Your Beliefs and Images About Money
March 2nd, 2018

When you’re still and alone and let yourself listen inwardly, what is the first image that arises in association with the word: “money?”  And the next, and the next…?

I was talking with a friend about the energies of finances, and she remembered her father sometimes expressing exasperation when comparing his level of success in the world to that of  his brother.  He would shake his head and say, in reference to the family he had created, “What is it with us?”  When my friend spoke those words, I could feel the frustration, hopelessness, and resignation that he had felt come through her fully alive.  The emotional charge on those words was still strong.  She wondered if somewhere in her own consciousness, that energy was still with her. For many of us, when we were children our fathers were our first models for going out from the protected space of the family system, and for interacting with the world.  Read more...

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Do You Feel Your Ancestral Roots?
February 1st, 2018

My sun sign is in Cancer, which has given me a sensitive attunement to the energies of family and community.  In this lifetime, the positive expression of group cohesion, creative expression and serving a community first budded for me when I began playing music in rock and roll bands in Detroit, and bloomed in a much fuller way when the music of West African drumming found me in the spring of 1992 at a dance class with the Uhuru Dancers in Decatur, Georgia.  The exchange of joy and celebration between drummers and dancers set my life on a completely new and energized path that I still walk today.  It wasn’t until later, when I began to study the drumming in depth, that I learned how to be informed by the ancestral lineage through which the music, culture and history passes over centuries.  Thank you Brother Yusef, Stone, Mohamed Diaby, and dozens of other teachers for including me. I’m also aligned with the ideals of equality, freedom and  Read more...

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An Elder Blessing in Guinea
January 5th, 2018

I’ve just returned from a three-week trip to Guinea, West Africa with one of my teachers and good friends, Mohamed DaCosta.  Mohamed got married over what was Christmas holiday weekend for Christians, although it’s not much celebrated in Guinea as it’s predominantly a Muslim country.  There were three days of ceremonies, gatherings and celebrations for the wedding, with all the family members very involved in the planning and preparations.  I was able to attend most of the events with some other American friends who were on the trip, and we were always given prime seating at the very front of each gathering.

There was a party called a sabar that was just for the women; there was a religious ceremony in the bride’s family courtyard; there was a short legal ceremony with a lot of humor in a really hot government hall; and there was an enormous traditional ceremony in a big park with hundreds of people, lots of food, a band and a famous  Read more...

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What is Your Relationship to Debt?
November 1st, 2017

In early October I attended the North American Systemic Constellations Conference in Virginia Beach, VA, USA.  About 200 facilitators, students and trainers of this healing method, along with many interested newcomers participated in the four-day conference.  I traveled with my good friend Lea Gerlach who has been a part of our Constellations community in Atlanta for several years.  I shared responsibilities with Rani George, a facilitator from Washington D.C., for creating the opening and closing ceremonies and holding sacred space for the gathering.  I also presented a workshop called “How Polyrhythmic Drumming Supports a Facilitator’s Multi-Dimensional Awareness” which was very well received (and attended by my teacher Peter Faust, which was slightly intimidating.  Fortunately Peter gave me praise and very positive feedback afterwards, which was extremely rewarding!) I attended numerous workshops during the conference, and the one  Read more...

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Belonging, Football, and the National Anthem
September 29th, 2017

To be a U.S. citizen requires critical thinking and a grasp of history.  To explore the turbulence in our society demands multi-dimensional awareness of many cultural threads: religion, immigration, politics, and power among many others.  Family Constellations can provide a particular lens that can help you look deeper into conflict: belonging.  Who defines belonging, who confers it, and who feels it are essential questions to consider in any conflict.

In looking through some resources in preparing to write this essay I found some notes I made in August of 2016 when I was first struck by Colin Kaepernick’s protests against what he perceived as unequal treatment of minorities in the US by police forces.  I made a list of the many groups I speculated he might consider he belonged to, including the NFL, the USA, his birth and adopted families, his current team, etc.  I didn’t get much farther than that, but I was beginning to explore what  Read more...

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