I was introduced to Parker Palmer’s work a decade ago in graduate school, when I read Let Your Life Speak and Courage to Teach. Both of these books had a profound impact on my “early healing years”. I was especially inspired by the Circle of Trust approach, and wanted to bring these circles of trust to the world. I feel that I have slowly adopted the Circle of Trust principles and practices into how I teach and hold circles, and now I can say I “loosely” base my classes and circles on this approach. When I read through the principles and practices of this approach, I continue to be inspired to hold circles and classes in this format. 

If we are willing to embrace the challenge of becoming whole, we cannot embrace it alone—at least, not for long: we need trustworthy relationships to sustain us, tenacious communities of support, to sustain the journey toward an undivided life. Taking an inner journey toward rejoining soul and role requires a rare but real form of community that I call a “circle of trust.”

—Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness (adapted)

When a circle of humans comes together, with the intention to step into the practices of this approach, a great opportunity for healing in community opens up, and I am grateful to be able to hold this space for the people who are called to join a class or circle with me. 

Each of the Circle of Trust principles resonate so deeply with me and how I like to hold space, so to focus on just one today:

Everyone has an inner teacher.

Every person has access to an inner source of truth, named in various wisdom traditions as identity, true self, heart, spirit or soul. The inner teacher is a source of guidance and strength that helps us find our way through life’s complexities and challenges. Circles of Trust give people a chance to listen to this source, learn from it and discover its imperatives for their work and their lives.

I call this the wisdom of the circle. When people come together with the intention of listening to their inner teacher and tapping into and sharing that wisdom, so much rich knowledge is revealed, not only from each individual but also from the group as a whole. My Be Rooted program offers one on one support for energetic release. And it helps people combine the wisdom of the circle while they are learning and practicing mind/body/spirit awareness skills and energetic boundary tools. I am already seeing the reported results of participating in a circle of trust…. From the Circle of Trust website…

  • a stronger sense of purpose and integrity
  • expanded capacity to be fully present to others in ways that affirm and heal
  • increased skill in asking the honest, open questions that help others uncover their own inner wisdom
  • greater confidence to seek or create communities of support
  • increased understanding, appreciation and respect for human differences, based in deeper awareness of the identity and  integrity of ourselves and others
  • greater capacity to build the relational trust that helps institutions pursue their missions
  • more courage to live and lead authentically
  • renewed passion for their work or vocation
  • a deeper commitment to leadership and service to others

Watching Valarie Kaur interview Parker Palmer, and hearing the way that she brings this Circle of Trust to her work, inspires me. Have you checked out her Revolutionary Love Learning Hub yet? This resource is so rich and clear and helpful- as a life-long teacher, I love using this resource, in circles with others, and I continue reading and re-reading her book, See No Stranger. I loved seeing Valarie interview Parker, to see their respect for each other, both bringing healing and community to the world in very similar ways, motivates me to continue to circling together. Will you join me? Be Rooted in Your Truest Self, Fall 2023 Circle begins September 2023- Join a Q+A session to learn more.