The Art of Safe Circling

Circling is a gentle process and needs to be. In Circling one person has the full attention of everyone else in the room. They share whatever they want to share and the others listen carefully. Questions will be asked from a place of genuine curiosity in order that we might fully understand what they want to say to us. And this is all that happens.

The essence and the engine of Circling is compassionate curiosity. We try (very hard) to drop our normal, habitual way of relating. We suspend our judgments and our need to give advice. We listen to the unhelpful rattle of our minds and choose to ignore them. Instead, we turn our attention down into our bodies, to the rhythm of our breath and the beating of our hearts. These things reside exclusively in the present moment and by attending to them, rather than our thinking, we also become present.

The very act of becoming present has a power all of its own. When the person being circled is surrounded by a room that is sitting in presence they feel safe. They feel safe because the usual hum of judgment is absent AND THEY CAN TELL! In this safety, they will feel brave enough to ask themselves questions that they would otherwise avoid. They will be prepared to delve deeper into themselves and to be more vulnerable in their expressions.

Why is this important? Because so much of who we believe ourselves to be is a construct. It was put together as we grew up, in order to survive the mixed and sometimes toxic messages we were given about ourselves. Under this ‘self’, this so-called personality, there lies pain and confusion and it is our avoidance of these feelings that distort our lives.

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