April 2, 2014

Healing Family Karma.

Your neurology “holds” your family karma.

The pattern of emotions that were swirling in your early environment continue to swirl in your neurological system…even as you read this!

As your neurological system developed, you were surrounded by family members who were entangled in their own conditioning.

They had been raised and conditioned by people who, themselves, were fragmented. They never learned the spiritual practices that would allow them to re-pattern their neurology, heal their karma, and open to the radiant resources of the Wisdom Heart.

They lived within the parameters of their conditioning.

Their conditioned state formed the emotional climate that you absorbed in the earliest years of your life, when your neurological system was forming and most impressionable.

You adapted, at the most basic level of neurological wiring, to the patterns of incompleteness that surrounded you. You learned to navigate the currents of family dynamics—without even thinking about it.

The patterns that you encoded as a child are still operative.

You absorbed these patterns of conditioning. They reside in the primitive, non-rational structures of your neurology where they continue to scan your environment to keep you safe. They live on as implicit memories —what the yogis called samskaras.

Implicit memories have no expiration date.

The primitive structures of your brain don’t think in terms of yesterday or tomorrow. They’re always on alert asking, “Is it safe now? Now? Now?” They’re on the alert, programmed to react to anything that vaguely resembles danger.
What is danger?

Danger is anything that your conditioning taught you to avoid.

Danger is anything that your parents couldn’t face; anything that triggered their reactivity. Because when your caregivers are reactive they’re not able to…um…give care.

The conditioning isn’t just linked to mother or father (or any particular person).

Your conditioning is coded at the pattern level, so it limits you—not just in your relationship with mother or father but with anyone who mirrors, even subtly, the pattern.

When anything vaguely resembling the danger-pattern arises, the conditioning activates:

If your parents were “afraid” of intimacy, intimacy gets coded as dangerous.

Intimacy gets coded as something to avoid, to manage, to control. You learned—without thinking—to avoid, manage, and control intimacy—ideally before it fully manifested.

That’s why even the whiff, the hint, the suggestion of “danger” is enough to wake up the implicit memory, stimulate the samskara, and ignite the reactive patterns of protection, avoidance, control.

If you grew up in an environment where, to stay safe, you needed to hide your needs and not express your vulnerability, then needs and vulnerability become dangerous and you develop patterns to that allowed you to avoid these danger zones.

The conditioning of formative years—built a neurological structure—an identity and way of relating to your life—that was adaptive…at the time.

But, now those patterns of reactivity get in the way. They get in the way of your love life, your money life, your creative life, your spiritual life.

That’s why healing family karma is so liberating.

Untangling your karmic knots frees huge amounts of life energy. All the energy and consciousness that has been bound up in the conditioned patterns is liberated and available for re-patterning.
Healing family karma transforms not just your family life—it touches your whole life so you:

  • Feel calm, centered and clear when interacting with challenging people.
  • Stop getting stuck in emotional dramas.
  • Liberate yourself from over-whelm, over-responsibility, over-sensitivity..
  • Express yourself—with openness, love, and strength.
  • Deepen your connection to people you care most about.

When it comes to healing family karma, the needs run deep and sometimes despite years of therapy or spiritual work, the patterns still persist.

The patterns that were learned and reinforced in your early years are deeply encoded into your body and mind. You can’t become free by thinking about or even “understanding” your personal history.

You need to connect to a deeper level of being, at a more primary neurological level in order to balance those deeply conditioned patterns and tap the great reservoirs of creativity that are tied up in the karmic drama. At this deeper level—which you will reach through the Healing Karma guided practices—change isn’t hard.

You can transform without struggle.

As a developing child, you didn’t have the neurological structures, the spiritual strength, or the psychological perspective to witness the emotional environment that surrounded you. All you could do was absorb and cope.

Now, even if you’ve long since left your parents’ home, the emotional environment lives on within your consciousness.

This is the good news. Why good news?

Because the implicit memories, the habits of conditioning, and your family karma are patterns of consciousness, and consciousness can be balanced, healed, and transformed through spiritual practice.


The Practice of Changing Our Karma

3 Signs of an Emotionally Unavailable Person 

9 Signs a Bad Relationship Cycle is Ending


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Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photos: elephant archives and courtesy of the author

Reply to Amy E cancel

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Livspargo May 26, 2015 5:34am

An enlightening article whose points allowed me to scan my mind for my own examples re family and my mental conditioning. Unfortunately the last part that drops in the process to make us want to know who this writer is and read further on the way, perhaps, reduces the personal touch to a powerful spruiking article to promote business. Yet I agree that any ongoing meditation practice with certain focus will deliver an awareness, thus empowerment to observe little by little those changes in ourselves for the better

Bonnie Harris Dec 4, 2014 7:56am

For any of you who are parents—this is exactly the work I do for parents when they are more reactive to their children than they like or understand. My book and work, "When Your Kids Push Your Buttons and What You Can Do About It" is exactly this work that Eric describes so well for any relationship. It directs people to their emptiness, their reactivity. I do believe that cognitive understanding can help a great deal and have seen it change lives and relationships in my work. The spiritual component makes it deepen even further.

Amy E Aug 6, 2014 11:59pm

I disagree that you are automatically coded to react in certain ways. What about people who have spent years in therapy to undo this "conditioning"? Are you saying we are incapable of learning new behavior patterns? What about those of us who consciously choose to not carry family dynamics into another generation? You are always encouraging personal growth. Are you now purporting that we cannot grow and evolve?

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Eric Klein

Eric Klein is one of the few people on the planet to be both a bestselling leadership author and lineage holder in a 5,000 year old yoga tradition. His work translates the wisdom traditions into practices and principles for people who want to bring greater spirit, meaning, and authenticity to their work and lives. His award-winning books include You are the Leader You’ve Been Waiting For, Awakening Corporate Soul: Four Paths to Unleash the Power of People at Workand To Do or Not To Do: How Successful Leaders Make Better Decisions. His signature online program The Meditation Habit integrates neuroscience, behavior change technology, and spiritual practice. Learn more at his website.