Five Agreements Circle method will teach participants to recognize malfunctioning thought- and behaviour patterns and to change attitude towards challenges. It has potential to create deep bonds and trust between participants.
This method is based on Five Agreements by Don Miguiel Ruiz. Five Agreements Circle is inspired by Embodied Presencing -method developed by Samuli Lehesaari, a Finnish psychologist and teacher of dance.
It will be helpful to use a talking stick or some other object to visually mark the speaker. You may also use cards. Each player would have a set of four cards:
- Taking personally?
- Doing your best?
Fifth agreement is the task for all: listen to the intent behind the words.
(In Tärkkilä we made cards with recycling cardboard and oil pastels. One side in Finnish, other in English.)
Agree on the confidentiality of the circle and remind yourselves of the general rules of a talking circle.
Ideal group size is 4-5. It is best to divide larger groups. Agree on the number of rounds or amount of time you are willing to share in the circle together. Name one or more facilitators to pay attention to circle guidelines.
- Contemplate on a difficult human relation you are prepared to share with the circle to be observed and commented (neighbour, teacher, mother, brother, ex-spouse, colleague…)
- Close your eyes and take a moment to realise what kind of feelings this relation evokes in you. When you feel you are ready, open your eyes and start telling your story of your relationship sentence by sentence in such a way that you give time for the observers to react on what they hear.
- Concentrate fully to listen. Observe, what kind of feelings the story evokes in you. When you feel, that it might be useful for the storyteller to contemplate on one of the agreements, lift a card and start a talking circle. Talk about your own feelings and thoughts on the topic. Ask questions without demanding answers.
- name other people’s feelings without their consent
FLOW OF CIRCLE:
Agree on who is going to start as the storyteller. Talking circle will be started by the participant who lifts the first card. Last one to talk is the storyteller, who then decides to pass the turn to the next one sitting on the left, or to have an other talking circle. With a common decision a third round is possible. After that the turn will be passed to the next storyteller sitting on the left side of the previous. On your next turn, you may decide to continue the story you started or take a new relation under observation.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Emotions are messages from your inner self to your ego about things that deserve your attention. Sometimes it is necessary to express your emotions, but primarily feelings are for you to recognize and feel. You can learn to testify feelings by others and support them by staying and balancing yourself connected to your center and our own feelings (empathy) without joining their feelings (sympathy) and without trying to take control over their processes. We can never fully identify with someone else’s feelings, since we did not walk their path. Do not take other people’s feelings to carry as your own, but try to build and keep connection with your own!