Tending to the outer rim with a personal practice

Tending to the Outer Rim with a Personal Practice - The Art of Hosting Oneself

Inspired by Olivier Winghart's reflection, Seeing the Four Fold Practice in Circle – The Blossoming of a Four Petalled Flower, Katharine Weinmann offers these tips on the art of hosting oneself and tending to the outer rim with a personal practice.

Angeles Arrien in The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom (2007) writes:

“…practice develops and transforms us, encourages discipline, and enables us to focus, facilitating change and increased awareness. Whenever you want to learn something new or want change to occur, you must consciously and consistently engage in a practice...

Practice is meant to be active, rigorous, and dynamic. While it builds upon reflection, and allows you to see what works or does not work, it is not merely reflective, not is it an exercise in intellectual understanding. To practice is to take daily action that supports change and provides a discipline for incorporating and strengthening new values, skills, and character qualities.” (25)

The outer rim of The Circle Way components wheel includes “Personal Preparation” as being vital and foundational to convening, hosting and participating in circle conversations. Recognizing the potential of circle as a means for creating safe spaces for people to to process the complex turmoil of these times, personal preparation via practice as described by Arrien becomes even more critical to hold the rim with equal parts strength, compassion, wisdom and surrender. It is also essential for our self care, helping us restore after the convening and holding of these spaces.

Below is an arbitrary list of practices, loosely categorized for simplicity. You could easily see them showing up across categories. Many may be familiar, or already constitute your personal practice. Others might be novel considerations. If you are new to this concept, try one consistently for a month, noticing its subtle and overt effects. 

Somatic (body) Practices

  • Dance -  Movement Medicine, Nia, 5 Rhythms, tango, salsa, flamenco
  • Marital Arts – Aikido, T’ai Chi, Kung Fu
  • Yoga
  • Body work – massage, Bowen, Feldenkrais, Bioenergetics
  • Qi Gong
  • Walking (meditation)
  • Breath work

Energy Practices

  • Qi Gong
  • Reiki
  • Feldenkrais
  • T’ai Chi
  • Breath work

Creative Expression

  • Reflective Journaling
  • Writing
  • Painting
  • Theatre – improv
  • Dream work
  • Working with limiting beliefs (e.g. The Work of Byron Katie)

Spiritual Practices

  • Prayer
  • Chanting
  • Meditation
  • Silence
  • Lectio Divina or Poetica (reading and contemplation of sacred texts or poetry)

I’d be remiss not to include professional support via therapy or counselling, and, too, the benefits of having a community of practice. Sharing practice space with others may provide a compassionate accountability helpful to develop discipline. Practicing together, we create an energetic field in which we can all “slipstream” to a more dynamic effect.  

For you who have attended a Circle Way practicum, and-or are practitioners of The Circle Way, I invite you to join founders, Ann Linnea and Christina Baldwin, with Circle Way colleagues Holger Scholz and Roswitha Vesper of Germany and me at an English speaking international community of practice:

Global Circle Way Fire Gathering
The Beuerhof Retreat Centre, Germany
September 20 - 24, 2017

The intention of the Global Circle Way Fire Gathering is: 

  • To build strong bridges: to link communities of practice in The Circle Way;
  • To build more courage and confidence in the art of Circle practice (Components Wheel, hosting with ease in different settings, holding steady in conflict & shadow, offering The Circle Way in professional life)
  • To discover one another across Europe and across the world - this is an open, international invitation;
  • To explore the business/economic aspects of hosting (how to explain circle to clients, how to charge for consulting in circle, patterns that help embed circle in the culture of organizations, and aligning circle with other hosting methods).

For complete details about the gathering (including costs and travel information) and to register, see the Global Circle Way Fire Gathering page on Holger and Roswitha's website.

What personal practices do you find helpful to convening, hosting and participating in circle conversations?

Katharine W.jpg

Katharine Weinmann is an established practitioner, teacher and board member of The Circle Way.  Skilled in the artistry of deep listening, she notices and names elements of the emotional and shadowed fields so energy is freed for new possibilities and deeper connections.  As “companion,” she holds an unwavering appreciation for the inner life as a valuable and necessary source of creative and wise response to perplexing complexity.  A writer of life’s rescued moments, a lover of an evocative poem, with a new impression gleaned from travel or a “deep breakfast” conversation, Katharine brings appreciation for each of us making our way, to make a better way.  Oh, and she’s also a wicked cook who specializes in creating one-off “silk purses” from leftovers in the fridge!