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SPEAKING FROM/LISTENING FROM THE HEART CIRCLE

Use this Circle Facilitator Guide to explore the community value of listening from and speaking from the heart with your team, class, organization, or community.


Welcome to the Space of the Circle.

  • MINDFULNESS MOMENT Pause, breathe, and listen to the sound

  • OPENING

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver


  • 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 Why is it important that you are here right now?

  • ROUND What does it mean to listen from the heart?

  • ROUND Who do you know who is good at listening from the heart?

  • ROUND What does it mean to speak from the heart?

  • ROUND Who do you know who is good at speaking from the heart?

  • ROUND When is it difficult to listen from or speak from the heart?

  • ROUND What helps us listen from or speak from the heart?

  • CHECK-OUT ROUND What is your main take-away from this circle?

  • CLOSING Choose another short breathing exercise or meaningful quote

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted,

knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything,

and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something,

and to do it very well.

-Oscar Romero


  • Thank everyone for participating in the Circle!

Adapted from Boyes-Watson, C. & Pranis, K. (2020). Circle Forward (2nd ed.). St. Paul, NM: Living Justice Press.


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