WE-SPACE Open Space (aka Keep the Beat!)

WE-SPACE Open Space is an online videoconference call, currently held bi-weekly on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. The technology is easy. Vihra Dincheva and Andrew co-host it.

People who are signed up on Andrew’s or Vihra’s site receive the invitation to the call. You can read below some considerations to help you decide if it’s right for you!

At first the call was called “Keep  the Hosting Beat.” It was originally a support for the Art of Hosting community.

Sometimes we still call it that but more often we call it UNPLANNING – unplanning what happens in the next moment.

Once upon a time we planned it all. We followed Peter Block’s guidelines for building community. Over time, in talking before each call, we shared what seemed alive and interesting for us (Andrew and Vihra) and then we’d bring that into the call.

We were trusting that bringing what was alive and present for us might help that area to light up. Or it might help others share what was alive and present for them. Both of these happen, because of who shows up and what they bring.

The calls are free! A donation of $15 Euros is suggested for those who’d like to give something back. It’s not required but you can donate anytime on paypal here. We  appreciate it very much when you do.

A closed, committed UNPLANNING group is in creation. UNPLANNING has a lot to do with social trust. In a closed, committed group, perhaps we can go even deeper. Let us know now if you’re interested  in this.

Some thoughts on attending WE-SPACE Open Space / Keep the  Hosting Beat / UNPLANNING

The call is open to anyone who “resonates with” the thoughts below. As you can see from the comments at the very bottom of the page, everyone has their own sense of what the group is. They’re all correct! I’d love it if you add your own.

Each person will have their own purpose for attending, their own experience and their own takeaways.

Each person tends to bring a hidden plan or strategy of their own into the space to make it safe for them. Usually it’s based on what’s succeeded in the past in helping us survive or succeed.

Your official hosts come in with a plan too. Andrew: I come into the group with a strong desire to be liked, seen as wise and compassionate. Secretly I want to support many people in getting past where they’re stuck; I put that forward and don’t show so much that I want to get past where I’m stuck. Although I know this, I still try and do it, quite often. I’m learning to see the humor  in this.

Good things happen in the group “in spite of ourselves,” in the memorable phrase of an woman who used to attend.

It seems that the when any individual drops some of her own plans and just gets present to being there, it’s a huge gift to everyone, who really wants that for themselves. The more anyone does that, the more presence and transformation happens in the room.

We’ve hardly begun to tap what’s possible here. The limitation is likely the unconscious plans we bring in. Plans are how conditioning and scripts show up in the moment. Conditioning and plans and scripts are useful for us – till they aren’t. Then they’re hard to get rid of. Great things happen beyond our plans. It’s hard work to be a real human being, as opposed to a Pinocchio, pulled by the strings of our  past.

Some plans and stories that people bring to the UNPLANNING group, without noticing

The story that negative experience or pain is more important and meaningful than  positive experience.
We may favor negative experience because we are afraid of our own and want to appear OK with it. Quite often genuine heart-opening presence is more difficult to allow in. We resist open-hearted presence because we  are so vulnerable in it. Whatever people show up with is enough and not better that anyone else’s.

The story that “I’m the only one.”
UNPLANNING  is  outside  of our comfort zone. It puts us up against our basic script for how we are in the world, and invites us to go beyond it. The experience can feel as cold and lonely as an Arctic exploration. Since everyone else looks normal, we think we’re the only one.

The story that we must prove our worth so we can belong.
Andrew loves this quote from Bert Hellinger: “What is greatest in human beings is what makes them equal to everybody else. Everything else that deviates higher or lower from what is common to all human beings makes us less. If we know this, we can develop a deep respect for every human being.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The call time is 1pm Eastern, 5pm UTC (in the UK) and 6pm CET (Berlin). Lab members receive the link to call in.

Subscribe at the top of the page to join and get the link!

How this particular group started!

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Hi Andrew and Virha,
    thanks so much for arranging these calls, which are always an adventure, never knowing what will turn up, either in the group or myself.

    It gives me an important perspective on me. Since I am with me all the time, I tend to see myself as rather fixed. But interacting with others always brings up new parts of myself, and helps to open me to others opinions, and ways of seeing. Very valuable. Thanks again, Anna

  2. I have learned to manage my silence (at times) and try only intervening if I am confident I am doing it consciously. I am not always successful, but that is my journey.

    I observed and felt the warmth of the welcome I received, some verbal, and some of it visual, a smile, a friendly wave and it was collectively beautiful and genuine. When silence developed, I felt the difference between the recent Here and Now circle i joined, where participants expressed, their anxiety and yes some fear, in the silence, but not last night. I felt held, safely and securely and then the silence itself was named and concern was expressed for those who were silent – beautifully and intuitively caring, yet seemingly challenging. Like those who have jumped into a pool, encouraging others to join them!

    I became conscious of not being able to hold in my mind all that was being said, and although a recording was being taken, I started to jot down notes on key words, some sentiments, and perhaps my senses. This was to assist myself, and not intended to intrude on others contributions or emotions. When I revealed what i had done, i felt unsure how some might have received that news and wondered if i was misjudging the valence, or simply reflecting my sensitivity or insecurity.

    Today, on reflecting, I decided to complete the task of creating the “wordle” I had began. this is not intended to represent a comprehensive list or minutes etc, simply a gentle reflection of our journey, in conversation, in silence, in community. In this society, it seems community, silence and safety are more important than ever.

    i am not easily recognised as a creative individual, but i feel there is something in this to be proud of, for it represents – for me at least – that our journey began, was participated by others, and seemed at all times safe.

    So i share it with you, as my gift to each of you, in exchange for the time and love you offered me last evening. I truly hope you do not find it offensive, intrusive, disappointing or anything other than a gift, you can accept, receive or dismiss, whenever.

    I want to thank each of you, but particularly Andrew and Vihra, for holding us, so beautifully.

    Oh and one last question, in accepting the invitation to extend the invitation to others, might i share this invitees? Please do not feel afraid to say No. For this is ours, not a branding or label.

    Until the next time – soon i trust.

  3. As an avid fan of Vihra and Andrew’s work in the generative conversation ecosystem, I wholeheartedly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity, whenever presented to join them in their We Space explorations.

    It is a space where one and all are welcome, honored and invited to co-create and share an experience of safety, trust, caring, attentiveness, acceptance, and acknowledgment; and, be given an opportunity to contribute without expectation, demand, pre-requisite or limitation.

    They inspire and enact what the future of how we as human beings can connect, share and be together here and now. A very rare and special place to pull up a chair, sit together and share a virtual cup.

  4. This kind of listening with exploitative and generative input in a discussion is awesome.

  5. It is very difficult to put an experience into words. In this group I felt welcomed, accepted without condition and held with compassion, whilst at the same time feeling that I could support others in the same way.

    Stepping into the unknown with no agenda and finding a rich rewarding experience was awesome.

    The silence says as much as the words. Silence is undervalued.

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