An angel on each shoulder

hosting people in practice Apr 10, 2019

Last week I was in Moscow at the 10th Russian Faciliators Conference as one of the international guests. Although I never dreamed I would stand in Red Square, I had a fabulous time of teaching and learning in a field hungry for tools, techniques and ways to touch the heart.

In our planning, I talked to the conference organisers about calling in a practice field and how I often speak of “having an angel on each shoulder” and inviting the angels to dance.

The first one is the participant angel — really be IN this work, feel what it is like to participate, to fully engage, to dig deeper and grapple with the essence of what you’re being invited into. If we want to know what our participants are experiencing, we have to be participants ourselves. It is part of a solid practice to allow yourself to be hosted and to continue to practice being a good participant. Each of us can “host from the chair” and invite our fellow participants into deeper and more thought provoking conversations. We can invite those who haven’t been heard to speak. We can experience for ourselves what it means to make a good container (or not). We can remember to engage in beginner’s mind.

The second angel is the practitioner angel — every so often, step back and take the helicopter view. See what you’ve learned and who you’ve learned from. The stance of apprenticing in valuable here, and by this I mean taking a learning stance and learning as much as you can from others — both wiser in the practice and younger in years. Each generation approaches things differently and we can all benefit from being in learning together. Our times so value the expert, but starting with a blank slate is refreshing and stimulating — and you might just gain a fresh perspective. Continue to check with yourself how you can use what you’ve been part of.

Inviting the angels to dance is a way of keeping the focus moving between the two stances of being in and being on. Your practice will benefit and your future participants will be grateful!

I was touched to find out my two angels materialised as life-sized mentors to the group. Here they are! Keep practicing, friends!

#angelonmyshoulder #alwayslearning #storytelling #storythefuture

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