Serious illness, deep grief, dramatic changes in our circumstances at work or in the family often call us to examine the great questions in life, which are present whether we’re consciously aware of them or not:

  • Who are we?
  • Where do we come from?
  • Why are we here?
  • Where are we going?
  • To whom (or what) are we accountable?

These are questions about the meaning of life. We may answer them from a philosophical or spiritual perspective. We may live our entire lives without facing them. But often, in the face of a difficult illness, loss, or sense of our aging, they have new urgency. It can be comforting to address them together.

Acceptance

A Conversation with a Widow’s Nervous System

The pain of loss is such an isolating experience, where the outside and inside of us are not aligned. We are out of sync with humanity, and yet we are inside an experience that each and every one of us will have.

Managing the Time Warp of Loss: Why Do They Want to Marry the Widow off?

When our parents die, no one tries to comfort us by saying, "You can love like this again with a new mother, new father, or a different grandparent.” Yet, with the loss of a spouse, people quickly start talking about a new companion, a new sexual partner, a new friend.

Healing Sound Bath

Usually on the second Wednesday of most months, we push all the furniture aside in the Fireside Room upstairs and Deborah Koff-Chapin sits in a semicircle of her crystal bowls and tea lights in near-darkness...

Catch and Release

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Catch-and-release is essentially what we do at Healing Circles Langley.
Courtesy of Callanish

Gracious Listening

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Among other things, gracious listening requires a hospitable heart, a compassionate presence, and a commitment to not "fix."

Healing from Chronic Pain

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It wasn’t an experience I was eager to revisit. Pain (mostly migraines) and fatigue dominated my life for 15 yrs. I cannot offer a formula for my return to health…

The Circle is Big Enough

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A circle is big enough for all of us. For all parts of us. And for all stages of our life journeys.

Deeply Buried

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One man’s unwavering courage to heal his unattended sorrow changed many lives.

Healing Circles: A Poem

Healing Circles Langley host Judith Adams remembers how she survived her husband’s death by banding with others.

Death and Dying

A Conversation with a Widow’s Nervous System

The pain of loss is such an isolating experience, where the outside and inside of us are not aligned. We are out of sync with humanity, and yet we are inside an experience that each and every one of us will have.

'I Am Rushing:' a Mantra of Love and Memory

I have just returned from spending time with a dear friend and her husband. They are living in what I have come to call “Illness Time” ­ not a period of time spent ill, but time itself defined by illness.

Managing the Time Warp of Loss: Why Do They Want to Marry the Widow off?

When our parents die, no one tries to comfort us by saying, "You can love like this again with a new mother, new father, or a different grandparent.” Yet, with the loss of a spouse, people quickly start talking about a new companion, a new sexual partner, a new friend.

The Circle is Big Enough

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A circle is big enough for all of us. For all parts of us. And for all stages of our life journeys.

Healing Circles: A Poem

Healing Circles Langley host Judith Adams remembers how she survived her husband’s death by banding with others.

Longing to Leave

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I long to leave. Easily, quickly, with little to no preparation. To go from pajamas into jeans and an old friendly sweatshirt, my feet slipped into clogs or flip-flops, a quick brush through my hair—or not—a smoosh of clear gloss on my lips.

Commonweal Cancer Help Program Alumni Circles

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We bring forth our most authentic selves, share what is most important, are present with our own and each other’s hearts, share joys and sorrows, and through this, do the soul work that feeds us most profoundly.

Pain and Suffering

Women Sharing, Women Witnessing

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Responding to national news, we invited sexual abuse or assault survivors, to share her story with other women whether she had told it before or was just finding the courage to tell it now.

Healing from Chronic Pain

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It wasn’t an experience I was eager to revisit. Pain (mostly migraines) and fatigue dominated my life for 15 yrs. I cannot offer a formula for my return to health…

Strategies for Pain Relief

Deepening our understanding of the Healing Circles Agreements is a lifelong study.

Meaning and Purpose

Opening to Miracles

Commonweal inspires Harmony Hill to launch its own Cancer Help Program.

Bringing Healing Circles to Nurses

Organizations are collaborating to help nurses bring healing circles into their work.

10 Tips for Getting Started

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How we got started at Healing Circles Langley feels like a miracle—outside of any norm we could have conceived. The right people showed up time and again to co-create, serve, and stretch us to do more. Capturing that process in ten tips seems…

Commonweal Cancer Help Program Alumni Circles

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We bring forth our most authentic selves, share what is most important, are present with our own and each other’s hearts, share joys and sorrows, and through this, do the soul work that feeds us most profoundly.

Uncertainty

Managing the Time Warp of Loss: Why Do They Want to Marry the Widow off?

When our parents die, no one tries to comfort us by saying, "You can love like this again with a new mother, new father, or a different grandparent.” Yet, with the loss of a spouse, people quickly start talking about a new companion, a new sexual partner, a new friend.

Sitting with Uncertainty

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The following discussion (originally posted January 22, 2012) is an example of circle taking place in many forms. Because Terri Mason asked the original questions, this post is attributed to her, but many others contributed. In the thread below,…

Riverbank

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A writing prompt in a healing circle contrasts past and present.

The Faces of Fear

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Participants in a Callanish circle were invited to name the many faces of fear.

Uncertainty 98249

Anxiety over the uncertainty inherent in living with cancer can be crippling. Kelly Lindsay found a way to become a thriving Uncertainist.

Forgiveness In Healing

Fred Luskin, PhD, author of Forgive for Good reads and discusses what he considers the best thing he’s ever read on forgiveness: Mary Oliver’s poem titled “The Settlement.”

Decision-Making Under Pressure

This guide can help those who have been newly diagnosed with cancer make the many decisions that face them.

To download it, click the image below.

Spirit and Soul

People gathered in circle

Starting Healing Circles in Communities of Faith

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Learn how Healing Circles Houston helps faith communities benefit from healing circles by partnering with them.

Opening to Miracles

Commonweal inspires Harmony Hill to launch its own Cancer Help Program.

Listening Within

The quality of listening to others relates directly to the quality of listening within. But it’s not easy.

Depth without Digging

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After one circle struggled and ended, Commonweal Cancer Help Program alumni found a way to build a circle that lasts.

The Spirit in Everyday Life

Milagros have been used for centuries throughout Latin America and represent the universality of humans acknowledging the presence of spirit in everyday life.

Loss

A Conversation with a Widow’s Nervous System

The pain of loss is such an isolating experience, where the outside and inside of us are not aligned. We are out of sync with humanity, and yet we are inside an experience that each and every one of us will have.

'I Am Rushing:' a Mantra of Love and Memory

I have just returned from spending time with a dear friend and her husband. They are living in what I have come to call “Illness Time” ­ not a period of time spent ill, but time itself defined by illness.

Managing the Time Warp of Loss: Why Do They Want to Marry the Widow off?

When our parents die, no one tries to comfort us by saying, "You can love like this again with a new mother, new father, or a different grandparent.” Yet, with the loss of a spouse, people quickly start talking about a new companion, a new sexual partner, a new friend.

A Theme a Month for Hospitals

Being able to anticipate a theme over the course of a month guides us into deeper meaning and clarity.

Commonweal Cancer Help Program Alumni Circles

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We bring forth our most authentic selves, share what is most important, are present with our own and each other’s hearts, share joys and sorrows, and through this, do the soul work that feeds us most profoundly.

Healing Art Circle

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At St. Paul's Church in Houston, we explore self-discovery topics, such as emotions, stress, loss, strength, self-awareness, and transformation, by pairing them with specific art activities wrapped in healing circles.

Intentional Healing

Courtesy of Callanish

What Makes a Circle Healing?

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The only person who can accurately perceive a circle to be healing is the individual circle participant. Healing, as with pain, is what the person says it is.

Starting Commonweal and Healing Circles

 If it provides refuge, touches your heart, and guides you on your path, it is a healing circle.

What is Intentional Healing?

Intentional healing is the conscious sustained effort to enhance the healing process. Healing itself is natural. Intentional healing is a conscious strategy of supporting this natural healing process.

The Power of Story in Intentional Healing

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Our stories can readily become the most powerful guides we can find to intentional healing.

Social Support

Safety in Numbers: Five Circle Agreements

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For everyone in the circle to feel truly safe, the underlying assumption must be that everyone in attendance will honor the Circle Agreements, and that the Host and Guardian will be resolute in attending to them.
Courtesy of Callanish

What Makes a Circle Healing?

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The only person who can accurately perceive a circle to be healing is the individual circle participant. Healing, as with pain, is what the person says it is.

Through Healing Circles, Nurses Gain a Renewed Passion for Their Profession

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Nurses create circles of hope and healing each time they accept the invitation to be part of an intimate moment of a person’s life at birth, in illness, and at the moment of death. It is in this sacred space where nurses have the greatest opportunity to create environments of healing.

Catch and Release

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Catch-and-release is essentially what we do at Healing Circles Langley.

Dropping in for a Cup of Tea and a Circle of Two

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As humans, we are happier and healthier if we have someone to talk to when we need it. For people who are newly diagnosed, grieving, at a turning point, or simply needing to connect, we offer circles of two at Healing Circles Langley.

10 Tips for Getting Started

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How we got started at Healing Circles Langley feels like a miracle—outside of any norm we could have conceived. The right people showed up time and again to co-create, serve, and stretch us to do more. Capturing that process in ten tips seems…

The Healing Power of Love

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A terminal diagnosis led to 10 lessons on love and the start of Healing Circles Langley.

Asking Open and Honest Questions

Learning to respond to others with honest, open questions instead of counsel, corrections, and advice can be a life-altering practice.

The Circle is Big Enough

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A circle is big enough for all of us. For all parts of us. And for all stages of our life journeys.

Header photo courtesy of Callanish