The 7 Principles That Make Circling Space Special

I chose the image of a frog and a butterfly for this blog post because circling to me brings different kinds of people (frog and butterfly) together to share authentically and inevitably grow from the process – in a way that is easy and natural (like it is for the frog and the butterfly).

And I believe our 7 Circling Space Principles create both the “container” and the philosophy that allow us to come together as unique beings and quickly feel very comfortable and connected.

Allow me to share how they were created… When I first got the inspiration to create Circling Space in late 2019, I knew I wanted to create a new kind of circling community and that we would need a strong foundation to thrive.

I’d been doing circling for about five years at that time (including two years of facilitator training) and while I still felt more like an awkward beginner than a competent practitioner, I was also paradoxically getting  clearer on the kind of circling community I longed to be a part of.

It was a feeling more than a thought, so I had to sit with it for a long while before I was willing to try and define it. And as I sat with it, it became clear that it had something to do with embodiment, emotions and Divine Feminine energy. 

This was not surprising to me. I’d spent my five years of circling in two very different circling communities that were both helmed by men.

In one community, there was a certain level of safety (for instance, we opted into confidentiality every circle) and yet, everything we did was recorded, so it didn’t feel private or safe. I felt recording everything thwarted the authenticity that could emerge in the way that televised “reality” never quite seems like true, unrecorded “reality.”

The best part of this particular community was that it was dedicated to embodiment and physical processes. I’m so grateful for the physical processes I discovered there.

Still, I felt I couldn’t get close to the facilitator as he was a different person when he was circling than when he wasn’t. I couldn’t understand that. If circling is a process of being more authentic, then shouldn’t circling and reality merge rather seamlessly?

After a few years of circling with the first community, I found another, quite different one. In this community, we didn’t opt into confidentiality, so I was never sure if my shares were discussed by others elsewhere. It was a bit unsettling for me and yet, this community felt more authentic because the facilitators seemed to be the same in – and out – of circle. I appreciated their congruency. But there was also a strong intellectual focus that made me long for a more embodied and emotionally-oriented practice.

So through my previous circling experience, I knew I wanted to make these things a priority in Circling Space:

  1. Insure a greater sense of safety by regularly opting into confidentiality and never recording.
  2. Create transparency and authenticity by training the facilitators not to lead as much as to just be. In this way, they’re the same person inside and outside of the circle (and the circle wisdom, rather than a single individual “leads”).
  3. Provide an emotional focus where we can all share our feelings and expand our E.Q.
  4. Prioritize embodiment by regularly checking in with the wisdom of our bodies.
  5. Acknowledge the power of projection/shadow/mirroring that is magnified in circle.
  6. Create a sense of slowing down and being more spacious so the quieter (or more reticent) voices could be heard.

Honestly, the last one was important because, I tend to be more talkative and fast-moving and I’ve learned over the years that the quieter circlers – as well as those that may be slower to step in — are often the wisest.

So, yes the Circling Space Principle #4 that creates spaciousness is the hardest one for me to abide by – and I love/hate it because of that.

I invite you to look at our 7 Circling Space Principles below and determine which ones come naturally to you and which ones stretch you.

I’m not going to analyze them in this post at all. I’m just going to share them and allow you to begin to create a relationship with them yourself.

After a couple years of working with them myself, I can honestly say that I don’t desire to change one word. This is a very strange phenomenon for me (aka the re-writer). These principles have literally changed my life in a myriad of positive ways and have brought a consistent magic to our circles that I didn’t even know was possible.

I hope they feel special to you as well. Check out the video I created about them.

The 7 Circling Space Principles (C.I.R.C.L.E.S.)

Love and blessings,

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