From 9 October to 1 November, Ann Linnea and I have been traveling in central Europe through weeks of soft weather and incredible people-time. Landing in Brussels, we were whisked into the Belgian farmlands to visit friends and spend a day in a small, informal, circle of women…a breath upon landing. Then we trained to Cologne, Germany, and spent the rest of the weekend in Bad Honnef, near Bonn—and our education began. This would be a visit in which our friends took the time and effort to fill us in on European history and prehistory—Celts in Germany and Austria, Romans along the Rhine and empiric walls under the city of Vienna, the path of the Crusaders marching home, the intertwined politics of church and ruling families and the emergence of nations.
Ann and I, and our Canadian circle colleague, Amanda Fenton, were lovingly plunged into an “audio visual world history course” that happened while driving through the countryside and walking cobbled streets. We come home with an immersion into our roots that will work in us for a long time.
And somehow all of this grounded the work we did depositing circle practice and learning about what is already happening here. We had full groups in every setting and circle did its magic while we have conveyed the strength of the structure to hold us in complex, multi-cultural, multi-lingual settings. It’s astonishing to have created a body of work and see what’s happening 20 years later with folks mostly 20 years younger.
We had a 4-day training in Germany, a 1.5-day training in Vienna, and a 4-hour salon evening, followed by a 3-day training in Bregenz. Amanda’s traveling with us brought both great support and a bridge between how the work is growing in Europe and in North America.
Many of the people we work with are also working in the European Commission in one way or another and have shared stories about the internal transformation of communication occurring in an extremely formal, complex hierarchy. We are humbled to see how deeply circle work has moved into consulting, facilitation, community organizing, and government. Wow… We are just starting to integrate these experiences… more to come.