About six months ago I found myself very much in a need to simplify. Work was requireing much of me, my time, in a way that didn’t feel right enough. A key relationship was really charged. I wanted so much to dive deeper into readings and learnings on energy. I was struggling to find enough of myself in my spiritual community. I was overcooked and in need of insight that was simple enough for me to hold. It came, in the form of three commitments that applied to each of these areas:
1. Be open in heart.
2. Be couragous in story.
3. Be clear in intent.
This open-heartedness is very alive for me this week. And as I think of it now, I recall several times where people have helped me to learn more of this.
There was the September Art of Hosting in Indiana at which one of the open space breakout groups harvested this: “an open heart is a safe space.”
There was the November Art of Hositng in Pennsylvania at which the theme for the first day was open heartedness.
There were these recent words from Meg Wheatley and a group of friends, soul friends at I know Berkana Institute:
- we are companions for the journey as the world insists that our hearts crack open, not to break, but to grow
- broken-heartedness leads us out into the world where we can stand with people and offer our love
- in the end, all that matters is people standing together in the fullness of being human
These threads have lead me to something that feels important today…
- What would be different if we assumed that world does insist that our hearts crack open so that we can offer our love and stand together in the fullness of being human?
- Sometimes I don’t see because my heart isn’t open.
- Can we create and practice tools for opening our hearts?
- From this love, all becomes different, whole, healthy. Our work becomes our human being.
I’m thinking of this framing, feeling it, as I move into new client relations, designs of meetings, hosting of phone calls. I’m also thinking of it at home. This changes how I show up, what I invite, what I hope to create with others. It doesn’t remove me / us from “work.” It grounds us more deeply to animate and ground our “work.”
With intent to support friendship, I will occasionally ask friends and participants from the Art of Hosting a question like this: I’m also wondering what is alive in you from the AoH experience that impacts what you do now? Wanna play for a bit?
Safe Horizon — Streetwork Project
Kirkridge 2007 Participant
Well, let’s see…I hosted my first World Cafe along w/ my two co-workers Karon & Mirka which I think was a real success, despite my nervousness! I’ve also been able to use some of the tecniques I learned w/ the adolesents I work w/… I make them hold circle when we’re having groups… One of the things I luv most is the impact it’s had on my co-workers, they have been very open minded and willing to learn something new!
Kirkridge 2007 Participant
What from the AoH that I’m using? an Attitude of openness – letting my conversations with people, especially church people, be light, and not having an agenda for them that implies “listen to me.”
Ben Mates and Craig Caviezel of the Hemingway Foundation hosted a conversation today that I was happy to participate in. They gathered together eight people to continue a dialogue on community resillience. What is resillience? What is a systemic view that helps move the Salt Lake Valley into a healthy and thriving community? It was a group of lovely open thinkers that impressed me for many reasons, including the overall spirit of “what if” questions that were being asked.
I love the clarity that was spoken by Ed Firmage, one of the participants: “So much of our challenge is imagining.” And this clarity from Craig, “You can’t have resillent community without participation.”
Imagine what might change if we were to start with these to statements alone, and then welcome in imagination and processes to awaken imagination and participation.
Looking forward to meeting with this group again in early January to imagine further. I particularly like Ben and Craig’s commitment to working at a level of energy and metaphysics. It shows not only in their language but in their being. This for me is the work of our times that feels so compelling. “Practical metaphysics.” I don’t think I want to end there but it is a good place to start.