There is something ineffable about being held in a space that is hosted. One of the key things that simply can’t be taught in any facilitation training is “presence.” It’s possible to talk about it, to model it and even to help others connect with it, but you can’t transmit it. It is not a technical piece. It is a practice.
I make a lot of connections between hosting practice and martial arts practice. Today, looking through some of the handful of martial arts weblogs I read, I discovered this post:
Regardless of how many years you’ve spent in the dojo, the possibility always exists that you’ll encounter something you’ve never seen before in your training. So how do you avoid this ugly scene before it happens? Believe it or not, this starts by how you present yourself to the world. If you appear arrogant and look for trouble, there’s no doubt you’ll find it. However, if you perceive yourself as a victim or a loser, you’ll end up for sure as someone’s target practice. The key is to combine equal amounts of humility and confidence that you have developed from your training into your daily life. Humility and confidence are the yin and yang of the martial artist’s persona. The great swordsman/strategist Miyamoto Musashi once said, “The warrior must make his warrior’s walk his everyday walk”. This is a quality of living that can’t be faked, and its essence can be felt even by strangers. I’ve read accounts of how martial artists should carry themselves in public; exuding grace, good posture and so on, but I believe that there’s an ineffability to the martial artist that goes beyond the physical.
You can discover more advice from Musashi in The Book of Five Rings. I’m always curious about how others describe this ineffable part of working with people. What’s your practice?