listening circle

I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter until they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. Then you will see what medicines they make, and where and when to apply them. That is the work. The only work.
— Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Listening Circle is where we practice listening and we practice being heard.
It's an extraordinary and transformative thing, allowing ourselves to be deeply heard,
and I know of no deeper longing than that of connection.

Listening Circle is an opportunity to unburden ourselves,
to bring awareness to the undiscussables,
to hold sacred the complexities of our shared humanity. 

Listening Circle is a space in which we offer our curiosity and compassion and the generosity of our full attention.
It's a time to experience deep connection as we listen and speak from the heart.
Together, we build and practice empathy as a most important competency. 


Each Listening Circle is limited to 5 participants.

Everything shared within the Listening Circle is held in absolute reverence and confidence.

what to expect:

Group Grounding and Welcome
Check-in: how are you arriving to Circle today? What are you bringing with you?
The first person who is moved to speak does so, and speaks from the heart for ten minutes.
We hold space in the Circle for deep attention without interruption, without advice, without assumption.
We listen without waiting for our turn to talk.

We hold our hearts soft and open, we are stones in the river, stories washing over us, shaping us,
and then flowing on to source or sky or sea.

Stories move in circles. They don’t move in straight lines.
So it helps if you listen in circles.
There are stories inside stories and stories between stories, and finding your way through them
is as easy and as hard as finding your way home.
And part of the finding is the getting lost.
And when you’re lost, you start to look around and listen.
— A Traveling Jewish Theatre
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I want you to tell me

about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word “home” means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were 8. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms? Or would you leave the snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad, even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving. And if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes through other people’s wounds.

Andrea Gibson