The rules are clear of what is expected if you were to take a seat in the circle. Listen first, be ready to tell your story, be ready to answer questions. Ask questions, listen quietly, listen actively. Everything is confidential. Nothing leaves the circle.
The others in the circle are strangers at first. All people are strangers at first. Then we learn their story. Parts of their story match our own. Maybe the circumstances, maybe the emotions. We are no longer strangers. We may not become friends but we have connected, there is a bond.
As the talking stick is passed around each person checks in with a high or a low, a story or a feeling. A joke or funny story lightens the mood and slowly everyone relaxes, trusting that the agreement of confidentiality will be upheld. One person talks, everyone listens. Questions are asked with a true desire to understand and to learn. Answers are given with a heart of sharing, mentoring and to be understood.
As the first hour flows into the second relationships are forming as each story builds a connection amongst the listeners. Similarities become more evident and differences fade into the background.
As the second hour comes to a close so does the circle. The talking stick is passed around a final time allowing each person time to check out with a thought or feeling. No commitments to the future just yet, just a sense that something profound and unique has occurred.
People meet in circles
There are sewing circles and quilting circles
Prayer circles and huddles
We circle around a table and circle the wagons
In circles we share together, we break bread together,
we protect one another
When women talk they face one another,
they are capable of forming a circle of two
When men talk they stand side by side, shoulder to shoulder,
looking out ward over that which they see in common,
looking out for the next man to join the circle.
Purpose of Circle Talk
To create circles for the purpose of open and honest communication
amongst people who might not normally engage one another.
- make an impact
- encourage conversations
- create a safe place to share thoughts
- foster unconditional love
- open lines of communication
- create possibility for deeper understanding
- provide a place to be heard
- enrich lives through true connectedness and relational interaction
- Men talking about their fathers and grandfathers (men only in attendance)
- Women talking about their mothers and grandmothers (women only in attendance)
- Old men sitting with young men
- The Haves & The Have Nots