facilitating & hosting

Springtime Circle

I’m fortunate to be part of a few circles that gather on a regular basis. One of those circles describes our purpose as:

Time to slow down, reflect, connect on a deeper level, explore our inner journey and life path, our soul choices, our questions, our courage, where we are holding back or afraid, bringing the wholeness of all our roles, discovering and sharing our stories, hear our own voices, revealing our creativity and wisdom. To host each other’s vulnerability without offering advice, platitudes, shame or resistance  – to create real community. To practice the Circle Way and rotating leadership of host and guardian roles.

This weekend was my turn to host and I was inspired by the Spring Equinox and a circle theme idea from the book Sacred Circles. Sharing it here in case it may inspire other springtime circles with your friends and family.

The invitation: This Thursday is the spring equinox, and spring is a time to celebrate new beginnings. What is being born within you? What are the shoots of new growth? What do you want to nurture during this next season (and beyond)? It might be something from any part of your life…small seeds or big seeds… Please bring an object for the centre – something that symbolizes a seed you are planting in your life or what you want to grow.

I created a spring-themed centre with green fabric, daffodils, a little woven bird nest and eggs (chocolate, of course) and some assorted talking pieces.

Spring Circle Centre

As a start-point I read from Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakenings – the full reading for March 23rd (which happened to be the date we gathered for this circle). Here is an excerpt:

Just how often do we cripple ourselves by not letting love with all its risks teach us how to fly? How many times do our hearts stall because we won’t let the wingspan of our passion open us fully into our gifts? How frequently do we search for a song of guidance that can only come from inside us? … Meditate on some desire you have hesitated to give life to. It might be your want to dance or play the piano. Or an impulse to travel somewhere that is calling you. Or the urge to get to know someone, even yourself.

After a short check-in round, sharing a few words on how we arrive tonight, we moved into three rounds of talking piece council around the following questions:

  • Round 1: What is something you want to give life to? A seed you want to plant in your life? Something being born within you? Breathe through any hesitation and speak it out loud to this centre and a little bit of the story of why it is important to you. And after you have named it, place the object that represents this in the centre, as though you are planting it.
  • Round 2: What are the rocks or old roots in the soil that might get in the way? Challenges or blocks? What I might need to let go of for this new seed to grow?  Voice them to bring them out of the shadow into the light.
  • Round 3: What gifts, resources or wisdom can you use to nourish your seed or new growth? What can you offer yourself or ask for? To acknowledge our resourcefulness and remember this as our seeds grow.

We finished with a short check-out round on what we are leaving the circle with, and a reading of David Whyte’s What To Remember When Waking. An excerpt:

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake,
coming back to this life from the other
more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world
where everything began,
there is a small opening into the new day
which closes the moment you begin your plans.

What you can plan is too small for you to live.
What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough
for the vitality hidden in your sleep.

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?

May sharing this circle design inspire a circle of friends or family you might gather together. For more information on circle see What Is Circle and this video from Christina Baldwin talking about circle practice.