In listening to someone’s history I am listening for the systemic events and dynamics that form the secret database for current problems. The process of out-picturing allows both facilitator and client to begin to visualize the undercurrents of the family and of the original community, and simultaneously, the ways in which the client may be caught in those undercurrents.
The systemic out-picturing process also reveals the sometimes-forgotten language of life force that carries our families and communities forward. My focus is trained both on the challenges and the gifts of the given system — including what is embodied by those who have been rejected, whether now or in generations past.
What is called “good” and what is called “bad” will exchange places many, many times over the life of a system, and over the lifetime of an individual. The opportunity to create, and benefit from this changing alchemy requires that we be in motion. What comes next doesn’t have to be defined by the past as long as our feet are moving. Information flows from what was — not destiny.
Being in motion has many meanings. It is physical, intellectual, spirit driven. It is small or big, inwardly directed, alert to the external; it is connecting, grateful, realistic, cumulative, celebratory. Being in motion is feeling, action, sequence; we know it by its results, for as we meet others along the way, our hearts are open to the best in them and, especially, in ourselves.
Optimism draws oxygen from the spaces between gift and challenge. As I stand with you, I am listening for breath.