Uncomfortable Transparency

“If i am telling the truth, the reason the Mockupy workshop is not happening is i have a fight with my lover.  So instead of preparing the workshop together we were struggling”  I told the assembled 40 participants at this mornings Communities Conference.

“And if guilt and blame are important to you, the struggle was all my fault.”

Anja and Lux (ex-conf intern)

And thus began the mini-open space technology session we did today.  Since Mockupy was cancelled, i made three other offerings.

1) Funology

2) Modesty is Dangerous

3) Transparency Tools

I described each of these possible workshops to this enthusiastic crowd and said they could vote 2 times for one option and the 1 time for their next choice and i would count all the votes.  It appears all the participants are from Florida for the number of votes exceed the number of participants.

I was surprised the group choose transparency tools, until we stated doing them.  We did a couple of go rounds of “If you really knew me ….” And people offered very deep stuff and i am a number of people got very emotional in just a couple of minutes.

And it proves the these of the transparency techniques, which is that people want to be sharing this deep personal information, even if the environment is not completely safe (as this large heterogeneous workshop certainly was not safe).  Sexual assault tramas and recoveries, lives in crisis or flux or quinks stories, fears of parenthood and joys of prospective parenthood all came out.   We experimented with Withholds, “If you really knew me …” and the EBT tools which we have been using in my Twin Oaks transparency groups.  People got emotional, said daring things to each other and i got choked up several times.  Several participants said that this was the most important material of the event, which was flattering and affirming.

We had 188 registrations for this years communities conference - more than any year in the last decade.

Cover Girl pic of Janel – The conference principal organizer

Sadly, Janel who had been wrestling with Lyme’s disease over the course of the event, had to be rushed to the urgent care room this morning missing the last day of the event.

She did an amazing job of making this event happen, and was very graceful letting me off the hook for a myriad of room assigning and workshop logistics mistakes that i made.

i hope she is okay.