Celebrating Circles [PDF]

Celebrating Circles of Support March 18, 2000
Dumas Center, Federal Way Washington

John O’Brien & Connie Lyle O’Brien

March. 2000

• One true thing about circles is …?
• What gathers a circle?
• What keeps a circle together?
• What can people expect from a circle?

Sometimes it’s important to gather a circle when something is changing in someone’s life. Moving out, graduation from high school. Sometimes there is a sense of unmet need. Sometimes there is a dissatisfaction with what is officially available. A counterflow… not only unmet need and satisfaction, a sense of giving the person to others — I can help the neighbor, we think that someone in our life has important things to give to other people. Sometimes it’s a matter of noticing who already celebrates parts of the person, what would emerge if we brought all those people together. But taking the step is a step into vulnerability and risk. It takes courage and encouragement. It’s clear that for some of us, there are lots of informal connections anyway. Sometimes the step is going from informal to purposefully bringing people together. Things change once the desire to bring people together grows strong enough to do it. Having a third party is often important. There’s a lot more potential in people than we have ways to make known. Some of us, who are moving out from ourselves or someone we love, face this wall we have to push through about fears of asking. On the other side, we find people who want to be invited. There’s some amount of capacity out there that is not touched in lots of us.