Re: Too close for comfort....maybe
From: Virginia Moreland (vmorelandmindspring.com)
Date: Sun, 17 May 1998 21:30:44 -0500
Regarding discomfort at too personal sharing and "getting to know you"
exercises..

Our experience, about a year and a half into planning community building,
is that we do some of this kind of thing. Some of us think it's too little,
and some of us think it's too much. I'm of the former persuasion, and
here's just one concrete example:

Last week I was attempting to facilitate a meeting at which a lot
highly-charged material was being addressed. It nearly went up in flames; I
had a melt-down myself and had to abdicate the facilitator role. Not to
make excuses for myself -- (I knew I was too emotionally involved and
should have found someone else to lead the meeting) -- but I believe one of
the contributing factors is that we have NOT been spending enough time
airing feelings and conflicts in the group. Also newer members haven't
shared the same history and developed the same comfort level as longer-term
members. I firmly believe that issues of fear, trust, anger, etc. cause
much more havoc when they're not openly addressed and are forced to go
underground.  

For what it's worth, we sometimes (but not always) end our meetings by
holding hands in a circle for a moment of silence.  The first time someone
suggested it, some folks were a little squeemish -- I think we're all
comfortable now. Someone made sure we did it at the meeting mentioned
above, and I really believe it enabled us all to gather ourselves and end
the meeting in a better frame of mind. So far, we don't sing, but I
wouldn't rule it out.

Perhaps cohousing is sensible and practical once you're all nicely settled
in, but getting there is a deeply personal adventure!  

ginny [at] eastlakecommons.org
(Atlanta area)

Where tensions were running high because we were just about to close the
construction loan -- and we DID! Site-work begins Tuesday. 

"when your meeting goes up in flames, use the embers to build a campfire"     


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