Being Touched By a Circle
Come out of the circle of time. And into the circle of love. ~ Rumi
A couple of weeks ago, on a walk through the spectacular giant sequoias at Muir Woods, I was invited to “enter quietly” into a space called Cathedral Grove by a sign placed respectfully at the entrance of a circle of redwoods in the heart of the forest. By then I was entranced by the hushed presence of these gigantic ancient trees; to me they evoked a felt sense of depth and dignity, of lightness and grace, of stability and wisdom, of strength and safety. As I walked deeper into the utterly silent grove, enveloped by the sunshine filtering through the leaves high up above my head, it was hard to shake off the warm, familiar feeling of being invited in. Into a circle of love, as Rumi so beautifully puts it.
We’re all part of circles. They are the sacred spaces we cultivate all our lives with others – with friends, partners, family, colleagues and communities. Every time we enter or create a circle, there’s a connection we’re making, of hearts and minds, to give us what we need at a very deep core – to belong, be heard and be seen. Circles dissolve barriers; in them we get to tell our stories that serve to build trust, safety and intimacy. We learn to form our identities in these spaces and begin to unravel the parts of us that need nurturing from others. They are where we realise I’m not alone! And they are where we learn to give and receive. I’m as guilty as anyone else though, of not often being completely present and aware of the simple healing magic they can offer.
When you step into a circle, any circle, how you show up matters. Isn’t that true of any relationship? I know I’ve walked away bereft of connection those times I held back. So it’s really up to you. If you choose to step into a circle authentically, if you choose to be seen fully, you’ll see others too. Since our circles grow, shift and evolve along with us, it’s important to remember that how we show up in one follows us into another. So if there’s something missing in your life and it’s beginning to form a pattern…take a look at the quality of your circles. And at the quality of your own contribution in them. You’ll know what I mean.
My circles are huge gifts in my life: my children, my girlfriends, my family and my eclectic community of colleagues and close friends who are scattered all over. Yes, you all know who you are 🙂 What works for us is a little foolishness and a little wisdom, side by side with a lot of love, kindness, listening and compassion – giving me lightness and depth in equal measure. There’s ease and there’s effort as there should be. I learn something from each one and I take back a warmth and connection that lets me live wholeheartedly. As the Buddha says, everything changes. So, as some circles close and shift shape, others open, to invite me in.
I’d add to the “enter quietly” sign – walk lightly. You’re not alone.