PeerSpirit Newsletter – The Owl and the Tree
March 2017


Dear Friends of PeerSpirit,

In this month’s newsletter, Christina and Ann provide a snapshot of what they’ve been up to, and about some of their future plans.

Keeping Busy

by Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea

People keep asking us if we are retired. And we keep saying, “partly retired.” This month we want to share some of what this means—professionally and personally.

We have passed the bell and the talking piece to the next generation of circle carriers and want to share several upcoming highlights.

First, please note the online class “The Circle Way: A Deep Dive”, being offered over four successive Wednesdays in April. It will be taught by Tenneson Woolf, a long-time colleague who is also president of The Circle Way nonprofit board. Other teachers are Amy Lenzo, who comes to The Circle Way carrying the traditions of The Delicate Lodge indigenous work, and Rowan Simonson, who has trained in circle through The Art of Hosting.  This teaching combination, each of them skilled circle trainers and practitioners, represents the evolution and future of how a community will learn its skills. Christina is a featured guest on April 12, discussing the origins of The Circle Way and in dialogue about the art form of circle.

Second, we have been asked to return to Europe to participate in a gathering of circle carriers and trainers who want to move the work of The Circle Way into its next level of launch. This 5-day gathering will be held at a beautiful forested 250-acre retreat center in southwestern Germany, the Beuerhof. We join longtime friends and colleagues Holger Scholz, Roswitha Vesper, and Katharine Weinmann as hosts of this international gathering. For more information, visit their website.

We invite you to to subscribe to and review recent newsletters and to note the list of trainings and experiences in North America and Europe. For example, colleagues Tenneson Woolf and Amanda Fenton continue the tradition of offering a Circle Way Practicum in August on Whidbey Island, WA. This year it will be held at the Whidbey Institute August 23 – 28. See their website for more details and to register.

Labyrinth at the Whidbey Institute

In our personal lives, we are integrating circle into our island life. Since the Women’s March on Washington, DC (we marched in Seattle) January. 21, we have been meeting every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. with two neighbors. Our circle of four begins with moments of silence, a personal check-in from each of us, then reporting out on political action items from each of our subject areas: education, healthcare, environment, and human rights.

We help one another keep sorting through the gargantuan amount of incoming news and requests for action to find the nuggets of activism needed one week at a time. It helps us stay activated and doing the pieces of citizenship that we can manage in the huge upheaval our country is experiencing right now.

And we are finding opportunities to be engaged in outreach to a broad range of our island community as the consequences of the election unfold. We have a little circle bag: bell, talking pieces, cards with the agreements, a battery tea-light candle, tucked in the glove box of the car, just in case we are walking into a meeting where any aspect of circle might be introduced or welcomed.