Sitting at the Ancestral Dinner Table

When we are doing personal change work, it is often discovered that some issues are deeply rooted in our family history. These matters became entrenched until they are established family patterns. We often fail to recognize these family patterns because everyone around us lives their lives within that pattern. For example, if everyone in your family eats dog food, you think it is normal to eat dog food until someone shows you differently.

Take a moment and step outside yourself and view your family through the eyes of another…not a friend (we are usually drawn to those who are similar to us) and not an authoritative figure (they have their own set of rules and you may want to please them too much.)

Instead, through the eyes of a stranger…and look at your family. Put them up on a stage (including you) and have them sit around the dinner table. So the house lights dim, the curtain is drawn and the stage lights go up….


Now watch for a bit…

What would the stranger gleem from the gathering?

Do they talk?
What do they talk about?
What is the tone of their conversation?
Is their conversation serious or light?
Is it limited and forced or is it loose and casual?
Is it too formal?
Do they laugh?
Do they share?
Are there obvious protocols in place?
Who eats first?
Is it self serve or is it served up?
Who serves the food? How is this person treated?
Does Mom eat with the family?
Is everyone present? Is someone hiding?
Who is most dominating? Who is most reticent?

Close the curtain.


It’s the next night.

Again, the curtain pulls back, the lights go on and… and again, time for dinner. However this time, you have invited your Ancestors, say the previous 3 generations. (You have a limitless table and rather large stage).

The stranger sits back and watches…carefully.

Is it the same show? Same behavior as before? Is it different? If yes, how is it different?

Look for the big things….
Look for the small things….

Are the roles switched? Who now dominates? Who is in a minor, supporting role? Is someone “acting” or is the acting invisble? Anyone triggered? Anyone looking stressed or bothered? Anyone avoiding someone?

How is your performance in this play?

This is a very subtle exercise in observation about your family dynamic and the effect of your immediate Ancestors. Anything peculiar pop up at you?

Remember that Ancestral Healing is not about you, it is about you and your family of Ancestors. You are the one chosen to resolve deep seated issues that impact not only you, but also those who came well before you and for those who have not yet been born.

Feel free to write out your scenarios…they hold many golden insights!