There is Nothing so Wise as a Circle
There is nothing so wise as a circle.
What is the power of sitting in a circle, of breaking our very Western demand that one person be the focus of all the others?
From insisting that all the kids face the teacher, kindergarten classrooms have Circle Time, when community is emphasized and any issues that affect the group can be brought up.
From our face-front world, retreat center events conduct their events frequently in circles, and people jet or speed home, feeling they’ve communed with kindred spirits.
From the antagonistic, one against one (or many against many) world of street crime, young people may avoid incarceration in part by entering restorative justice circles, where they learn the power of speaking and being heard.
Even much leadership training breaks executives’ reticence down by placing them, too, in a circle formation. Despite their white-hot grip on their cell phones (which they may think invisible in a speaker-forward, kid-at-the-back-of-the-class formation) they must bare their hearts to the group … not through anything they say, but through their very positions, literally exposing the heart area to the whole group at once.
There is nowhere to hide in a circle.
There is also no way to dominate.
The circle demands that you show up, remembering that, as the saying goes, “You are not better than anyone, and no one is better than you.” The circle demands both radical courage and radical humility, the enactment of the noble belief that the singular human being is simultaneously everything and nothing.
In THE HUMAN JOURNEY®, whether our participants are facing the computer to participate with family or support group members from afar, or they are at bedside around a patient, in a traditional support-group circle, or around a dining or coffee table, the trained THJ® Conductor ensures their even participation, softening and equalizing the inevitable power plays, accreted baggage, and habitual ways of relating. With their skill (and yours with just eight hours of small group training), the power of the circle can bring its wisdom as they chart the future they want to have together.
In another post, we’ll share how the eternal form of the labyrinth — a very special kind of circle — found its way into THE HUMAN JOURNEY® … and how participants get themselves into … and out of it.
Could You Come A Bit Closer, Dear?
What the lorgnette is to glasses, THE HUMAN JOURNEY is to listening. Not only do we help families listen to each other at a moments of intense change due to serious illness, end of life, bereavement, or other major life transition, but we help family members perceive that they are being heard.
Just How Many Hats Can a Person Wear?
These were some of the many “hats” that staff at a special education district identified a few weeks ago as ones they had adopted during the pandemic, when I returned there after a pandemic hiatus to conduct a professional development workshop.
Every Person’s Life is Worth a Novel
We’re ready for ya. All handy in its front pocket, THE HUMAN JOURNEY® has all the ways to meet family members right where they are. We have a way to meet people who don’t want to talk about feelings. We have a way to meet people who would rather express something silently, with a facial expression, a gesture, or a stance, than with telling or sharing.
So, Who’s the Father?
So, Who’s the Father?” isn’t exactly what a person who’s expecting wants to hear. It can feel like an accusation, like an invasion of privacy, or like a completely irrelevant question, depending on one’s method of conception, key relationships, or plan for childrearing. Even in days when there were fewer methods for conceiving a child or for avenues for getting one to adulthood, Emily Post might have advised just to stick with a hearty congratulations.
Ostranenie: A Fantastic Russian Word
Learn to pronounce ostranenie and impress your friends with your accent as well as with this cool word. And what a concept … to learn to re-see, as if with new eyes, those things our eyes think they know so well, they no longer see them at all. To learn anew about the people we think we know best.
The Creature Comforts Checklist
This is it our “Creature Comforts Checklist.” It’s an odd name, we know.
We called it that, recognizing that grief is a very physical thing and that sometimes what grievers most need (aside from not being asked if they need anything) is not to talk but to be. Just a creature.
When you’re grieving, you miss the physical presence of the person you lost …