In the preface to Heal Your Family: Get Love and Life to Flow from Your Ancestors to You and Your Children, Psychotherapist Magui Block cuts to the chase by asserting, “My approach contradicts conventional thinking and proclaims that liberating family burdens can be quick, easy and fun.” Such effortless healing may sound impossible, but the author’s nurturing attitude and impeccable prose hook readers, allowing them to open up to her ideas.
The book centers on the concept of the “invisible family legacy,” which Block describes as inherited “emotions, beliefs, stories, loyalties and traumas.” This accounts for problems ranging from financial woes to insomnia and illness. It’s not our job to fix the whole family, Block writes, but to simply resolve our own part and stop carrying unconscious baggage that doesn’t belong to us. Heal Your Family is particularly eye-opening when exploring the idea that the “family” consists not only of relatives and ancestors, but others as well.
Using real-life cases and personal experiences, Block gently steers readers through the Magui Block Method. Each chapter explores a different aspect of healing—transforming blind love to wise love, for example, or resolving cycles of violence. At the end of each one, the author offers an easy-to-follow meditative exercise with a specific sitting posture, affirmations and phrases to repeat aloud. The aim is to slowly retrain your perceptions and expectations of family members, including yourself.
The book requires an open mind and a willingness to honor all family members, even those responsible for trickle-down traumas. Each person has his or her place, Block writes, and assuming another’s, such as when a child tries to fill the role of his deceased father, disrupts the entire system.
Even if you skip the exercises, Heal Your Family is well worth reading for its thought-provoking perspective on finding inner peace by accepting the past. “Only then,” Block says, “can it all be left behind.”
Also available in hardcover and ebook.
A debut guide offers an innovative and singular approach to family healing.
In this book, Block delivers an inventive technique that incorporates ancestors and family stories to help readers address repressed negative emotions and belief systems. Advocating the use of meditative reflections and repetitive mantras, the author encourages a healing process that involves becoming aware of ancestors’ struggles and freeing the baggage that comes from family origins, turmoil, conflicts, and tragedies. For example, Block explains that a problem perceived by a family member, such as an unhappy marriage or the lack of a desired son or daughter, might cause the individual to adopt roles or burdens to try to compensate. By practicing the methods suggested by the author and examining family history, a person can tap into love rather than fear and turmoil. This title stands out from the bevy of self-help books that encourage readers to reflect solely on their own experiences for clues to healing and improvement. Block instead argues that each individual carries the experiences and convictions of ancestors. Only by liberating the blocked guilt, repressed anger, and false beliefs of those past generations can readers truly steer their own lives toward mindfulness and joy. One of the most intriguing aspects of the book is its treatment of guilt, which delves into the specific ways this feeling causes anxiety and turbulence (“Guilt is a plague preventing you from thriving when it permeates your life. Your decisions are paralyzed during this time of confusion. There’s even a name for this phenomenon: analysis paralysis. You’re paralyzed by your analysis of your options, since you’re so afraid of making a mistake”). Through her engaging tone and clear organization, the author takes complex topics and breaks them down into simple practices that should relieve readers of unresolved family baggage.
A successful, conversational manual that should enlighten readers about ancestral stories and their emotional effects.