Three Grounding Orientations — Ria Baeck, Helen Tichen Beeth

A couple of weeks ago my friends Helen Tichen Beeth and Ria Baeck hosted an online session for the Art of Hosting Community of Practice. It was harvested above by Nguyen Truong Bao Khuyen. Helen and Ria are people that I have known now for 15+ years. We’ve shared stories. Wondered. Laughed. Cried.

Though the session had some particular direction about awareness to trauma — given the many layers of complexity that we humans bring to a space — I’m appreciating the general guidance that applies to hosting people in learning. I love the simplicity and clarity that these women bring, cultivated over years of living and being with people in groups. And cultivate by, well, being highly attentive as they are.

  1. Humanize the Space — this is always true isn’t it. In the narration that I offer, the statement of purpose, mine often includes something about being better humans together. It is true that some of us are working on better meetings and particular topics. But being better humans, or good humans together, is what underlays any convening in a culture building way.
  2. Be Present — again, I feel this is always true. It has particular application when trauma is present. But again, generally, this statement guides me. Present to self. Present to what is happening in the middle of a circle. Present to what is emerging. Present to the subtle hints that arise when people are together, more than just the sum of the parts.
  3. Treat Hosting as a Life Long Practice — and there we are again, back to an orientation of learning, and connection, and kindness. This is centering to me. It’s clarifying. The best of what we can do with one another includes being in a learning relationship together. Learning about self and each other and circumstance and what arrises from a commitment to encounter.

I love it when people can find an essence, as Ria and Helen did on this day. For me it’s an essence to help ground and guide. Whether it be trauma-informed circles, or teams working together, or friendships and family.

Grateful for wisdom shared.

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