Saturday, November 27, 2010

Soul Food



It's so interesting when clients I work with on a regular basis send their visiting family members for healing, a situation that often occurs during holiday weekends when everyone is home to celebrate together. Watching the familial energy flow through various individuals is fascinating. It's like watching a person with multiple personality disorder. There's an unmistakable energetic "flavor" every member of any family shares with his/her sibs, parents, kids, in-laws, cousins and such - but oh my, the way each individual manifests that familial something is very distinct.

Family get togethers are a form of sacred drama, each person enacting a role that in some way helps the family oversoul evolve or work through issues (at the very least). People seem to both regress and progress simultaneously at holiday gatherings. I believe they are shape shifting like mad in order to help develop something in the overarching family soul. It seems to be very hard work, from what I can see, often creating good humored, or not so good humored, friction. Sometimes this evolutionary process goes smoothly. Sometimes, heads bump, folks get hot under the collar, act out, and such. I think that's why there are so many movies based on the theme of family gatherings at the holidays; the fussing and fighting - and loving each other when all is said and done - are almost universal experiences.

I never travel at the holidays which means I'm never in contact with my own very wonderful family at this time. During the holiday season, I'm very busy at work; one must make hay while the sun shines, after all. So I "see" my family on facebook, or we talk on the phone, or perhaps skip the ordeal of contact entirely. I know this approach is odd, but it works.

After this week, during which I've worked with two extended families, wrestled not only with muscles and trigger points, but with the uber-soul of both clans, a theory is taking shape about why we eat so many rich, heavy foods when we gather with family for the holidays. It's pretty simple, actually. I think all that food puts a damper on the urge to strangle each other. When we're doped up on L-triptophan, it's all we can do to get the TV tuned to a football game. I think the beached whale result of too much food is connected to the survival instinct, helping to curb what might otherwise become quite destructive within the sacred dramatic unfoldings of our beloved family souls.

It's a working theory, undocumented and unproven. What do you think?

17 comments:

Jo Floyd Lucas said...

I think I'd like to make an intelligent remark, but all I can do is gawk at your remarkably beautiful, absolutely glowing photos! All I can think to say is, "WOW."

ellen abbott said...

It sounds right on to me. Maybe that's why no one wants to get there too much before the food goes on the table.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Jo.

Ellen, oh yeah.

Barbara said...

That's exactly what happened in our household this week.

Reya Mellicker said...

It happens in many households.

Karen said...

I think this theory has real possibilities! :) I have been thinking a bit about family since we didn't go anywhere this year, and no one came to see us. (Actually, I've been thinking about it since the end of June, when one of my siblings stopped communicating with me).

Given your theory, it might be that our family is a bit exhausted with the oversoul work of late, and so we can't bring ourselves to get it together and get together. :) I'm feeling a bit like I'm not brave enough to do the work that's plopped into our laps. (But then again, maybe it'll get better now that said sibling is finally going to therapy? Who knows...)

Reya Mellicker said...

Timing is everything, Karen. There's no shame in taking a break!

tut-tut said...

Having taken quite a break from my sister (and she from me), I find that finally we are able to hold a more than civil conversation over the phone. There is more here than meets the eye, but this is good.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, tut. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.

steven said...

reya - i love the idea of family but it's so unlikely - family i mean. i tried so hard as a kid to make it work. but here i am and i know now that that kind of work is counter-productive and reinforces the ignoring of the natural messiness of clusters of people. it's the messiness which is the essence of family not the smooth as silk dreaminess of a movie or a tv family. it's the messiness that helps us figure out the early bits of who we are and especially where we need to move. jo is so rright about your photographs - moving to smooth as silk - they are so damn rich and righteously good!!! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

As are you, Steven: rich and righteously good!! Happy messiness to you. xx

Linda Sue said...

I no longer have the family that I grew up in- my family now is Dexter and my son so "family" stuff does not really happen anymore- what an f-n relief!
And YES! your photos are so clear I feel like I am right there!

Reya Mellicker said...

Linda Sue: wish you were!

Gary said...

I see families with so much drama during get togethers but I have not experienced that in my own. True, we all are rarely together. There always seems to be someone missing but those of us who do join together are very gentle and loving with one another. I suppose it could stem from the challenges we faced growing up and the lessons that taught us. I am not saying all is perfect, my twin brother can cause tension every so often but overall it is smooth sailing.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. You have given me food for thought here about family roles and how that plays out when we are together. Thank goodness I like mine. :)

Val said...

haha Reya that makes loads of sense about the feasting process. I no longer have family to get together with, and we do not travel over holidays either - its crazy time on roads alone! but yes, all you say makes perfect sense to me :)

The Bug said...

I totally agree with your theory. I think that's why we can't have any type of celebration that doesn't involve food. It's impossible - why, we might start TALKING or something!

Annika said...

I think the theory is right on spot- and reading it really made me smile about the love, the strife and the absurdities of all the dynamics that occur at family get togethers. Its nice to see this reality with some humor as well, which your piece brought out in me. I think there's a point and a pattern to the spate of comedy films centering around family holiday get togethers and all the craziness, mishaps and cathartic moments that can occur...