(Picture: On my living room wall above where we held our circle.)
Held an Earth Hour Circle this past Saturday, March 31! The opening of the Circle began at the start of Earth Hour (@8:30pm!) and closed ~10 minutes after its end (9:30pm).
I put a plate of candles in the center of the group (4 of us) and one by one we lit the candles and opened the Circle with words of GRATITUDE. I started the rounds, lighting one candle saying, "I am grateful for..." and passed the lighter to my left. The next person spoke words of gratitude and lit a candle, and passed the lighter to his left. This continued around the circle until all the candles on the plate were lit. When the last round was complete, there was one extra candle - so we decide to put it in the center of the plate - for something that may come up later on in conversation.
The intention of the Circle was to share our JOYFUL experiences of birth & death. The first question was something along the lines of, "What is it about birth and death experiences or cycles in your life right now that have brought a sense of joy to your life?" Using the web Circle method (several talking pieces in the center) we took turns (in no particular order) selecting a talking piece that spoke to us, and sharing what that question meant to us. We started by sharing why we had selected that particular talking piece and the conversation went from their. Sharing around this question lasted about three rounds. I waited until I felt a sense of 'deflation' in group sharing and threw another spontaneous Circle into the center. At some point the candle in the middle was lit, in remembrance of all those that have passed before us (honoring death). The last question that surfaced during the Circle was, "What is your motto, inspiration... that you can/will lean on to empower you forwards to where you want to go (in regards to moving through the experiences of 'birth and death' that were shared)? The last question seemed to help pull the emotionally-charged content shared with one another, into a more tangible sense of knowing and plan for the challenges lying ahead for us. We closed the Circle by blowing out the candles (one by one), by saying any last words or insights that had come to us. After the Circle, came an evening of celebration!
Three important elements about this Circle, and important to incorporate in all Circles was:
1. Opening a Circle with Gratitude
2. Tapping into the "Joy" of experiences (even the more painful ones like death).
3. Bringing participants back into a place of empowerment (and wholeness) before the Circle closes.