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Can You Inherit the Fate of Your Ancestors?
By Anuradha Dayal-Gulati

Heal Your Ancestral Roots Hi Res cover.jpeg

Ancestral energy patterns come in many forms and play out in different ways. For instance, behavioral patterns may be easily visible. As much as you don’t like to admit this, your behaviors do mirror those of your parents and generations prior. Some of us are frugal, others get angry quickly, a few are overly suspicious.


You may also have patterns of being generous or feeling passionate about issues. Sometimes, themes remain the same in relationship after relationship. And in families, the themes reappear several generations in a row. A “family curse” is real: it’s a repetition of an old energetic pattern passed down the family tree. Maybe you have known someone who vowed they would never again get involved with a certain type of romantic partner. Then you saw that, despite their falling for someone who on the surface was very different from their previous partner, the same old dynamic was at play in this person’s new relationship. Maybe you have experienced this yourself. You might say you will never again become involved with someone who is hypercritical only to end up with a partner who doesn’t openly criticize you but shows you through their actions that they disapprove of you. Or maybe you’re in a relationship with someone who respects and supports you but complains that you’re very critical of them. It’s as if you’re in the same relationship you were before, only with the roles reversed.


There is another kind of pattern that I call “experiential patterns.” These are instances where you see the same kinds of experiences recurring across generations. A grandfather was betrayed by his business partner, and the same type of thing happens again to his son and to his grandson. Or someone faces constant setbacks in their professional pursuits, and this pattern repeats itself. While it’s possible to call this a “family curse,” if there are positive patterns, you call them “family blessings.” Or more broadly, you may even call this “family karma.”    


Many of us accept these patterns as karmic—something you must accept and live with. But what if there is more to this than meets the eye? What if there is a message behind these patterns? I call this what is it that is wanting to be seen. What if you need to unlock something to release yourself and also those who may come after you from repeating these patterns?


As decades of research on the psychology of emotion has shown, each of us has a response system that is activated by a range of triggers. What if your emotional response system is a window into understanding some of these patterns you are trapped in? And what if, by developing an understanding of this system and these underlying family patterns, you can then start to unlock the cycles of behavior and experiences you may have found yourself in? Does your frugality come from honoring the earth or due to a fear of lack? Does your worry about not having enough manifest in you holding yourself back and not taking some risk, thus putting a ceiling on your professional life? Or does this emotion and behavior make its presence felt by having too many possessions that clutter your home (hoarding), or by your demanding financial control of your partner?


Do you feel that you are not enough? Who else in your family has felt this way? What is the origin of this story you tell yourself? I encourage you to begin to journal some of the answers to these questions, but you will also explore them more deeply in later chapters. If you stop to notice how your family energy field influences your life, you can be more conscious of any decisions you make in that moment of choice. Will you do what you’ve always tended to do, or will you pivot, breaking out of an old pattern of action and reaction? My own experience has shown me that letting go of old habits and establishing new ones can be very difficult. If you don’t consciously choose a new way of thinking, feeling, or acting, your unconscious chooses the familiar path. When I started noticing and working with patterns, I wasn’t aware that I resisted making plans far out into the future. Planning vacations or social events too far ahead of time was fraught with anxiety for me. My parents didn’t like to plan too far ahead either, perhaps because of my father’s unpredictable travel schedule, but as an adult with my own children, I didn’t have to deal with this when making plans. My unease about looking at hotel websites to compare and contrast lodgings made no sense. It took me a long while to realize that I was repeating an old family pattern. 


Anuradha Dayal-Gulati is an energy practitioner and transformational coach with a Ph.D. in economics. After fifteen years in finance and academia, she began a new path of helping people release the past and reclaim their power. Trained in flower essence therapy and family constellation therapy, she lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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