About Circle Connections

Advisory Council

Carolyn AndersonCarolyn Anderson
Global Family

My experience with the power of circles began in 1971 when I joined my first women's meditation group. I was "lifted" by the resonant field to a state of consciousness that was new for me and ECSTATIC, and I was hooked on circles from that point forward. I learned the core group process in 1983, while working with Barbara Marx Hubbard on her Campaign for a Positive Future. This design came to us "through us" - as revelation - and we knew that we had tapped into an energetic and a structure that was truly Divine. Since 1986 - with the founding of Global Family - we have initiated this circle process with teams in over 41 countries, seeding literally thousands of circles and giving birth to a new structure that can replace the hierarchical institutions of the dying culture.  Visit her websites at: globalfamily.net and hummingbirdlivingschool.org.

Christina BaldwinChristina Baldwin
Author, Educator, Co-Founder

In 1994 with I co-founded an educational company with Ann Linnea called PeerSpirit, Inc., that offers a wide range of seminars and trainings in PeerSpirit methodology. Our focus from the beginning of our facilitation work has been to bring circle process into mainstream settings and to train people to carry this work in both their personal and professional lives. We now work primarily in education, health care, religious communities and institutions, nonprofit associations and boards.   My book Calling the Circle, The First and Future Culture (Bantam 1997) as well as our many co-authored booklets on circle process supports our this work. I feel the circle is the mother of all methodologies, the fire around which we learned our socialization and where we return to remember the common values that link us. Since much of this linking occurs through shared story, my latest book, Storycatcher, Making Sense of our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story (New World Library, 2005) integrates my life work thus far and communicates an understanding of the necessity for all people to know their own story and use it to shape their lives and the world around them.

Jean Shinoda BolenJean Shinoda Bolen, MD
Jungian Analyst, Author

Jean has authored over 15 books, is an internationally known Jungian analyst, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco, and a former member of the board of the Ms. Foundation for Women. Having searched unsuccessfully for years for a book to recommend while leading women's circles, in 1999 Jean decided to write her own. In "The Millionth Circle" she proposes nothing less than the possibility that women's circles with a spiritual center can accelerate humanity's shift into a post-patriarchal era. Circles build upon what women do naturally, and have brought about major political and social changes. Women in small groups grew into the Women's Suffragette's movement, which gained women the right to vote in 1920. Women in small consciousness-raising groups led to the Women's movement of the 1970s. A millionth circle movement led by women could change planetary consciousness. "Once the principles are understood, the significance of women's circles can be appreciated as a revolutionary-evolutionary movement that is hidden in plain sight." In her most recent book, "Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World," she explains that "we’ve learned that women gathering together in groups and telling the truth of their lives can actually change the world."

Ginny DoctorRev. Ginny Doctor
Episcopal Missionary

I was raised on the Onondaga Nation Territory in Upstate New York and am a member of the Mohawk Nation of Grand River, Ontario, Canada. As an Episcopal missionary in the Diocese of Alaska, I have served in a variety of capacities at both the local and national level including the Council for Women's Ministries, the Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latina organization and as a founding member of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Women. Leader development is one of my passions. I am a Women of Vision trainer and have gone to Kenya to provide that training. I have been to many communities in Alaska and across the United States providing training to lay leaders and have written a number of articles for publication. I see my fundamental mission as "restoring the spirituality of the people."

Beverly EngelBeverly Engel
Author, Psychotherapist

For most of my career as a psychotherapist (over 30 years) I have specialized in working with women (and men) who have been abused (physically, emotionally, sexually) either in their childhood or as an adult. About 15 years ago, having been deeply touched by the experience of sitting in circle with other women myself, and after completing several years of Shamanic training, I decided to incorporate circle into my practice. Instead of conducting regular group therapy, I asked survivors to follow circle guidelines. I found that clients were able to go deeper into their feelings given the safety of the guidelines. Since then I conduct most of my groups and most of my trainings (I also train other professionals) in circle. I have even conducted circles in the middle of Barnes and Noble when I am on book tours! (I am the author of 18 self-help books). I was so impressed by the power of circles that I wrote a book, published by Health Communications, called Women Circling the Earth: A Guide to Fostering Community, Healing and Empowerment. Because of the book I was invited to the first Millionth Circle meeting and became one of its founding members, along with Ann Smith. I now conduct circles and circle trainings all over the world and my intention is to live by circle principles (i.e. equality, heart consciousness and gratitude). 

Dr. E. Margaret FultonDr. E. Margaret Fulton
Speaker, Board Member
Women's World Summit Foundation

As a professor, Dr. Fulton has held positions as Dean of Women at the University of British Columbia and President of Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In her retirement years, she continues to serve on the board of the Women's World Summit Foundation and is in demand as a conference speaker, on changing organizational structures. "Our society and consciousness is changing from a vertical, hierarchical model to one that is more creative and better fills the needs of a pluralistic society."   She clearly demonstates this concept in her video featured on this site.  She is an officer in the Order of Canada, holds numerous honorary degrees from Canadian Universities and in 1997 was given the Governor General's Persons Award. Margaret Fulton's life and career are the subject of a recent documentary "A Round Peg" by film maker Michelle Bjornson, aired on BC's Knowledge Network and Vision Network.

Sharon HoerySharon Hoery
President, Crones Counsel, Inc.

Circles. Having been a student of Numerology/Astrology for the last eighteen years, circles conjure symbols in my mind such as the circle with a dot, the five Platonic solids housed within the sphere, and as a symbol of unity. Circles within circles form the Tree of Life, the Flower of Life and our own spiraling DNA. One of the most moving visuals for me is a drop of water splashing the surface of water, originating energy that moves through the water and influences everything in its path. However, being realistic as well as idealistic, energy from this drop of water can be a life-giving source or be a flood. Implementing the concepts of a circle into my life has taken conscious effort. Since I was a white female raised in a “top to bottom” structure and indoctrinated into the corporate blueprint. As we embrace the concept that we are all a part of one stupendous whole (circle) and that the universe (circle) is a single complex living being, it becomes imperative to recognize that this single drop of water represents us all. Instead of an epic center earthquake that leaves destruction in its place, it is time to place an ideal into this center dot of the circle. For it is within ideals that humans can transcend the realism of life and matter. Love becomes the center dot (energy), the holographic energy that unites us all. Visit her websites at Crones Counsel: Celebrating Wise Women, and Spirit Crossing.

Ronita JohnsonRonita Johnson
Circle Facilitator

Ronita Johnson (Pleasant Hill, CA) Visionary Creator of "Celebrating Our Inner Queen" and certified Personal Development Coach. Creating life-changing circles for women to embrace their majesty, one moment at a time! Visit her website at www.InEveryHeart.com

Kimberly KingKimberly Bisson King
President, The Peace Company
Founder, Women Without Borders
NewCircle Media Network

My earliest memory of Circle is huddling together with my friends in the tall meadow commons behind my family's backyard. Nearly every afternoon we would gather there, girls and boys alike, from the neighborhood block. Even then, I realized there was something irresistible about the circle. No matter what else I might be doing, when the hour approached I had to be there. We all did. There wasn't even a question.

I learned valuable lessons from those first circle experiences, such as the process of deep listening and the mesmerizing power of story. I learned everyone brings something unique and completely different to the Circle, and that is what makes it interesting. I learned that Circle is also a Paradox, with light and darkness; separation and inclusion; joy and pain. I learned sitting together creates an Energy which cannot be spoken and carries with you long after the Circle is gone.

I left the Circle behind with my childhood, not to return for many years. Then sometime in the mid 1990's, it happened. The Circle Sounded a Call. I do not know the day or the hour. All I know is that The Circle began showing up for me, and I began showing up for The Circle. Soon my Pathways converged into a great Re-Union, rediscovering Lost Beloveds which my Soul had always known. It also brought Re-Union within My Self, a coming home to Who I AM and always had been and to Who I AM BECOMING every day.

My Dream now is to create and live a New Circle which embodies the Eternal and reflects the Future-New. A Circle which somehow touches Everywhere, which has no borders and leaves no person out. A Circle where All Stand as Sacred Equals, transcending Separation, transmuting beliefs of Scarcity and releasing all forms of Fear. May we awaken this universal shared reality, from ideology into a compassionate New Circle of Life.

"The Nature of God is a Circle of which the Center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere."  And so it is... (KimberlyKing.info)

Deborah Koppel MitchelDeborah Koppel Mitchell
Circle Facilitator, Publisher
Spheres Circles Publication

In 1998 I got “The nudge” to create my first Women’s Circle Gathering.  At the time, I did not even know what a Women’s Circle was—All I knew was that I had a fabulous core of women friends, and if I brought us all under the same roof at the same time AND, we gathered together in-Circle, that it would be magic!  Shortly thereafter, I was given many books on Sacred Circles, and I discovered that many were published around the same time I got “the nudge,.” I then realized that I was part of something much larger…A “Feminine Movement”—A Healing.  There was definitely a need— and coming together in the sacred space of a Circle filled that need.  The healing benefits and magic is always tangible in Circle!  I have been hosting and facilitating Circle Gatherings for over seven years.  Within that time, came another “nudge.”  The “birthing” of, Spheres Circles Publication, and the website, sphereswomenscircles.com.  Both are “connecting tools,” serving as resources and forums for expression of the feminine heart-- based on the Principle of “Connecting for the benefit of ALL!”  In the past year, Spheres Circles Publication has transformed into a one-of-a-kind, “yin/yang style,” flip cover magazine for women AND Men.  Symbolic of the need to embrace and bring the masculine and feminine energies into balance.

Clare PetersonClare Peterson
Founding Member
Gather the Women Canada

Circle principles have been my way of being in relationship with women over many years through Community Wellness Centre programs, private counseling practice and personal spiritual communities. Respect, equality, honesty and spirit centered inspiration are profound qualities that flow naturally through all circle process. Circles in my life have brought me into real relationships and carried me beyond my hesitations, through spirals of challenges and learning. I am always amazed at the kindness and blessings that circle connection brings. I know it is because at the center of the circle there is sacred presence.  As a retired Registered Nurse, a Core Member of Gather the Women Matrix and The Millionth Circle Initiate and a founding member of Gather the Women Canada, I am dedicated to connecting with other women locally and around the world who are feeling called to bring their wisdom, gifts and resources into authentic leadership roles for peace.  Visit the GatherTheWomenCanada website.

Jan PhillipsJan Phillips
Author, artist, educator

I became aware of the power of circles in 1975 when I dove into the second wave of the women’s movement at the age of 26. I have been circling ever since, as an activist, artist and author. In 1982, I co-founded the Syracuse Cultural Workers to publish and distribute artwork for global peace and justice. From 1983-85, I traveled around the world on a peace pilgrimage showing slides of the US/Canadian peace movements and published my first book, Making Peace, when I returned. I became involved in the International Women’s Writing Guild in 1989 and have been teaching at their annual summer conference ever since, creating circles that support women’s belief in the power of their stories and their ability to write them. Since then I have written Marry Your Muse, Divining the Body, God is at Eye Level, A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind, The Art of Original Thinking, and Circling-A Guidebook for a Group Experience in Creative Consciousness. I also have a CD of original music, All the Way to Heaven, and several videos that help us remember the power of our connectedness.  I teach workshops around the country that connect the dots between spirituality, creativity and social consciousness, and train individuals as group facilitators so that we can continue to be mirrors and lights to each other. I believe that our collective consciousness is awakening and that women are the primary midwives to the global transformation that is happening through us, not to us.  I am committed to delivering the good news of this transformation through images, music and story and see myself as an artist, more than anything else. As my favorite poet Mary Oliver says: “I am a performing artist. I perform adoration.”

Teresa RuelasTeresa Ruelas
Visionary Editor
Offerings Publications, Inc.

I am a New York City-born, Philippine-raised, World-interested woman who has always walked the edges to explore and let emerge new and evolving ways of being in the world... ways that affirm and serve life. One of the ancient and re-emerging new ways of being is in circle.  As an elder in my circle has always said, “Circle is the birthplace of the new human.” I only have to look inside me and my life as well as the lives of the others in my circle of ten years to know the deep truth of that. Each time we gather in circle, I and we are renewed, re-listened and beheld into the core of our highest and truest selves. In circle, individually and collectively, we rediscover what makes us whole. One of my emerging new projects is to lead the birth of an innovative global women's space called Offerings. She is a co-creative field for evolving women, full of the creative expressions of the story of Woman – in conversations, print publications, art exhibitions, films, etc. This field, this playground, this new way of community is being birthed by women and men who live extraordinary lives in conjunction with an evolving humanity and world.

Tej SteinerTej Steiner
Author, Heart Circle

I have had two passionate interests in my life: learning how to deliberately and consciously move from suffering to joy. learning how small circles can be used to help in this quest. To further these interests I have studied many things; kundalini yoga, mind/body psychology, massage, ecstatic movement, etc. I also studied small group dynamics for thirty years. What I've learned so far is that it is possible to move from suffering to joy at will but it’s not easy. We need each other to do so. Small group circles are, by far, the best support I know of for this transformative process. In fact, I believe that small, resonant circles are the single most important social structure for changing consciousness in this century. They have been that for thousands of years and they are even more important today. I wrote a book on small, self-facilitated groups that came out this spring (2006) called Heart Circles: How Sitting In Circle Can Transform Your World. I wrote it as a tool for those wanting to create a small circle that would support their personal transformation and their journey into deep community. I believe that everyone deserves to be in a circle of their own with people they love and respect. My life work centers around helping facilitate this for myself and others. It is a privilege for me to be a part of Circle Connections' Advisory Council. 

Justine TomsJustine Willis Toms, Author & Co-Founder/Co-President New Dimensions Broadcasting Network

Justine is the co-founder and co-president New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and New Dimensions Radio both are projects of New Dimensions Foundation. Since 1973 she has worked with many of the leading edge thinkers, social innovators and visionaries of our time. She is a workshop leader facilitating others to find and live their passion. Circle work has been part of her life and interest for over twenty-five years. She leads workshops on circle work and inspires the forming of circles worldwide. She serves on the Board of Advisors of the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children and serves on the Board of Directors of the Process Work Center of Portland, Oregon. She is co-author with her husband Michael Toms of True Work: Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do.