Reclaiming Authenticity

Breaking the Family Icon through Healing and Ritual
Familial Iconography - Part Two

by Victoria Marina-Tompkins

" Many fragments reach middle age with a pervasive sense of disconnection from what they perceive to be their true and authentic nature, having only experienced this during moments of exhilaration while seemingly detached from the rigors and concerns of everyday physical plane existence. What we mean to speak of here is that many students of ours come to a point, a crossroads in their growth and evolution, where they know on a deep level that there is still part of them, the true and authentic personality, that is not available to them as frequently as they want, and that while they 'act like' everything is just fine on the outside, there is a calling for depth which they reach for but which they cannot quite grasp. This elusive self, which is rooted in joy and in the positive poles of the chosen overleaves, runs this way and that, or so it seems, and just when the fragment believes that fear has been kept at bay and the authentic nature has been released at last, the joyfulness slips away again, leaving the fragment disappointed and disillusioned."

"It is through identifying rooted family patterns and the subsequent releasing or breaking of these energy links that one can begin to live more fully in the moment and in joy, which we will remind you, is the point"


The family icon, or the image projected onto us and then claimed as part of us during our lives, can have a very powerful effect on us and on the choices we make. As Michael said, we often come to a point in our lives where the untangling of and disengaging from these images and patterns becomes imperative and necessary, no longer one of many options, but now one of the primary choices which can lead to the reclaiming of the authentic nature. Michael has offered us several techniques for the release and healing of these unwanted energies and images and these include simple rituals which can easily be created by anyone in a relatively short period of time.

One of the most effective is the 'Crockery Breaking' exercise. This ritual begins with a trip to Cost Plus or other store which stocks inexpensive plates and dishes. True shopping! This is one of my favorite rituals because it shows us how we can have fun and play while we are doing the more serious work of becoming ourselves, and it also reminds us that we can learn through joy. Once you have purchased several plates, preferably white, or colored without a pattern, take them home and create a space where you can work undisturbed for about an hour. It is important to turn off the telephone and create a sacred space where you can dive deeply into your personal history without distractions, or best yet, go outside in nature where you can have all the room you need for self expression. After you have cleared your environment, take a black permanent marker and a large piece of paper and write down all your thoughts and pictures about the image your family gave to you when you were young. If you were "the little princess", then you could draw a castle or crown, or a picture of a little girl. It is also fine to simply write the words without illustrations. Perhaps your icon was "the disappointment" and you can't quite put that into words or into a picture, but you can draw how you feel about it. Do that. Don't hesitate to fill up the whole paper!

After you have completed this first part of the ritual, without a break begin to transfer your images onto the plate, letting them direct you (rather than the intellectual center) as you flow into the process. Turn your thinking off. If the chief feature interferes with "this is silly" or "this won't work anyway", let these thoughts go. Don't hold on to anything! Now you may find as you continue in this ritual that the energy is building up -- anger, hurt, tears, frustration, you name it. That's right -- name it! Begin to speak out loud all the energy of the icon. Say it so that the energy is no longer inside of you, and this can include statements such as "I release the anger" or "When my family saw me this way, I felt angry and scared. I release the fear and anger". Let yourself say whatever you feel without any conditions. When the energy builds to a point of intensity, throw the plate and break it. Scream if you need to. Let it all go. Then let yourself be very quiet.

What you choose to do at this point is up to you. A suggestion might be to use water or other cleansing tool, such as sage or herbs, to soothe you. If you are outside, you might lie down on the ground and let yourself become grounded and connected to the Earth. Breathe in the healing energies of earth, air, fire, and water. Sit in the silence and be open.

After some time, and when you feel calm again, pick up the pieces of the plate, wrap them up in a cloth which you can discard later, and let yourself sing or hum a healing song. You could start by humming one or two notes, and see if these begin to form a new pattern or a little song, with or without words, that you can remember. Sometimes this is a good time to ask your essence for a new icon for yourself, one that is based on the true personality and essence rather than on fear. Be open to new possibilities and creation. This is the new you! Choose an object to carry with you to remember this joyful day and to represent your new icon which you have just gifted yourself.

C. 1999 Victoria Marina-Tompkins
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