This is a must listen for anyone who is part of a family, raising children, grappling with grief or has loved ones struggling with grief. Jill Eras, who has married her traditional Master’s Degree in Family Therapy with Astrology and Archetypal Dreamwork, discusses how trauma affects family systems and what happens to women in the process of having children. Jill wisely advises, “If you feel it, you can heal it!”
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THINGS LIKE:
- How trauma affects family systems.
- The impact of having children on women and the family.
- The importance of acknowledging and feeling pain in the healing process.
- The role of astrology and archetypal dreamwork in personal growth.
- The value of empathy and non-judgmental support for individuals going through grief and challenges.
SOME QUESTIONS IRENE ASKS JILL:
- How does trauma affect family systems? How does that work, Jill?
- What role does astrology play in understanding and healing family dynamics?
- How do you get deeply grieving people to go to someone like Jill when they’ve never experienced that and they’re not aware that they can get some help?
- How does someone in your opinion find joy in life in this complicated world?
Listen to the podcast here
Jill Eras – Family Systems, Astrology And Archetypal Dreamwork
We’re in our third season. I can’t believe it’s been three seasons. We’re taking off already.
Many people are enjoying the show. We’re getting such great feedback from it and we’re having fun.
I’m looking forward to this season. We have a good lineup set to go, which is always fun because I feel like summer is always a time when you start to reflect again on all the funny and healthy things. It’s not the winter where you’re depressed and cold. It’s a good time to start making a lot of good new cleansing and finding all these new exciting ways to help yourself better. We have a lot of those coming up, including this episode. We have Jill.
Jill was highly recommended and referred to me by Seta Araz Shahinian, who is our episode two. She is a marvelous energy healer. She said to me, “Jill is gifted, fantastic, and helped so many people. You’ve got to have her on your show.” I said, “Not a problem.” Here we go. Let’s introduce everyone to Jill Eras. Jill, why don’t you start by telling people what you do?
I want to thank you so much for having me on and to Seta for suggesting it. I feel blessed to be here. There are several layers in the work I do. I work with the blueprint of the natal chart in astrology, the blueprint of dreams, the dreams we have when we are asleep, and the family system. I’m a trained marriage and family therapist. I’m very much fascinated and interested in all the blueprints and roadmaps we’ve been given to understand our story and how we can shape our destiny in life.
That’s going to be fascinating for people who are reading because some readers don’t even know that we have blueprints.
We have blueprints all over the place. We have them on our hands and faces but the ones that I’ve been drawn to study, immerse myself in, and synthesize the gift of are these three particular modalities. My practice is based on that. Wherever people are is where I meet them when they walk into my office and we go from there.
Are you into what they need when they come in or do they come in with a complaint like, “I’m having a problem with my family or grief of some kind?” How does that work?
It does depend on how people walk into the room with what they would call the chief complaints of their lives. It is a very intuitive practice. I’m educated. My skills are honed but the most important skill that I have is the one that is connected to the source and the work that I’ve done with myself inside of me to be connected to whatever I consider to be God within me. These are all the gifts that blend and merge in the room.
Do you do one-on-one in private practice or do you also help people long distance through phone consultations and all that thing?
I do. God bless Skype, FaceTime, and all the ways that we connect. Look at how we’re doing this work together. It’s amazing and miraculous how we can connect. I do work with people in the room at a distance. Most often, I will end up working with people and their partners, spouses, and children. We don’t exist in a vacuum. We exist in context. We need to understand our context to understand who we are individually and then start creating that healthy individual presence so that when our life rejoins our context, we’re doing it from consciousness, choice, and vibrancy of who we are.
What I love about what you do is you marry both the alternative healing that you’re able to do with traditional knowledge and healing because you are also traditionally educated.
I’ve always been esoterically minded and connected to things. It’s all that we can’t see and everything that I can feel. I started that way as a little girl pulling books at the age of four on Saturn, Pluto, and Uranus. As I grew into maturity and started working with people, I realized it through a wonderful client of mine. She said to me, “Why don’t you do some psychology licensure or something? You’ll be so much more open to many more people.”
My clients are helping me as much as I’m helping them in that very reciprocal relationship. I took that to heart and found this amazing marriage and family therapy program at Seton Hall University. I highly recommend it if anybody’s at all interested or comes from families with this function, which is everybody. It’s a universal language.
Give us a story or an example of how this works for you, maybe for a person who did some relatability to where you are. Do you have an issue like, “I lost somebody?” I lost my dad. We can use myself as an example. I would come in and still grieving from it or some people in their lives in the last couple of years, and they’re struggling with that grief.
The first thing that I do is sit and breathe with the person and touch where they are emotionally in that moment. People who are grieving go through a lot of different stages. The cycles of grief keep coming like layers of an onion. We’re never done grieving. As human beings, grief is one of the most difficult aspects of humanity that we have to deal with and dreams help us so much with peeling that back but when somebody comes in the room and they’re grieving, I want to know what stage they’re at. I don’t mean by creating a category. I mean by feeling into it with them and being with them.
The thing about grief is that it’s so lonely. We don’t know that other people can be empathetic or compassionate. We feel like we have to get over it quickly, especially in our culture where very Westernized thought processes about everything and getting over it fast. We have to get back to work or look good, act well, and be strong. In my room, I want people to know that they don’t have to be anything other than what they are at that moment. They can be messy and let it all go. My goal, hope, and wish is to create the container to start the process from there.
When someone comes in, I know that there is grief. There’s what they call complicated grief. When people are so distressed beyond and can’t seem to let it go, doesn’t that go back to triggers from their childhood that have also been unresolved? I would imagine with your degree, training, and family systems, you could help not only heal the current grief but also older issues that they weren’t even cautious about.
Much of what fascinates me is multi-generational trauma. That’s what you’re talking about. We all come from a long lineage that many of us don’t even know anything about. Almost nobody is living in this country as indigenous people. We all come from other parts of the world for a lot of reasons. That grief and loss are in our DNA. It’s passed down.
We are all responding to unconscious messages that are happening in our psyche deep in our unconscious mind. That’s another piece that dreams bring. They bring us past life regression as we’re ready to feel it because if you can feel it, you can feel it. In our culture, we’re talking about, “Never feeling pain. Medicate everything.” We want to do the opposite. In a supportive environment, we want to feel.
With all of the grief that we feel, it’s hard to get a handle on it over time in the waves that are still crashing as if it just happened. We know that the person is in shock and confused. They’re all trauma symptoms that go deeper than the initial wound and trigger point. Imagine an acupuncture needle that sets the whole thing off. It is deeply rooted in the person. Each experience that we have, especially the most painful and difficult ones, is meant to give us an opportunity to grow and heal through pain.
That’s the part that people don’t understand. Feel free to agree or disagree. People don’t understand that suffering is optional. You don’t have to be stuck when that happens. It feels like peeling off an onion. They’re coming with their current grief but they’ve also got whatever happened to them in their childhoods. There could be even past life issues that are contributing.
That is the whole thing. It’s a snowball effect. When we have this feeling that we should snap out of it fast or we need to move through things quickly, we don’t recognize that feeling pain is a process. It’s this tender way that we connect with our souls through pain. Two sides of the same coin are love and pain. That’s how we connect in the most powerful way inside of ourselves and then to whatever we feel is God, the universe, or however you think of creativity. The pain and grief that’s been with us from lifetime to lifetime, if you’re a believer in that or simply in our DNA, are the shots until we bring it to light and we shine the light of consciousness on what’s happening.
I’ve been exactly where you are. When I lost my husband, I was working with a healer. She happened to be a traditional healer. She was a life transition coach. One of the things that we found out was I was over the top. Some of it had roots in my childhood, which was not an easy childhood, and things that happened there. The feeling of abandonment was exacerbated by the fact that my husband was gone. I was doubly abandoned with both of the current wounds and then it brought up the past wound. It was an opportunity for me to heal that.
In psychological terms, we call that a priori. It’s a pre-existing condition that is triggered by the current circumstances. We’re always being given these opportunities to heal trauma wounds.
You said, “If you can feel it, you can do it.” That’s a great statement to keep in the back of your mind and remember because we can’t heal a lot of these things. We are so rushed. Even not with losing someone. What I’m thinking is having a baby or a child. A lot of our readers are parents. You’re rushed for that process. We want our job to look good.
That’s such an incredibly powerful time in life when men and women choose to have children, and then what happens to women in the process. There’s a movie that came out called Tully with Charlize Theron. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it but it’s this incredible and powerful character study of watching what she goes through as she brings her third child into the world and what her marriage looks like in the state of her being.
We are truly humbled by having children. I have five children, all moving into adulthood and near there. When I look back on those moments of being on my knees with exhaustion and emotional pain, I understand that it has so much to do with the fact that when we become mothers, we relive our childhood unconsciously. We are in the same kind of pain. If we watch our oldest child at two and something’s going on with them that triggers a membrane and unconsciousness, we’re right back in our trauma without even knowing.
We feel doubly lost at sea or drowning in all of it. If we have that capacity to start to say, “I get it. This is a symbiotic relationship I have that I need to learn how to differentiate myself for the health of my child and my health, and to start to heal my trauma while I’m raising children,” it will enable a woman and a man, if a husband or the partner is on board for that, to start to look at the family system and how trauma could be impacting it unconsciously.
Raise consciousness and be willing to see so you can change it. If you start to learn about it and see it, you have the possibility of changing it little by little, like baby steps. No pressure because there’s enough pressure involved in parenting but little by little, we see it. We know how to change it. We lean into support, a tribe, a group, and people who are 10 or 20 years ahead of us who can say, “I know what that is. Hold my hand. I’m with you. You’re not alone. This is the existential pain of being human and being brave enough to have children. It’s overwhelming.”
This is such an important interview. Everyone needs to read this because I don’t think anyone on this planet is not affected by trauma that has led to other things that go on in their family systems. I’m not far from perfect but after I healed a great deal of my triggers and systems, I was able to begin the healing of my whole family system where no one was talking to each other. People had been estranged for years. Now, everyone is connected. They’re getting along but people had to do the healing. It started with exactly what you’re talking about.
That’s the thing. People can come back together. Looking at our trauma and being willing to express what’s truthfully going on with us doesn’t mean that we have to lose each other. The opposite is true. A family can come back together and reform in a cohesive way. We want boundaries in a family that are flexible and generous. Most families create boundaries that are so rigid that people either have to conform and shut down their soul and very being to stay in or they have to leave. They have to break out, break through, and be gone. Neither one of those choices is what humanity wants. We want to be together in a tribal setting but be who we are.
What would you recommend to parents, moms, or women who experience anything trauma from death? You’re saying, “You have to take these baby steps.” How do you even recognize that you’re in that situation? I met some people myself who are so far into depression but I don’t know how I could try to help bring them out of it without a routine.
When people are depressed, we can generalize a little bit. This is not true for everybody but in general, depression indicates that there’s a lot of rage and anger that’s being turned against oneself. The person probably feels helpless to make changes. They feel like they have to do it because the way things are happening feels out of their control, which is very much the feeling that people have when they have babies, toddlers, and young children. Babies, toddlers, and young children are doing what they do. They’re not doing what we want them to do.
If you find a person who’s dealing with depression, offer to fit in and be with them without talking. Check-in with yourself and your breathing. Come into your heart. Try to stay out of your head because our heads want to find all the answers. Our minds are meant to be the servants of the heart. If we give ourselves the opportunity to sit, breathe, and feel and offer our hearts without solution, that would be a very loving, almost like a kabbalistic way to approach a person in that kind of pain. In our Western thought process, we want to give answers and create new behaviors from what we think and say. These problems don’t resolve that way. I would offer my heart to sit with that person or say, “Can I hold the baby for you for an hour today while you take a shower?” Things like that are very helpful.
They’re lonely and they may not ask but listen to someone there and give them something without saying anything.
Even say, “I am showing up today at 3:00. I don’t care if you’re dressed and what messes in your house. I’m going to come in. I have one hour today. I choose to give it to you.” Constantly show up from always having that intent as you speak of being, which I’m sure you do and we all try to, of being loving and non-judgmental. I don’t know if you would both resonate with this but women feel so judged, especially as we’re having babies, like Kate Middleton.
She’s a size 0 one hour after she gave birth. She’s in front of the camera. That’s the standard that we’re being held to in the Western world. There are so many groups that are forming to give motherhood, maternity, and family a more real, honest, and beautiful representation in our culture. We want to be a part of that movement.
Aside from even mothers and babies, what if you have someone in your life who’s very deeply grieving and is in the swamp of it? They don’t seem to want to move on. You can sit with them as they’re crying. They’re not even conscious of what’s going on with them. They’re miserable and you deal with them. How do you encourage someone to get some healing who is in that situation too? How do you get them to go to someone like Jill when they’ve never experienced that and they’re not aware that they can get some help and they don’t have to be this way always?
One of the first things to do is to recognize in ourselves that we are helper types. We want so badly to be helpful in that way. I recognize for myself that the way that I help people most is by setting an example. By walking the talk of my life, being and nurturing myself, coveting and creating my connection within myself with my heart, God, and life, if I sit next to another person simply by vibration, that person is going to benefit from me being with my truth. Another very almost silly comical thing that you can do, which people have done is, “This is your birthday gift. Go see Jill or somebody like Jill who does this kind of work.”
I have had many people come into my office who have come in because somebody said, “I see you need this kind of support and you’re not getting it for yourself.” If that’s something that resonates or is within your means or interest, you do something like that. You find a person who you think you might enjoy being with. You set it up for them. There are two extremes. 1) “I’m going to be with you, working with myself, being conscious with myself, and letting that light shine to others,” and then it’s taking action saying, “I think you would benefit by this. I could be wrong but I’m going to go ahead and give this to you as your birthday gift.”
Give it a shot. It does not even question you a time. Be quiet and go make the call.
People do it. People have a hard time giving themselves the health that they need. It’s like giving a baby nurse or whatever it is that you think is going to help the person receive. We have a terrible time receiving nurturing and love. When something smells like it might be soft, sweet, and kind, we don’t know what to do with it in our culture. We have to change that.
A lot of people set up walls with that.
I was having a conversation with a friend about bridal registries. We were laughing about some of the obnoxious things that people were registering for like, “You’re never going to use a $150 green dish for creamer or sugar dish.” I was like, “If I ever got married, I would put things on there like, ‘You have to buy me babysitting time or a housekeeper. Help me heal.’” As a woman in general, and let alone mom, I don’t ever want to do that. We feel guilty about taking that time or spending that money on ourselves. We need to be able to maintain our family.
You’re so wise and right because it’s not just about buying the beautiful pocketbook to sit on the counter that everybody admires. How about getting something that makes you beautiful and feels better from the inside, which will touch every other person in your life and make it better for them, especially your children and all of that? The healthier you get, the better for them.
It’s being the best conscious of the culture that we’re in that is always saying to us, “At all costs, look good.” We don’t care what’s going on underneath. You could be suffering in silence in your house and following apart as long as your hair is done. You’re this or you have the right bag. We have to as a culture and a group of women of all ages and experiences because we’re all walking through the human timeline.
At one point or another week, God willing, we hit all of the points so we need to help each other. Those of us who are older need to put our hands back down to the women who are coming up and say, “I know what this feels like. I’m here. I love you. I get your pain. I’ve been there. It’s normal. There’s nothing wrong with you other than you’re going through all this pain. You’re growing.”
Can you give us a little quick breakdown of how people can reach you or where to find you? Our goal is to gift one another or gift me for my birthday.
Do you have any special offers for some of these people who might want to come and if they say they’ve come through the show?
If somebody wants to come in for an astrology session, specifically, I can offer the session at 125 versus the usual 150. There’s that. You can best reach me at (201) 370-4063. You can go to my website. My email is on there as well and contact forms are there. The website is a nice way to look around and hear me talk more about things. People are always welcome to give me a call if they’re curious about what I’m doing, my benefit specifically and personally.
If someone’s curious, they can call you and discuss it before they decide to make an appointment.
I expect people to do that. This is a very personal business and work to be in. I say to people, “Hold everything lightly. If you decide to come in and make an appointment, check in with yourself and see what you feel. I might be the right match or maybe I’m not the right match. I then can help direct you to other wonderful colleagues of mine.”
A lot of people also have that perception that they need to call and get a reading, and then that’s it. That’s not how it goes. You do want to call and become comfortable with someone. They know you and you grow this relationship. That’s how it goes. People who work like me become part of your whole healing timeline. It’s not like, “Let me get your money and call.” That’s important for people to understand. Teach them why or what would be best for them before they miss anything.
I have people who I’ve been working with for many years. It’s a relationship. We have a relationship and the relationship goes through ups and downs. There are times when I’ll send somebody out to somebody else for a little while and say, “Do this work with this colleague of mine and then come back to me when you feel ready.”
It’s about learning how to have a healthy relationship, which means you bring yourself there. Everything that you’re feeling, your anger, pain, fears, joy, love, silliness, worries, and anxiety, whatever it is that you’re bringing, we’re modeling and experiencing a safe relationship for the first time for most people. It’s a very tender, loving peer-to-peer relationship. We’re peers. I’m learning with that person too.
It is a beautiful attitude because a lot of healers get to a point where they feel they are above. We all learn from each other.
Humility is the most important quality in my work that I feel. If I lose my humility, then I’m no good to anybody, including myself.
I have two other questions. This is so much fun. I could be talking to Jill for hours. If you give us a little vignette about someone who has healed or a brief thing of the journey of someone who has worked with you and the change that went on for them. Give us your tip for joy. How does someone, in your opinion, find joy in life in this complicated world?
It is complicated. Very briefly, a wonderful woman that I work with, a young mother raising children in elementary school age, came from a lot of difficulties in her upbringing, which we’ve worked through. She’s illuminating and understanding them. She had some dreams that brought up the pain that she experienced. She dreamed of a baby being abandoned in a car and that the father said to her, “I’m going to have fun.” In the dream, she was saying, “The father has to go have fun.”
We worked on feeling what it’s like to be that baby being abandoned and feeling the pain. She got that. She’s very sensitive to other people and what they do, as many of us. After we finished working with the dream, I said, “When you’re reacting and having these feelings about people, I want you to consciously bring the pain of being the baby who’s abandoned to the moment.”
She said, “What? Are you kidding? Do you want me to feel that pain while I’m dealing with people?” I said, “Just try. Experiment with it. See what happens. There’s no right or wrong answer. There’s no perfection here. It’s a process.” She came back into my office and was almost in tears. She was laughing. She said, “You’re not going to believe this but when I did that, it changed everything. I wasn’t upset with anybody anymore. I just felt my pain.”
She challenged me on it. She said, “If I feel pain, aren’t I going to get depressed and feel more pain?” I said, “No. If you feel the real original pain of abandonment, you acknowledge and give your heart permission to feel the pain, you’re going to find that it moves through you.” She said, “You were right. It moved through me. I felt happy.”
I’m going to join my tips for joy with this story because if we allow ourselves to feel pain, we give ourselves permission, and we don’t fight against it, medicate it, run away from it, or stuff it into our bodies and create a stomach ache, headache, or any of the things we do, then on the other side of the pain, emerges joy. By giving ourselves permission to feel pain, we will come into contact with joy.
You help yourself to heal that pain.
This client was a perfect example of how we fight against feeling it like, “If I feel it, I’m going to get depressed.” I’ve been working with her long enough for her to see, “The pain from depression is you attacking yourself and not unconsciously trying to find a solution for what you think is unacceptable.” The lie is that pain is unacceptable. No. It is acceptable and it’s part of being human.
Otherwise, why would we have these feelings? Our feelings will heal us if we feel them. If we allow ourselves to feel, we will heal. If you do it in the context of an environment where you’re held and directed as we all need, and I need that, everybody I feel benefits from that loving support, then we keep moving forward. Our lives become connected to our calling, which is where the ultimate joy comes from.
That is beautiful. That’s the perfect ending to a beautiful interview.
I love being with you both so much. Thank you, readers. I’m so grateful.
This is a great episode. I want to re-read it because there’s a lot of good stuff in here. I do that often. I like this direction. Even what I’m talking about, I feel like I missed some of it. Let’s feel each other and share little things, even a little tip to help get them started in the right direction. We’re sitting with them. I appreciate you taking the time to chat with us.
Thank you. I’m so blessed to be with you.
It’s our pleasure. I’ll end with my favorite expression. To be continued.
Tune in for another episode.
Bye for now. Thank you so much.
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