What is Authentic Relating and Circling?

What is Circling and Authentic Relating Practice can help you transform relationships through deepening connection.

Circling and Authentic Relating practice. Connect and Transform All of your relationships in a Group Conversation.

Introduction to Conscious Vulnerability

In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen. Really seen.” – Dr. Brené Brown

Authentic Relating, or AR, is a powerful practice and is a way of connecting with others that emphasizes being present, honest, and authentic. It can help create connection by promoting openness, vulnerability, and empathy. Authentic Relating is a communication style that allows people to be more honest and vulnerable with you. Authentic Relating has been described as being "able to reveal your experience, as it occurs on a momentary basis".

What is the Practice of Authentic Relating? Meaningful Life-Changing Transformation.

authentic relating games night

If we want to create a connection with others, we must first learn how to relate in a way that feels true as we express ourselves. This means being present with others in the moment and sharing our thoughts and feelings. It's not always easy, but the end result is always worth it! 

Authentic Relating Practices or Games may be practiced anywhere at any time. They can be practiced in your personal or professional life and with strangers that you meet along the way. Authentic Relating utilizes methods, exercises, and games to teach skills such as:

  • Creating the deepest of connections

  • Inspiring Others

  • Genuine curiosity

  • Super-listening powers

  • Boosting empathy

  • Building & strengthening community

  • Revealing your own personal strengths

A traditional Authentic relating event has anywhere from 8 to 50 participants. It also has the unique ability to have the participants walk away with a sense of well-being and a toolkit they can use in their daily life.

What is the Practice of Circling? Meditation with an Intention of Empathy.

circling authentic relating

Circling has been growing all over the world for some time now. Circling is a group process that is an equal part art-form, meditation, and group conversation. Circling is designed to allow an experience of human connection in service of revealing another person's world as they are right here and right now. 

It can be useful to describe what Circling isn't. Circling isn't an attempt to change or fix the other person. Circling isn't coaching, therapy, or consulting. Simply put, the practice of Circling is using genuine curiosity to understand the other person's world with intention. In addition, it is done with a present moment awareness of noticing the assumptions you've had about each other. At its heart, it is a transformational practice that can be applied to all areas of our life because it can be practiced anywhere, at any time, and most of all the focus is NOT on the content of the conversation. Which, can be very counterintuitive at first! 

Circling is an Authentic Relating practice that reveals our “relational blind spots.” Relational Bling Spots are in other words, the moments when we turn away from the and intimacy that is available in every moment. Relational blind spot moments occur at different points of one's life such as:

  • The desire to deepen a relationship with one's partner.

  • The desire to attract someone and explore the potential of a deep fulfilling relationships.

  • Wanting a deep meaningful interactions with anyone in one's personal & professional life.

Through this direct-experience, in-the-moment process, we realize that we have more choice about how we respond because we’re aware of our blind spots. 

The experience of receiving a reflection of who we are can be one of the most rewarding experiences we can have. It shows us exactly how to see and appreciate each person for the uniqueness they offer the world.

Circling is a great way to practice authentic relating. It is an intentional conversation, held by a time container. It is usually led by a facilitator, a process whereby participants share what is most alive in the moment, and how that impacts the experience of others, in a safe and supportive environment. This allows us to get in touch with our authentic selves and to build deeper bonds with others.

Circling involves sitting in a circle and sharing what is your truth in the moment. It can create friendship and community by fostering a sense of community and deepening understanding of oneself and others. It involves being open and honest with oneself and others, as well as listening deeply and being present in the moment. 

Circling is a tool that can be used to facilitate the revealing of one's relational blind spots. It is a structured conversation in which participants take turns speaking and listening with the intention of creating deeper understanding and connection. Authentic Relating and Circling can help us to connect with ourselves and others in a more meaningful way.

The Benefits of Circling & The Authentic Relating Movement

duality and nonduality

Authentic relating is the practice of being present with others and yourself, sharing openly and honestly, and staying connected to your own experience and emotions. Circling is a specific type of authentic relating that involves sitting in a circle with others, taking turns speaking, and listening from the heart.

Both authentic relating games and circling can help create ways of relating by providing opportunities for deep listening, self-expression, and vulnerability. When we are truly seen and heard by others, we can feel more connected to them and to ourselves. These practices can also help us to become more aware of our own thoughts, feelings, and needs, and to better understand and empathize with others. Ultimately, authentic relating and circling can promote greater understanding, intimacy, and relating in our relationships.

Before you begin a circle or meeting with others, it is helpful to create a mutual agreement that openness and honesty will be honored. It can be helpful to begin a gathering with a short meditation to attune yourself to the space and the others coming together. Establish from the beginning that openness and honesty will be respected so that people can feel safe to be vulnerable.

The Power of Connection. Discover, Connect, & Transform Relationships:

Most people crave the basics of connection. We are social animals after all. And yet, true communication is hard to come by. We put up walls, we hold back, we protect ourselves. We don't want to be hurt, so we don't let people in. But what if there was a way to let down those walls, to be seen and heard for who you really are, and to feel safe doing so? That is what Authentic Relating and Circling is all about.

Authentic Relating is a way of being with others that emphasizes honesty, vulnerability, and openness. It is about being present with another person and being fully yourself. Circling is a specific type of Authentic Relating that involves sitting in a circle with a group of people, taking turns speaking and listening. When someone is circling with you, they are being fully present with you, listening without agenda or judgment, trying to understand where you are coming from.

Have you ever had a conversation where there was a deep intimate connection, perhaps even a feeling of oneness with the other person? This kind of authenticity is possible for anyone, regardless of relationship status or other factors. While circumstances can often create barriers, these barriers can actually be overcome through the act of connecting.

If you are a practitioner of non-violent communication this framework grounded in the way you communicate your human needs authentically without projection, may be the modality for you.

Interested in Authentic Relating or Circling Teaching & Courses? I will be offering a course later this year. In the meantime, feel free to download Free Authentic Relating eBooks. You can also book a Circling or Coaching Session with me.