People Circles

Hello from week one of Family Fortnight at Holistic Holiday Center Kalikalos.

So far we’ve shared coaching, Biodanza, Capoeira, beaches, waves,sun, singing, meditation, yoga, cooking, washing up, beers and Tavernas.

Taverna night
Taverna night

More importantly we have shared Being. Being together, being parents, being kids, being present, being heard, being cared for, being ourselves.

One of the most significant parts of what we do here is hold hands in circles. Now, I can imagine many people rolling their eyes at this but the simple act of stopping, holding hands and just being present together in a circle as is powerful as it is simple.

Kalikalos uses the Findhorn model of attunement which at it’s simplest level is just tuning into each other and the moment. We do this before our main meal, maybe before an activity starts or ends and it can be very simple; some words, some breathing, a song, a squeeze.

It marks the occasion as special, not because something out of the ordinary is going to happen, but because we are all here together.

  • Could you do this with your teams before a meeting? At the start of a lesson? At the end of a long day? At the end of a workshop?

We also hold a sharing circles; which is what it sounds like…a group of people sitting in a circle sharing.

Every morning we start the family workshops with Roses, Thorns and Appreciations. The Roses are what went well or what we enjoyed, the Thorns are the things that are not going so well, that irritated us, made us sad. Sometimes these Thorns can be put right, sometimes they just need to be heard. Appreciations are shared of people and activities and places. Even the six year olds join in with this.

I’m lucky that I’ve been here before and have stolen ideas for our home life. We have a sign above our kitchen table which asks ‘What do you appreciate about each other and yourself?’ we don’t answer the question everyday, but periodically. one of us will ask it, and we listen to each other’s appreciations. We often end the day with what went well and what didn’t.

  • Could you try this in your house?

We also hold adult sharing circles and what we share is different from what we might share if we were at play group or a pub. We share our feelings, our hopes, our fears, our struggles, our questions and our appreciations.

We don’t solve each other’s problems, we don’t make each other feel better or worse, we just listen and pay attention and in that space, hearts open and intimacy is so quickly formed.

And when intimacy is present, when we listen for each other and not just to wait for our turn to speak, people find their own peace, their own answers, their own wisdom.

When we strip away our daily masks and roles and doings, what I experience is people being people. Just themselves; their marvelous, amazing, complex and vulnerable selves. I am always moved when this connection is made because underneath it all, we are all so similar.

We struggle with the same issues; how to live, how to relate, how to parent.

We feel the same; fear, irritation, confusion, joy, calm, hope.

We have lived similar lives; we have loved, lost, worked, learned.

Our bodies have all been bigger, smaller, healthier and sicker.

When we sit in a circle, we are connected to each other and to ourselves. We listen to each other and we listen to ourselves. We care for each other and we care for ourselves.

So simple and so profound.

  • When could you hold a circle?
  • Who would you invite?

I’m lucky to have been in many such circles, but if you haven’t there are many great books for your to find out more:

Out with hierarchies and rows and  telling each other what to do.

Let’s bring in circles and connections and finding out what we want to do.

Goodnight.

Julie

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