[OSList] New York, New York...indeed the place to be this weekend

Suzanne Daigle sdaigle4 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 21 17:43:18 PST 2013

An International Open Space in New York City with Harrison Owen and Karen
Davis (Ralph Copeland there in spirit)

Sitting on a plane, I am reliving the experience, the sounds, the feel and
the memory of an amazing Open Space! Three blissful days with 25 to 30 or
so colleagues, friends, and strangers who became friends.

Climbing the well-worn steps to this reverential and familiar place on that
first morning, I am greeted by a simple circle of chairs, a few beautiful
artifacts and a cascading bouquet of flowers in the middle of the floor
with the early morning sunlight dancing into the room signaling the
beginning of a brand new day.  It feels like I am “coming home!” The
Practice of Peace is working its magic already.

Memories of WOSonOS London, another place in another space, soon tumble in
and along with it, the excitement and nervous energy surrounding the
upcoming “World Open Space on Open Space” that will be happening in St.
Petersburg Florida from May 16th to May 19th, 2013.

Finding the words to summarize what transpired at International House this
past weekend is as daunting as creating a work of art, crafting a piece of
literature or writing a symphony.   How can one capture on a blank canvass,
a sheet of paper or a computer screen, the essence of what happened there
in all its layers and complexities, the stuff that is “real life” lived?  And
yet, it is no different than the hundreds of thousands of other times in
Open Space when diverse people in different parts of the world came
together to share, learn, explore, discover and engage on something that
they are “passionate” about and want to “take responsibility” for.

*Learning about Open Space by experiencing Open Space *was the invitation
giving a chance to many to try their hand at “opening the space”, “evening
news” , “morning news” and “closing circle”.  And I know you would all have
been as inspired as I watching people take to their roles like fish to
water. Another indication that facilitating Open Space is something that
can easily be learned though its practice is a lifelong journey.

*Our THEME:*
*Opening Space for Peace and High Performance:* * *Self-organizing* *for
Myself, Others and our Planet

People came from Pittsburg, from Cleveland, from Canada, from Arizona, from
Chile, from Oregon, from Maryland, New Jersey and New York City. They came
from Newtown Connecticut, from Occupy Wall Street, from business, from
education, from privilege and less wealth, from community organizing and
community service, pastors, engineers, education, finance, activists,
theatre, media, consultants, students and retirees. Different backgrounds
and ages, small towns, big cities and worldwide travelers, diverse in ways
that were visible and less visible which invited the extreme spectrums of
jarring and heartwarming conversations, lots of reflection, human beings
finding each other and connecting when we least expected it while living
this mix of harmony, confusion, chaos and clarity that is the stuff of real
life – the self-organizing and wave riding that Harrison speaks and writes
about. How ironic that we spend so much of our life “organizing

Yes we were all on a mission to make the world we live in a better place.  And
in that shared mission, time stood still in a way that made it expand.  A
spirit of hope, love, purpose and gratitude connected us deeply in closing
circle on the third day. Nothing new really… it happens every time when we
open some space in our lives, when we take the time to breathe a bit and to
notice and appreciate who we are and what we have.  And when that happens
whether in community, in the workplace, with friends and/or family,
something indescribable happens. It happened in New York City at
International House between January 18th and January 20th.

Thank you Karen, thank you Harrison and thank everyone for these wonderful
three days!

*On a personal note…*

A short follow-up to something I wrote this past December, while in the
hospital in Maine with my mom.  Two years ago, I was in this same place at
International House, having lost my dad a month earlier. There, I found
peace and healing as I grieved his passing, feeling very connected to him
then because dad shared a birthdate with Harrison, loved martinis and
admired his book: *Open Space Technology, A User’s Guide*

On January 1st 2013, my mom passed away.  I had a deep longing to return to
New York again.  It was even more peaceful this time and I was again deeply
soothed. And then something else happened on Sunday night and Monday
morning when I visited Chuni Li’s family – Chuni, from Taiwan now living in
New Jersey who I had met in New York at this event 2 years ago.  I was
greeted by Chuni’s mom and mother-in-law with bountiful hugs and comfort
food, lovingly prepared.  And then, as if this was not enough, her dad
wrote us a poem in Chinese, beautiful words and calligraphy on special
paper – something I could take home with me that spoke of this Open Space
event at International House and how special he knew it had been for the
two of us, Harrison and others. The tears flowed then feeling the warm
embrace of my extended family, the Li family.

This NEVER would have happened without Open Space in my life, a technology
I was drawn to initially to do good in the workplace, which invited me to
so much more.  It invited me to my life and living it fully as if “coming
home” to who I am at the core.

Now as we prepare our welcome to Florida for all of you, I know the spirit
of New York, of London2012, of Chile2011, Berlin2010 and Taiwan2009 will
weave themselves into the magical surprise of what will happen at
WOSonOS2013 in St. Petersburg.

 Thank you for your patience these past few months as you await information
to make your plans for Florida. I promise that we will soon be sending you
the detailed information you need to book your tickets to be with us at
WOSonOS 2013.

Suzanne now back in Florida

Suzanne Daigle
NuFocus Strategic Group
7159 Victoria Circle
University Park, FL 34201
FL 941-359-8877;
CT 203-722-2009
s.daigle at nufocusgroup.com
twitter @suzannedaigle
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