Say Yes to Unlearning
As we unpack open space and the mindset that supports open space, we have been unlearning greatly as we continue writing, creating workshops, interviewing many people for their stories, and just living.
The last couple of weeks revealed the unlearning within our families. Our kids were on spring break recently.
One experiment was a “Yes Day”. During the Yes Day, the kids got a budget and a few constraints. From there, they designed the day with no objections from parents. The kids aligned on several options and decided on what option was next once an activity was over. The day moved from one pleasant surprise to the next. The entire family moved in mobility.
Another experiment involved a car. Normally, you would not expect two teenagers on spring break to spend most of their time rebuilding a car. But for these two boys, the experience of racing a beater car through the woods (retrieving any trash they find along the way to clean up the local forest), has become a challenge they cannot pass up. This will actually be their second year competing. Last year, the car ended up submerged. That's why you see a snorkel in the picture.
So our families unlearned the need to plan a day of fun or just to do nothing when they had free time.
And there was even more unlearning.
As a parent, you feel you have the final say. Then one of us heard from our child: “Why can you yell at me but I can’t yell at you?” There was learning and unlearning at that moment. First, there was safety in a child bringing that issue to a parent. As a parent, it’s also ok to be vulnerable and say, “Hmm, let me think about that.” We learned that it was a learned behavior from our parents. It was also time to unlearn that.
Being able to be vulnerable, openly reflect on that together, and say “you’re right”, became an opportunity to change behavior and actually grow closer between parent and child.
In the stories that we’ve heard this week in interviews, we discovered even more unlearning. How do you define success? How do you unlearn a bias? How do you redefine the expressions of love to the people most important to you? What are your true capabilities and potential when your whole world changes?
Wow! We are so excited to share these powerful stories with you here and in the book. We continue to interview, but we have also started reviewing and cataloging the stories. They are just as powerful when we review them. We still laugh, cry, or just feel moved.
Journeying in mobility,
Mark & April
P.S. We will let you guess which story came from which of our families. ;)
P.P.S. We also invite you to several opportunities coming up which you can find here.