Circling is as old as civilization itself. We used various forms of circles to process, clear, decide, and restore justice. Most have a few things in common:
• Circles consist of a small group of 5 to 12, leaving room for intimacy and deeper connection.
• It requires empathetic listening to create an opening for the sharer to be heard.
• People must follow set of guidelines to respect confidentiality and create a safe space.
• There are rules that strictly prohibit any advice-giving, sympathy (pity), or even “I have a story like that” comments. The goal is to help you find your inner-teacher.
Circling as the New Therapist
Today, circling seems to have a strong resurgence and is beginning to replace the popularity of therapy. Indeed for many, it has an even more profound effect on one’s own transformation than therapy can provide.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Being fully heard is amazing
- Hearing others share similar challenges give great clarity
- Connections formed in circle become bonds and community for life
- You solve your own riddle and create greater self-awareness in the process
- It’s the ultimate clearing ground for any shame, guilt, anxiety, and uncertainty in life
If facilitated well, circles can create a space for your deepest truths, fears, and challenges to be processed, more so than 1 to 1 therapy where there is always a challenge/response mechanism. The theory being is:
You know what you need to find healing. It’s all within you already. You just need to gain stillness and clarity to get to the heart of the matter.
Parker Palmer, Integral Center, Conscious Circles, ManKind Project are a few examples of those hosting life circles in this way. Each with their own flavor and right of passage to join. All incredibly powerful.