Circles of More
Circle started around the cook-fires of humanity’s ancestors and has accompanied us ever since. We remember this space. When we listen, we speak more thoughtfully. We lean in to shared purpose.
Christina Baldwin & Ann Linnea
Healing Circles are safe environments for those who are impacted by a condition to share their experiences and harvest collective wisdom. We now offer healing circles for those impacted by
- Cancer—This circle for those in or out of treatment–and the people who love them—meets the first and third Wednesday from 3:30-5:00 pm
- Chronic illness—We offer multiple circles that support those with chronic illness.
- One circle is for those with auto-immune conditions including multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme’s, fibromyalgia, and others. Please let us know if you are interested in joining.
- One circle for those impacted by neurodegenerative disease, including Parkinsons. The circle meets every other week and is currently full. Please let us know if you are interested in joining.
- Chronic pain—This circle provides a safe place for those impacted by chronic pain to share stories and strategies. Meets on Tuesdays from 11:30-1.
- Aging—This circle follows the Crone’s Circle model and is a fun place for women to honor and advance the aging woman’s value to society. This circle meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 11-12:30.
- Grief and Loss–This healing circle supports those who have suffered the loss of a loved one as they rebuild their lives. It does not provide a prescription for how to move through grief but instead responds flexibly to what is most pressing for circle members in their daily experience of loss. Please let us know if you are interested in joining.
Discovery Circles are for those who gain insight into whatever they are facing through intuition, inner exploration, and creative expression. We currently offer the following Discovery Circles:
- Poetry & Grief—This group explores their responses to grief and loss through poetry. The circle is currently full. Please let us know if you are interested in joining.
- Write to Heal— Write to Heal is an opportunity to build a deeper relationship between body, mind and spirit through the creative process of writing. Please bring a notebook and join the adventure. Meets 2nd and 4th Fridays from 11:30-1:30.
- Art & Healing— Remember the fun you had doing art as a kid? Well, it’s still fun—and healing, too. This open-hearted, supportive setting facilitates a meditative time-out or an opportunity for your fingers to lead you to new discovery. No previous “art” experience needed. (Please let us know if you are interested in joining.)
- Mindfulness and Weaving—Unlike traditional weaving that stresses rules and relies on patterns, free-style weaving encourages unrestrained expression and provides a platform for mindfulness and for a journey of growth, development, and transformation. This is Circle of Two activity just for you. Please let us know if you are interested.
Learning Circles are for those who share an interest in a topic or wish to develop a healing skill.
Skills-based Circles (free; donations gratefully accepted)
We offer weekly skills-based classes in mindfulness meditation and Yi Ren Medical Qigong; and topic-based circles that use books, videos, or topics as a starting point for deeper reflection. We also offer periodic workshops and retreats.
- Yi-Ren Medical Qigong, levels one, two, and three—ongoing weekly classes in the exploration and use of energy for healing.
- Mindfulness meditation—This ongoing drop-in circle offers guided meditation, walking meditation, and silent meditation in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. Weekly skills-based (free; donations gratefully accepted)
Topics-based Circles (free; donations gratefully accepted)
- A Year to Live reads and discusses Stephen Levine’s remarkable book: A Year to Live: How to Live This Year As If It Were Your Last. We see this as an exploration of consciousness, presence and healing. Meets weekly on Thursdays from 11-12:30.
- Becoming Wise Book Circle reads a chapter of Krista Tippet’s Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living each week. Starts January 4 1:00-2:30.
- Intentional Healing—Nine key factors for increasing our capacity for healing using Radical Remission by Kelly Turner as a starting point. Offered periodically. Let us know if you’re interested.
Workshops & Retreats (usually include fees)
- Awake & Alive: Mindful Living with Cancer—This life-affirming, empowering retreat at the Whidbey Institute offers anyone with a cancer diagnosis—and their primary caregiver, if desired— the opportunity to explore what it means to live fully awake and fully alive — even while facing serious illness. Offered semi- annually. Please let us know if you are interested.
- Coming full circle: Aging with grace, courage and wisdom—This quarterly workshop, facilitated by Jeanne Strong and Cynthia Trenshaw, helps us embrace our aging and mortality with an open heart.
- Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an eight-week intensive training in mindfulness, developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the U. Mass. Medical Center. Taught by Kurt Hoelting, this class is offered yearly. (Check calendar.)
Caring Circles support those who care for others, whether as a family member, friend, or professional.
- Healing Circle for Caregivers—This is a weekly drop-in circle for anyone who cares for a family member or friend. If you are a professional caregiver and are interested in joining a circle, please let us know.
- Volunteer Circle—This provides our volunteers a place to get to know each other and receive support while they support others.
- South Whidbey @ Home—grew out of a conversation at Healing Circles on how to help our elders remain in their homes. For more information.
What they’re saying
“The circle gave me the courage for truth-telling. It helped me rebuild the foundation of my life away from not-dying to living. I have recognized that I matter in my life.”
“Cancer treatment is so deconstructing of self. The biggest gift of the circle is reconstructing and nurturing my authenticity.”
“Healing is not about being perfect. It’s about trying and being lost and being real.”
“It was huge when I realized that I knew what I needed to do. I am the wise woman I’ve been seeking.”