Episode 014

Family Constellations with Johanna Lynn

Healing Trauma & Family Dynamics

In this conversation, we talk to Johanna Lynn a therapist specializing in Family constellations; powerful modality that helps individuals understand and heal the dynamics within their family system. 

Johanna shares with us how this process allows for the exploration of hidden patterns and traumas that may be influencing our current relationships and behaviors. She explains how the work bypasses the story and focuses on the energetic and subconscious level, providing profound insights and healing.

Johanna highlights how these group constellations offer a safe space for sharing and healing, as participants can relate to and learn from each other’s experiences. And how by uncovering and healing family dynamics, individuals can create healthier and more fulfilling relationships. 

And to close, we discuss the impact of healing work on future generations and Johanna offers a personality profile to help listeners explore their family imprint.

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Ep 14 - Family Constellations Johanna Lynn
Awakening Conversations
014. Family Constellations with Johanna Lynn - Healing Trauma & Family Dynamics

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In this episode...


  • Family constellations can provide insights and resolution by exploring the systemic dynamics within our families.
  • The work focuses on the energetic and subconscious level, bypassing the story and providing profound insights and healing.
  • Group constellations offer a safe space for sharing and healing, allowing participants to relate to and learn from each other’s experiences.
  • By uncovering and healing these dynamics, individuals can create healthier and more fulfilling relationships. Healing is an essential part of the awakening journey and can have a profound impact on our relationships and overall well-being.
  • Acceptance and understanding of our parents’ experiences can lead to healing and a shift in our relationship dynamics.
  • Healing work can have a positive impact on future generations by breaking patterns and creating a healthier family system.

The guest

Hanna Lynn 03 Light

Johanna Lynn

Johanna Lynn, is a remarkable therapist with over two decades of international practice. Johanna brings a unique and holistic approach to her work, delving into the intricacies of her clients’ family trees to uncover hidden keys that are often overlooked in traditional therapy.

Johanna’s extensive training spans multiple modalities, making her a versatile and deeply knowledgeable practitioner. Specializing in Family Constellations, she skillfully unravels issues rooted in family dynamics. Her sessions seamlessly integrate the mind and body, acknowledging the body’s crucial role in storing emotional pain and trauma. Through Integrative Body Psychotherapy, Johanna offers a holistic approach to healing, facilitating profound transformations.

Moreover, Johanna has a keen interest in epigenetics, understanding how our genetic expressions are influenced by our environment and experiences. Her expertise in this cutting-edge field enables her to support clients in addressing the root causes of their challenges, whether they pertain to relationships, professional growth, or financial well-being.

Through attunement to bodily sensations, clients gain profound insights into their subconscious patterns and behaviors, fostering enhanced self-awareness and nurturing healthier relationships. She skilfully resolves these stored patterns, enabling clients to release entrenched issues and attain enduring freedom from painful family dynamics.

Johanna’s website


Kate (00:00)

Welcome back to the Awakening Conversations podcast. My name is Kate and I am here with my co -host Amanda. And today we have the pleasure of introducing Johanna Lynn, a remarkable therapist with over two decades of international practice. Johanna brings a unique and holistic approach to her work, delving into the intricacies of her clients’ family trees to uncover hidden keys that are often overlooked in traditional therapy. Johanna’s extensive training spans multiple modalities. Specializing in family constellations, she skillfully unravels issues rooted in family dynamics. Her sessions integrate mind and body, acknowledging the body’s crucial role in storing emotional pain and trauma. And through integrative body psychotherapy,

Johanna offers a holistic approach to healing, facilitating profound transformations. Johanna also has a keen interest in epigenetics, understanding how our genetic expressions are influenced by our environment and experiences. Her expertise in this cutting edge field enables her to support clients in addressing the root causes of their challenges, whether they are relationship, personal growth or financial wellbeing.

And so through attuning to bodily sensations, her clients gain profound insights into their subconscious patterns and behaviors, enabling them to release entrenched issues and attain enduring freedom from painful family dynamics. We are super excited to have her here on the podcast today. Johanna, welcome to the Awakening Conversations podcast.

Johanna (01:45)

Thanks, Kate. Good to be here, Amanda.

Kate (01:48)

So Johanna, I am really looking forward to unpacking this topic today. I have heard of family constellation work and I have think I’ve seen it once on a documentary on TV and it was completely fascinating. And at the same time, I don’t know much about what it is. So to begin through our conversation so far on the podcast, we have been talking about the fact that we are souls, and that our souls do come into this incarnation, these lives, these human lives with a plan, plan of things we want to learn in this lifetime. That also includes that we come in with a particular family and that that family is also part of the plan. And what we are coming to understand through our awakening journey is that that has an influence on how we view life, how we experience life, how we come to be. And so at some point through our journeys, looking at our family patterns and our upbringings can be a very big part of the healing journey that takes part once we awaken. What I’d really love to start with first and foremost though, is really getting an understanding of what is family constellations. So we can see how this is a powerful modality that we can begin to use to do that exact work of looking at how our families have influenced us and what that healing work really is for us to do. So could you share with us some more about that?

Johanna (03:24)

Yeah, with pleasure. Family constellation work is a little over 50 years old, but a lot of people have really never come across it. And so it’s really interesting. It’s kind of one of the best kept secrets of how you can really unravel what’s been stuck inside. And what I’ve really come to appreciate it over the years is it bypasses the story. It bypasses the complaints and the then this happened when I was eight and then this over here when I was 17.

We really need the facts of the family to start to really get into understanding what we might be repeating or what we might be stuck in. And so it takes an experiential process to get us out of our heads and more into our bodies, to understand what we’ve been holding and what we might be unconsciously be repeating either through thinking, in our relationships, in how we might be responding to that family member.

And so a lot of the ways to describe it that feel easiest is it takes an outer image through the work of the constellation that’s really starting to unravel the inner image you hold about life, about certain relationships. And so an easy example might be if I hold the inner image that my dad is controlling, let’s just say, or I grew up with an authoritarian parent. Well, we might see in that person’s life that no matter what job they end up getting, they have kind of a bully as a boss. Or they can’t seem to get away from controlling partners. There’s this sort of, that’s where it’s repeating. And that’s what we’re looking to uncover in Family Constellation.

Amanda (05:01)

Can you explain what a constellation is? Because I think some people might not know what that is.

Johanna (05:08)

Yes, some of my people might be completely new to it. And so a constellation starts with, let’s say, usually about a dozen people, and we get together in a circle and physically in the room. And I have been able to replicate this online. So we can either have multiple boxes on Zoom or we get together in a physical room. And we start the day off by going around the room to talk about what’s your pressing issue? What’s the repeating problem? What is that argument you can’t seem to get out of with your spouse? We kind of start with a tension point and then we build a constellation experience. So I might listen very closely to what the client is explaining and then ask them to choose a representative from the group that might hold space or represent their spouse, their teenager, their mom, their dead uncle that they had all kinds of problems with so that we can now create an outer representation of what’s been held inside for sometimes decades. And then we start to see some things really unravel within the constellation, but most importantly, with inside of us and how we’ve held it all this time.

Kate (06:17)

So once you have these people, and this is what I have seen, as I said, on this documentary was, like you said, the first family member. And in the example that I saw, it was a woman who had, you know, issues with her mother that through this other person represent being this outer representation, a dialogue then happened where the client, as you said, began to express things that they perhaps wanted to say to the mother.

And then what was fascinating to me was then the person acting as the mother, and perhaps you can expand on this, then also spoke as well. Is that part of the process and what’s actually happening there? What can you expand on that for us? What happens in the, in the session? Yeah.

Johanna (07:00)

Yeah, I love that you asked for that clarity because it really gets into the good stuff. And so this work, it comes from the philosophy of the knowing field, that we are all interconnected, certainly as a globe, but more so as a family unit, as a family system. And so that interconnectedness in a way filters out even when someone might step in to represent your mom.

And so the founder of this work, Burt Hellinger, is probably most well known for his famous healing sentences that happen inside of a constellation. So it might be something as simple as, let’s say I’m the daughter, but I’ve had to kind of raise my parents. They’re troubled with drugs or just emotionally immature. And so the healing sentence might be, I am the daughter and you are my mom. So we want to start to shift and change that balance of order.

And sometimes if we can just speak it outside to get it up and out of our body, this is where we start to make changes. Sometimes when it just sits inside, now it’s this kind of like difficult reference point that we show up in all of our relationships. Like we’ve got to take the lead. We’re the one everyone’s counting on. And this can complicate all kinds of adult relationships if we never got the experience to feel like the little one or to feel like the child who’s been taken care of.

Johanna (08:20)

Developmentally, we all need that experience.

Kate (08:23)

I just want to stick with a little bit more of like the actual process. Because what I would again, back to this one thing that I saw one time was, as we said, you know, the client then has this, you know, I am the daughter, you are the mother and this opportunity to restore this position, because interestingly, I think the one I saw it was the opposite. It was exactly the mother had, you know, alcohol issues, drug issues. So, you know, the daughter had to care for the mother. But what was interesting in this experience, because you mentioned that this has up to 12 people that are part of a session here, but all 12 people at some stage may be involved in this one conversation, because what I saw was as the mother, the representative, of the mother spoke, there was this uncovering that the mother was the way the mother was because of the way her mother had raised her. So another person came into this experience, this session to act as the grandmother. And then that sort of expanded out from there that, okay, well, she was like that because of husband. So someone stepped in as a grandfather. And then there was like this, as you say, like constellation created of a family line where through these other people though, representing these parts of the family, there was an uncovering of a story that was a great healing then for the client way back here. So part of my question too here is like, there’s these somewhat complete strangers here stepping in as representatives of the family members. And yet what I witnessed was this woman who doesn’t know these people that don’t know her story had this profound healing by way of, as you said, information they’re bringing forward from what they’re sensing in the field. So can you explain a little bit more about that for us? Because my next question on that, and if this is too much for a question, remind me to come back to this, but you know, what are they picking up on there? As you said, this information in the field, do these people need to be intuitive? Do they have to be certain? You know, are they just regular people? Like how is that working for this client then to really have that powerful, emotional cracking open and shift to be like, my gosh, now I can see things differently. And like, then it comes all the way back through that line, like a massive healing. Could you expand a little bit more on that? If that’s too big, break it up. Yeah.

Johanna (10:48)

 Well, we’ll start at your first question around, and it might even be the greatest gift of this work to be able to embody that it wasn’t personal. The truth is, if we hold it as personal, like my mom loved the drugs more than me or remarried and he was more important, whatever that hurt point might be, if we’re still stuck there in our 40s and 50s, it will complicate your present -day marriage. It will influence the way you parent. It will change your confidence and the way you hold yourself. And so the experiential constellation that’s stepping in of going, my grandma did this to mom. And so in a way, one of the most powerful things to feel is how could it have been any other way? And so it creates almost like a domino effect of release and unwinding and re -centering how you’ve held this relationship in your body sometimes for decades. And sometimes our parent might already be passed on and we have no way to kind of repair that or we’re estranged from that mom or gosh, we’re gonna see her on Sunday and we’re a little nervous about it, however it might go. It’s the change in us, how we now reference that relationship.

How we either show up in it differently or how we show up for ourselves differently. So it’s just got so many sort of like rolling benefits of this experience coming in. And that’s why I love that it really brings the whole body together. And now the magic of it is sort of this knowing field, you know, virtual strangers coming in and holding representation for others. I’ve done this for 16 years and so I can’t, I’ve lost count of how many constellation gatherings I’ve held. But in all of them, it’s so interesting. Let’s say who’s chosen to represent the mom does so because in her family, again, stranger coming in to hold the client’s mom, in her family of origin, she’s the rejected mom. And she gets to hold the experience of, gosh, that’s how I must have made them feel. Or it’s just this complete sort of role reversal to step at it and to look at it without your defenses, without the whole story running. And so there’s no sort of coincidence in who is chosen to represent and the ripple effect of that has just always been so magical to me. Do we need to be intuitive is a super interesting question. I’ve noticed that the more in tune people are with their body, the more sort of body centered and less in the mind they are, the easier they can step in.

Some representatives that are really of the mind, they kind of go, like, what did she say about her mom? And how should I do this? They kind of are stuck in the mind about it. They might need just a little bit of guidance and some support with those healing sentences. But it’s really, I’ve come to trust the work so deeply. It just sort of comes in and starts to unfold and the magic happens.

Kate (13:57)

It definitely sounds like magic.

Amanda (13:59)

Yeah, I’m going to share that for those listening that I have done one of Johanna’s workshops and I didn’t actually, there wasn’t time for me to have a consolation for myself, but just being the space, I received so many openings and insights about my family and where things came from, how things happened the way they did.

I found myself crying from other people’s constellations. Just by being in the, someone else sharing something, not even in a constellation, it unlocked things that I think felt hidden before. It was an environment for so much to unravel and become clear. And yeah, it’s like a portal almost. I think you described it as that

Johanna, as far as like this energetic container that we come together in to then, you know, look at our individual families, but there’s so many universal truths, right, that run through so many families that, and these truths are often, we keep hidden, right? There are things that we don’t talk about, whether it’s, there’s a lot of things around shame and money and, whatever, like abuse or things that people don’t talk about in common conversation, but hearing other people feeling safe to share these things, it almost unlocks that maybe shame that we might have around those topics and that in a way normalizes it. And so the concept of like sharing and healing within a group, like what have you observed from your experience?

How is that different than working one -on -one with a client with this work?

Johanna (16:01)

Yeah, to be honest, I found the group work even more powerful along the lines of what you’ve shared. You know, it’s almost as if maybe we’re in a group and we think, I hadn’t put that together yet, or I wouldn’t have languaged it like that, but like, yes, that’s it. And it gives permission to be vulnerable, to share, to sort of expose some of those stuck points because there’s this universal, you know, we are one, this is a shared human experience, I am not alone in this. And I think that in itself is quite healing. And so some people that are new to the work might come into a group and just kind of hang back and just sort of catch the healing momentum through just observing. And that’s kind of beautiful, you know, it’s a fairly unique approach in your ability to do that, to be an observer and have all the emotions that you just described Amanda even just in watching it.

Amanda (16:57)

Can we talk about in our workshop, you reference at times the different ways like mom can represent certain things and dad can represent certain things. Can you dive into that a little bit and talk about the ways our primary parents come out in our life experience or whatever challenges we might face?

Johanna (17:22)

Yes. The first place to start would be that our parents really set a blueprint or a template for how we relate to all of our future relationships. And so it’s much deeper than modeling, like how did mom and dad treat each other. And this is where we really lean into epigenetics. The whole philosophy, if we look at the family tree around where did love stop flowing? Where did it get tangled up? What happened there? And what might I actually recreate?

So that’s kind of one area to look at it. To specifically answer your question about mom and dad, the founder of this work had a very controversial sentence that people still talk about 50 plus years later is success has the face of your mother. And people either gasp or lean in with curiosity at that one. And really what that means is our first love is of course our mom.

Johanna (18:18)

It’s where we built this body. It’s the environment that we shared in a very symbiotic relationship for nine months. And the first five years of our development, our brain is patterning after our primary caregiver, which is typically our mom. And so is she happy? Is she fulfilled? Is she resentful and slamming every door she comes across? These are very different experiences to how we start to relate to our environment.

And if there was anything that happened to mom, like as moms we can now understand, it’s stressful to be a mom, it’s stressful to have to work, or maybe something’s up in the marriage, or maybe grandma gets a scary diagnosis, you know, know, know, there’s 101 reasons why mom’s attunement might be pulled away. But that for the developing child under five is really what makes the child feel bankrupt. If we were going to go back to that example of success.

So in my personal experience, my mom had to go back to work when I was six week old baby. And I was in sort of like a huge nursery school where there were just rows and rows of cribs. And so while I got my needs taken care of, of course, there would be this initial developmental phase of I’ve got to figure it out on my own. I’m not so sure I can trust this connection business. You know, this woman that I’ve been connected to, her smell, her voice, the sense of her, is just nowhere to be found. And this is where a lot of our hyper independence can come from. Those of us with that background make great entrepreneurs because we’re always reinventing and figuring it out on our own. But it comes from a really deep place of, I don’t trust that you’re going to give me what I need. And often this recreates inside of our marriage that we feel that way about our primary partner. And that’s done by design. We unconsciously pick a partner to replay a lot of, a lot of what got lived out. And I truly believe that the soul’s got a larger plan at play here in order to finally heal it, in order to finally find that place of peace with it. Our dad is a place of, well, they say the mom brings the, births the child, you know, into life. And the dad brings the child into life. So the dad’s role is really about how to be in the world in a way where you can feel confidence. And that’s real sense of, self -direction often comes from a dad who’s had your back, who you feel really loved and supported by. And if that was shaky for any reason, we can find ourselves often in a loop with decisions. We don’t maybe trust that internal gut instinct to know what to do. And sometimes that can go back to dad being a shaky foundation. A lot of times, addictions track back to dad missing. And so because it’s been around this work for 50 years, there are certain connection points, but I always like to be sure with every client, it’s completely fresh and new. So I start with that three generation genogram that I might think, okay, we’ve got an addiction here. Let me ask if there’s a missing father, but it doesn’t always mean that. It’s just kind of a clue that often ends up lining up.

Kate (21:31)

Hmm. It’s fascinating. And, it’s interesting what you say to that these experiences, how our parents showed up in our life in those particular times. It feels for me, what you’re saying is that, you know, it does set up for us as a human, maybe this energetic blueprint of, okay, these are my, how I feel I need to operate in the world. As your example was like, you know, I’m the one who has to like figure things out and, you know, because I didn’t have that bond with mom in those really important times. And so, you know, that drive in you is different to someone whose mom was there and, you know, stay at home mom and could bond. And, and something I heard you say too, is that as we then go into our older relationships, that is sort of a dynamic we bring in and it’s something that we then attract, for better or for worse, right? Where, you know, it can be an opportunity for us within our relationships to heal that one -on -one with the person we’re with, because that is going to come to the surface. And I know, Amanda, you’ve spoken to this through your awakening journey, that pre sort of understanding much of this path, you know, your dynamics in your marriage where you came together with, you know, an attraction of certain things that you experience, but at some point that needed to be worked on to then heal, to kind of grow the relationship. And I just really wanted to, to note that, cause something else that we’ve sort of touched on is that as we’re going through this tumultuous time right now of change and consciousness on the planet is, is rising.

We are moving out of that trauma bond and into more of a, resonance bond with people. So this time, particularly, I feel if we are really feeling this family stuff come up or this work really needing to be looked at, or there’s inner, you know, traumas within us, challenges within us. Now is the time for us to really do this particular work and through a system like what you offer, because where we’re going, we kind of got to get this out of the way so we can relate in this new way of resonance and, you know, really seeing people eye to eye, not through sort of how we’re, you know, both been affected negatively, but really in our more full potential as, you know, co -creators with a different, that sort of different dynamics. So, yeah, I think it’s powerful work that you’re doing that just feels like, as you said, not only is the client, benefiting from this by being able to verbalise things, but the participants that make up that family constellation and through your example, Amanda, it can be profound on so many levels and for so many people through one person.

Johanna (24:27)

That’s really well said. Yeah. Yeah. I think in my own experience, just what you were sharing made me think of that, that of course, through my profession, I understood that systems marry systems, that we truly fall in love with the familiar. And if we’re really willing to look at ourselves, so for example, in my own marriage, he likes to withdraw and shut down or doesn’t like, that’s his pattern. That’s how he handles stress.

Johanna (24:57)

And my instinct is to sort it out straight away. And so if I look at my need to have it sorted out, comes from my own family of feeling distant and disconnected or maybe misunderstood, and really looking at my partner’s background and his family of origin, there’s a place where I can say, I get it, of course. Instead of taking it personally, instead of pushing to connect, instead of throwing a fit about it, that there is this place where even though we fall in love with the familiar and it can trigger those really tender places, the way that we really evolve, I find in relationship is for me to say, ooh, okay, that feels crunchy, or that’s really tender, and can I work with myself instead of kind of pointing the finger at him? You know, blame is the cheapest hit of power going. If I’m focused all on him, I’m not really gonna change or shift or change that resonance to really come at it from a fresh perspective instead of getting stuck in the same argument.

Kate (25:57)

Mm -hmm. And that can be healing in and of itself and the relationship too to come at it from that perspective. 

Amanda (26:06)

On this same note, can you speak to what it is like to heal tricky parental dynamics, right? Like a lot of times as a child, we might feel wronged by one of our parents or both of them for whatever they did or didn’t do. And what have you seen is the experience of people that come to acceptance of who their parents are and were in their lifetime, their experience with them.

Johanna (26:42)

Wow, that’s almost like the key to freedom, the question that you’re asking. I think that’s where we all should be at least moving towards.

The founder of this work talks about life looking at us differently when we can lean back into our parents. And so the image that is sort of the gold star of this work is to imagine your mom and dad have your back, to imagine that you could lean back into that, that feeling of, okay, they’ve got my back. Now that might not be your lived experience of what happened. And so this is where, like when Kate was describing the structure of a constellation, this is where a grandparent might come in. And in your mind’s eye, you see your mom or your dad turn towards their parent of difficulty. And there’s this sense of, wow, mom lost her mom when she was seven, or dad struggled with a grandpa being an alcoholic and being really quick to anger, and how emotionally unsafe that felt. And so there’s this kind of compassion and understanding that leads to, dad is maybe emotionally nine and mom may never change and this is just kind of the dance we’re in. And so what if, what could it be if the change is in me? What might shift if I’m able to recognize this is what they can give me and turn towards that?

And so I guess the best way to say it is receiving life as it comes to you. That life looks at us differently when we can imagine looking towards our parents and saying, thank you. Thank you for this life. And if that’s all you could have given me, like in some of the clients I’ve worked with, if they’ve been adopted and that’s really a raw pain for them. So this life is all you could give me. I receive it fully. And I really let that be enough.

Because I can’t tell you how many 40, 50, 60 year olds are out there still in a fight for what they didn’t get enough of. And I think all life has the ability to do is give us back some version of that because it’s trying to say, will you learn it this time? Hey, how about this time? And it just shows up in different versions of people.

Amanda (28:53)

Yeah, that was a constellation in our group as far as like, and I really felt that as far as I imagined what it would be like to be adopted and to hold that wound, like to feel that wound of my mother gave me away and to live with that. And then to recognize, to really feel that the mom did as much as she could, right? And to like, I felt that on a deep level and the other person that, and I saw them fully experience that and process that and, you know, and they were, you know, further along. And so to get to that healing, whenever that is in life for something like that happened, like, you know, your initiation of life, that’s profound. That can happen in just one, one session of this work.

So that’s pretty remarkable. I’ll share a story about, it wasn’t with family constellation, but I think it’s the same concept, same idea as far as coming to see our parents in a new different way. And it had to do with my dad. And I don’t know if I shared this in the workshop,but my Dad, he, my grandmother, she created these books for all her kids and in them were a year for each other lives and that she had write something and they had pictures. And I remember looking through my dad’s and I was, I was probably like a late teenager. And I remember getting to one of the years he was probably like eight or nine and just seeing this little boy with the saddest face on him. And I could just feel the sadness in him. And I read what she wrote and it was, it was just like, you’re disappointing us, we’re, this has been the hardest year. And that stuck with me. And then a year ago, I was, I was doing a lot of personal work and this before my dad was coming to visit. And I was reminded of that, that, that book that I saw.

And I just saw my dad as that little boy. And my dad and I, we can have some, we can butt heads. And I was able to have nine days of peace with my dad because I just saw him as that little boy. And I no longer saw him as the dad that raised me, but I saw him from a different light. He is the result of, as you spoke, his parents who are the result of their parents and everything culturally and economically and whatever of life that, you know, the times were different that, you know, as far as like living through the depression or whatever, like it’s a very different experience. And I think seeing our parents in different ways, and I think that’s what this work can do. It can help us experience our parents in different ways, allows us to then shift whether we’re with our parents or not, it shifts our relationship with them. We can create something new. We can rewrite it through having a new vantage point for how we see our parents. Does that make sense?

Johanna (32:32)

That’s  really it. That story is so perfect. That’s exactly what I mean. And I used to teach a class called the myth of forgiveness. Your story reminded me of this because forgiveness, if it were strong enough, it would have worked by now. There wouldn’t be hundreds of books about it. And what could be even a stronger term than I forgive you, dad, for those moments we get into friction is, I understand.

When my mind was reminded back to that picture of you in that book and that ‘we’re so disappointed in you’ comment, you know, I understand where sometimes you drop the ball on connecting with me or you can’t go into those deep conversations that I’d love to have with you, that there’s just this, I get it and I’ll meet you there. And we can let go of some of the hurts and some of the ways we wish it would or could be and really receive what is there.

Kate (33:26)

Hmm. Hmm. Yeah, it sounds like there’s such a, you know, a powerful tool people are learning as well of like, acceptance and letting go but an allowing as well of like, maybe I can just allow that to be what it was. Hold that that’s one, my experience of my parents. Two, their experience of their parents and their life and like, you know, there’s such a releasing of burden, of feeling, of what we’re holding onto to say how we’ve been wronged or hurt, you know, and there’s, you know, it’s, it is just such a powerful understanding of who we are. And I think that’s so needed and important because yes, we may have had very challenging experiences, but we forget that maybe the person that caused us that challenging experience also had challenging experiences, you know, it humanizes us in some ways to really understand and see that not only our parents, but everyone around us who may, we may be challenged by has got something they’re challenged by, right? Like it’s, it just, if we could see it within our parents and we could then go, okay, well there, there, there’s other people, humans in my life as well. We’re all struggling with something in some way, you know, and especially when people treat others in such a way that is less than we would like to be treated or not so loving or kind. Really the question then just is, well, what is, what is, you know, what are they burdened with and what have they experienced? Like how weren’t their needs met or how weren’t they loved in, you know, a beautiful loving way. So it’s, it’s such a, an opening for us to just create and experience and feel a deeper compassion for everybody. And, and if only this was like work that everybody knew about so we could get involved in a conversation or be part of a constellation, just to hear others, to begin to see things differently and hold our experiences differently and, you know, release some of that tension we hold in our minds and our hearts and then our energy. So it’s just, yeah, amazing work that you’re doing.

Johanna (35:44)

Yeah, we just don’t know what other people are carrying, you know, and so can we be curious like you’re describing instead of jumping to judgment or jumping to being furious with them? The world would be such a different place if we came from that mindset.

Amanda (36:01)

I would love to hear your thoughts on the concept of the healing work that we do currently in this life, how it can impact our ancestors and our future generations. Do you have thoughts on that concept?

Johanna (36:18)

Oh, definitely. What I think I feel such reverence about is that I found this work just after having our son. And there was this, wow, like I really want all of this to end with me. That natural sense of protecting our children and not letting the pain run through the line, so to speak. And so the more we come to completion with hurt feelings or unresolved issues, that is the best way we can protect our children from those sort of family themes running through and settling onto their shoulders. And so the more work we do, the clearer their path actually is. A lot of times when clients come to see me about, you know, little Johnny doing this or trouble with their teen, and they want to say, you know, can I send my child to see you? And I say, well, I’ll talk to the parents. I need to know the family history because our children express what’s unresolved in us.

And that’s where we’ve got to find how we support our kids best. And how it heals back is another part of that sort of mystery. And for me, I stay pretty rooted in the science of epigenetics and the groundedness of how this is practical. And I think as far as I can tell, as I change, as I get rid of that backpack of pain of how it could have been or should have been, I then show up with my parent so much differently.

Johanna (37:44)

I don’t gossip with my siblings about remember this and that, you know, throwing mom under the bus. And I’m actually living with more love and understanding and compassion at the center. And so it just sort of stops the way a lot of families might connect over gossiping with other family members. So it just sort of cleans that up quite a bit. And there are certainly other traditions that talk about seven generations forward and seven generations back. And, you know, why not? Why couldn’t that be true? It’s a beautiful thought.

Kate (38:16)

Can you also speak to a little bit more of the epigenetics for anyone that may be new to that concept? Because what you’re sharing there, especially in that example of, okay, you know, here’s, can you speak, you know, speak to my son, but no wait, let me speak to the parent. Because really what you’re explaining there is like, okay, yes, he might be having some challenges, but if I only work with him and I don’t work with mom, that’s going to maybe continue until mom has that realization of, okay, in me, what am I holding?

How do I not hold that? So therefore every day forward for little Johnny here, it’s completely different. But also then in that how for little Johnny, that’s changing things for him and epigenetically. What does that mean? What exactly is happening there? How is that then that really positive healing for the future generations? Can you explain a little bit more about that for us?

Johanna (39:07)

 It’s probably easiest to give it a computer analogy that we’re, none of us are born with a clear hard drive. We actually share an operating system with our parents and our grandparents. And so this kind of encoding in the DNA that we are literally born prepared to deal with the stresses of our parents and our grandparents. And the challenge that we kind of run against is maybe my grandfather was a prisoner of war and here I am two generations away, riddled with anxiety and completely stressed in being in large groups of people because I’m carrying something from two generations back. So being able to look, let’s say, at a child in distress across the generations really fills in the blanks and lets me work with the root cause instead of just symptom management kind of approach. I’ll see if I can remember this case because it’s remarkable.

Johanna (40:03)

The boy was eight or nine and he was stabbing the couch. He would get the kitchen knives and like stab and rip apart the couch. And so of course, very alarming to the parents and tried all kinds of different things to anger management. Is he a defiant child? Is he mentally ill? All these scary labels started to get thrown around. And thankfully they came across somebody that asked them, have you ever looked at inherited family trauma? Have you looked into what’s going on in the family, what could be expressing? And it turns out that the grandfather killed somebody in a bar fight, killed someone with a knife and was never apprehended. There was never any atonement, there was never any resolution. And so now this instinct to reach out and hurt something close by, yes, it’s the couch and not a person thankfully, but there that instinct lives inside of this child. And so until we know what it’s really about,

Can we sort of give that back to the grandparent that did the deed, that had the act, instead of making or pathologizing what this young child is doing, understanding where that instinct is really coming from?

Kate (41:10)

Hmm. Yeah, I think that’s something powerful for people in listening to this too. Like it’s allowing ourselves to have these experiences we might have of what we think is ourselves, but hold that again, to not personalise everything that we think might be wrong with us, that there might be more to that when we can look from a broader picture, much more expanded perspective, you know, how might this be not essentially mine?

But that there is this awesome opportunity for us to then say, okay, well, where does this belong? And how I can then kind of remove it from, you know, my sense of self, because I had this greater understanding that actually, no, this is generational and back somewhere. And, you know, again, through the work that you do, there’s that healing, okay, well, and it’s a releasing. So then your experience of yourself can really shift. And I think, you know, speaking to that, that is this, the power of that work is, cause I think to myself here of like, just in general, how I’ve personalized my experiences through life. And I think we can’t help but do that, right? It’s our inner world. We think about, this must be me. You know, I’m, I am like this. And yet it’s because of, you know, situations that we grow up with peers, parents, whatnot, but we do, we internalize and make it mean something about us. But to hear in this moment, it may be a little bit more than that feels to me like it could be this sort of like, you know, like a life raft or whatever we’re offering people here of like, hold on a second, maybe, you know, there’s more to this. And there’s an opportunity to explore that through modalities like this, like maybe there’s more to it. Maybe, you know, give yourself a break here and, and a permission to start to explore what else this might be because this could be a really powerful opportunity to heal and like see more of who you really are. When we take out all those stories and what we’ve made to mean what we are.

Johanna (43:19)

Truly, we are so much more than we think. And I think so many of us suffer with, this is just how my relationships go, or this is just how I am with money, or really sort of shut down or judge ourselves. And gosh, there’s so much more to us than we realize. And so to be able to see ourselves with a full picture, it just brings in so much more solutions.

Kate (43:20)

It’s such liberation. Yeah.

Amanda (43:48)

What has your experience been with people who maybe their children are a little more grown or you started when your son was quite young, but say they’ve passed that five years, that really critical stage. What have you seen or what are your thoughts on doing this work at later stages in life and how does that affect children and then of course their children going forward, regardless of what age someone might do this work?

Johanna (44:22)

Yeah, thankfully it’s never too late. If we go in there with the intention to really repair, to really listen, to really give that broader explanation, I’ve seen the most beautiful repairs in adult children and really just being able to look at it with this larger lens. And so in all honesty, it’s never too late. 

Amanda (44:44)

So, a lot of, for me personally, after I started my awakening journey, I realized that I had really porous boundaries. I was very empathic and I didn’t learn how to develop boundaries. I think my mom was the same way. Can you speak to what your work around boundaries with your clients and anything helpful or insightful that you could share maybe about how to begin working and developing stronger boundaries.

Johanna (45:16)

Usually those of us who are empathic come from it from a very honest place. That at a very young age we had to tune in more to what mom or dad needed. In a way we leave our developing sense of self to kind of go over there and be with them. And so this idea of a young child thinking mommy looks sad or mommy’s stressed, you know, what can I do to kind of prop mommy up so that hopefully she’ll be able to give me what I need.

And so we get a little bit of role reversal there. And any of us who grew up in families where, you know, there were certain expectations of how we behave or the grades that we get or the games that we win in order to be thought of as valuable, we get confused around our inherent sense of value. And that’s kind of performative part of ourselves. And so in a way, it can be as very early, early stages, we start to internalize, like, who do you need me to be in order for things to be okay with us? And so if I have to, you know, hive off this part of my personality or turn into a pretzel over here, I just start to give myself away for connection. And I think there’s been a lot written about, you know, kind of like the consequence of people pleasing and what I’ve seen over and over again, because I work a lot with kind of relationships in distress, is that one side of the couple hasn’t said, that doesn’t really work for me, or I don’t feel respected here, for, you know, 12 years. And this is the crux of why they have an affair with somebody at the office. Because now the proverbial rug is up at the ceiling and there’s just too much to say and so, you know what, I’m out of here. The challenge with that is if we don’t look at how we show up with boundaries, of how we state our needs really clearly without feeling, you know, guilty about it, we are going to recreate that in our next relationship. It’s about how we’re showing up, about how that space we are able to hold for ourselves. And a lot of the times that healing work in those examples, if I was taught to give myself away for connection to be the helpful, good girl, this does not serve us very well in our adult lives.

Kate (47:28)

Is there anything else you’d like to share about healing with our listeners and, you know, coming from the profession that you do, is there anything you’d like to tell them about this journey and the work and just the importance of the healing work when we begin to awaken and in life in general.

Johanna (47:46)

I think what you mentioned a little while ago, Kate, in the conversation about being a lifeline or being hope, I think a lot of people call me after really searching, you know, speaking to this expert and reading this book and trying that thing. And there’s this place of, I just haven’t got to it. I haven’t found that healing that I’ve been looking for. But they didn’t include the entirety of the whole situation. We’re so individually focused in our society that we’re not taught to look at the full system. And so for those who are on the healing path and have only maybe gotten so far and maybe feel frustrated or maybe giving up hope to just remind them, maybe there’s a whole other spot over here that you haven’t thought to look and that could really be beneficial. For your listeners who are readers, my most influential teacher, his book won so many awards, it’s called, It Didn’t Start With You. And I just love that title.

Johanna (48:43)

And Amanda in Spanish, it’s, this pain is not mine. And I just love that translation of, the book is now in so many different countries. But I think what I love about it is it’s got some really cool epigenetic science and the kind of explanation of it, but case studies that really help you see, my gosh, this is how it plays out in this family. Or wow, I can really relate to that. So if your listeners are readers, that would be a book I would highly recommend.

Amanda (49:10)

Can I just add one more thing that I think is relevant to our conversation about awakening? And I see this with maybe people who move abroad and sometimes there could be a desire to fix what’s not working and sometimes partners, couples, they part ways. And so like that, or like with an awakening, we start to see, you know, maybe we separate from someone that we’re in partnership with. And so this work is really important to do in those instances, because if we don’t do this work, we’re just gonna find another partner that’s gonna fulfill that same pattern, that unconscious pattern that we saw in the initial partner, we’re more likely to find another version of that if we don’t begin to look at where these dynamics come from. So yeah, I’m really glad that we have been able to have this conversation about our families. Because for me personally, when I started to wake up, I realized that everything I was doing, was to heal on the ancestral level. Like I was told I’m here to heal my ancestral line. And my life kind of made sense after knowing that. And so that’s why I love this work that you’re doing, Johanna. And I’m grateful that you were able to share it. And I think a lot of people are gonna be able to glean a lot of great information of how they can apply it to their own situations. 

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us before you share about your offerings and how people could potentially work with you if they feel called?

Johanna (51:12)

Yeah, just what you brought up there, Amanda, it’s reminded me that so many people that come into this work are what I call the white sheep of the family, better known as the black sheep. You know, the one that awakened, the one that questioned, the one that sees things differently. And a lot of times that can be exceptionally painful to be the one in your family that sees everything differently. Because we’re so organized, I guess would be the best way to say it, by belonging. In fact, the founder of this I think he’s written about 30 or 40 books about the family and belonging is in every single book. It really kind of shapes us. What do I need to do to belong? It kind of goes back to that boundary conversation we were having. And so this understanding more about yourself inside of the fabric of your whole family system can be very enlightening and very freeing and get you out of that questioning. Like, is there something wrong with me? Like, how is it? Did I land from Mars? Like, how am I so different than my family?

And that’s something I think many of your listeners could relate to because we are on that awakening journey. And a lot of the times we’re choosing family because our own family doesn’t quite know how to join us on this journey.

Kate (52:26)

Yeah, amazing. And so can you let us know then how people can connect with you, work with you and what your offers are?

Johanna (52:36)

Yes, I’d love to offer your listeners, I just created a really intensive personality profile. It’s called reveal your family imprint. And so it’s all the questions that I really distilled down from years and years of working with people in private practice. And then it gives your listeners an indication of who they are inside of their family system. And so I hope it’ll be really revealing and supportive and then they’re more than welcome to reach out to me after the results, maybe they’re curious or they have some questions. I do have an international private practice, I work over Zoom. I do constellation work online, which is so exciting to have people from, you know, Kuala Lumpur and Australia and Canada and the States and we all meet together and we share this, you know, thing of family in common. So yeah, they can certainly reach out on my website, which has all kinds of great information and articles over the years, which is just www.johannalynn.ca

Kate (53:36)

Amazing. Well, thank you, Johanna. This has been an incredible conversation and I think a really powerful one for our listeners because healing is a large part of what we go through when we awaken and, you know, just really feel like this is such an expansive process for people to be able to see, you know, much of what I’m experiencing here may not just be me. There might be more to this, to this that I can work with.

I can shift and I can bring myself into more liberated sense of me and who I am, you know, and have space from things to really be, you know, a more authentic version of me, you know, who I came here to be and just really received the beautiful benefits of healing. So thank you for doing this work in the world and thank you so much for being on our podcast. It was great to have you. 

Johanna (54:29)

So thank you for the invitation.

Kate (54:35)

You’re welcome. Well, thank you. And we thank everyone for listening. We’ll join you on the next episode.


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Awakening Conversations Podcast

With Kate Megee & Amanda Richardson-Meyer

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Kate & amanda - Your hosts on this conversational journey!

Meet your hosts

Both Amanda & Kate have been through and are still going through their own awakening journeys, which, in fact, the creation of this podcast is a continuation of their awakening unfoldings.

While being located in very different geographical regions of Earth, they have brought their energy together through the gift of technology to explore the ideas and experiences of the awakening journey, which has transformed each of their lives in unique ways.

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No Glitter Brown GradientAmanda Richardson-Meyer
No Glitter Brown GradientKate Megee
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