Theory U – Presencing – Otto Schärmer

The capacity of presencing – sensing and actualizing a potential future – can be developed! Listening to others, listening to oneself, and to what emerges from the collective while suspending the “voice of judgement”.

Theory U – Otto Schärmer


Case study – learning systemics through authenticity

Recently, I had a very interesting discussion with someone who talked to me about something which happened to her in her personal and professional environment, and this led me to writing this post…

That person explained to me that she would like to understand why so many persons in her system are “throwing bricks” at her, telling her that she has no right to say what she says and to do what she does, while at the same time, one of these persons decided to “switch places” with her without her consent and wants to do what she was supposed to do.

I would like to use this as a case study in our systemics lab, because this is something happening a lot in professional and personal systems and it can be very puzzling for the persons who are implicated…

I strongly believe that when we choose to follow a life path ruled by authenticity, life will throw at us experiences which help us understanding the human interactions better, in order to understand ourselves better. This way we can use what we are learning about ourselves to help the others and the system to evolve… and yes, sometimes theses experiences can be very humbling…

Let’s start first by reminding ourselves that everyone has always a very good reason to do what they are doing, even when we don’t see or understand these reasons! From their point of view and coming from their life-story their actions make sense!

If we believe that these person are doing something which breaks the balance or which is unrespectful of the others or of the system, there is nothing to do then but to accept they are not able yet to clearly see this, and sowing seeds in the hope one day they will be able to look at themselves and see the impact of what thy did or said… because for coaches, as well as for any human being, in the end, what is true love, other then accepting the person where she is now and loving her with all her flaws and all the hurt she is not even conscious to be causing to the other?!

With that established let’s now think about the system.

What’s a system?

A system is a group of people, past, present and future, who are all related and have a common aim (like a family, or a professional team for example). It is like some sort of ever evolving entity formed by its members, like a body formed by its members (head, arms, legs, trunk, heart, belly, etc…) … and all the members are evolving and acting for the survival of the system, which in turn is assuring them their own survival. It is formed by the relationships and the exchange of energy through these relationships.

This system has basic rules which need to be respected for it to stay healthy and thriving:

  1. exchange (the balance between giving and receiving has to be respected)
  2. time (each person has a time of arrival, a history inside the system)
  3. space (each person has a specific space and place )

In other words: BOB (Balance – Order – Belonging)

It’s the responsibility of each member of the system to respect these rules and contribute in the system’s health and evolution.

The system has an everlasting memory and will send all kinds of signs to you to remind you of the things you are ignoring and the rules you are not respecting… and will not stop until you honor those things and rules.

Meaning when you don’t respect the rules, you will jeopardize the system, which is why it will try and call you back to your responsibilities!

Failing to hear that call is disrupting the system, and is preparing your own ejection of the system or eventually the shutting down of the system.

Let’s talk about authenticity now.

It is not, like I often hear, telling what we believe is true, or being spontaneous and saying what we think… no… it is looking at ourselves without concessions, with an open mind, and accepting that their is no absolute truth… there is only our truth, built out of our life experiences and filtered by what we can and cannot yet see and understand/accept.

Being authentic is being open minded, accepting, and humble… knowing that everything we think we know may be completely false for someone else. It is also owning our acts and thoughts, taking responsibility, learning the internal dialogue (opposed to the internal monologue which is formed by the little voices engrained in us by our education, our parents, our school, etc…), and accepting to always question our “truths” and examin why we do the things we do (is it an action guided by a core value or a reaction guided by anger or fear?), as well as examin where do our values come from (are they really ours or are they someone else’s values we accepted at some point and then believed to be ours?)

How can we approach the contribution of authenticity in a system?

Well it’s very simple: we need that internal dialogue and that authenticity to be able to question ourselves and our actions when the system reminds us something. We need that authenticity even to see that what’s happening is the system trying to teach us something.

Back to our specific case study now, what can we understand of this situation?

What I can see is that the rules of the system are disrupted :

  • Belonging – there is a good probability that the person who switched places and is kind of taking the job of the other one has a strong need of recognition and does not feel like she is belonging to the system , and is therefore taking the place of someone else, in the hope she would feel a deeper and stronger sense of belonging. But by doing this she is disturbing the very essence of the rule of belonging. Belonging is never obtained by taking it forcefully; it is earned through alignement and connection with the other members of the system and the system itself. I am wondering if the person who talked to me does feel like she belongs to that system or if she feels like she does not really belong there and therefore, maybe the system is trying to remind her how to truly belong there or jump out?
  • Order – I do have enough elements to know if the time element is disrupted or not but I would think that by taking the place of someone else without earning it is like taking a shortcut and therefore “skipping the line”, which leads me to think she is not respecting the rule of seniority and harmony.
  • Balance – by taking something from someone, the rule of balance between giving and receiving is disrupted, because taking is neither giving, nor receiving. At the same time is the system reminding us that by giving too much and letting the others take credit for what we did, we are not respecting the balance?

Also the energy which is at play here is not a love energy, but an energy of aggression, war, power.

Then again, a system cannot survive when there is war inside of it, which is why all systems are built in a way where each and every element which constitutes it are interconnected, and their survival is directly linked to the survival of the others.

For an illustration of this: watch this video featuring Pablo Servigne explaining that the law of the strongest is a myth and that all system in nature are actually built in a way where they need the collaboration of their elements (I apologize for the French speaking video but could not manage to find it with EN subtitles) –

What do you think is happening from a systemic point of view and how can authenticity help understanding what the system is telling us here?

The role of human emotions in science and research

« Do human emotions have a role to play in science and research? Material researcher Ilona Stengel suggests that instead of opposing each other, emotions and logic complement and reinforce each other. She shares a case study on how properly using emotions (like the empowering feeling of being dedicated to something meaningful) can boost teamwork and personal development — and catalyze scientific breakthroughs and innovation. »

Watch TED now:

The role of human emotions in science and research

Success or failure – your choice!

« Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. »
Winston Churchill

What is success and what is failure?

According to the Oxford dictionary, success means:

1 the accomplishment of an aimor purpose

2 the good or bad outcome of an undertaking

Here we can already see success is not necessary linked to the “good” outcome of our actions, since it still called success, being it a good or bad outcome!

Moreover, if we interest ourselves to the Latin origin of the word, we’d can see that “success” comes from “succedere”, which means “come close after”. No notion of good or bad, positive or negative, wealth,fame, family or whatever of the things we consider associate success with nowadays!

It simply means something happened right after something else.

And this makes so much sense, because how can we define if something is god or bad ? Just because something does not appear to be what we were looking for, how can we know if that is not even better, or simply a way to achieve our real and deep rooted intentions?

The world is vast and full of variety, and what seems to be bad for one person seems wonderful to another person. That is because good or bad are not absolute values; they are linked with our culture, our education, our religion, our country, our peer pressure, etc…

With this in mind we can now move on to look at the definition of failure. The dictionary tells us that failure means:

1 lack of success

2 the neglect or omission of expected or required action

3 the action or state of not functioning

This is already a paradox: how can there ever be a lack of success when success simply means something happened in consequence or right after something else?!

A lack of success, or a state of not functioning would simply mean death then! Because life is about movement. If you are reading this, you are alive, by definition thus, you can’t just be “not functioning” or “lacking success”; evidently things happen in your life, and surely you are doing things, which in turn provoke other things to happen.

If we now look at the latin origin of the word “failure”, which is “fallere”, we see that it means … “to deceive”, “to trick”…

What if what we call failure was really just a trick?!

And what are tricks for, if not for achieving what we are aiming at?

I am offering you here another definition of success and failure:

”Success and failure are ways to attain our goals by learning the laws of actions/consequences and by taking lessons from those.”

Indeed, everybody is successful because everybody has things and events happening in their lives, and everybody has failures because everybody learns tricks to attain their goals.

What if we stopped using those words to define ourselves – which is a very inadequate use of them – and we simply call ourselves “LEARNERS”

Links of interest:

* Like Uri Alon discovered while studying for his PhD in physics, failure and being stuck IS part of the process of discovering and learning new things… listen to his TED Talk here:

* This article about how to manage disruptive delegates in your training may give you tools to handle what’s happening… but what if disruptions could simply be seen as great opportunities to improve your process… what if we could even use these for the benefit of the group and to improve our own program and/or abilities to deal with unpredictable events or even harsh comments or attitudes…

What are your thoughts about this? How do you handle failure and disruptions?

Honoring Earth and The Web of Life Equinox March 20, 2018 Hosted by Constellation Facilitators Worldwide

Dear coaches, friends, facilitators,

We wholeheartedly welcome any/all Constellator worldwide to join us on the Equinox: March 20, 2018 to inaugurate this first annual Global Constellation Event.  Our goal is to amplify the intention below, with all of us working in our own locales, yet approximately the same day.


To honor Earth for nourishing the life that courses through All of our lineages, and to acknowledge our primordial connections in the web of life.


We Constellators serve to facilitate re-connection, belonging, inclusion, finding our “right place,” re-integration and so on. Seems like a natural fit!


If you feel called to host an event, do so wherever it is right for you.. Inside? Outside? You decide. The structure is up to you, too. Ritual? Ceremony? More traditional flow? Do what is coming through you to do!


On or as close to the Spring/Vernal Equinox, March 20, 2018 as possible.

Catalyst for the Idea?

There appears to be an increasing amount of destructive projection of human disconnect worldwide. Here in the United States, for example, we are witnessing the dismantling of decades of habitat and wildlife protections leading to ever more plundering for profit. Fortunately, there is a rising tide of awareness of and commitment to the wellbeing of our biosphere and an increasing understanding of the intricacies and impacts of our interactions. My colleagues and I feel compelled to acknowledge our deep respect and appreciation for all Earth’s denizens, as well as honoring the Earth, home to us all.. Yes, many of you have led constellations, like we have, with a similar aim over the years. This time around, however, with a shared theme and date, itamplifies the intent to recognize and deeply honor the value of each life form, and our place within the magnificent web.

We are reaching out to all of you in our international community of Constellation Facilitators…do you feel called to join in and participate by hosting your own gathering on the Equinox? Please let us know!


FACEBOOK group entitled:

Honoring Earth and The Web of Life Constellations to encourage the fertile sharing of ideas, thoughts, photos of your gatherings, and evaluations so we can be inspired for next year’s global event! Please find us!


A few words about feminine identity today…


The feminist revolution of the XXth century allowed occidental women to pearce the thick veil hoisted by the patriarchal power, whose scope left deep scars in the society and confined men and women in a destructive duality mindset. Raising up against the dominant masculine current, women rebelled and campaigned to stop the discriminations against them. Numerous are the ones who brandished the voice of liberty in a further effort to break the inequities and the enslavement which were expressed loud and clear since millennia by the voice of men and gods. Despite the waves of contemporary feminism and the important winnings on the social, family, economic, cultural and political areas, the mind, behaviors, attitudes and fashion which were related kept amplifying the rift between sexes. Once submitted, women have become revolted women, ready for the battle, similar to the legendary Amazon warriors. They manned up and fled their tre identity as well as their feminine powers. Isolated from their creative power and cut off from their spiritual inspiration, some women stayed prisoners or unsatisfied and agonized in the fight. Some literally dove into the undifferentiated whilst others endorsed the other sex’s suit.
Today, women – and some men – are experiencing a deep search of identity.Trying to play the other sex game and embrace his behaviors and values maintains ambiguity and keeps us undeniably away from the heart, from the body, the very essence of the being, in other words from our sacred feminine nature. The societal way which organizes itself around what you call “the unisex” is miles away from the real harmonious fusion between masculine and feminine, this sacred union of the masculine principle with the feminine principle engrained in the very heart of every being. We standardized the sexes and lo and behold, men and women end up with an ill identity…

By penetrating head on in the masculine universe, in what women believed to be ideal, some of them lost their feminine ideal and abdicated their most intrinsic and sacred qualities. Fascinated by the masculine power, established as a primary value by the modern society, women lost the essential and got stuck in a performing attitude, foreigners to themselves, which only accentuated the imbalance in societies. They mistakenly thought that the real power was only of masculine essence. Shutting down their heart and escaping their feminity brought up other miseries. By building up a fortress of protection, women suffocated the energy of life and turned off their feminine powers. Other women dressed – or undressed! – themselves with a feminine which kept them away from the Sacred. The unconditional feminine in its authenticity was modified, disguised or forgotten to the advantage of a feminity with too sharp stilettos and hardly fulfilled in its true identity. The performance is saddening since women – and how many men? – have moved away from the intrinsic power of their sacred feminine principle. The struggle of women to recognize themselves, to love themselves and to express themselves in their true way and their true power is still strongly persisting to this day. Despite their resignation or their rebellion, and although a number of them tried to persuade the world of their value, women still drag a sense of inferiority. The signs of the mutilations left in their unconscious mind is deep. Have a look at your popular magazines. What do they show? Happy women, completely fulfilled and in contact with their essence? Women, lost, or tied up in an external consumerism run which does not suit them any more? How many women are under the yoke of an often sexist industry which eroticizes their body at all costs and portray them in an image estranged to themselves? How many others sought shelter in the excessive cult of appearance, and for which price? How many of them think they are entirely free when really they are prisoners of this fashion diktats controlled by the masculine power? How many women on earth are still shorn of their freedom of expression and of action? Oppression and submission can display many faces which sometimes manifest themselves in unsuspected ways.

During this threshold epoch of deep mutation, it is for women to take over the staff of power, not to overshadow or bully men, but simply to let a new energy pour out of their gut and their heart, to let a new inspiration outbreak arising from their own biology. Because women are bearers of life and because they have the ability to perpetuate it, returning back inward is easier for them. They show a bigger sensitivity to spiritual life and to unfolding their creative energy. Because women embody the feminine principle, it is, initially, their mission to reconcile themselves with their sacred feminine energy and to grant it an honourable position.