The Art of Hosting

Hi all!

Just received a posting from a facilitation group that included the “Actor’s Vow”, with the opening:  “In my mind, one of the most powerful gifts a facilitator brings to a group is his/her willingness to be transparent about what they see and feel going on in their group. This, and a willingness to make mistakes with the good intention of helping everyone move forward together. In this spirit I offer you The Actors’ Vow, a short poem passed on to me by my friend and co-facilitator of the Facilitator's Studio, Rachael West. While this vow is meant for actors, it seems to me to be perfectly appropriate for facilitators, leaders, and well, just about anyone with the desire to live life to the fullest.” 

Here it is:

The Actors’ Vow 

I will take my rightful place on the stage
And I will be myself.

I am not a cosmic orphan
I have no reason to be timid.

I will respond as I feel; awkwardly, vulgarly,
But respond.

I will have my throat open.
I will have my heart open.
I will be vulnerable.

I may have anything or everything the world
Has to offer, but the thing
I need most, and want most, is to be myself.

I will admit rejection, admit pain, admit
Shame, admit outrage, admit anything and
Everything that happens to me.

The best and most human parts of me are
Those I have inhabited and hidden from
The world.

I will work on it.
I will raise my voice.
I will be heard. 

Mary Alice

Views: 1508

Reply to This

Replies to This Conversation

The rules of improv might help you at some point:

o Accept offers. Say “Yes, and..”
o Be present. Attentive, alert, curious
o Do something. Act, start anywhere
o Be average. Excel by not trying too hard
o Make mistakes. Take a risk & take a bow
o Let go. Be open, not attached to the outcome

And here’s one more thing:


Not just any talk is conversation
Not any talk raises consciousness
Good conversation has an edge
It opens your eyes to something
It quickens your ears

And good conversation reverberates
It keeps on talking in your mind later in the day;
The next day, you find yourself still conversing with what was said
The reverberation afterward is the very raising of consciousness
Your mind has been moved
Your are at another level with your reflections.

- James Hillman
From Jennifer Jones on the Actor's Vow:

Thanks for sharing this. In wanting to know who had written it, I googled, and found that it was apparently written by the well-known American Director, Elia Kazan.

Here's some info on him:

love jennifer x
This is a beautiful quote that I found on the Art of Hosting training, Bowen Island, Oct. 2010, in the harvest made on Prezi! If you have never seen, you need to check it out!

"It's not so much that we are afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's that place in between that we fear. It's like being between trapezes. It's Linus from Charlie Brown when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to."
Marilyn Ferguson
Whenever we want to move into action...


Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step you don't want to take.

Start with
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting
the conversation.

Start with your own
give up on other
people's questions,
don't let them
smother something

To find
another's voice
your own voice,
wait until
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don't follow
someone else's
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don't mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don't take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step you don't want to take.

~ David Whyte ~
LOVE David Whyte! His book "Crossing the Unknown Sea" about work and identity was wonderful. "The Three Marriages" has some interesting points as well, especially about finding strength in your own exile.

Posted by Peggy <>on the AoH list (22 Feb 2011)


Martin Buber poem, written in 1926

Our hope is too new and too old -

I do not know what would remain to us

were love not transfigured power

and power not straying love.


Do not protest: "let love alone rule!"

Can you prove it true?

but resolve: Every morning

I shall concern myself anew about the boundary

between the love-deed-Yes and the power-deed-No

and pressing forward honor reality.


We cannot avoid 

using power;

cannot escape the compulsion 

to afflict the world,

so let us, cautious in diction

and mighty in contradiction,

love powerfully.



ALLOW by Danna Faulds 
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt, containing a tornado.
Dam a stream and it will create a new channel.
Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground.
The only safety lies in letting it all in --
the wild and weak --
fear, fantasies, failures, and success.
When loss rips off the doors of the heart
or sadness veils your vision with despair,
practice becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your known way of being,
the whole world is revealed to your new eyes.

Written and posted by <lunarlogik> aka stuart taylor 2011


where i don’t know
is where i want to go
the route to meaning
isn’t necessarily direct

where we don’t know
is where I want to go
can we travel together?
what might we find?

what might we discover?
what might we gain?
what might we lose?

shall we pack a compass and
bring emergency flares?
or should we trust
to the deep wisdom of our gut?

where I don’t know
is where I want to go
will you travel with me?

and here the pdf! (with colors and original settings!)

An inspiring quote by Brian Swimme on personal and collective healing.

"The great discovery of contemporary cosmology is that the universe, for fourteen billion years, has been working to bring forth vibrant Earth Communities. Our human role in this profound process is the healing of personal and collective wounds so we might revel ever more deeply in the magnificence of our differentiated unity."  -Brian Swimme

Peter Block on 'the way we create conversations':


My belief is that the way we create

 conversations that overcome the fragmented nature

of our communities is

 what creates an alternative future.


This can be a difficult stance to take

 for we have a deeply held belief

 that the way to make a difference in the world is

to define problems and needs and then

 recommend actions to solve those needs.


We are all problem solvers, action oriented

and results minded.

 It is illegal in this culture to leave a meeting

without a to-do list.


We want measurable outcomes and we want them now.


What is hard to grasp is

 that it is this very mindset which prevents anything fundamental from changing.


We cannot problem solve our way into

 fundamental change, or transformation.


This is not an argument against problem solving;

it is an intention to shift the context and language

within which problem solving takes place.


 Authentic transformation is about a shift in context

 and a shift in language and conversation.


 It is about changing our idea of what constitutes action.


Peter Block from Civic Engagement Series

Sponsored by A Small Group

The rule of no realm is mine,
but all worthy things that are in peril
as the world now stand, those are my care.
And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task
if anything passes through this night
that can still grow fair or bear fruit
and flower again in days to come.
For I too am a steward. Did you not know?

-- JRR Tolkien

And from Australia’s gentle Michael Leunig:

Prayer for friends
By Michael Leunig

We give thanks for our friends.
Our dear friends.
We anger each other;
We fail each other.
We share this sad earth, this tender life,
this precious time.
Such richness. Such wildness.
Together we are blown about.
Together we are dragged along.
All this delight.
All this suffering.
All this forgiving life.
We hold it together.

Reply to Discussion


© 2024   Created by Rowan.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service