Maybe there really is an upside to everything – even having to face a bunch of doctors unable to cure you, and getting deeply discouraged and frustrated by it. Because if I had been diagnosed with Candidosis all those years ago, I would never have looked elsewhere and chances are I would still be wrestling with my illness at the physical level only. Instead, I have tried just about every health diet and alternative therapy or medicine in my reach, and have become increasingly aware of the undeniable link between the physical, the emotional and the mental.
This means that by the time my nutritionist confirmed I had a bad case of Candidosis, although I wanted to believe the cure was as simple as dieting, supplements and anti-fungals, I actually anticipated it was not. The prescriptions would help of course, but truth be told, I needed to get down to the psychological and the emotional reasons why I had let myself get invaded by this fungus (and probably a bunch of other parasites over the years I had been cleaning out). What was my soul suffering from to the point that it would materialize such an illness in my body? Well, I do not know if it is possible to talk to the soul, but I sure can’t. One thing I can do however is tune into my body.
And how I did this is by bringing my Candidosis to constellation. I have been using constellations as a self-development tool for about four years now. At the exception of a few months here and there, I have been going back monthly. What is certain is that it never gets boring: every session is different and touches on different issues. Some people feel their problems are solved after just one or two sessions and they will not go back for a number of years. Others, like me, become regulars. It is really up to each person.
For those who do not know what a constellation is, you could maybe think of it as role playing. In a sense it is similar to what psychologists or (Human Resources) counselors use to help people express their feelings towards a person without that person actually being present. The healing power of constellations is similar, multiplied by 1 million, if only because it brings into the field so many more people and also abstract concepts.
I practice them with a Shaman who starts by letting participants sit in a circle and pick a card from Alejandro Jodorowski’s tarot. Each participant briefly explains their reason for being there. Given time constraints, only about three people are able to do their personal constellation. The others will become sort of actors in them. But frankly, it is not because you are not front and center that you are not in for a ride.
The Shaman asks a participant to pick a card out of her deck. And this is where the magic – or the craziness – starts. If the card is yours, you start elaborating on the reasons that brought you there. For my Candidosis constellation, I mainly explained how I had been struggling with it and just wanted to get rid of it. Based on my explanations, we started picking the concepts or representations that would become my constellation. All participants contribute to the process, asking you questions, figuring out with you which words are key. What you come to realize is that nothing happens by chance: every person around you is there because you are and vice versa. In terms of my Candidosis constellation, for example, one of the participants (whom I had never met) turned out also to be suffering from the illness.
What happens next is that eyes open or closed, based on what you sense, you attribute each participant with a role. Then, it is kind of like the participants start picking up (or channeling) the information you carry around with you, whether you are aware of it or not. Although they do not know you and know nothing about your life except what you told them, they start revealing things about you, your past, people in your life, even your ancestors – things even you did not know. It is often unsettling, to say the least.
The role I remember most from this particular constellation (besides the Candidosis one), is a terrible sentence that had been nagging me for some years and that popped up every time I looked at myself in the mirror. It does not really matter what the sentence was or how ugly and low. What matters is how the constellation helped me transform it into something completely different, much kinder to me.
It happened quite early on in the exercise, when I was having trouble facing the person representing the sentence in question. I knew I needed to somehow acknowledge and accept her, but I just could not. The energy was wrong, she scared me and I rejected her. I waited, trying to figure out how I could change the dynamics and aware that the processes other participants go through elsewhere, while you are working on yours, impact the entire field. While I was staring fixedly at her, unable either to approach her or to leave, other people in the field must have reconciled, because at some point, the pull changed and I was able to see the person that personified my sentence in a new light. I went as far as to hug her.
My movement was sincere. It did not come from the mind. There would have been no point in that. And that is what is both essential and challenging about constellations. Sometimes only some of the energy knots get untangled or sometimes you get caught up in your mind and have a difficult time opening the way to your body and the emotions it harbors. You will often hear my Shaman yelling: “down into your bodies, into your bodies!” But it is okay if not everything works out. That is why you should go back, do a new session: deal with issues from a different angle.
What I appreciate in this practice is that it approaches Maya from the bottom up: it by-passes its mental manifestations to get all the way down to its emotional roots (for what I mean by Maya, please see my homepage). Of course, I am aware I am not done with constellations (and all the other things I have put in place to help me). I am also aware of how difficult the aftermath of constellations can be. The scary emotional rollercoasters and the frightening a-ha moments are never far away. But at least I am one step closer to getting Maya to “buzz off!”