Holly Masturzo Poem from the Center

harvest/found poem — conversation with tenneson 07.27.07

what does the next look like?

lean into it
what is real?

stand with
the deepening edge
be willing

to pause

hold yourself with
that big energy
this time of turning

tap into the purpose
the experience
of being human

greet this as an invitation

to our next wide ocean

of beauty

Open Heart

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.”

Stories of Doing from Art of Hosting Participants

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.”

Edge of Art of Hosting

Today I gathered on a phone conference with three AoH mates — Howard from KY, Sharon Joy from FL, and Teresa from WA. Our context was to support Sharon Joy, to create together three possible AoHs over the next year in Tampa. Howard had a few minutes and spoke with richness to his experience as a “caller” of a KY AoH the past September. In the center of our conversation, I noticed several key points that help me to feel more keenly the edge of the Art of Hosting.

– Sharon Joy’s principle to “strike out with intention to then attract in”

– Her observation that AoH creates a learning experience for living systems

– Howard’s clarity that “AoH was a first view of a broader view than any paradigm I know”

Howard went on to speak fo the importance of the “practices.” In particular, 5 Breaths and the Chaordic Path. He also shared his appreciation of Peter Block’s work, sharing that it helps take AoH practices and methods to another operational level of having conversations in another way on Monday morning. I looked quickly for a resource and found “Civic Engagement and the Restoration of Community: Changing the Nature of the Conversation.”

I like the question that surfaced about purpose, specific to Howard. Howard was referenced by others as Peter Pan at the Wooded Glen AoH. If a caller has Peter Pan qualities, then what central work is that person or people doing? “Helping them to be in big imagination as community.”

Our conversation continued with richness. Teresa voicing the difference of practice (chaordic path, 5 breaths, 4-fold way, diverge / converge, organizing patterns) — these are somewhat unique to the AoH as a leadership training — and process (circle, world cafe, open space, appreciative inquiry).

I love the clarity as this insight weaves to invitation hosting. Is there something different in the AoH? Yes, of course. The commitment to build leadership as a community capacity. Thus, as ongoing ability.

And this gem — we are learning at the edge how to co-create as fields, to move in the field of relations.