The Art of Hosting

Susan Johnstone
  • Bayswater, Nova Scotia
  • Canada
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  • Janet Blayone

Susan Johnstone's Page

Profile Information

How did you learn about Art of Hosting (please add the date and place) and what attracted you to it?
I've been a student and facilitator of group and circle dialogues since 1991, working in the personal development and team-building arenas.
I was an early follower of the Pioneers of Change in the '90s and was in an online community with Toke and others. I finally got to attend an AoH training in January 2013, after I had moved to Nova Scotia. I've also been a part of the HUB South Shore, in Mahone Bay with Tim Merry.

I'm very attracted to all the ways that people are learning together in the service of creating more life sustaining ways of living and being in relationship with everything.
Tell us about your experience with Art of Hosting as part of your life and work. What would you say your competence in it is? (new, starting practitioner, experienced practitioner, steward)
As a coach, much of my work has been with individuals. Now that I find myself in a position to work more with groups in my local area, I'm becoming more interested in mastering the tools to create the same kind of containers with groups that do with my coaching clients. I would say that I'm very experienced with individuals and phone groups, and in the subtle realms, but new in terms of facilitating and designing groups in-person.
What is the primary field/topic/focus in your hosting work?
The people I'm calling in my own work are heart-centered change-makers who want guidance and community for doing the kind of deep, personal, transformative inner-work that will support them in their outer world change projects.

However, through a volunteer position, I find myself a part of local church and community groups grappling with difficult issues such as possible church closures and lack of resources. This is where I would most like to hone my skills in AoH so I can support good outcomes that leave community members feeling connected and not traumatized.
Where do you live/work?
Bayswater, Nova Scotia, Canada
Would you like to share a web address?
Are there interests/passions that you'd like to share?
Hosting with the subtle realms, inner transformation, spiritual practice, shadow work, land stewardship, community gardening and permaculture

Comment Wall (2 comments)

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At 4:01pm on February 16, 2015, Janet Blayone said…

Good to hear another Canadian stepping out to the call to steward the land, Susan.

Thank you for the book recommendation. Machaelle Small Wright and her Perelandra workbooks have been companions on my bookshelf for quite a number of years. Mine came as two softcover bound books (once called a Guide & the other Workbook II). I'm just noticing the Guide is not there, remembering I lent it out and it hasn't come home… must follow that up. 

I love plants and trees of all kinds but my deepest passion is for soil. My winter solstice treat this year was to read a little book called "Dirt: The Ectastic Skin of the Earth" by Willam Bryant Logan. What a delicious read! There are various errata but they didn't detract from the overall song of the Earth. Highly recommend it.

Other books in the same vein as Perelandra that have been interesting for me are:

The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird (they also have Secrets of the Soil, which is very good)

Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings by Marko Pogacnik (another approach, instructive but packed with personal experiences)

The Secret Teachings of Plants and The Lost Language of Plants by Stephen Harrod Buhner (the first quite elementary, the second a lot bleaker than Perelandra, not so esoteric nor instructive)

and of course, all the writings of Rudolf Steiner and other biodynamic writers, including Dorothy Maclean. 

Your comment spurred me to check out Machaelle Small Wright's website. Wow! lots of change and new info to explore. Thank you.

At 2:36pm on February 14, 2015, Nancy Bragard said…

Hello, Susan, and welcome to the Art of Hosting community! Glad to see you here. Post a photo when you can so we can really "see" you here. Then join in with all the conversations. You'll find plenty of resources here, too, to help you deepen your practice. And the more you add to your profile, the more the community can learn from you and share with you. We hope you will find value in exchanging in this virtual community!


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