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Meet today's guest:
Johanna has 20 years expertise in resolving inherited family patterns and is the founder of The Family Imprint Institute with an international private practice. She is committed to resolving painful patterns from living out in the next generation, as if on repeat. If she had a superpower, it would have to be listening like a detective to the facts of your family history. The words you use to describe your challenges lead her directly to where the most effective resolution is for you. The intention with her work is to contribute to world peace, one family at a time.
Imagine if instead of focusing so much effort on coming up with effective discipline strategies or feeling anxious because you believe there is something wrong with your child, you could use this information to make massive, positive change in your own life?
In other words, what if we looked at our child's behaviour as clues to what we might need to heal in ourselves?
According to, Johanna Lynn, our Mother's Day Marathon guest this week, this is exactly what we can and must do to stop patterns from repeating in our lives.
Family is our story
Let's give the example of a computer…we actually don't arrive with a clean hard drive. Think about it like sharing an operating system with your parents and even your grandparents. Science actually gives us the unequivocal evidence that this is the case. What is unresolved for our parents, either emotionally or from a significant trauma lives on in our body. It's as if we're born ready to deal with the things that our grandparents and our parents were up against.
As a result, when Johanna is called to help with a child's misbehaviour, her first response is to talk with mom and dad about their family history.
What I've learned in years of working with clients is that if we look at a child's behaviour, often, if not every time, it points to what's not resolved for one of the parents or perhaps something in the history for both of them, or what's going on inside the marriage
A lot of times if we can look at our own stuck points, our own vulnerability, our own parts that are unresolved – that's going to give us all the information that we need about what's going on with our child.
When you look at things this way and tune into the invisible force that is shaping your life you can get to the root of the problem and truly heal what is going on.
For example, if we're not able to receive love the way our own mom gives it, we're very likely to have a complicated relationship with our own child. It's as if we're not able to have this exclusion inside the family – otherwise it comes around again to be resolved… the family love looking to have resolution.
So the question becomes… How can you get curious about how you hold your own mom and dad inside?
Shift from why is this happening to me… and turn it into curiosity instead. What happened to have her [my mom] show up in life this way? We right away want to turn on more compassion, more understanding to build that bridge.
Johanna and I talked about mirroring and the idea that when you are having trouble liking someone or dealing with their annoying behaviour, it pays great dividends to take a look at what part of their behaviour is actually reflecting a piece of yourself that isn't serving you.
This is even deeper than mirroring, Debbie. Chromosomally (biologically), we are half our mom and half our dad, and so it actually lives in the chemistry of our body. These responses, these needs, these on-going frustrations…anything that you're aware of as a pattern, gives us clues [to what is crying out for attention].
Johanna went on to explain that this means, your child's anxiety, aggression, neediness, tantrums… could all be highlighting something you wished you had received more of as a child. To figure out what's going on, you need to be willing to get really vulnerable with yourself and often you will benefit by an objective support person, like Johanna, to help you put the pieces of the puzzle together.
I often joke that I’m much more a detective than I am a therapist, putting the family puzzle together to gain insight as to what's really at the root of things.
We discussed a variety of fascinating challenges, like when a person has been adopted and knows nothing of their family history. This can also be the case when a parent leaves the family and isn't available to share their story. Johanna informed us about something called, a break in the bond, which can occur with adoption, but also when a baby must live in an incubator for the first days (weeks, months!) of their life.
This break in the bond changes the way our brain is set up - how much we trust love, even how much we trust life.
We talked about why feeling guilty for our child's situation doesn't serve us, and how to shift your perspective to one of insight, understanding and appreciation.
What do I need to attend to in me? What do I need to bring more awareness to and have a little more tenderness around?
Johanna shared a story about a client that showed us how quickly the healing can begin and told us where to start if this feels like something you want to explore further.
Check out the podcast to enjoy this very intriguing, enlightening and perspective shifting topic.
Please check out Johanna's website at www.johannalynn.ca to find out more about her. While you're there be sure to pick up the audio gift she has created to help you pamper yourself just a little.