference in how one can manage life’s challenges when they occur. Low self esteem affects people from all walks of life, in fact some of the most successful people in entertainment, business, politics and highly skilled professionals are affected by it. Although self esteem is not a condition in and of itself, if it goes unchecked it can lead to more serious problems that can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your life and a negative impact on your relationships. Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorders, Paranoia, excessive Alcohol and Drug use are just a few of the more serious side effects of low self esteem left unchecked.

The Life Therapy approach to healing offers a simple and highly effective remedy to address low self esteem; which can often be an inherited pattern of behaviour that has been in your family for generations. When we are caught up in a trans-generational cycle of behaviour not only is recognising it difficult, it is also harder to leave it behind as we are all immensely loyal to our family of origin. So many people struggle to do better than their parents did. Even if they seemingly have a better quality of life superficially, they will struggle to be happier emotionally and spiritually.

In just one Life Therapy session a dramatic shift in self perception can occur, the relief is palpable and rewarding.  Your life is supposed to be a fun and joyful experience. If you struggle with low self esteem it may be hard for you to believe that you do deserve to live a wonderful life simply because it will be hard for you to see how your perception of yourself is interfering with the quality of your life.

To believe that you are amazing is not a sign of arrogance it is a very healthy sign of genuine humility.

Symptoms of low self esteem.

Below is a list of symptoms that are commonly found amongst people who are affected by low self esteem. If you are affected by one or more of these symptoms please feel free to contact me. I am here to support you.

1. Social withdrawal

2. Anxiety and emotional turmoil

3. Lack of social skills and self confidence,

4. Depression and bouts of sadness

5. Issues with social conformity

6. Eating disorders

7. Inability to accept compliments

8. An inability to see yourself “impartially” – to be fair to yourself

9. Accentuating the negative

10. Exaggerated concern over what you think other people think

11. Self neglect

12. Treating yourself badly, but not other people

13. Reluctance to take on challenges

14. Reluctance to put yourself first – or anywhere

15. Reluctance to trust your own opinion and or express it

16. Expecting little out of life for yourself

How to be Amazing: The Basics.

Here are a few really simple and effective tips to get the ball rolling and get your self esteem climbing up the charts.

  1. Make a list of 25 things you like about yourself. Keep going 50 is the healthy target you want to reach.
  2. Make a list of 5 of your unique qualities.
  3. Make a list of the people you admire the most and the qualities you like in them. We see in other people qualities we either posses already or that are waiting to be explored and developed within us.
  4. Spring clean the people you spend time with. Socialising is good, it creates a sense of belonging, belonging helps us feel more confident and secure, however who or what you choose to belong to will have an impact on the quality of your life. Spend time with people who are happy and confident. Confidence is contagious. You will also find that confident people are more inclined to do things that support maintaining great self esteem and valuing themselves and they are happy to share love and joy with others.
  5. Make time to do the things you love.
  6. Practise kindness and compassion. When you are kind to others and seek to find the best in them it will automatically make you feel better about yourself.
  7. Practise self-hypnosis, create images in your mind of a version of yourself that you love, that makes you smile and feel good. This is the most powerful one of all. Practise this one everyday until it becomes your reality.
  8. Wake up. Be Amazing. Go to Sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat.

If you would like to book a session to learn self-hypnosis please contact me.

Do you give too much?

Imagine if you had insights into your earliest experiences in life that would give you clues as to why you need what you do in your relationships?  What your body remembers provides clues for the challenges you face today.

Emily first came to see me as a client because she wanted to explore what had contributed to the end of her 13 year marriage. Emily was distraught and reeling from the discovery that her husband was having an affair and had recently announced that he was leaving her for the “other woman”. Her greatest fear had come to be. She was alone, a single mother with two young children, she was scared, vulnerable and most of all really angry.  

As we worked together, I suggested that she might want to explore what she was feeling, the sensations in her body and where in her body she was feeling them. This simple technique allowed her to discover new insights about the relationship instead of the story the mind wants to tell about a he said / she said blame game. Through this we discovered that Emily had learnt that her familiar way of loving was to give… and then to give some more. More often than not it is the over-giver that creates an imbalance and actually ends up breaking down the relationship. For harmony to be experienced in any relationship, especially a loving, committed relationship such as marriage, it works best if the giving and receiving is equal; one person gives and in return the other person gives a little more and then the other returns by giving a little more, and so on… The exchange is love, and as each gives and receives so love grows and the relationship continues to blossom.

Emily told me what she knew about her earliest experiences including a traumatic separation from her Mother when her Mother was no longer able to care for her and she was adopted at 6 months of age. A baby is all feeling centred. You cannot tell a baby that they are safe, they only know if they feel safe or not. A baby’s way of feeling secure is closeness with its Mother. Close to her voice, her smell, her nurturance and care sends a calming message that begins a foundation of trust with love and bonding.

The biology of Attachment supports how deeply this affects how we bond, how we love and how we relate not only to our parents but how we maintain connections in our future relationships. This early experience, not consciously remembered, creates a template for how we unconsciously exchange love or withdraw from it.

Often those who experienced a prolonged or permanent separation from their parents in the first 3 years of life, live with a body-centred fear of being left alone. That fear often shows up like a pulse of anxiety ever present in the body.  It is as if the child’s body memory recalls the longing to have Mother close, her smell, her touch, her voice yet for whatever reason, Mother is not there. The adult now does everything in order to keep love close – anything to avoid the longing left unfulfilled.

Due to her early life experiences, before words or brain development were fully formed Emily was inclined to notice what the other person in her relationships needed instead of noticing what she needed in each moment. When you give more than you receive, unconsciously, you do it from a place of emptiness. You do it to pick up the slack of the other side, to fill in the empty spaces. You do it to ensure that you will never again end up alone.

Over time the receiving partner can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the imbalance of what is given and the lack of reciprocation. In many instances the partner would rather leave than feel in debt within the relationship and so contributes further to the replication of the first experience of abandonment.

During Emily’s Life Therapy sessions I invited her to explore what was happening inside her. By exploring the areas that guide each of us unconsciously, by following where the breath can move easily and noticing where it gets stuck it is possible to achieve a certain clarity of that which is hidden from the conscious mind. It is the images in our minds rather than the story we tell that allow emotional release and a peaceful resolution to occur. We all live by our inner images. The images we hold inside guide our lives. Once your inner image transforms, then the patterns you live by can evolve so that something new and healthier can emerge. 

If it is your natural instinct to give, then a new habit to form that will support your relationships is to only give as much as your partner is capable of receiving.  Not only will this open a new exchange within your connections, your relationships will flourish with the improved sense of balance.

                   Within the delicate balance of give and take, relationships thrive.

A Glass of Water.

A Systemic Family Therapist walked around a room while facilitating a Systemic Family Constellations workshop, he took a glass of water and raised it up. Everyone expected that they would be asked the “Half empty or Half full” question. Instead, with a smile on his face, he asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. He replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I will have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralysed. In each case, the weight of the glass does not change, however, the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” 

He continued, “The stresses and worries in life, are like that glass of water… Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt… If you think about them all day long you will feel paralysed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down

Orders of Love.

‘Orders of Love’ is an award winning short film by Jes Benstock is about his Systemic Family constellation. A heart warming story of one man’s journey to rediscover his roots.