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Having a “Hot Potato” Conversation in a Focusing Way

 Registration is closed for this event
In this Oceania Roundtable, the question we will explore is "Can Focusing transform how we handle hot potatoes?" We will organize our exploration into two stages, first working in small groups to bring awareness to our own personal patterns of handling hot potatoes and then experimenting by choosing a hot potato to discuss together. Saturday, 30th October 2021 from 7:00-9:00 pm Sydney, AEST Saturday, 30th October 2021 from 9:00-11:00 pm, New Zealand, NZST Saturday, 30th October from 4:00-6:00 pm Perth, Western Australia, AWST

Saturday, 30th October, 2021 from 7:00-9:00 pm Sydney, AEST

Saturday, 30th October, 2021 from 9:00-11:00 pm, New Zealand, NZST

Saturday, 30th October, 2021 from 4:00-6:00 pm Perth, Western Australia, AWST

(US Saturday October 30, 2021 from 4:00-6:00 am EDT)

Times worldwide: convert to your time zone

In a world of growing uncertainty, it is not surprising that our conversations, and our thinking, are becoming increasingly polarized. We find that it is becoming more difficult to hold civil conversations—or conversations at all—around “hot potato” topics.

A hot potato is an issue that most people don’t want to talk about. It often involves unpleasant or dangerous consequences for anyone dealing with it. With hot potatoes, untangling our own complicated connections to the issue is hard enough, let alone listening sincerely to someone with an opposing viewpoint.

In this Roundtable, the question we will explore is "Can Focusing transform how we handle hot potatoes?"  We will organize our exploration into two stages.

For the first part of our investigation, we will work in dyads or small groups to bring awareness to our own personal patterns of handling hot potatoes. For example, there may be a tendency to become rigid or over-confident in our opinions, or to withdraw, to refuse to engage, or mute our real opinion to avoid conflict or disapproval.

Understanding the complexity around our own personal connection to hot potatoes is also important – why does this particular hot potato arouse such strong feelings in us?  For this, we invite you to come with a hot potato, and also, a lived experience which illustrates how this hot potato has impacted your life.

Is the whole greater than the sum of the parts?  – Another way.

For the last stage of our exploration, we will experiment by choosing a hot potato to discuss together. Using our Focusing skills and the self awareness we have gained, we will pay attention to the “more” of the conversation that is emerging around our hot potato, bringing our curiosity to the wisdom and deeper intelligence that may emerge as we listen together.

In the words of Rumi:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I will meet you there.

Connection >Focusing> Community

Who might be particularly interested in attending this Roundtable? Any Focusers who are curious and interested in this topic.

What to expect from Focusing Roundtables:  

We warmly encourage you to register and settle down with us to join other Oceania Focusers passionate to explore topics of interest and get to know each other better. If you have an area of interest, curiosity or passion you would like to see opened up in a future Roundtable, please let us know.

Each Focusing Roundtable is designed to promote informal peer-to-peer sharing. Rather than acting as expert presenters, the hosts will serve as sharing moderators to encourage exploration of the topics from the participants’ own perspectives. All participants’ sharing’s are welcome and valuable, no matter what level of experience or knowledge you have on the topic. The main emphasis is on connecting and listening to each other.

To preserve the nature of informal conversation, the program will be offered live only and no recordings will be available. Participants are encouraged to create follow up opportunities for connection among themselves after the Roundtable.

The TIFI Membership Committee is pleased to offer this series of Focusing Roundtables designed especially for members of the Institute. Roundtables afford members a valuable opportunity to engage in casual peer-to-peer conversation with other members who share Focusing-related interests. If you are not a member, please join at this link and then return to this page to register.

About your hosts:

Sue Burrell is a counsellor and Focusing Trainer with a background in education. She has trained in Jungian Archetype and Dream Pattern Analysis with the Assisi Institute (USA). Sue co-hosts the Sydney Changes Group, which meets in person, and via Zoom on alternate months. All welcome. Details can be found on TIFI website at

Jen Dunbabin lives in Tasmania, Australia where she is part of a team that is lifting adult Tasmanians' literacy and literacy levels and runs professional development for adult literacy practitioners. Focusing has been an integral part of her life for nearly 15 years. Since learning Inner Relationship Focusing, she has been continually adding to her knowledge, particularly Wholebody Focusing. She has been studying A Process Model for 10 years and is a long term student of the Buddha's teachings.

October 30th, 2021 4:00 AM through  6:00 AM
Additional Information
Location Online
Topic Beginners, Intermediate/Advanced, Other
Language of Instruction English
Event Listing Date Information Saturday, 30th October, 2021 from 7:00-9:00pm Sydney, AEST
Timezone See other Australia/New Zealand times in full listing below