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After the Election, Four Questions

in Circle Way, Community, Right Action

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Yesterday I gathered a few friends together in my living room to practice the Circle Way and hold a wisdom council on the topic of the election. I am convinced that gathering together in person and not just online is critical to the healing of our spirits and the healing of our nation. I offer these questions to you in the hope that you too may want to call a circle of intentional conversation with a few friends or neighbors. The questions are:

In the aftermath of the US election … 

1 – What do I fear? 
2 – What gives me hope?
3 – How can I communicate peacefully with those who hold a different point of view?
4 – What can I do now, and in the months and years to come, to make a difference?

I appreciate all the ideas and the wisdom that emerged from the circle yesterday. Sometimes just sitting with the questions and knowing you’re not alone in asking, is enough.

If you’re not familiar with circle process, you can read about it at The Circle Way website as well as in the book The Circle Way: A Leader in Every Chair by Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea.

A few key things to remember:

  • Make a sacred center (a lighted candle works well).
  • Use a talking piece.
  • Do a check-in before the rounds of questions.
  • Speak with intention and listen with attention.
  • Hold confidentiality.
  • Everyone tends to the well-being of the circle.

Complete guidelines for calling a circle of intentional conversation can be found here.

I personally resonate with the simple, elegant answer that Elizabeth Warren gave to Rachel Maddow when Rachel asked her what those of us who are despondent over the election results can do. Elizabeth asked us to 1) Volunteer for a cause of our choice and 2) Stay connected to each other.

Calling circles of intentional conversation in our neighborhoods is a great way to stay connected.

And I would add:

Know when it’s time to take action and when it’s time to retreat in order to replenish. Activism is critical now, more than ever, and so is self-care.

As part of my own self-care, I’m practicing the following “lovingkindness” meditation:

May I be well and happy. May I be blessed. 
May those I love be well and happy. May they be blessed.
May those I do not know be well and happy. May they be blessed.
May my opponents be well and happy. May they be blessed.
May all beings be well and happy. May they be blessed.

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Lise Mon - Nov 14th 2016 9:28 am

    Circles are powerful. They are healing and offer a perfect way to connect with the Heart and the Earth, our Mother. I hold Sacred Circles on a monthly basis for women to sing or tell our stories. I am guided by my native ancestors and feel blessed by their mysterious ways to support each one of us. I am happy that this is taking place. Bravo Joanna and everyone participating! May these changes, questions and answers bring peace and harmony in our world. Amen!

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Mon - Nov 14th 2016 10:05 am

      Thank you Lise. So good to know you are doing this work in the world!

  • Susan Meeker-Lowry Mon - Nov 14th 2016 1:18 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I, too, have been feeling that it is time to come togehter in person, in circles (though I didn’t know about The Circle Way and will check it out after sending this comment). In fact, I put something similar on my FB page and while it got some response, in general people felt that it wasn’t necessary to be in person, but that our spirits could connect regardless. But it is my feeling that our power is that much stronger when we are physically together, plus we need each other that way now, more than ever. At least I do. So this is confirmation that what I feel intuitively is being felt by others as well. It is time.

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Tue - Nov 15th 2016 8:17 am

      Thank you Susan. I hope you do check out the Circle Way. Following the guidelines makes all the difference in the world. Blessings to you.