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CIRCLE FOR THE NEW YEAR

Use this Circle Facilitator Guide with students, teams, and community members to reflect on the previous year, to think about gifts, to examine challenges and crossroads and to make new commitments for the future.


Welcome to the Space of the Circle.

  • MINDFULNESS MOMENT Recall your presence in the world/universe. No matter where you are, hilltop or valley, country or city, in a crowd or alone, you are a creature in the midst of creation. As you quiet yourself, become aware of your existence in the creation that surrounds you, in your body, in those around you. Ground yourself in this space, try to forget all of the distractions around you and be present in this moment. Try to become fully aware of yourself and relax.

  • OPENING

BE STILL IN HASTE

How quietly I

begin again

from this moment

looking at the

clock, I start over

so much time has

passed, and is equaled

by whatever

split-second is present

from this

moment this moment

is the first

– Wendell Berry

  • INTRODUCE "ROUNDS" A "round" is a pass of the talking piece around the Circle. The keeper poses a question and, as a participant, may answer first. The keeper then passes the talking piece to the person to their left or right (or names the next person over Zoom). On the first round, participants are invited to say their name and pronouns as well as respond to the question. Remember, it is always okay for a participant to pass.

  • Remind the group of Circle values and guidelines. These can be ones established in previous circles or be created new each time with new participants. Some helpful sharing guidelines may include:

  • Share what you feel comfortable sharing.

  • Respect the talking piece

  • You can pass at any time.

  • Be mindful of time.

  • Respect the privacy of those sharing.

  • Trust intent/name impact

  • Use “I” statements

  • Speak from the heart/listen from the heart

  • Be here now

  • Prioritize connection before content

  • Be both teachers and learners

  • Have fun!

  • ROUND Share something you are thankful for from the previous year.

  • ROUND Share something you've learned about your permanent gifts or particular strengths

  • ROUND What moments of the past year were you most proud of?

  • ROUND What events, conversations, relationships, or activities bring up the most emotion now, as you remember them?

  • ROUND Where were you at a crossroads this past year? Situations where your heart was divided.

  • ROUND Beginning today, how might you want to live your life differently?

  • ROUND What patterns do you want to keep living tomorrow?

  • ROUND How will you make a commitment to do your best every day?

  • CHECK-OUT ROUND Share a gift you received during this circle today

  • CLOSING

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.


A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor.


Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.


The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.


Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

- Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

  • Thank everyone for participating in the Circle!

Adapted from from the Daily Examen of Consciousness of St. Ignatius of Loyola - For a version you can use in prayer or meditation visit IgnatianSprituality.com

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