Circle Turns Us To One Another And To Ourselves

Very circle-focussed this week. Quite loving that. Circle, and the people that I’ve been taught by, and the people that I’ve worked with, have formed much of the gifts I’m able to offer.

There’s A Circle Way Intensive. Come to learn. To contribute. And for all the other reasons that matter so much now.

There’s the conversation I had yesterday with Penny Hamilton in Brisbane Australia. Penny, Amanda Fenton, and I hosted several practicums and workshops together. Super refreshing. Supportive.

There’s this excerpt below. It’s a draft couple of paragraphs of an introduction. For a book on Circle that I’m writing. Anticipating being able to share this book later in 2024.

Enjoy. Perhaps there’s a spark or two for you.

My first Circle teacher was Christina Baldwin. It was the late 1990s. Christina and Ann Linnea had formed their education company, PeerSpirit. They taught Circle. And memoir writing. And quest. They joined with Meg Wheatley and Bob Stilger, whom I was working with and for. We were creating a conversational leadership initiative. Circle was to be our core methodology to connect leaders locally and globally. Through deeper listening. Through more authentic sharing. Through more lasting learning together.

Back then, in my mid 30s, I listened to much rhetoric about “collecting tools for one’s tool box.” I thought of Circle as one of those tools, which of course, it was. However, I came to learn quickly that Circle was much more. I learned it was also a way of being that prioritized so much of what tools were created for — connection, story, pace, pause, and questions engaged together.

Circle would come to ground who I was as a person. It would ground how I paid attention in groups. It would ground how I came to invite people together, in circumstance ranging from casual social settings to formal professional meetings and workshops. Circle would come to change my life, just as did Christina, Ann, Meg, and Bob.

Well, now it is 2024. I’ve been a Circle practitioner for 25+ years. I’ve taught classes. I’ve hosted workshops in person and online. I’ve hosted practicums, advanced practicums and intensives. I’ve practiced the subtle and the implicit. I’ve practiced the obvious and the explicit. I’ve followed the mentoring of those who have taught me. I’ve claimed some of my own nuance. I’ve come to be first teacher and mentor for a few folks along the way.

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