Mastering Systemic Facilitation

systemic mastery

When I had the privilege of working with Ruud Knaapen’s herd of horses in The Netherlands, as part of my Systemic Mastery Facilitator training, I discovered where my emerging future is beckoning me…

Systemic Mastery…a different perspective

Recently, I was in Amsterdam as part of my Systemic Mastery Facilitator training. On the course, we had the choice to either be the client or the facilitator. Me? I wanted to explore my emerging future. I’ve been incorporating horses into my leadership work with clients for some time, and I was ready to take this to the next level.

So, instead of looking at this from a classic left brain perspective – creating the vision, making a plan and identifying significant milestones for example – I wanted to experience it from a wholly different perspective – as the client.

I thought, what if I could look at this more systemically, more intuitively and hold it lightly as my emerging future? If I could embody it, I wondered what insight would it give me? What could I do with it?

Looking into the future

I worked with Winston (pictured below) and his herd, who helped me to figure out I needed to literally turn around to look at my emerging future (some might even call this, my destiny). Only then would I figure out how to step forward. I realised that I needed to break down the boundaries – in this case, symbolically represented by some tape dividing the arena into two halves – between where I am now, and where my emerging future is beckoning me.
Systemic mastery training - horse

The funny thing was, as soon as I stepped into the new space, there was a huge release of playful energy in the horses and they immediately rushed to join me. It was a significant moment in the session – and something inside me shifted.

On reflection, when I originally entered the arena with the horses, I had a sense I knew where my emerging future was and is, and I looked in that direction for a split second. But somehow, I closed that down, and moved in the direction of where I thought I was supposed and expected to go.

Perhaps I wasn’t really listening to my intuition and decided to close it down, so I could do what was expected of me. Which provokes another question – how often do we do that? How often do I do that?

Or perhaps, being a bit kinder to myself in the early stage of sense making, I needed to go to where the horses and the activity were to ‘collect’ something before I could step forward into the new space. Perhaps the horses had something for me – even if that was a vote of confidence and some resources.

The bigger picture

My systemic mastery facilitator, Marion, had a gift for me – a sense that arose in her – and she had the courage to say it at just the right moment: “Why don’t you just go?” It was just what I needed to hear from the system.

Sometimes, as a facilitator, we think we need to be quiet and ‘just hold the space’ for the client to do their work. But there are times when we can sense the whole or bigger system as a facilitator, and we can offer this back to the client.

When we can hold the space for the client, and get a sense of the bigger system, and work in service of both – that’s Mastery!

I am running an amazing event for women in October with my very talented friend Jackie Stevenson – if you are interested in discovering your emerging future – this is something you will definitely want to have a look at. Just click here to find out more.

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