Authentic Relating Toronto - Changing the world one connection at a time. - Circling Description

Circling, is an intersubjective, meditative we-space practice.

What does that mean?

What we mean by intersubjective is that we are sharing our subjective (meaning internal/personal) experiences with one another. The meditative part is because while we're sharing, we're also bringing an awareness to what is happening from moment to moment.

Another way to describe Circling is that it's an organic, in-the-moment interpersonal process that's equal parts art form, meditation, and group conversation - all designed to allow a visceral experience of connection and understanding of another person's world, celebrating who and where they are right now.

It's practicing using our genuine curiosity to better understand and become a connoisseur of another person's world through present moment awareness while breaking through the assumptions and stories we have about each other.

Different than sitting on a meditation cushion by yourself, Circling is a relational practice. And though it works exquisitely in intimate relationships of all kinds, it can be applied in ALL areas of life because it's so organic, non-analytical, effective, nourishing and fun.

Circling is not therapy and the intention is counter to trying to 'fix' anyone. Circling can uncover relational blind spots, result in the feeling of being seen and accepted and through this experience give access to personal transformation(s).

Through this in-the-moment process, we have more choice about how we respond. The more we are aware of our blinds spots, the greater our choice in any situation. The greater our choice, the greater our degree of relational freedom.

Currently there are three 'styles' of Circling being practiced around the world. 'Birthday', 'Organic' and 'Surrendered Leadership'. The default style for our regular public events is Birthday circling, where the groups gravity, that is to say the groups attention is focused on a single person who volunteers to be Circled.

A common way that a Birthday Circle looks is that we sit, coincidentaly enough, in a circle. The circlee at one end and the facilitator across from them. The others in the circle position themselves so everyone can see each other. The facilitator might often lead the inquiry with "What's it like to be you right now?", and this begins the inquiry into sharing what is alive in the present moment, interpersonally. The inquiry continues by exploring how the circlee is impacted by having the groups attention on them, and how the group is impacted by the circlee. While always bringing our inquiry back to the circlee. Circles at your average Circling evening typically last from anywhere between 30-60 minutes. However, while this description is typical, due to the nature of the practice and the intention to "welcome everything", any individual circle can look quite different.

The other styles, ART offers in more committed and/or advanced containers such as our Core Practice Series, Master Circle Leadership Training, Facilitator Labs and various Intensives.

Circling is a very experiential practice, making it difficult to say 'what it is' in a way that all can relate to it. Its gifts are plentiful and varied as are the people who practice it. In many way's it's one of those things you may 'have to experience yourself' to get what Circling is for you.

Below are some ways in which this practice can work and benefit various contexts.

Circling: For Deepening Relationships (personal, familial, professional)

This practice can help us get more in touch with our inner truth. From there we may start to answer some "why's" we've never thought to ask ourselves. This can lead to more consciousness around our actions, understanding our fears and with that knowing, we can start to feel more comfort and acceptance leading for us to advocate for ourselves in our relationships. Asking for what we want. One way this can look is expressing clearer "No's" through boundaries and/or expressing our "Yes" in a way that others can trust it.

Circling: For Professional Development

In addition to the relational benefits mentioned in 'for deepening relationships', another way the practice can be helpful in professional settings is not only improving intuition but also gaining the capacity to check our assumptions and gain shared reality around others intentions and expectations. From here we can deliver based on people's true expectations rather than their implied expectations. This simple exploration can greatly improve efficiency and perceived quality of output.

Circling: For Healers

Circling is not a modality of therapy as there is no intention to fix or heal anyone, and yet simply bringing a 'circling presence' to our interactions and relationships often can result in positive impact. One way in which this can be experienced is through others relaxing and experiencing a feeling of safety, or a depth of inquiry through non-judgemental curiosity that can uncover unexplored terrain. These explorations can lead to loosening or releasing binds (stuckness), giving access to increased self-actualization or thriving.
©2018 Emergent Developmental Concepts