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The Rhythm of Movement in Systemic Work

"Although the rhythm of the waves beats a kind of time, it is not clock or calendar time. It has no urgency. It happens to be timeless time. I know that I am listening to a rhythm which has been just the same for millions of years, and it takes me out of a world of relentlessly ticking clocks. Clocks for some reason or other always seem to be marching, and, as with armies, marching is never to anything but doom. But in the motion of waves there is no marching rhythm. It harmonizes with our very breathing. It does not count our days. Its pulse is not in the stingy spirit of measuring, of marking out how much still remains. It is the breathing of eternity, like the God Brahma of Indian mythology inhaling and exhaling, manifesting and dissolving the worlds, forever. As a mere conception this might sound appallingly monotonous, until you come to listen to the breaking and washing of waves.” Alan Watts

Every surfacing problem is just a consequence of an underlying cause. Once we discover the actual root cause, the problem starts to become irrelevant. As soon as the acknowledgment of the root cause comes into light, in most cases, it resolves itself naturally or what needs too be done becomes apparent.

This is the natural rhythm of movement in any systemic work.

In the organisational set up - whenever there is a request for change, a different strategy or employee behaviour or skills upgrade, the ask is to change the current situation.

And it’s the leadership and the management that is responsible for achieving these changes - although employees are included and affected in all kinds of ways.

If what has to be changed is actually a symptom of a deeper underlying cause (which is almost always the case), when not explored or addressed until the deeper root, everything will revert back to it’s old situation once the pressure is off. 

When management overlooks the underlying currents and switches the focus elsewhere - a team, a process or product reverts back to the old stuck situation.

Movement - a rhythmic flow, is the natural state of being. When we introduce movement instead of change as an intervention to the stuck situation, the results are different.



How it now has to be different’

‘Freeing what is stuck’

Outcome is the objective

Outcome is the consequence

The outcome is (in the best case scenario) what is wanted.

Outcome is better or more valuable than expected.

Initiated and guided by management

Flexible and open in terms of from where the movement originates

System easily reverts back to (approximately) the same old situation

System transforms into something new, like some kind of maturity and growth took place.

Requires perseverance and focus 

Requires gentle awareness with appropriate intervention and it happens Restfully.

Systemic knowledge is not a science like astronomy or physics. It has been developed using Phenomenology.

Phenomenology means observing things as they unfold. Based on several observations, this knowledge has been developed.

Generally, there are two kinds of movement:


The one kind of movement, not used in the systemic intervention, rather for which the systemic intervention is needed is that of the hustle and the non stopping. This kind of movement has a very different source and very different quality. It is exhausting and draining.

It is actually same as apathy. Whether you are lounging on a sofa for gaming or hustling around - the effect is the same; you feel empty. And this emptiness is more on the side of a consuming void and not the lighter expansive liberating emptiness.

This movement is not sustainable, because of its exhausting nature. Sooner or later the energy fizzles out and the movement stops.

The kind of movement we are talking here, in the systemic intervention, is never forced. There is no pressure. And because there is no pressure, and nothing is being forced, there is no exhaustion. It is all very Restful. The movement doesn’t exhaust any energy. It is a natural phenomenon. Like breathing.

Just as the movements in the universe and those of an atom are not random but follow the natural forces of nature; people, families and organisations also follow natural forces.

A grandmother who behaves as if she is the mother of her grandchild causes problems. Because this goes against the natural force of order. 

If a manager doesn’t allow the team to discuss a mistake, this causes problems because it challenges the natural force of inclusion: the mistake is part of the system of team as well.

If a peer does something for you and ignores your expression of a simple thank you in return, this causes unease. Because the principle of exchange is out of balance.

The Restful Movement gets limited if the natural forces are obstructed and when the natural flow is blocked. Part of the energy that normally keeps things moving gets hijacked into blocking something.

Being still and stuck requires a lot of energy, because movement is the natural state of being. The biggest and the smallest things we know are in motion. So everything in between is too!

As movement is more natural and easy than standing still, all you have to do is discover where things aren’t moving in order to solve a problem.

Where is something not flowing naturally?

It is a very gentle process, like touching a soap bubble. It will burst the moment you touch it. Just as when you are planking at the yoga class - a small nudge is enough too interrupt the inertia.

Systemic Constellation is one such nudge - bursting the problem. A constellation creates movement by including, acknowledging and re-organising connections.

In order to give a nudge using the intervention of systemic work, you don’t need to analyse or research exactly which of the systemic forces are causing obstruction.

All you have to do is relax and get into the restful movement of the constellation and ask!

Embracing being over doing is the core of all the Systemic work.

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