A Third Day

It’s rather sweet to be in an experience of connection, learning, and community. Day three of design from Great Facilitation: An Art of Hosting Intensive is below.

The deliberate theme of the day was one of convergence. It’s helping people get a bit more clear on some of what they are taking with them. Gifts. Impressions. Insights. Friendships. New awarenesses. Applications. Starting points. Courage.

What many people come looking for is tools. I alway delight when people say their version of “I got what I came for, and so much more.” I suppose the particular delight of that for me is that it’s often a statement of surprise from cumulative effect — the experience is not meant to be a transactional fulfillment in the first hour. It’s three days that has some inherent slow-cooking and integration in it.

The design below (and the last two posts, Day 1 and Day 2) is one of many ways to do this. Each Art of Hosting is customized. Each has a quality of evolving (made evident in most design processes that I’ve been a part of — waiting to design the third day on the evening of the second day).

And yet, it’s important to also know that what goes with customization are inherent and needed aspects of design that make an Art of Hosting an Art of Hosting. Things that keep the integrity of the brand and the experience. Which is why attending one AoH isn’t about gobbling it up and replicating it. It’s why this is a regional, national, and global field of practice. It’s why going together  with others that carry a few stories and familiarity with the field in the practice matters.

Well, glad for all of that. And Erin, Chris, Katie, Lea — our core hosting team. And for the group of 40 that leaned in to finding some path together. Of learning, connection, community, and applied practice.

Day 3 Design

  • Welcome & Context
  • Connection & Presencing (Whole Group)
  • Project Teams / Coaching (Pro-Action Cafe)
  • Lunch
  • Honoring Wholistic Selves (Movement)
  • Self Selected Group Learning (Knowledge Camp)
  • Break
  • Intention Setting (Personal, Partners)
  • Check-Out Appreciations (Circle)
  • Hugs / Goodbyes


A Day Among Three

Today begins Great Facilitation: An Art of Hosting Intensive. I’m in Denver, Colorado. I’m co-hosting with Erin Gilmore, Chris Chopyak, Katie D’Andrea, and Lea Metz. We are a group of 40 that will convene together over the next three days. That means connection. That means community. That means learning. That means following some mystery. That means creating a bit of mischief. That means practicing a few tools. That means daring to reclaim together a deeper story of who we are as humans and what that has to do with how we are each in varied work and community.

Today’s Design

  • Welcome & Context
  • Connection & Community (Pairs, Trios)
  • Break
  • More Connection & Purpose / Key Questions (Cafe)
  • Lunch (90 minutes)
  • Learning Experientially & Theory (Cynevin)
  • Break
  • Sense-Making & Application of Cynevin (Cafe)
  • Check-Out

A Day to get us started, that weaves us into three integrated days of humans wanting to learn, do good, find more of our way. Glad for that.

Space and Freedom

Today I’ve returned from six days of hosting. Two of those were with a core team, six of us. Four of those days were with the group of twenty-eight at The Art of Hosting. These were the kind of people and the kind of experiences that alchemically change who I am, and who I feel I am in the group. Powerful.

Today I have only one call scheduled. One meeting for which I’ll need a bit of preparation. It’s different than the three to five meetings that I’ll typically have scheduled on a day. I’m grateful that those meetings are mostly with good people and in good projects. My day today, however, is more filled with todos and touch points before leaving tomorrow for another six days of hosting.

In meditating / breathing this morning, in the wee bit of extra spaciousness that I had, I became more aware of a nuanced insight around meditating. My practice in meditating is very simple. It’s more about breath for me. Stillness. Pause. It’s perfectly imperfect. Sometimes I can really empty. Sometimes my mind tracks ideas.

I’ve often experienced meditation as creating space. Space within me. Space in my day that helps ground the fullness and busyness of the day. Space is what many of us yearn for. Whether the space to have an uninterrupted cup of tea or the space to give full concentration to a big idea that we care about. All good, right.

The nuancing of insight for me today was that what I particularly appreciate in the space of meditation is the momentary experience of freedom. Freedom to be. Freedom to let go. Freedom to detach from thought (yes, I’m aware this was a thought itself that arose during the meditation). Freedom to not tend to time. Freedom to release a list.

And further, that freedom isn’t about running from stuff. It’s not eating the whole bag of potato chips because nobody is watching. The freedom for me is about another layer of connection to source. To vitality. To integrated energy. To the place within me that emanates out rather than always seeking from without. It’s the place within that I sense is connected to so much more than just me.

Source. Space. Freedom to momentarily encounter a less distracted emanation. Perhaps that’s the next layer for me and for many of us — welcoming the more clear essence of the irrepressible creative life force that we are. Wow! That’s a bit of flowery language this morning. But then, quite a few of us are searching for words that reveal more of the story of who we are, right.

Yup, I guess this meditating is pretty good stuff (and I bow to those who started me on a practice, fifteen years ago).