My First Circle — A Story by Karen Doyle Backwater


The Circle Way Newsletter is monthly. It’s loaded with good. Story. Tips. Invitation. Connection to community. Just sign on to get it — for perusing, or to accompany a good cup of tea, or to guide your practice of convening.

This month (August) features a story by Karen Doyle Buckwalter. Karen was a participant in one of the online classes that Amanda Fenton and I hosted earlier this year. Karen is thoughtful. She’s committed to questions that shape her applied use of circle. She’s committed to supporting circles, to using circles, because, well, it just makes a big difference.

Karen’s “First Circle” was focused on the importance of self-care (in rather complex and demanding times). I love Karen’s inclusion of this line from Brianna West —

“True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake,
it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.”

In the way that I know of Karen, I imagine she has a lot that she could offer by way of guidance to people. She could offer some pretty good and helpful answers — she is a social worker and psychotherapist by profession. But Karen’s point in hosting the circles, three of them, was to convene the space in which participants, including herself, could be wise and thoughtful together. The Circle Way is after all, a container for such exchange to happen. It’s an organizer that helps us lean in with honesty and wisdom to find what is among us, all of us, rather than just isolated and individual forays.

I love Karen’s overarching questions for her three Saturday sessions.

  1. “What are three things you are grateful for? What do you need in your life right now to thrive?”
  2. “What part of you is calling out for healing right now? What brings you joy?”
  3. “What was most meaningful for you about our Circle and what will you take with you?”

It’s simple design. It’s powerful interaction. Thanks Karen. Read her full article in The Circle Way Newsletter.

Circle is the root of most of the convening work I do. I’ve often said, if you want to get better at all of the participative methodologies, go deeper in circle. This sentiment and practice continues to grow in me.

Join, yes, please, in the offerings. Or stay connected globally with others, growing in applied use of circle. For self care. And for a pile of other things that matter.

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