That’s a question I’ve been asking myself over the past 5 years of my circle-keeping experiences. To me, circle keeping is a radical empathy practice. With so much time having lead circles, I’ve been in spaces with people who have stories unlike anything else out there. I’ve learned the art of listening and empowering people to go deeper and challenge themselves to uncover more from their unique stories and experiences. Empathy is also a skill, and I’ve learned that it’s not just me who’s learning to build more empathy in the community. Everyone who participates fully in these circles are also building up their own empathy muscles. I’m forever grateful to the Rainier Beach community for showing up to these healing circles because it’s affirming that regardless of what people say about the neighborhood, there is no singular narrative or monolith to it. We all add so much to this place, and circle keeping reminds me when I need it the most, that I am part of something bigger than I know.
November 4, 2010
February 26, 2020