Inner Relationship Focusing is a powerful self-healing practice, developed by Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin in the early 90’s. It evolved out of, and is an extension of Eugene Gendlin’s Focusing. Gendlin’s Focusing is a simple, guided 6-step process for accessing and gaining discernment into felt-experience, and from there clearing emotional conflicts. I learned Gendlin’s Focusing as a partner exercise and found it very valuable, especially since you can teach it to anyone, even a stranger, in just a few minutes (ideally however, about 10 minutes). I find Ann Weiser Cornell’s work even more powerful, however, in part because it extends Gendlin’s work through linguistics (NLP?), and in part because it can be done alone or as a meditation. I am also very excited to be experimenting with this practice for myself because it has some very striking similarities to Circling, and it appears to be solving some developmental issues of mine for which Circling has not really worked (addictions and over-reactivity in particular).
(This is a continuation of the post Circling, leadership development, and facing shadow)
I am having a lot of deep reflections, and also conversations, from the previous post and subsequent events. Two insights in particular I would like to share:
It’s that when I show up in vulnerable leadership (which is the only way I am now able to show-up, having “drunk the kool-aid” of the A/R movement and wanting and needing to “practice what I preach”) I am going to get push-back, resistance. I am (essentially) going to be both surfacing and revealing my own trauma (or shadow), and generating (or at least surfacing) some level of trauma in other people. [Read more…]
I get push-back all the time from people in the Circling community, and sometimes outside of it (i.e. New Culture) about my leadership. The feedback is generally in the nature of: I don’t get it, I am a terrible leader (too reactive, to begin the long list of faults and omissions), that what I am doing is not circling and therefore I should not call it that, etc. etc. That I should stop embarrassing myself and others and go back to school. That I am causing more damage than good here. [Read more…]
For an updated Circling leader format click here.
I don’t consider myself in any way qualified to train circling leaders, but this is a 10-minute circling group format introduction, which I hope will be useful to people with experience in Circling and want to try running a group. It emerged out of a conversation with one of my developmental partners, who was asking for a group format. I want to do a re-take on this (a few things I would say differently), but it’s good enough for now. Enjoy!
A few changes I propose in the re-take:
1) “circling is a deep connection practice” — circling is a practice of un-withheld present-moment connection to self and others. Fundamentally it is learning how to express truth with care. Or care with truth
2) “Practices that are known to break connection”: advice-giving, coaching, therapizing, EXCESSIVE STORY-TELLING…
3) “decide in advance to run a birthday or organic circle”. I would probe the group after the warm-up. But quickly: “Close your eyes and feel into yourself. Then raise your hand if you would like to get the entire group attention for 10 or 15 minutes” [pause, and then decide]. I think it would work well to do one or two short birthday circles followed by organic. That would actually be my preferred format.
4) “Circling is the deep-dive version of A/R”. Not exactly. A/R games can go very deep as well. It’s just a different flavor. Pepsi or Coke.
5) Provide historical context at the very beginning: “circling is part of a rapidly-growing global movement called Authentic Relating…”. Help them to understand upfront that this is not just some new-agey change modality (a new-and-improved encounter group), it is a global movement for creating a better world
6) In the introduction, as well, start with some personal impact: “I have been circling just over a year and it has showed me many things about myself that I did not even know about (and that were problems for other people, I call it “recovering asshole”), AND it has connected me to a worldwide community and made me many friends”. Or whatever
7) The rule is “whatever makes you feel good” — whatever makes you feel MORE ALIVE AND MORE CONNECTED TO OTHER PEOPLE, EVEN WHEN SHARING THINGS THAT MIGHT BE PAINFUL TO YOU
Audible.com just published the Circling Guide as an audiobook! You can also get the audiobook for free from my site, but only until the end of November. Audible sets the price ($6.08), and I can’t compete with that, so I will be withdrawing distribution from my site in the next few days.
I would love your support!
The book has received great feedback so far. If you have enjoyed reading it, I would love your support, either by leaving an Amazon review, or else by linking back to my website. You can make a real difference here! And it would only take you a minute. If you have an A/R related business or website, we can also arrange your distributing the book for free as an opt-in incentive. Write to me about this.
I will be moving to Philadelphia (where I am now) or Washington DC next year. I finally decided that it’s time for me to end my stories of financial scarcity and move out into the world, especially into intentional community, which is my passion and joy.
This naturally involves an expansion of my Circling leadership, which is currently free. And which I imagine will continue to be free, as I am much more interested in Circling as a peer-led movement (think AA or Re-evaluation Counseling) than as student-teacher model, which is mostly how it is currently practiced today (and I hasten to add, there is nothing wrong with that. It’s just not my gig, for whatever reasons good or bad).
If you live in Philadelphia or DC (and especially if you are interested in intentional community), please reach out via reply to this mail. I would love to connect with you.
Reposting this article from my personal list, “Marc’s Life and Travels”:
I want to keep traffic to this list very light, but there are 3 very good offers in this mail which you may want to know about: one from Circling Europe, one from Authentic World, and one from me.
Circling Europe course starts Nov. 4
Circling Europe is a offering a 10-week course starting very soon. The course is suitable for both beginning and advanced circlers, and is a deep dive into the version of Circling taught by (arguably) the most popular and successful lineage school of Circling. It includes information and practice on Surrendered Leadership, which has great applicability to both business and social-change leadership (see Alanja Forsberg on Youtube). I will be attending this course — maybe I will see you there!
More information at: http://circlingeurope.com/leadership-training/online-course/
Authentic Revolution is also offering both Beginner and Advanced Circling courses, starting Nov. 7
It must be that time of the year 🙂 . Because Authentic Revolution is also offering both an Online Introduction to Circling 8-week course (starting Nov. 7) and an Advanced Course (starts Nov. 10). And at $200 for the introduction course, the price is a steal. Both this course, and the Circling Europe course, will assuredly fast-track your circling skills, which will probably have ripple-effects into all areas of your life.
A few spots left in my Functional Medicine private group
Finally, there may be a few spots in my Functional Medicine group. We’ll circle over lunch (probably Noon EST, although that will be negotiated) 2 or 3 times a week, ideally over some delicious food. Details of that offer in previous post. There is no charge for any of my groups. If interested, just reply to this mail.
PS: In case you haven’t yet download the free Audiobook for my Circling Guide, you can get that here.
Two very exciting announcements in this mail!
First, the new audiobook of my Circling Guide is available for free during November (both the full and abridged versions), at this link! For security reasons I am asking you to use the checkout function, but this should only take you a minute. Listen to it on your phone! (you can use any audiobook reader, I like Meridian Player)
Second, I will be starting a new Functional Medicine topic circling group in the next week. I am asking people to make a commitment to some version of Kelly Brogan’s Vital Mind Reset 45-day detox diet (for which I can share my login to the training videos, I have permission to do this). We’ll meet over lunch 2-3 times a week, depending on group desires, somewhere around noon or 1pm EST (other times may be available as well).
I am personally very excited about this as I know that I can’t do this alone. I am referring, specifically, to a quite severe coffee addiction, which is just the “tip of the iceberg” of what I have come to realize is 40 years of my addictive behavior, which manifests in a lot of ways but most famously in my “arrogant asshole” shadow. This group might be particularly valuable to you if you are self-diagnosed with any kind of mood disorder, anxiety disorder or bipolarity. However, Kelly Brogan’s ideas should also be interesting to anyone seeking peak-performance or optimal wellness, and/or to any kind of chronic health problem.
If you are interested just reply to this mail and we’ll meetup on Zoom for an interview. I am currently not charging for any of my groups.
Two topics in this mail.
First, I need your help to get the word out about the Circling and Authentic Relating Practice Guide. It is an entirely different beast from where it started (partly thanks to contributions by Daniel Tenner and others). I would love Amazon reviews (you don’t need to have purchased the book to leave a review), link backs from your A/R related website, recommendation to your friends, and postings to your social media and interest groups. The free book is, perhaps, the most comprehensive guide to Circling and Authentic Relating in print, and certainly the most up-to-date one. I wrote the book to spread the word about the revolution that we are creating, and I could use your help here.
Secondly, tomorrow (Wednesday) is a big Circling day at the We-Space summit, with many of my favorite circling leaders presenting in sessions that will be free to download for 24 hours. This includes the entire Circling Europe team, Guy Sengstock, Alexis Shepperd, Sara Ness and others.
Get more information at The We-Space Summit. Many other teachers are there as well, presenting on modalities that are very complementary to circling.
Developmental groups forming now
The Entrepreneur group will be Monday-Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30-8:00am EST. We will be “topic circling” around business developmental issues. As already mentioned, this is a perfect complement to Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning. Reply to this mail if interested and we’ll setup a get-acquainted call. There is no charge for this, currently, or for any of my groups.
The Functional Medicine “lunch circling” group (physical and mental health and vitality) will be 1-2pm EST. I would like to run these 3 to 5 times a week (you have to eat anyway, right? Why not do it in good company). I am currently filling the Thursday group, other groups will be by demand. Again, reply to this email if interested. I can (legally) get you login to Kelly Brogan’s Vital Mind Reset if you want.
The Men’s Dating and Sexuality group is still open as well, and timing has not been set. Our primary resource there will be Mark Manson’s Models: Attract Women through Honesty. Also my own book, As Lovers Do: Sexual and Romantic Partnership as a Path of Transformation. To note that I am having initially very positive results on internet dating through the application of Circling principles, especially Guerilla Circling (see below).
Topic Circling is described here and is currently my main interest because I have found it to be so powerful. I also prefer closed groups as this brings continuity and trust (every group builds on the previous one, with potential to go very deep). The groups close once they fill.
Men’s Training starting soon
My friends Greg Osimowicz and Thomas Radtke are starting an 8-week program for men called Awakening the Warrior. They are some of the best circlers that I know, and hence I highly recommend this program.
If you haven’t read the updates to the latest Circling Guide, particularly the powerful distinction called Guerrilla Circling, get the latest updates by subscribing to the right.
And Circle Anywhere (my favorite online Circling community) is running a free Introduction to Online Circling tomorrow, Sunday October 1st, at 1:30pm EST. They run these training periodically, so sign-up to their list if you have never experienced a Circling training. Or better, join the community. At $50/mth it’s really a no-brainer (compare to the cost of therapy, which is probably much less effective). Meet me there!