Let’s imagine we circle for the facilitator, not the circlee. What would our circle’s be like…
As a facilitator you are like an explorer entering the wilderness with curiosity and excitement. What will you discover!? You follow your curiosity about the things you see, the sounds you hear, the smells you smell. You can look small at the mushroom growing under the dead tree. You can look far at the faint motion of a waterfall through the trees. You can pause and listen to the sound of the birds. You walk when you want to walk. You pause when you want to pause. Always engaged and in joy of what you are seeing. The amazing wilderness around you.
This is the wilderness of the circlee’s interior life and we have the priviledge of exploring it! The circlee follows us as we explore and helps us understand what we are seeing… “that mushroom under the dead tree… that’s my insecurity that springs up over night when the moistness of loss shows up in my life” … “That faint motion of a waterfall in the distance… that’s my dreams of magnificence.” … “Those bird sounds… I don’t know… I never heard those before.”
“Never heard those before!? Cool!”
The circlee is discovering their self, through the eyes of another. The circlee is intimately connected to this wilderness of their inner life. In fact, the circlee is so connected to it that they may not even see it or feel it as it is… it can be a sort of constant background hum that is never noticed until it’s gone. For the facilitator to explore this wilderness, the circlee must share the emotions, the thoughts, the desires, the sensations… the facilitator is blind without what the circlee shares.
This circle isn’t just for the facilitator, but it is through the facilitator’s selfish curiosity that the circlee has the priviledge of discovering their self afresh, of seeing their self anew, and of knowing their self from a different perspective.
We could just ask the circlee for a tour of their self. We’ll get to see what they know, what they’re familiar with, what they want to show. What we want is the excitement of discovery and exploration in this facilitator’s circle. What we want is to approach the circlee’s world as an undiscovered country.
What better way to do this than from the perspective of the blind… those who know and see nothing until they ask. This can be a tough place to start… you start with emptiness… nothing… well… you at least have a shell, a face, a body.
If we’re going to help this facilitator discover our world then we need to allow them to follow their curiosity, give them time to tune to which direction they want to walk in and which object they want to look at.
As a facilitator, if you’re going to take on this journey with your full heart then you will have to expose vulnerability what you’re curious about, what you desire, and exert your will to step in the direction you want to go. This can be scary and will most certainly encounter resistence in some directions. The wilderness we’re exploring has it’s most prized jewels hidden in caves, most magnificent waterfalls deep in canyons, and vastest views at the top of rocky mountains on the edges of cliffs. The circlee has a lifetime of patterns to protect these jewels from exploitation and trampling tourists. We want to honor the protections that have served so well and yet may not serve anymore. There’s fear, there’s blocks in awareness, there’s sadness and tears, and sometimes there’s even anger.
We must honor and respect these defenses. We must appreciate and enjoy the circlee with these protective mechanisms. Any force we put against them will reinforce the subconscious of the danger of letting them down. Appreciation is the solvent.
As a circlee, we have the challenge of letting go of the defenses and trusting that our most naked self will be appreciated and respected. We can take refuge in the idea that if our most naked self isn’t appreciated and respected by others, that is a weakness in the other’s ability to appreciate. Or maybe, we haven’t fully let down all the guards. Can we appreciate and respect our selves with all the things we think are ugly?
If we as facilitators and we as circlees manage to have the courage to go forward on this adventure of discovery we will most certainly know each other more, we will have the opportunity to experience the depth of connection that is possible between human beings.
I hope you’ll courageously embark on this journey!