When we ended last time, my Constellation was in progress, and my “publisher” had turned his back on me and my novel. I was filled with a sense of doom. This did not bode well for my writing career, but then something really encouraging happened.
During a Constellation, the client picks representatives, but often others in the circle who have not already been chosen can sometimes feel “activated” to want to join in. They feel some energetic impulse to play a role, and the facilitator brings them in and questions them to find out who or what they represent. Right after the “publisher” turned his back on me and walked away, two other people in the room felt activated to join. One was representing a concept, and she said, “E-book, print on demand, some alternative way of publishing.” The other said she felt like she was a previous work of mine, a novel that may have been written and abandoned in the past. She said she didn’t want to be left behind. They all joined hands and smiled at each other, like one big happy family: my writer representative, my two novels and my alternative publishing method. I was flabbergasted.
I had written a novella back in winter of 1993 called Dreaming Montana, and when I moved to Seattle in spring 1994, I tried to get the work published, but after receiving lots of positive feedback at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference and sharing the book with an agent, I found no takers and had to abandon my quest to be a writer in order to make a living. Back to the corporate gulag for me. When this previous work showed up in my Constellation, I knew exactly what it was. The funny thing was that the work is a novella, and the person representing it was a tiny woman. The universe does have a sense of humor. And at the exact moment that this other novel showed up in my Constellation, the “publisher” turned around and suddenly got interested in what was happening.
Another person from the observers’ circle felt activated to join in, and she aligned herself with the “publisher” and revealed that she felt she was some kind of new communications concept, like blogging. She said I would connect with my readers through my blog posts, and that people would be interested in reading about my transformation, and that this would get the attention of publishers.
So what, you’re probably thinking, isn’t that what I’m doing right now? Well, yes, but back when this Constellation happened, I didn’t even have a Facebook account. I didn’t have a website. I didn’t know how to blog. I could barely say out loud that I was a writer. The idea that I would be sharing my personal experiences as well as my creative projects was completely new to me. And just as I was digesting this information, the real meat of the event started. The point of Constellations is to demonstrate patterns that a person may have inherited or taken on from previous family members. Old patterns play themselves out over and over again until the pattern is identified and healed. So while it was great that my particular Constellation seemed to be offering me up a picture of my future, the direction it took from there was to point out a pattern from my past, and that pattern was my attachment to following my father’s role model. I stayed in the corporate job because I thought it was the right thing to do, the safe thing to do, the sensible thing, and I had learned this from observing my father’s life. This was exactly the thing that was holding me back: clinging to this doctrine, because it was safe, and the creative writing life was not. I had already done some work on this, and with the help of Rachel as a facilitator and the representatives in my Constellation, we illuminated this pattern and did some healing and letting go. And as that was happening, the “publisher” slowly made his way back across the room. By the end of my Constellation, he stood firmly behind me, hands on my shoulders, and I burst into tears.
All of the above is simply a description of the events that actually took place. There is no way to accurately describe to you what the experience was like. You have to witness and participate in it to really know. I’ve been to other Constellations since then, but only to offer my support to others seeking their own clarity. The evening of my Constellation was one of the most memorable nights of my life. Afterward, the representative who played the role of my forgotten novella approached me, saying she felt compelled to tell me about a woman named Christine Kloser, who had a program called Transformational Author Experience. I promised to look it up when I got home. The woman making this recommendation just happened to be a life coach, Laurie Rosenfeld.
So someone I never met before, who played my novella in my Constellation, who is a life coach, and who just happened to know about a writer’s program for people trying to finally write their book, gave me the next place to leap in my stepping-stone journey.
Next up – the Transformational Author Experience – my crash course in doing the inner work and the outer work to be successful as a writer. It’s a strategy called Pray and Move Your Feet.
Artwork by the lovely artist Laura Cameron