Learning from stories of self hosting

art of hosting collective story harvest stories from the journey Aug 19, 2022

I spent all of last week at the Art of Hosting Practitioners Gathering. We called it "Homecoming" for many reasons. Not the least of these was that it was time to find our way back together again after so many years of solo time and online meetings.

I like the idea of "roomies" and "Zoomies", but there's still nothing like an in-person meeting. Although each individual arrived with their own questions, challenges and needs, it quickly became obvious that relationship is the ground for integration, transformation and practitionership.

I loved being with others with enough time for conversations, exploration and digesting. We learned, once again, that the "in-between" needs time to do its work.

We spent our whole first day together exchanging and learning from stories. Of course there's a powerful reason for that -- stories connect us, enable us to search out the gold in our lived experiences and understand a bigger picture. In trios, we shared a significant learning moment.

The core theme from these stories centred around the practice of self hosting -- how do I care for and nurture myself so that I can better host others? This theme returned again and again during our week together, making it obvious that a strong personal foundation enables people to step into collaboration more fully and with a greater sense of curiosity and resilience.

Out of the small story circles, we chose five experiences to take into Collective Story Harvest, ranging from personal journeys to the story of how Art of Hosting came into the European Commission (where more than 3,000 people have been trained!). We used the harvesting arcs of

• Taking care of self (self hosting)
• Connection
• Shadow & light
• The edge of practice (what is hosting now?)
• Shifts & Transformation
•. Witness

to delve more deeply into what we know and are learning about participatory practice and how we work together as a field of practitioners.

The stories did their work, bonding us a circle intent on holding space for each other, for the shift point now in our field and our practice, and for the work each of us need to do as individuals to become ever clearer and more grounded.

I'm grateful for my Hosting Team mates Ian Andersen, Petra Zaloznik, Mira Bangel and Hendrik Berberich for the year we spent together on this experience -- my first with a hosting team live in more than two years. And I'm grateful both for our practice and the stories we carry that give light to the work ahead!

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Interested in deepening the five stories you need to be able to tell to meet your call in live and work? Join me and Amy Lenzo for SIGNIFICANT STORIES, starting on September 7.

Groups of 3 or more get a 30% discount. Learn more & register now!

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