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.

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