FAQ and Sharing Circle protocols, in preparation for Monday’s virtual gathering

Well, it seems amazing to be here – on the edge of December, on the cusp of winter, at the fading embers of 2020, approaching the halfway mark of our 5-part Sharing Circle.

Are you just catching wind of this now?

Is it too late to get on board? No!

Here are some handy questions to help welcome you in!

Do I need to have attended the last two Sharing Circles to join this one on Monday November 30?

No! Everyone is welcome, at any time. We review the “protocols” at the beginning of the circle, so you will be able to catch up straight off the mark!

What is a sharing circle?

A sharing circle is an indigenous technology that helps generate uplifting and respectful dialogue. This Circle is led by a skilled knowledge keeper, Tanina Williams. A sharing circle is a practice – it’s a way to practice sitting with discomfort, allowing people space to formulate their thoughts and to share, and allowing yourself to speak your own truth. It is a supportive and powerful structure that arose out of cultures that made decisions by consensus – not by dominating people, but by allowing a group to find its way to a place of coherence, by providing the space for everyone to feel seen and heard.

In my personal opinion, as a newcomer to this experience, it is a simple concept, that is utterly radical in our world today, and that does ask us to step up to the challenge of listening, supporting, being thoughtful and respectful.

What are these protocols you mention?

The protocols are the guidelines or “rules” that govern the Sharing Circle – these are mutually developed by the group, and may change over time, and may be different in any Circle.

The protocols established for this Sharing Circle are:

What is shared in the circle, stays in the circle. (Let us respect each others’ confidence, and keep what is shared confidential. We will speak only of our own reflection or experience. If we’re zooming in from a shared space, we’ll wear headphones.

Everyone should feel safe to say what they need to say without any judgment. (We take our turns to speak, swearing is okay but angry outbursts will be muted, we can have our own feelings, we don’t need to self-censor as we explore).

Please show up. If our technology allows it, we’ll keep our cameras on to share our faces, the sessions won’t be recorded.

Always JOIN, even if you can’t do the homework, still come in.

Everyone can uphold the protocols with their actions and words. If anyone feels one has been overstepped, you can unmute yourself and remind the group of the protocol.

Our intention is to uplift each other. We want to develop some skills and practice the protocols, but ultimately, we want to leave feeling good about ourselves.

Did I hear someone say homework?

Each circle gathers around a topic – on November 30, we will focus on Wanosts’a7 Dr Lorna Williams. The “homework” is to spend some time, independently researching Dr Williams. Find a talk she has given. Find a paper she has written. Find something of her work or words and explore them. Then come to the circle with an offering to the group of something you learned or took away from your explorations.

What other topics are coming up?

On Monday December 7, the invitation is to explore an offering from the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

On Monday December 21, we will celebrate winter solstice, and learn how do close a circle, so we can complete this series with a feeling of resolution. 

Details at Wellness Almanac Sharing Circles | Facebook. Your comments or excited discoveries about Wanosts’a7 Dr Lorna Williams or Sharing Circles are welcome at the event page. 

Newcomers are welcome. Register at the library.

For those who attended on Monday – your registration link serves for all 5 Sharing Circles in the series. (So don’t delete it!)

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