Circle-keeping brings the best of who we are right to the surface.

Kris and Catherine
Kris and Catherine

Catherine and I got to spend some time together, we caught up by sharing stories about Circles.  I am a high energy and passionate person.  Catherine is a dedicated, professional and energetic teacher.  She’s been learning, using and sharing her experiences of Circles in her Classroom.    You can search ‘Catherine’ on this blog and read some of her experiences using Restorative Justice, Classroom Circles. 

As we laughed at the power of the stories, I felt a special touch of our shared experiences.  We both know and have seen Circles transform situations.  As we spoke, I took in the beauty of her energy.  She talked about how she ‘backs up’ and ‘centers’ a Circle.  She explained how she adds a little excitement and builds up the anticipation that everyone in Circle will respond.  I suggested she write up a blog post on that skill/technique.

I realized something in that conversation . . . when you take on the practice of being a Circle-keeper (facilitator), you get to bring YOU as a skillset.  You get to genuinely be your best self.  When keeping a Circle – there is the opportunity to do an activity where alignment of thoughts, words, feelings and actions are all congruent.  All lined up when you keep a Circle, are your personal and core values. 

The simplest of things happen in Circle, speaking and listening.  Guiding the Circle is part coaching, part leading, part being.  I’ve sometimes referred to it as “Circle Sherpa“, because it is about guiding.   You set it up and get out of the way.  It’s a mixture and balance.  It puts an ancient process in the present moment.  Most importantly it is a place to be the truest person you can be.

I really loved seeing Catherine tell me stories about the Circles in her classroom.  I love reading her posts and sharing them on the blog.  In this conversation I could feel the energy she has for the process.  She is speaking less in class.  She knows so much more about her students, having Circles as part of her classroom.  She’s developed her own style of keeping Circle and the postive energy and emotions are contagious!