“Circling” is a new spiritual practice, transformational modality and way of relating that is growing all over the world. It is a dynamic group process that is part-art-form, part-skillful facilitation and part-relational yoga. It is also a unique modality that can be practiced one-on-one. Although it is based on complex ideas, participating in it can be easy and fun for people at all levels of experience.
The Circling Institute is committed to making Circling available to individuals who want more fulfilling relationships and a deeper experience of community… AND coaches who want to facilitate radical transformation for their clients.
The practice of Circling does 6 things really well:
1. Gives you the experience of “being seen” and known for who you really are. Many people have never felt truly seen, which can be very isolating and painful. When you’re deeply seen for both your unique gifts and beauty – AND the shadow parts you usually keep hidden – you effortlessly become comfortable in your own skin.
2. Reveals your “blind-spots” – the inconsistencies between who you think you are and how you actually show up. These blind-spots are often where we push love and connection away without even knowing it. Waking up to the ways of being that you have previously been blind to gives you radical access to authenticity, connection, choice and possibility.
3. Opens you to the immediacy of presence, aliveness and a state of flow. By paying exquisite attention to the present moment and the dynamic experience of relating with others, you can very quickly enter states of embodied awareness. In this way, circling can be considered a form of “relational yoga” or “relational meditation”.
4. Creates deep and meaningful connections. The Circling immersion weekend will not only foster connection and the feeling of “family” with the other participants in the course, it will raise the bar on the level of intimacy and connection you experience in every interaction and relationship in your life — from loved ones, to clients, to strangers on the street.
5. Trains you in the art and skills of authentic relating. Circling will exponentially increase your ability to vulnerably express your experience as it arises, moment-to moment. It will also teach you the art of getting someone else’s world in a way that has them feel seen, known and appreciated, perhaps more deeply than they ever have before. These skills can skyrocket your capacity to bring truth, authenticity and connection to every relationship in your life.
6. Facilitates profound transformation and personal growth. The insights and connections available in circling helps you shift and evolve at the foundation of your being. From this place, making changes in your life is a natural outcome, rather than a struggle.
How is Circling different than coaching or therapy?
The primary purpose of therapy is to improve one’s psychological health and to reduce symptoms or destructive patterns. Therapy assumes that something in the client needs to be fixed or healed, and the focus is often on the past. By definition, psychotherapy is practiced by licensed professionals and is not offered in circling programs.
The primary purpose of coaching is to enhance one’s performance and take responsibility for one’s success. Coaching assumes that the client is already high functioning and is capable of taking consistent action steps towards his/her life vision. It is results oriented, generative in nature, and requires the client to be accountable for their lives. It is often focused in the future, especially the kind of future the client wants to create.
The primary purpose of Circling, by contrast, is the transformation of your way of being through authentic relating. It is focused on how much access to aliveness and connection you have in the present moment. We may explore thoughts, feelings and desires about the past and the future, but only to the extent that they are alive in the present moment.
In the Art of Circling Practitioner Training, we place Circling inside of a coaching framework so that it can be used in a professional context in service to a client’s goals and desires. You’ll learn the Circling skills that can elicit profound transformation and the emergence of more authentic levels of being. You’ll also learn the coaching skills necessary to create a powerful relationship with clients at the outset, and help them integrate and implement changes in their lives after Circling.
What happens & how does it work?
A Circle always starts by a group of people or a single facilitator putting their curious & open attention on you. Rather than “helping”, “fixing” or “solving” any particular problem, the intention is simply to connect with you and discover “what’s so” through sharing their moment-by-moment experience and inquiring about yours.
As the circle progresses, you may see things about yourself that you’ve never seen. You may feel emotions that have been stuck, buried or numbed. You may find yourself sharing things you were hiding and dissolving feelings of unworthiness and shame. You may find yourself expressing your desires and gaining the courage and freedom that comes from speaking your truth.
By relating in the present moment – beyond stories, expectations and predetermined ideas about who you are – Circling has the capacity to reveal your true essence and cultivate deep connections. As everyone engages with genuine curiosity and shares their personal experience of being with you, you discover that who you ARE is more magnificent than any limited idea about who you “should” be. Because of this, Circling is often deeply nourishing and can lead to spiritual insights and awakenings.