Healing circles hit the road

Nina and Cynthia

Nina Burrowes and Cynthia Ellis have taken healing circles on the road, where they visit survivor networks and places of healing in the UK.

Nina says: We’ve chosen to use circle as a way of holding space around a painful, raw, and important question: How do people heal from injustice after sexual harm or relationship abuse?

We feel that circle is a safe and powerful container for those conversations. We’ve seen how circle has helped people feel heard, made space for the wisdom that can be held in those moments of silence, and helped people shift in their focus.

As a feminist I also see circle as an intrinsically feminist process—we sit together as peers, asking questions rather than seeking the “right” answers, and make space for a different way of relating to ourselves, each other, and the issue we’re centering. Feminism feels fractured, fragmented, and divided these days as the field struggles to grow and accommodate change.

We’ve found that circle can be one of the few safe ways to come together, and I hope it can be one of the tools that helps us navigate this moment in time as we struggle to sit with our differences. As a former academic, I love how circle is providing a process for gathering “wisdom” around an unexplored topic. I’m enjoying the challenge of harvesting as a form of data collection. I feel that circle will help that wisdom to emerge in a space that otherwise may be dominated by opinions and more surface-level thoughts that may be easier to measure, but further from the essence of what we’re trying to explore.