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…]
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!
***Other breaking news: Free Introduction to Online Circling, Sunday Oct. 1st***
Next week I will be starting 3 developmental groups, in a format called “topic circling”. We start next monday and we’ll have 2-3 open meetings in each of the 3 groups. Then the groups will close (max 6 people) and I will ask for commitments. This is the format that has worked best. I am not charging for this, but if you are joining the Functional Medicine group I would like a cost share of Kelly Brogan’s Vital Mind Reset, which I have purchased for $400.
We will be “topic circling”:
- Functional Medicine (Physical and mental health and vitality). Kelly Brogan is a New York psychiatrist who last year released a ground-breaking book called A Mind of Your Own. This is basically a 30-day detox diet that is a modified Paleo, and she claims dramatic results for treating any kind of so-called “mood disorder” or anxiety problem. I want to encourage people to also take on Shawn Phillips Strength for Life, which is the most compelling fitness program I have ever read about, and naturally deeply complementary to Kelly Brogan’s program.
The timing of the group is going to be 3 weekly meetings over lunch, about an hour each (bring your delicious food and eat it on the call). It will be about Noon or 1pm EST, which also works for European dinner-time 🙂 . To note that this is a “virtual” version of a program I am designing called Mental Health Revolution (MHR), i.e. it’s exactly the same as an MHR except missing the Cooking Collectives. And it’s free, except for the cost-share of Vital Mind Reset, which you will get a login for (I have permission to do this). If you don’t want to do a Kelly Brogan detox exactly but still want to join, write to me anyway, there may be room for you.
- Entrepreneur Support & Accountability. All you entrepreneurs who struggle to get out of bed or start the day on the right foot: this will be a 4x a week early-morning 30 minute Circling / checkin / accountability call, plus a once-weekly longer call. We’ll negotiate the timing of the morning sessions depending on people’s location, I am in EST and am ready to begin as early as 6am, but I can compromise for Western time zones. This program is a perfect fit, incidentally, with Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning, which I encourage you to review as I think it’s spot-on.
- Men’s Dating and Sexuality. After about a 3-year “dry spell” I have started internet dating in Boston, with considerable initial success (maybe beginner’s luck). But regardless, this has really lit a fire under my ass to get my shit together as a man. We will be working with Mark Manson’s Models: Attract Women through Honesty, which is one of the very few men’s attraction programs that has both power and integrity to it. Manson will be required reading. He is utterly brilliant, and his ideas are very complementary with my own relationship model As Lovers Do: Sexual and Romantic Partnership as a Path of Transformation, which I also encourage you to read. I have several guy friends already on-board with the group already, and we are going to rock it. We will meet once weekly for 90 minutes and circle.
Let me give a little context here. It may seem that Circling is anti-thetical to anything that would look like goal-orientation. My experience however is the opposite, which is that in a strong circle, a circle in which everyone is aware of and is practicing circling principles to the best of their ability, development happens, sometimes extremely rapidly, and from there goals get accomplished. The distinction between a “regular” (“relational meditation”) circle and a topic circle, is that in a topic circle we hold the container more loosely. Advice and coaching are permissible (provided they are wanted), but we maintain a strong focus on the relational space and return to Yin practices if tension surfaces, as in regular Circling. This has worked very well for me (and all of us) in my other private circles, and so I am very excited to bring this to y’all in the 3 areas of life that are most alive for me.
If you are interested in any (or all!) of these groups, write to me at email@example.com with some suggested times to meet. We’ll do a brief check-in call, in which you can give me your availability as well.
PS: in the unlikely event you be interested in my own tortured process and related neuroses, that story is told here. Subscribe if you like.
A major update to the Circling Guide is available. This might be the first “stable version” of the guide. Changes include:
- Positioning Circling more as a presence practice and less as a relationship model
- A new distinction and instructions for Guerrilla Circling, which is the practice circling outside of formal groups and with no a-prior shared context, from a simple assumption that people are going to share in the human desire to love and be loved, to be cared for and acknowledged for their contributions
- Emphasizing the importance of staying true to yourself in connection with others
- Updates to all other sections specifically the Advanced Practices and Complementary Modalities which includes descriptions of Surrendered Leadership, the Avalon Community, Business Circling (Decker’s C1 course), Network for a New Culture, NVC, and other highly complementary modalities
- Updates to the Resources section and Next Steps
Deep appreciations to people who have helped out with this, especially Daniel Tenner and Shirley Norwood. I would like to think that this is currently the most comprehensive guide to Circling on the web. And it’s free.
If you have an inspiring story about your journey through Circling which you would like to contribute, or other feedback (positive or negative) just reply to this email. And if you have circling or A/R related events to publicize, let me know and I will send out an email!
Finally, I am actively working to bring circling into the world in every possible context. This is my life mission. My latest project has to do with Mental health and Addiction recovery, kindly review Mental Health Revolution and let me know if it resonates! We are looking to run pilot program for this in Chicago, Boston and New York City.