Good Foundations

by Yildiz Sethi

Wellbeing is a state of mind that when in place indicates a balance of heart, mind and body and the ability to create a healthy ratio of work, play and purpose. Many struggle their whole lives to find the missing link. The personal development industry attempts to meet this need with books and seminars.

The problem is, rational as we mostly are, we often look in the wrong places for what is missing and what might be a solution.

Imagine a house with poor foundations. It doesn’t matter how carefully it is built, the lack of stability in the floor sets the stability of the house. If the foundations are faulty, the windows and doors remain out of alignment and affect the structure and function of the roof.

We could study the degree of the mis-alignments throughout the house and their affects on those who live there and while this provides information, it does nothing to resolve the primary problem of poor foundations.

We live in times where we are obsessed with analysing human symptoms and how they affect our lives, behaviour, minds and feelings. While this may be interesting on a theoretical level, it doesn’t solve the core of the problems.

In the case of the house, a builder may look at the symptoms and recommend constantly replacing misaligned doors or windows or alternatively focus on the core problem of repairing the foundations. So why do we focus on the symptoms of human wellbeing rather than how to resolve the root causes or foundations of them?

Unfortunately, there has been an assumption that it is too difficult to go to the root causes and that little can be done to resolve them. This was true in the past.

Wellbeing disturbances may be an assortment of inner conflicts, dis-ease or a range of mental health symptoms.

Mental health symptoms are frequently diagnosed from the DSM5 used by psychiatry. Recently the legitimacy of this system is being challenged for its lack of scientific, evidence-based foundations and intrinsic enmeshments with the pharmaceutical industry. The DSM5 manual is the core of the medical model of mental health. This includes medication and behavioural and cognitive therapies to manage symptoms. This model is built on an outdated belief that mental health issues are hard-wired defaults of brain structure, biology, chemistry or DNA that cannot be reversed. This belief means that management is the only possibility, as for most, a cure is not possible.

More recently neuroscience has provided us with contradictory evidence that the brain is not hard-wired. Rather, it has a plasticity that renders it malleable with the capacity to grow, rewire and heal when provided with the optimum conditions to do so. Further, the study of epigenetics demonstrates that DNA is highly influenced by family history, environment, ecology, and the quality of relational bonding. This includes emotions, psychology and trauma. This is a significant development because it means at least a portion of our DNA may be switched on or off by many factors within our control, such as lifestyle choices, beliefs and emotional state.

All human beings are born with the need for love and connection. If this is realised, wellbeing has a healthy foundation on which to develop resilience for a life well-lived. The problem is that our parents are also a product of their own bonding and many families carry trauma, dysfunction and entanglements from their family history enmeshed with love at its core. This is confusing for children to enter into

Interestingly, unlike fixing the foundations of a house, resolving the foundations of human wellbeing does not have to be so difficult. Fortunately the family constellation process is a way of restoring order from family entanglements, forming healthier relational bonding and releasing systemic trauma in a way that is brief, experiential and powerful.

I have been working with family Constellations in private sessions, workshops and training for over 13 years and it never ceases to amaze me that so many symptoms fall away after the process. Once people are able to feel loved and connected within their family systems they are able to radiate it into their own families and be more functional and creative.

I visualise a time when human beings take control of their own wellbeing by seeking philosophies, theories and practices that encourage self-healing that empower them to become whole. From this place more of us will have the opportunities for fulfilment, creatively and loving relationships coming out of the foundations of love and belonging.