Goals for this Meeting (10 minutes) To begin a genuine community-wide conversation about participation To identify, clarify, and begin the process of stating our common ground on the subject of participation
Guidelines To listen to everyone’s ideas and feelings on this topic with care and respect To move from opinions and positions to interests and concerns To speak from an “I” perspective Please keep journaling short and sweet and legible—it will be typed up as part of the conversation.
Visualization (5 minutes) Let's begin by taking a few minutes to relax. Close your eyes, or rest them quietly downward. Breathe in slowly and deeply. PAUSE. Now exhale. Imagine all of the tension in your body slowly releasing. With every breath in, your body relaxes. PAUSE With every breath out, you release even more tension. Let yourself float into the future, ten years from now. You are living in our community, and it's wonderful. It’s become the kind of community you dreamed it would be. Take a moment to be aware of what it feels like to live in the kind of community you dreamt about. Imagine yourself waiting outside the commonhouse entrance. You are waiting for an old childhood friend who is coming to visit you for the first time since you moved into cohousing-someone you are excited to see. As your friend steps towards you, you give your friend a hug or handshake-whatever feels right—and welcome your friend to cohousing. PAUSE As you take your friend on a tour of the west end, notice what you see? PAUSE What do you hear? PAUSE. As you continue on to the East End and the community garden, what sights and sounds do you encounter? What do you feel? PAUSE
Visualization (part 2) Give your friend a brief tour of the Common House. Notice what your favorite things are, and point these out to your childhood friend. See the Common House through your friend's eyes-as if for the first time. What do you hear? What do you notice? PAUSE You’ve invited your childhood friend for a commonhouse meal, and dinner is just about to be served. As you introduce your friend to your neighbors, look around. What do you see? What do you smeII? What do you hear? PAUSE It’s a beautiful day, and you both decide to enjoy your dinner outside. As you sit outside talking to your friend, look around. What do you see? PAUSE You’ve enjoyed a wonderful meal together. Your friend asks you to describe the best part about living in your cohousing community. Take a moment to answer. PAUSE Take just another minute or two to visit with your friend. Enjoy the sense of seeing your community for the first time through your friend's eyes and having this experience after ten years. Reflect on why you live here. PAUSE Slowly begin to come back to your own body. As you breathe in, feel your awareness return here, feel the chair you are sitting in, or the floor. Take a few more deep breaths, and when you are ready, open your eyes and return to the present.
In one sentence, describe how it felt to experience cohousing 10 years from now with your childhood friend.
When my friend asked me what the best thing about cohousing was, I said___________________.
In this exercise, community meant __________ to me.
Journaling Please use your journaling as a guide in the next few conversations.
Secret Sauce (15 minutes) The goal of this exercise is to guess the ingredients of the secret sauce that will make participation in our community very successful 10 years from now. In small groups (5): In the Cambridge Cohousing you imagined 10 years from now… For each person: first, tell your small group what word meant community for you: Imagine participating in (choose one) a successful workday, meeting, meal or other group activity. What do you think were the secret ingredients to that activity’s success? With one person as scribe, can you as a group describe the secret sauce in one sentence? If not, list one keyword from each person to describe the secret ingredients.
Secret Sauce Regroup (5 minutes) Please read your sentence or keywords and pass along to RC The secret sauce for our group was:
Large Group Discussion (15 minutes) How is your group’s (or your personal) secret sauce missing from our community today? Why is it missing? Please try to answer (briefly so everyone who wants to speak can speak) along these lines (these are just prompts): One way we could start to create the secret sauce as a community today is __________________________. For the secret sauce to work it will need _______ and ______.
Fishbowl (15 minutes) Volunteers: start with four people with different views on participation—anywhere from “Participation should be open and voluntary.” to “Participation should be required and mandatory.” Five chairs (one is empty at first)—anyone can join the conversation at any time, when one person sits in the empty chair, one person in the fishbowl leaves the group so another chair will be empty. The goal is shared understanding, not stating positions.
Fishbowl These are some prompts/suggestions to guide this discussion: My vision for participation in cohousing would look like this: An important value that would help guide us is ___________: The reason why I personally feel this way about participation is: Can you explain ___________ about your idea? My concern about your vision, __________, is __________and the reason I feel this way is____________.
Fishbowl As observers, we can: Join the conversation by taking the empty seat Observe patterns and themes Take notes—they are an important part of the discussion
Wrap-up (10 minutes) Identify (from fishbowl and earlier discussions/activities): Patterns & Themes Areas where we agree Major concerns on both sides (and in-between):
Next Steps Please pass your journaling to me-sign if you like. If you heard something important in the fishbowl (or any conversation) that you think is key to our reaching agreement on participation, please write in your notes: The key ingredient is _____________ because.
Evaluation and Closing Circle (10 minutes) Look up conflict & consenus guidelines: