WHAT IS CIRCLING?
Circling is THE SIMPLE PRACTICE OF COMMUNICATING IN THE ROUND.
a group of people come together with intention, sit in a circle, pass a talking piece where one person speaks at a time and share their stories.
THROUGH AUTHENTIC SHARING AND LISTENING, A DEEPER CONNECTION IS FORMED.
IN A CIRCLE, WE ARE ALL EQUAL. AND THE WISDOM OF THE CIRCLE IS ACCESSIBLE.
Circling REMINDS us that all things and all people are connected ONLY ALL OF THE TIME. Once you hear someone's story, You feel less alone but most likely it relates to your story. the false assumption that we are separate or different melts away. humanity emerges gracefully and miraculously. EMPATHY, COMPASSION AND CONNECTION are instantlyEXPERIENCED, whether you planned on it or not.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM A CIRCLE?
Circles are a place to remember who you truly are.
RADICAL TRANSFORMATION IS POSSIBLE, simply by being witnessed, held and supported.
by SITTING IN A CIRCLE, UNPLUGGED FROM THE SCREEN and connecting to one another in a meaningful way, WE GET TO realign WITH universal forces. the wisdom of what is evolving through the collective is revealed.
Circling enhances our intuition. WE GET TO LISTEN TO OUR AUTHENTIC VOICE AND practice courage as we learn to speak more confidently.
As we practice deeper listening to our inner guidance system - our AWARENESS AND ability to “read signs” expands. we become more self aware. WE GET TO KNOW ourselves AND EXPERIENCE AN INCREASE IN self-esteem, self empowerment and overall EXPANSIVENESS.
THE ART OF CIRCLING GUIDELINES
These are guidelines that I have used and built upon over the past 22 years of circling. They are not rules, but simply guidelines that have served me well. The guidelines help us to create the sacred dynamic that make our time together in the circle different from any other time we share together.
The guidelines are designed to create a container of safety, to experience connection, support, spiritual awakening and healing. We create the container through ritual and ceremony. Trust that you were guided to the circle to give and receive something magical. When we follow these proven guidelines we use unforeseen energies that are working in our favor to enhance connectivity and experience AWE.
CREATING THE SPACE:
Find a quiet space where you will be free from interruptions. This could be a living room, classroom, backyard, out door space, tipi, etc. Make it comfortable with cushions or chairs. And create a center piece that holds your attention and heart.
Examples: Candle, rock, feather, photo of special ones, trinkets you've collected in your travels, flowers, etc.
We invite anyone in the circle to make a dedication for our time together. The dedication could be to some one meaningful in your life, or sentiment or intention. The dedication is made one at a time by coming to the center of the circle and making a gesture using something in the center: lighting a candle, ringing a bell, banging a drum, and saying “I dedicate our circle time to...” Allow as many dedications as the circle wants to make.
Let dedications flow, very often this is the beginning of the circle theme.
We use a talking stick or piece. Whomever has the talking piece has the floor. One person shares at a time. We speak from the heart and we listen from the heart. There is no cross talk, advice, or conversation. This allows us to really hear ourselves speak, without the fear of being interrupted. Our egos get a chance to rest and our authentic voice/spirit get to be heard!
We say “HO!” when we hear the truth being spoken.
It is short for “Mitakuye Oyas’in” which is Lakota for "ALL ARE RELATED" This reflects the world view of inter connectedness held by the Lakota people of North America.
Saying "HO" or "A-HO" during someone's share doesn’t interrupt their flow, it simply lets them know we are connecting with them.
Try not to rehearse what you are going to say when someone else is sharing. Let your ego take a break and truly dare to Be present for your circle sister and/or brother.
Hang on their every word and co-create and healing and safe environment that helps draw out someone’s authentic share.
KEEP IT LEAN
Get to the point, the real essence of your share, especially if it’s a big group. Think like a circle and take of it together.
Keep circle share about YOU, and less about other people’s stories that are not here. (Also, circles are not the place to promote business, agenda, or services)
What ever is shared in the circle stays in the circle. We can share our own experience after the circle but we want to refrain from sharing anyone else’s story, even it is was a positive one. Please keep it sacred even if you are sharing with someone who really knows the person, IE., close friend, family. No gossiping. We get to practice non-judgment and radical self-acceptance through the use of this guideline.
You don’t have to share if you don’t want to.
You can participate by listening. This process should feel comfortable and welcoming.
Take care of yourself. If you need to go to the bathroom, get some water; make an important phone call, etc. There is usually a group break, so try and wait. But if you cannot, self-care is encouraged. Please no cells phones in the circle.
Please share of yourself first before responding to someone else. You can share how something made you feel or what it woke up inside of you, but we want to refrain from directly commenting. WE are not here to give advice or teach. WE are here to share and we want to hear from YOU.
KEEP CIRCLE TALK IN THE CIRCLE
Sometimes we share things in the circle that we have not shared with any one else before. The chemistry of the moment and unique mix of souls inspires us to open up. This can leave us feeling vulnerable, so I ask that we keep our circle share in the circle. I've seen it happen where someone approached a circle friend outside the circle,
“Remember that thing you mentioned in the circle? Brutal! I can’t believe that happened to you!”
And then I saw the sister close up and regret that she had shared. This is exactly the opposite of what we create in the circle. We create trust, safety and acceptance.
If you feel like continuing a supportive share you might say, “I’m really thinking about what you shared, it reminds me of a time…” or "I had a thought about what you shared, can I offer you support?
Use your intuition to see if this person is open to receiving reflection. If not, YOU will know. Keep it sacred. But keep Circle Talk in the high regard.
Side note about Witness Round or Round of Support:
All circle talk should be done with love, compassion and support. When a “Round of Support” or reflection is introduced it is not a place for advice giving but a chance to support our circle mate where they are in the moment, and lend support on the subject of what they shared. Support can be shared in the form of telling a personal story that relates to the person and situation they shared.
EMOTIONS AND AUTHENTIC SELF
I set tissues in the center of the circle to welcome the authentic self. There is room for every emotion in a circle. Tears are welcome. Laughter is welcome. The shadow is welcome. The highest self is welcome. Wherever you are in your journey, sharing of your authentic self is what we are here to experience. Your truth may be the exact thing that someone else in the circle needs to hear to set them free.
THIS IS YOUR CIRCLE
There is no RIGHT or WRONG way to do this. Let your ego relax and let your spirit soar.
We are co-creating this circle together. The guidelines are here to help us have an extraordinary experience together of collaboration and community. I am the facilitator (which means “to make easy”) but I am here to serve the needs and desires of the collective. I am not attached to anything but the circles organic shaping.
If everyone agrees with these guidelines after they have been read aloud in the circle, you can all say A-HO?
The Art of Circling can be used to enhance any modern day celebration.