Fw: OSONOS-my struggles,my viewpoint

Peg Holman pholman at email.msn.com
Wed Nov 25 09:41:36 PST 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: Anne Stadler <Anne_Stadler at mist.seattleantioch.edu>
To: pholman at email.msn.com <pholman at email.msn.com>
Cc: oslist at listserv.idbsu.edu <oslist at listserv.idbsu.edu>
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 10:58 PM
Subject: Re: OSONOS-my struggles,my viewpoint

Thanks, Peg, for forwarding Birgitt's OSonOS reflections message to the
Listserve and your reply.

I'll add my two cents:  It was bumpy and very very valuable, especially for
those of us who do Open Space a lot.
What I learned:
1.  We OPen Spacers NEED and got some big lessons in welcoming "strangers",
including people who do things differently than we do.  That was brought
forcefully by having an international group of practicioners, and by having
number of people who were virgins (smile), and by having a few people who
at "the first one" (of which there seemed to be more than one "first"!!),
by having one person who invented "Open Space" (by another name) in the late
seventies before any of us did!!
  I am personally VERY grateful that we are international; that we have a
chance to observe different people opening space; and that many of us are
willing to co-facilitate and learn how to  enable that to happen smoothly,
trustfully, and powerfully (witness Monday AM!!).
   For myself, I have been doing co-facilitated OSs on purpose for about a
year.  I feel it helps people (myself included) learn how to prepare, evolve
common discipline of mindfulness and playfulness, AND learn to be at ease
the shared leadership I believe is important to model in opening space.
   AND I am aware that I can have strong reactions to the way others do
but I believe the way I need to handle that is to be aware of what is
in me, and to integrate that as best I can, and then to give and receive
feedback, so I and we can learn.-- that's the way I have proceeded with HHO
others whom I've known over the years, and I've learned A LOT.
   A few more words about the "stranger":  I was a stranger when I first
encountered OPen Space.   I was welcomed.  I was included.  I was taken for
I valued myself. And I made life-long companions, changed my professional
focus, etc.  So, for me, the "stranger" is "me"!
    And also, I think we really have to admit that at a very fundamental
we are all "strangers" everytime we open space.  We truly cannot predict
we may encounter.  We literally open ourselves to the unknown.  So.. in this
sense we enter the space as "strangers" to whatever may be in store for us.
Sure, I have experience and learning to share-- so I am not a stranger to
per se.  Sure I may be THE PROFESSIONAL FACILITATOR of OST.  But I am a
stranger to the particular experience which will happen in the NOW of that
    The appearance of strangers in our midst is simply an opportunity for
GROUP to be reminded that we ARE opening to the unknown,  and to relearn it
integrate whatever is the new learning about that.
   I felt as Peg did-- a sense of gratefulness that we had such a deep well
space that we could include HHO in our thoughts and conversation and hearts,
that his presence or absense didn't dominate our activity, that we could
so deeply and intensely together, even the difficult lessons, and emerge new
and whole to the accompaniment of the double rainbow!! (which I didn't SEE,
I truly GROK!)
   And Birgitt, I hold you in my heart and appreciate the relentless probing
you do and the deep integrity you bring to your (and our) evolution!!  Lots
love and thanks to all the OSonOSers!
Anne Stadler

Lots of love

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