Principles and Practice for being in Circle
by Em Tivey
- Whoever has the talking piece speaks, and continues for as long as she needs.
- No cross talk or interruptions.
- Non- interference unless requested ~ no physical response to emotion (eg, patting, holding, handing a tissue, comforting into silence) other than deeper listening.
This can be challenging and uncomfortable but it is a good practice.
Circle is not a place to fix, change or heal. It is a sacred container that holds the darkness and the light in equal love.
Speaking from the heart
- Come as you are – authenticity.
- State your experience as yours, speaking from the “I”(avoiding generalising how women feel / how someone else must feel)
- Guidance comes from within – opening to the inner wisdom or channel for spirit.
- Silence is welcome J
- Self responsibility – asking for what you need when you have the talking piece (eg. tissue, hug, feedback, co-sharing, receptive witness)
Listening from the heart
- Listening carefully, non judgementally and accepting what is being said as the speakers reality – being witness
- Being 100% present – not premeditating what to say when it’s your turn/thinking about what to have for dinner etc
- Self responsibility – know that you have the power of choice about how you inwardly respond to what is being said – ie being drawn into the emotion, compassionate non attachment
- Intimacy depends on trust and creating a safe space
- What is said in the circle remains in the circle
- Talking about what is shared in the circle even if it is intended in a positive way, is still an undermining of the sacred process of witnessing.
*** To spiral deeper we can introduce themes or questions for moving the circle to greater intimacy eg. Sisterhood; How do you express your heart song in this world?; Your Inner Wise Woman; Connecting with your blood