letter from the director, sept 2019, circles, support, community, vulnerability, sharing

Circles | Letter from the Director | September 2019

Have you ever noticed the shape that naturally creates itself when people physically gather? We form the shape of a circle, and not by happenstance. It is intuitive for us humans to seek balance, cooperatively situating our energy equally with others while our eyes find eyes, allowing our hearts to face each other’s. This is the source of circle culture, and it is human nature.

The circle is the perfect representation of balance and equality. This shape has no top or bottom and no part of it is greater or lesser. It carries infinite energy into eternity for it has no beginning and no end. There is no leader at the front of the room in a circle. It is not a pyramid with the elite few at the top who control all others below.

The circle is also the symbol of cycles, for which all life follows; birth and death, night and day, winter/spring/summer/fall, happy and sad, your inhale and your exhale.

There exists historic evidence of the earliest humans gathering in circles. Indigenous history exhibits the healthiest cultures sustained themselves by council from circles, as circle culture inspires the power of empathy and cooperation over the struggle of control and competition.

Human existence is concentric, in that circles exist within circles, which exist within circles. For example, there is the circle of the global community, holding the circle of Canada, holding the circle of Ontario, of Toronto, of Bloor West Village holding the circle of you and maybe your family. You may feel some connection to a circle of your religious congregation or a club of which you’re a member. For many of us though, there exists a gap between ourselves and our larger circles. The ability to feel safe, to connect and to be heard becomes more difficult depending on the size of the circle with which we most immediately identify. It is not enough to only be acknowledged by a national circle or even your neighbourhood circle.

When we are expected to only exist within the large circles, there becomes more potential for domination, competition and lack of understanding each other that incites isolation and the likelihood of violence. There exists a fear when attempting to live only within a large community. It’s the fear of losing our position due to the inability to be understood, thus reducing our humanity which makes our behaviour more insincere. Consider the challenge when trying to get a caring and compassionate response from of a subordinate of a large institution.

As we witness the intensifying energy affecting planet and people at this time, it becomes more and more evident that a return to circle culture is a necessity —necessary to support each other through inter-being, interconnection, and finding our full creative power, rather than being short-circuited by doubt and falling into despair. Without having a circle in this current psychic climate, it is much easier for our minds to perceive ourselves as powerless, or at least not enough to make any significant change. A society without circles mostly conditions us to exist more separately than together, and we can see and feel that this way is not working for all of us. Or any of us, if we’re honest with one another.

September 2019 is the launch of MYBW’s monthly Women’s and Men’s Circles. All existence is within the circles of relationship. This is the essence of yoga; we are in relationship to everything—nothing is separate and no one is ever alone. Greed, fear and anger are sourced in the sadness of disconnection. To sit in circle is to feel the sentiment of ‘one for all and all for one’, so please join us. Check our website for details and register as soon as possible as space is limited. If you cannot attend, start your own circle—it’s not that difficult. In fact, it’s human nature.

See you in the practice room,

Don