An Embodied Relating Circle is an interpersonal meditation practice, that explores the relational dynamics that occur in real time within a group.
It is a space where we get to slow down and really notice, what is happening in my body? How is my nervous system responding? Am I grounded and present? Am I in flight, fright, freeze or faun? What expression is my body asking for? Do I feel safe to express it? What am I afraid might happen if I do? Can I reveal my motivations and intentions of why I want to do something, rather than just doing it? What is it like to own my experience in real time, rather than project or make claims about others?
In this space we are practicing bringing an open curious view on what is happening, noticing our patterns and reactions, naming them, speaking for them, rather than acting out of them.
In the Internal Family Systems model as well as several mindfulness modalities there is an idea that there is Self that is our present-day adult integrated self. We can sometimes relate from that place and often we have different parts of us who are playing out different patterns and defenses, or who feel wounded and vulnerable. This will be a space where we will practice knowing what it’s like to relate to each other from our Self (what IFS calls self-leadership) and how to speak for the parts of us that we notice. Where we will learn skills and tools to hold each other in curiosity and compassion, and to create space for our parts to be seen and understood. Where we will practice showing who we really are and allow ourselves to be seen in that as well.
There is a mystery that unfolds with each group and each practice. Taking the group somewhere that we go together, trusting the wisdom and the intelligence of the group without a forced agenda.
There is a practice I have done for many years called Circling and Authentic Relating, which a present moment focused relational meditation practice. There are things I have loved about this practice and things I have not. I will be doing something similar here but that brings a lense on oppression and relative positions of power and privilege, that is trauma informed, and that is influenced by IFS parts work. It is a practice of deep learning about our relational parts and patterns, vulnerability, and of healing and integration.
Circling is a form of relational meditation that involves a group of people sitting in a circle and taking turns speaking and listening to one another. The goal of the practice is to promote deeper connections and understanding between individuals, and to foster a sense of community and support. Each person in the circle is encouraged to speak authentically and openly about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, while the others listen attentively and respond with empathy and understanding.
In Circling, participants are encouraged to speak from their personal experience and to share their true thoughts and feelings without judgment or criticism. The listening and responding are done with a focus on empathy, which means understanding and relating to the other person’s experiences, rather than trying to fix or change them. The facilitator may guide the group in using specific techniques to foster deeper connections, such as active listening, mirroring, and reflection.
One of the main goals of Circling is to promote a sense of connection and understanding between individuals, and to create a safe and supportive space for people to be vulnerable and authentic. The practice is said to be beneficial for personal growth and development, as well as for building stronger relationships and communities. Some people also use Circling as a way to explore and understand their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
Circling can be done with people who are strangers, friends, or even with family. It can be done with a small or large group, and can be tailored to specific needs and goals. It’s also worth mentioning that it is not a form of therapy, but rather a form of personal development, connection and exploration.
Space will be limited to max 10 participants to allow for an intimate experience. I will be holding a few drop in Intro circles and once there is enough interest, I plan to do a multi week series with the same group so we can learn and go deep together.