Ancestor Healing Work in a Season of Change

I took a break from writing my monthly article this past summer because I thought I was running out of things to write about. I also knew that it was going to be a tumultuous time for me, and I wanted to be fully in the experience and not have to be concerned about deadlines. It may seem that 600 words is not a lot, but when you’re struggling, it can be the same as having to write a novel.

As predicted, the summer was difficult for me personally and for the world. There has been a lot of cleaning and clearing going on, most of which has been dramatic and life-changing. Much of it has been distressing personally – getting attacked by yellowjackets (they are very aggressive suckers), getting my first  speeding ticket ever after driving with a clean record for 47 years (there’s a connection to the yellowjackets in that story), having to replace my furnace (a very big expense), watching my basement flood during hurricane Irene (the water level coming very close to the new furnace), losing power for almost a week and phone service for longer than a week, and having several clients leave treatment for a number of reasons.

That is not to say that my practice hasn’t had its share of ups and downs during the past 13 or 14 years, but this time it was divined that it would happen and so it did. The difference is in the way I am dealing with it. The good news is that I am not panicked, despite the change in my finances. But I am still trying to figure out what to do now.

From my spiritual perspective as a Yoruba Priest, I believe that Oya (the Orisa represented by the wind) is clearing things out in my work, and Egun (the ancestors) have the answer to my question of: Now what? So, on the basis of the information I have thus far, I’m making some changes.

For starters, I am not grieving the loss of those who have decided to leave. I believe I’ve served my purpose for them, even though from my perspective for many of them the work had just begun. I’ve also decided that I don’t want to work with children under the age of 17. I’ve decided to stop undervaluing my work and charging too little for it, including accepting assignment of payment from a consortium that devalues the contribution of psychotherapists. I am raising my fees whenever possible and quoting higher fees to new clients who can afford them. (I’ll always take on clients on a sliding scale.)

But two changes are most significant. The first is that I want to work with clients who are ready to make a commitment to their lives and consequently to our work. I want to work with people whose ultimate goal is transformation. I want clients who understand and accept that depression, anxiety, addiction, dysfunctional relationships, under-earning, etc. are all symptoms of a deeper underlying issue of the self, and who want to get beyond relief to become the people they have the potential to be.

The second change is that I want to share the process I went through to find my family of origin. This work started in the summer of ’09 and is ongoing. My ancestors actually at this point have a whole room in my house for themselves. When I’m upstate, I have tea with them every morning. My altar is wonderful, made so by the addition of heretofore unknown photos on my mother’s side of the family. I have learned so much from my ancestor work and my relationship with them. I want to help others reap the same rewards. I’m calling this “Ancestor Healing Work” and have included it in my website, and will be marketing it more and more in the coming months. I really do believe that the ancestor work is my greatest gift and has the potential to bring me the greatest success.

So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey, let me know. We don’t even have to be in the same room, city, state or country for us to do the work. Check out my website, which you can access on my GoodTherapy.org profile, and read about what I have in mind.  Your ancestors are waiting for you.

© Copyright 2011 by Kalila Borghini, LCSW, therapist in New York City, New York. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Jayna

    Jayna

    September 27th, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Excited to check out your website! I have always felt strongly that there is so much to access of ourselves of the present and future by going back to the past and learning from that.

  • Leah

    Leah

    September 27th, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Genealogy is a subject that has always interested me. There are a lot of incredible often inspiring things about our ancestors that would really wow us if we took the time to uncover it.

    From a business perspective, your move to cut out less serious clients is sound. By doing this you effectively increased the value of your time. If you were looking for business advice though, you would have posted this in money magazine or forbes. Now from more in tuned point a view, I would say that your decision was based on emotions and not business. In this case you have also made a great decision, know what you want to do and stick to it, use all your power not to budge and success and happiness will be yours.

  • pete

    pete

    September 27th, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    “I want clients who understand and accept that depression, anxiety, addiction, dysfunctional relationships, under-earning, etc. are all symptoms of a deeper underlying issue of the self, and who want to get beyond relief to become the people they have the potential to be.”

    This!
    There are many therapists that will set a ‘better feeling’ as their target while treating someone and the treatment remains superficial. I am really elated to read your views on how far the treatment goes. Maybe the people think the superficial treatment is all there is but if you’re the professional then you can do justice to your profession only by giving them a thorough treatment as you have mentioned.

    And I have never come across the ‘ancestors’ domain that you speak of. But I will go through your older articles and try to learn more about the same. Thank you very much.

  • James

    James

    September 28th, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    Not sure that I really understand how learning more about your ancestors helps to bring you some peace with what is currently happening in your personal and professional life. I am the kind of person who has always thought that I should not look back, always keep looking forward because the past is something that I can’t change but the future is definitely within my grasp to change and control. How would you in your line of work and interest respond to that kind of thinking?

  • Kalila Borghini

    Kalila Borghini

    September 29th, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    James, we have much to learn by looking back and in particular as far back as we can. Many patterns of behavior and present-life issues can be traced to our family of origin. For example, a family history of alcoholism or mental illness. We may also be able to see how our parents’ parenting skills were affected by their parenting (and further back and so on). For example, a mother who was raised in an alcoholic home and who was forced to take on huge responsibility would be different from a mother who did not have to endure that sort of pressure. Just getting a sense of who these people were and the lessons they may be able to teach us, including what they want for us in the present day, can be of infinite value as we do our work of self discovery. We can see how we internalize their pain and suffering and make it our own. I hope this gives you some idea of what I mean. Let me know if you want to know more.

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