THE OPENING WORKSHOP
WHAT IS THE OPENING WORKSHOP?
You may have heard the expression “ferns don’t grow in the desert.” Well, each of us is a unique ‘opening’ or environment for others. The Opening invites you to explore and consider what type of environment you are for others. Or, another way to say it is, what grows in the biosphere of you?
Being an opening has to do with the type of space or possibility that you are for the other, for someone else. It is the invitation you are for others to step into the stunning possibility God has created their lives to be.
You already are an opening. We are always impacting others. We are an invitation for others.
The question is, what kind of invitation are you?
Christ calls us to ‘renew our minds’ (Romans 12:2) in order to be continually transformed into His image. In light of this, consider: What is the legacy you are leaving with your life? What type of opening or clearing are you for others?
The Opening is an opportunity for you to hear powerful feedback on what is wanted and needed, to engage the art of reinventing who you are for others, to close the gap between your vision and your current reality. It is an opportunity for you to develop greater clarity, focused purpose regarding your impact, and the opening, or invitation you are for the people you encounter day in and day out. Disciplines Include
- Generous Listening
- Maintaining Neutrality
- Being a Stand
WHAT IS THE OVERALL STRUCTURE OF THE OPENING WORKSHOP?
The Opening is an opportunity for Awaken graduates to discover and engage the type of opening they are for others, for the purpose of achieving a fulfilling life. It is a powerful and interactive time to take a penetrating look at whether or not you are having the results in your relationships that you say you want. The exercises and feedback provides a clear and distinct picture of the kind of invitation you are for others. It takes the level of awareness created from the Awaken Training and takes the everyday interactions of those in front of you, and hones them further. Come redesign and realign your visions for your life and for your commitment to relationships. The Workshop takes place over two days (usually a Friday/Saturday, or a Saturday/Sunday). Each full day begins at 9:00am and ends at 6:00pm. Some sponsors choose to spread the workshop out over Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday afternoon/evening, so check the training schedule and that workshop for details.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE OPENING WORKSHOP
- Giving and receiving honest feedback
- Discovering what kind of internal “environment” you live in and what “environment” you create for other
- Breaking through past performances and current circumstances
- Be a more effective and powerful advocate for genuine community and authenticity in your current responsibilities at church, work, ministry or family
- Bridging the gap between vision and current reality
- Discovering what kind of invitation you are in relationship
- Growing in your generous listening skills
- The benefit of maintaining neutrality
- Exploring the power of forgiveness
- Getting clear on what it means to be a “stand” for others in your life
- Getting clear on what your legacy is and how it is being lived in each interaction
- Working with communicating honestly in a way that can make a difference with people
- Exploring the prices others pay to be in relationship with you and the prices you are willing to pay to be in relationship with others
- Exploring the conditions that are put on others and the conditions we put on ourselves
- Exploring the power of commitment, promise, love and authentic communication has in shaping one’s life
COMPONENTS OF THE OPENING WORKSHOP
Ground Rules: The purpose of these rules is to help you and the group work together to accomplish your goals. On the first day, the Trainer will ask that you agree to several simple ground rules; things like being on time to the training etc…
Mini-Lectures: The Trainer or participants may offer points of view about different subjects. Whether you agree or disagree is your choice. Be willing to discuss and explore your perspective with others in the group. The value will be in getting clear about what you really do believe and testing out how you stand for what your believe. The Trainer will speak about things that relate to a Christian’s life of love and forgiveness. The main standard to measure our relationships with is “love your neighbor as yourself.” It is a starting place, a foundation for us to learn how to live and love other people.
Sharing: Sharing is voluntary. Sharing can happen one-on-one, in small groups or with the whole group. All during the training you will have a chance to know yourself better by sharing, talking about what you are thinking, what you are learning and hearing about your own and others’ experiences. Just like in life, participation equals value! The more that you participate the more value that you experience and the more you create for others.
Small Group Exercises: You will, at different times, meet with a group of about 4-6 other participants for casual discussions or specific relational exercises.
One-on-One Interaction: In order to make progress, you may be asked to answer a number of questions, tell a story, complete sentences or take on a particular body position (like standing up). You will have an opportunity to see new solutions for the problems and issues that you struggle with and to support the other participants to do the same. Sometimes teens find this an intense or emotional experience. Please be honest about your feelings at all times.
Listening: To increase your ability to listen carefully and to discover how well you listen occasionally the Trainer will request that you close your eyes.
Interaction with the Trainer: At times you may be talking directly with the Trainer. The Trainer will challenge you to look at your life in terms of personal responsibility, to consider what prices you and others pay for your decisions, to consider where you play the “victim” and where you take responsibility for your choices. You may feel challenged, anxious and uncomfortable when looking at your life and your choices from other perspectives or working with things that you are not used to addressing.
Music: Music is an important part of the training. The music is adapted to many preferences and styles and is always thematic. You are encouraged to listen to the words as well as the tune.
Homework: During the evening you will be asked to complete written homework. The homework is designed to prepare and support you for the next phase of the training. It will usually take at least 30-45 minutes to complete each time.
Challenge: During the training all parts of your being will be engaged and challenged: intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually. You may experience thoughts, feelings or sensations that are new or unique. This is an exciting learning experience that will include a high degree of personal challenge. Your participation is your choice. Think about the opportunity to confront your struggles, fears and limitations head-on and go for it!