How Your Ancestry Can Keep You Stuck (and How to Break Free)

BY Sonia Sommer        October 7, 2015

Do you find yourself repeating family patterns ad nauseum?

It happens to all of us to some degree. Despite our best efforts, we play out the very same dramas in our own life that drive us crazy about our family.


Aside from obvious traits like physical appearance and psychological tendencies, you can also inherit “life themes” from your ancestors. These might be positive things like a life of optimism and abundance or more negative influences like turbulence and scarcity.

New studies in epigenetics suggest that not only genes but the life experience of your grandparents can get passed down and affect your life today. The Guardian recently published this article describing how children of Holocaust survivors are directly affected by the trauma their parents experienced. This is not learned, but transmitted directly through tags on the children’s DNA.

They’re born with it.

Although this new research is controversial, this phenomenon has been known to traditional cultures for thousands of years. From a shamanic perspective, any unresolved trauma or difficulties your ancestors experienced leaves an imprint in your energetic field (the blueprint for your life), that can block you.

For many years I carried out a life theme of my grandmother who was left to raise her 3 sons alone after her husband was killed in war torn Germany. The theme of overworked single mother had its grip on me, until I was able to shift it using the methods described below.

Maybe you’ve experienced this first hand. You have that feeling of being stuck in a repeating pattern with no way out. It feels bigger than you because it is. Almost like a curse. It’s fine if your ancestors were having a good old time, but not so great if they weren’t. Effectively, you’re left to resolve these painful issues yourself, lest you stay stuck and pass them on to your own children.

The good news is that you can clear ancestral patterns and as a bonus, heal your family line backward and forward in time. Yup, you heard right. In the shamanic viewpoint, time is nonlinear, so whatever you do now will ripple both into the past and future. You’ll release your grandparents and your own children from negative patterns once and for all. That’s a 3 for 1 for your time and effort.

Here are 3 ways to heal negative family patterns:

1. Hire a shaman.

The easiest way is to hire someone who specializes in this type of work. It can be difficult by yourself to root out the core issues binding you to your descendants. A shaman deals with this type of thing all the time and can help you unravel it from your field.

2. Do your own healing ceremony.

If you’re a DIY kind of person and have a solid concept of a family pattern, try this method to start to shift it:

  • Find a small stick.
  • Sit quietly tuning into the issue. Stay with it until you really feel how it lives in your body and when you do, blow it 3 times into the stick.
  • Find the gift in the pattern and come into gratitude for all it has taught you. Thank your ancestors for the opportunity to heal.
  • Ceremonially burn your stick in a small fire, drawing the smoke of your burning issue into your belly, heart and forehead.
  • Watch for situations which offer you the opportunity to behave in a new way, free of your old pattern. Choose this new direction.

3. Create an ancestral altar.

My teachers say that if you don’t honor your ancestors with an altar they will run amok in your house. This basically describes what we’ve been talking about earlier. Once we honor the legacy we’ve been given and find gratitude for the lessons, no matter how painful they might be, we stop feeling like a helpless victim. Our forgiveness and gratitude creates the freedom to create a new life for ourselves and let go of tired old baggage once and for all.

  • Dedicate a shelf or other space in your home to set up your altar.
  • Use pictures, letters or any other objects which represent your ancestors.
  • Light a candle, put up fresh flowers and anything else you feel called to add.
  • Stop by it sometimes to reflect on the gifts of your family lineage.

You are the one you’ve been waiting for. Healing the wounds of your family is a great honor. Take that leap and you will be free to create the life you want.

My grandma and her 3 sons.

At the same bridge with my own daughter.


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Sonia Sommer

Sonia Sommer is a master healer who merges cutting-edge science with ancient wisdom to help people completely upgrade their life. Drawing from over 20 years of experience, her clients include professional athletes, talented people you’ve seen in movies, tired moms and drained CEOs. She created Feel Awesome Again to help people get unstuck and start living the life of their dreams. People love her down-to-earth Aussie style. For free resources and to find out more go to

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