Over the past few years I have sat in Circle with various groups and teachers, being awed every time by the magic that happens within this incredible system of transformation and development of inner wisdom and community.
For the past 1½ years, I’ve been sitting in Peace Circle with Karen, my co-facilitator, listening to and speaking from our hearts. We spoke our dreams, our fears, our resistances to stepping out in new and different ways into the circle. We told stories of times we felt empowered and alive, stories where we felt incompetent and small. We explored the stories we carried that others told us about who we were rather than who we knew ourselves to be. We shared stories where we led with our heart and wisdom, positively impacting those who followed. We revealed stories of less stellar moments in our leading where we had failed to listen as deeply as we needed to for a larger understanding.
The power of such story-telling in the structure of Circle created an intimacy that was reliably confidential, inherently wise and honest, yet remaining compassionate and visionary. The intention of facilitating Peace Circles remained our touchstone. Our inner sense of mission kept pulling us toward our intention to serve with joy and peace in our hearts. And while our mission for Peace Circle began to find form and function, content and context in our ever-changing world, two other incredible dynamics began to manifest.
The first dynamic I began to notice in Peace Circle is that my sense of self (self-identity) expanded. I experienced the very technology of Peace Circle calling me to live beyond the way I had understood who I was and my belief in how I should engage in the world. As Tony Robbins writes: “Identity is the strongest force in human personality. We all have a deep and abiding need to remain consistent with how we define ourselves. Any transformation you make within yourself will depend on your ability to expand this identity. By building a new, empowering set of beliefs, you can create a lasting transformation within yourself and in your life.”
In sharing my heart-felt stories, I began to change my sense of self. As my sense of self transformed, so too did my choices and behaviours. It wasn’t without challenges, but the gift of Circle is that it contained me and my life. It contained the challenges and gave flow to the inner transformation. As I changed how I saw myself, I could take different action toward my higher vision, action that previously would have been outside my repertoire of choices.
As my sense of self began to expand, a second dynamic was unfolding for me. I began to expand my access to my inner wisdom and ways to articulate this wisdom. In Circle, when the circle member with the talking piece is speaking, everyone else listens – no comments, no responses. The talking piece reminds the speaker to share from the heart – leanly and honestly. Bells provide moments to pause, to reconnect to the centre which holds the intention and purpose of the circle.
As I would hold the talking piece, the circle guideline to speak honestly and leanly created the space for me to really speak what mattered. The very nature of Circle called me to de-clutter my ‘conditioned’ story and to listen for the wisdom that lay waiting for me to honour and express it. To speak compassionately about myself and to listen to my partner with compassion opened the flow to know my own wisdom. With the presence of a compassionate witness, my journey of bringing my wisdom into the light accelerated my spiritual maturity as well as the results of my business path.
A third gift came in this journey of Peace Circle when a moment of crisis arose. A safe and honest method to transform conflict is anchored within the ‘genetics’ and time-honoured process of circle. It can feel challenging in the moment and at times I just wanted to skip over the conflict or ‘elephant in the room’. However, by staying true to the Peace Circle system, the conflict was transformed into an even better version of the vision we had. And as visionaries and professionals, remaining open to what works better (not necessarily always the next new trend) is an important element in expanding our sense of self as well as developing our inner wisdom.
As you consider how you want to develop and expand your own wisdom, your sense of self, and perhaps even your spiritual path, I invite you to open yourself to a new and ancient technology. Peace Circle creates a space where the mind and heart meet and where the soul story of our lives is revealed. The guidelines and structure (or technology) of Circle accelerates the path to success. When committed and heart-centred people share real stories that change how we see ourselves and the wisdom we have access to within circle, a synergistic transformation effect is created for all members.
Over the past years, Peace Circle has opened and developed my inner wisdom and sense of self. It has also offered me sacred community—a place to be real, true and in soul connection.
I am excited to finally be ready to share this power and transformation in community with you on Wednesday, December 16th, 2015. Stay tuned for upcoming information on this new Peace Circle offering. I look forward to seeing you there.