Good reminders about Restorative Justice Circles and Circlekeeping.

I’m sorry my current blog format does not show comments.  I hope that you click on the comment button to read what others are saying.  In case you didn’t see this comment from Amos, I wanted to share it.  Full of some good reminders, thanks Amos!

It’s helpful to me to remember this: Circles are amazingly resilient, and their power to connect can overcome most of our unskillful actions as keepers. I have been very frustrated in the past when observing circle keepers doing things in some “wrong” way—but then, when I listened considered the outcomes of the circle, I had the sense that things worked out just fine; when this happens I think “what do I know?”. Certainly the circle knows better than I do.

I personally feel that there are a set of specific skills and behaviors for circle keepers to cultivate, and the more effectively these are applied the deeper the circle goes. But even more important than a catologue of the right ways to do things is the principle of congruence: the circle works best when we keep in a way that is true and authentic for who we are. So, for example, I don’t use native american paraphernalia; it just isn’t me. But also I notice when things change for me over time; not so long ago it “wasn’t me” to invite participants to contribute to creating a center for the circle. But having experienced the power of doing so as a member of a circle, I “got it”– and now do so routinely and authentically. This points out another important aspect of keeping circles: also participate on a regular basis in circle where you are not the keeper. Both sides of the experience are potent and wonderful.