I’ve been doing a few Open Space events lately either as host or participant and I’m mostly thinking about this aspect: the challenge of giving expression to what we really want. When the marketplace for conversations is opened there’s this huge opportunity to put anything you want on the agenda and, thankfully, many people seize it. As a result, you get a huge range of interesting conversations. People ask for what they want, or see someone else’s offer and say, I want to join that.
Then again, I sense that a lot of people experience frustration, at least early in the process. I think that’s largely because in our over-stimulated world, there are lots of overt and coded messages telling us what to do. So when we’re invited to decide for ourselves, it’s harder than we might think. Often I’ll have side conversations where people express a vague sense of frustration with the process… and often I think at the bottom of that is something they really want but haven’t quite got round to asking for.
And lying in bed this morning, I realised that lies underneath a lot of the vague sense of anxiety I sometimes feel. Often, that can get in channelled into general complaints and rants about the state of the world. So maybe Harrison Owen is dead right in suggesting all of life is open space… and I need to keep practising finding ways to identify what I want and give respectful expression to it.
Just thinking out loud.