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What is Circling?

For some it is a tool for transformation or a new and deeper way of building relationship. For others, a way of practicing giving and receiving feedback. Or a practice for giving and receiving empathy. For some it is play. For others, a meditation. For some it is a spiritual practice. And for many, Circling is a powerful way to deepen connection with self and others.
 
Some ways Circling has had an effect on me: 
I find myself more often pausing in a conversation to ask a person how they are experiencing that moment; asking for feedback. It's a habit I want to strengthen.
It has increased my courage and skill around recognizing and speaking about what is going on inside my head and heart. 
 
Circling has quite a bit of overlap with Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Including, but not limited to:
We take responsibility for our feelings* and assumptions.
We shift analysis and evaluation into curiosity and acceptance.
We practice the vocabulary of feelings* and [some or little about] needs.
 
* In circling, body/physical-based feelings recognition is given more focus than the more thought-based feelings. The point of this is to get into the moment by letting go of thinking and analyzing. So while it is tempting to speak of the feeling of being curious, a person in circling might be encouraged to speak of his/her feelings of pleasure, pain, relaxation, comfort, discomfort, looseness, tightness, etc.

Every time I've circled with a group of people, the way I perceived them changed. Strangers became people I felt a powerful connection with. Seeing more of myself in them than before.
 
Some resources:
 Contact Scott Swain for mediation and Emotional Intelligence Tools training for business, love, and parenting.