Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Open Spaces Open House Open Heart

On Oct 18th I attended a wholesome, inspiring open house in NE Portland. Several of my collective(housemates) went with me as well. The main facilitator was Karl Steyaert,-who has a history in NVC and a wealth of other culture-shifting avenues- to explore consciousness raising processes and events.

There were several rooms in the house designed to meet certain needs; the basement was the intensity room where you could wrestle, shout into a pillow, punch a bag; there was a stillness room for meditation/relaxation; an empathy room for connecting verbally about heartfelt matters; a offers/needs market, displaying what people can gain from each other; and finally a consenting touch zone.

We all could freely come and go as we pleased from 10am-6pm,. and I started out with some meditation to center myself, and calm my slightly anxious nerves. Next I went back downstairs and joined some of my collective mates for a fun icebreaker game reading off questions from cards, such things like "if you could talk with anyone, who would it be?", we did this for about 45min as our circle gained and lost fellow sharers.

After that, we had a breakout session talking about alternative economics, a subject right up my alley obviously. We talked about the gift culture, Bitcoin, Kindista and how value is exchanged on a deeper level. I was even mentioned as someone who has been experimenting with living in the gift, and trusting in that somewhat unnerving dynamic...to make yourself extremely dependable on the people, the wider community, all while going against the mainstream current. As I can attest to, it is all about having faith in the inherent goodness of folks, and the interdependent symbiotic relationship that forms once they see what you can offer.

Post-breakout session, we all trickled back downstairs and snacked a bit, talking in little circles about this or that. My friend Spencer held a little nature appreciation gathering in the backyard, adding a soothing element amid all the flowing energies.

To end the day, we had a formal closing and gave appreciation and feedback on the day. My overal feelings were overwhelmingly positive...it was nice to have the space to engage authentically like that, without having to trip over the usual culture trappings. I didn't engage in the consensual touch zone as I felt a little awkward, especially facing the threat of declining contact with someone....I'm still trying to find the right assertive tone for that without feeling remorse. My one negative takeaway was at times, it seemed like some people were parroting it each other in a contrived manner....in a rather overtly positive way...I've often chalked this up to general "hippie bs woo woo" type things, but this wasn't so bad....perhaps just people feeling out unknown territory, or my own relative lack of exposure to these types of gatherings.

All told, it was a rewarding experience, connecting me with lots of authentic folks trying to raise consciousness, and contribute good works. I also plan on doing a Solsara Immersion Workshop Dec 7th, that has a lot of synergy with this sort of movement.

Facebook Event Write up----------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Sunday October 18th we are excited to host OPEN SPACE / OPEN HEART / OPEN HOUSE – a transformational gathering at our new community home, and we’d love to have you join us! Feel free to extend this invitation to friends as well.

TIME: 10am-6pm, Sunday October 18th

LOCATION: 2602 NE 7th Ave (btw Knott St & Russell St), Portland, OR 97212

The gathering will offer an innovative, self-directed transformational experience – a bit of a real-life “Choose Your Own Adventure” – supporting whole-person thriving through authentic and empathic connection to self and other, self-realization, inspiration for action in the world, rest and relaxation, and lots of play!

There are a few options for how you can participate:

ALL DAY: If you can, please join us for the whole day experience, from 10am to 6pm on Sunday, as we will offer an orientation at 10am, and an end-of-day harvest from 5-6pm.

DROP IN: If you’re not able to make it for the entire day, please feel free to drop in anytime between 10am and 5pm on Sunday. Someone will welcome and orient you when you arrive.

If you’re interested in the full experience, come a day early for a Facilitation Training from 1-5pm on Saturday, October 17th, to join the facilitation team and learn about how to help hold space for the gathering on Sunday. The training will offer basic orientation to facilitating a variety of approaches to personal transformation and community building. Please RSVP to Will at william.hs.jefferson@gmail.com if you would like to join for the Facilitator Training.

FOOD: We ask that you take responsibility for your own lunch for the day, and there are places to get food nearby. We will have a few snack foods available, and we welcome you to bring something to contribute.

CONTRIBUTIONS: We are so glad to host this event as a gift, and we also welcome donations from those who are inspired to support this kind of offering in the world.

If you have any questions, please email Will at william.hs.jefferson@gmail.com.

So looking forward to co-creating a deeply transformational experience and community with you!

With love,

Karl, Keri, Marisa & Will (house members)
Annie, Karl, Keri, Marisa, Rachel, Spencer & Will (hosting team)

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