When I first started my circle training I felt excited and a little overwhelmed at the thought of facilitating my own circles. I had so many questions and details running around my brain.
Will it be virtual or in person? Where shall I host it? What will be the theme? How many women do I want to invite? Shall I create an altar? What do I want to have on the altar? Shall I bring snacks? Do I want to collaborate with someone else? How long should it be?
I thought if I nailed all the details, the rest would follow. As I progressed through my training I realised that it’s great to consider all the small details (I’m a Capricorn, so enough said) but they won’t matter if I lose sight of the fundamentals of circle.
Circle is about being.
It’s about creating a space for each woman to simply be, to flow, to share, to connect, to be vulnerable and most importantly to create a safe space to allow whatever is coming up to surface.
If you wish to create a deep and transformative circle experience, you’ll need to embody the three secrets below. By creating a safe and nourishing space, women will want to come back time and time again.
1. No fixing, rescuing, coaching or advice giving
We live in a world where we’re taught to fix things. We want to avoid feeling pain, move quickly through our discomfort and stay firmly in the doing (hello patriarchy!)
Circle is about creating a space where we don’t try to fix something or someone. We don’t offer advice and we respond to a sister’s share by beaming her to let her know we have seen and heard her (you learn about beaming in our How to Lead Circle program).
We invite each sister to sit with and express how she’s feeling, safe in the knowledge that she is being witnessed and held by her sisters, and by the circle container itself. We hold no expectations of others or ourselves and we accept wherever each sister is in her own journey. Everything that is shared is confidential and not discussed outside of circle.
Each sister has the space to share, to allow her emotions to come to the surface and for them to be able to breathe in the space. There is something so powerful about being able to express how you’re feeling without feeling interrupted, or encouraged to move out of those feelings. It also creates trust within the space, with each sister and with you as a facilitator.
2. Trust and surrender in circle
This requires you to move outside of yourself and acknowledge that circle has an element of mystery about it. There will be times where you can’t explain or control what happens. Note that control is different to setting boundaries – I like to think of setting boundaries as communicating the space within which we can play.
Whilst you can prepare a circle outline, map your timings, and invite women to explore a theme with you, once you step into circle you are inviting in the mystery, the divine, and trusting in the magic of circle. You surrender to your circle looking or feeling a particular way, and trust that each sister came to circle for her own reason and will receive the medicine she needs (that includes you!)
We trust in whatever unfolds. Circle is a mirror for you as a facilitator, the energy you bring will be mirrored back to you by your sisters. Trust in that.
3. Lean in and be authentic
One of the things I’ve struggled with is leaning into my circle as a facilitator. How do I hold space for other women and lean into circle so that I too can receive the medicine I need? How do I leave circle feeling held and nourished too? How do I avoid burnout?
It’s about shifting your mindset from thinking you’re the “leader”, the one who has to “hold it all together” into being the beautiful, imperfect, authentic goddess you are.
Perfectionism will be the death of your circle.
You need to be able to lean in and show your mess, your vulnerability, your imperfections because you can guarantee that if you don’t women will sense you’re holding back. If women feel like you’re holding back or wearing a mask, you’ll destroy any trust you’ve already built. Women won’t feel safe, won’t go deeper into their own vulnerability and won’t want to come back.
Circle only works if everyone leans into their vulnerability, if everyone shows their hearts and if everyone is being authentic. Remember that as a facilitator you need to embody who you’re asking other women to be.
Which of these 3 secrets resonated the most with you?
Leave a comment below to share with us what you think!