Circle, Sitting in Circle, Touchstones

The Tenets of Circle

How do you initiate a Circle?  How do you make decisions, like choosing topics for discussion?  How do you communicate the unspoken courtesies of listening?  What about confidentiality?  How are disagreements handled?  What happens when people join or leave the Circle?  How do you close a Circle?

The guidelines of a Circle are spoken and unspoken, practical and esoteric, commonsense and altogether mysterious. I count myself lucky that so many of the women invited into the Enrichment Project arrived with a background in circling.

Like most things in life, sitting in Circle takes practice and skill, and the praxis is even richer than printed words can convey.   This is why Circle became not just the way in which we hold space for one another, but an integral Touchstone I must consider daily as I seek to show up for others, and also for myself.

The opening tenet

This is why I was overjoyed when Baraka offered hand-lettered copies of her 12 Tenets of Circle Work as rewards for this crowdfunding campaign. My own laminated copy sits propped up at work, reminding me that every interaction is a chance to hold space together.

If you organize groups of people, work with diverse individuals, manage teams, negotiate with your spouse and children, participate in family gatherings . . . then you need these 12 Tenet for Circle Work in your life. They will change how you relate with others, and, in the process, they will change how to relate to the Circle within you.

The Touchstone of Circle

Baraka Elihu and Autumn Weaver developed these tenets to guide the Circles they lead within the year-long Birthing Ourselves into Being program.

Baraka has graciously allowed them to be reprinted and shared as a part of The Enrichment Project. These tenets, when read aloud, create a safe and sacred space for a circle to convene; they are poetically rich, inviting reflection and conversation.

Accompanying a beautiful hand-lettered copy of these tenets will be a list of resources to help you facilitate or co-facilitate Circles in your area. Selecting this option also entitles you to receive a soft copy of three sample chapters from The Enrichment Project: Radical Rituals in Creative Living. These advance copies will be part of the book proposal that gets circulated to agents and publishers.

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