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Big News 🗞 Practice Name Change + The Relateful Company

circleanywhere circling circling federation lineage relateful relatefulness the circling™ method the relateful company Feb 23, 2023

We are excited to announce our new name: The Relateful Company.

You'll see stuff changing throughout the next month. We're also going to invite y'all to be involved! (more on that soon)

The team behind CircleAnywhere is renaming our practice to relatefulness in order to make it easier for people to understand and appreciate the benefits of mindfulness in relationships. We see this as an opportunity to clarify the practices:

  • Emphasis on truth, love, and awareness in addition to the established emphasis on relating
  • Evolutionary and permeable nature that allows for communal learning and growth
  • Non-dual source and orientation
  • Honoring of ancient lineages and acknowledgment of modern influences

Creating a new word also opens up a new field of exploration, and the team invites participation in defining and pushing the boundaries of what it means to be relateful. We aim for relatefulness to become so commonplace that there will be no need for any training company to uniquely point to it.

Here's a little more about each of these points:

1. Move towards more love

Presence isn’t directionless; it’s creative. Being is becoming, and becoming is being. 

We see this as a chance to weave truth, love, awareness as directions into the heart of the practice (in addition to the well-established emphasis on relating). We’re participating in a movement toward a better world, where better includes each individual’s own values. 

This clarity keeps us from going in endless circles (lol) of self-indulgence. It also balances radical self-responsibility with radical care, where the heart’s movement to love another person is held in innocence, wonder, and curiosity, which then allows for inquiry into other motivations.


2. Define the practice as evolutionary.

Relatefulness isn’t static. The process itself is in process—learning and growing in contact with the people who practice and lead it, cultural contexts and ecology of practices it is embedded in, changed by and changing.

This is a chance to clearly define the boundaries of the practice as permeable and evolutionary, which honors more fully the wide ecology of practices that we interpenetrate with. This helps us communally learn from everyone, admit our mistakes and work on our collective shadows to be healthier, more open-hearted, and less egotistical in ourselves and as guides to those who come after us.


3. Participate in creating a new field

By creating a new word, we are pointing to something that already exists for all of us in awareness, but often goes unnamed. Naming it we open a new field of exploration that y’all are co-creating with us!

There’s a ton of room for you all to be involved in exploring, defining, and pushing the boundaries of what it means to be relateful. This doesn't mean “anything goes”. Eg: After thousands of years of practice, Nursing emerged as a profession in the mid-19th century (go Florence Nightingale), and then it grew into what it is today. Naming infinity let's us play with it and develop it in unique and creative ways.


4. "Non-Dual" / Divine source and orientation

This is famously and categorically difficult to talk about, but we want to speak more openly and honestly about orienting beyond the individual, while fully embracing it. There's a feeling of transcending the small self that many of you reading this will be familiar with, feeling connected to the whole of being, through a whole-hearted loving yes to what’s here—where here includes the whole of existence and non-existence as it gets experienced through the subjectivity you claim as your own.


5. Honoring Ancient Lineages

This practice has vast roots that reach back through history to the timeless, where humans have been sitting in circles around a fire and connecting about what matters to them since... before we were homo sapiens? We are opening the legacy to honor this wider lineage directly, and acknowledge how many different people and practices have done similar things that have influenced us, with and without our even knowing about it! We invoke their influence every time we practice.

In other words, we'll admit that we're both unique and not as special as we think! This is less sexy from an ego standpoint, and seems harder to market, but it’s much more honest, sustainable, nourishing and supportive. 


6. Honoring the Modern Legacy

CircleAnywhere, the Austin Circling Studio, and the programs I’ve personally created came out of my own roots in Integral Theory, A Course in Miracles, a degree in religious studies and a decade of intensive meditation practice, and even jamming as a musician before I had ever heard of “Circling”.  In recent years the way I've evolved and applied relatefulness is heavily influenced by "Rationality", especially in contact with the cultures around CFAR, MIRI, and Topos Institute.

The other major facilitators stand on similarly diverse shoulders of giants, who themselves harken back to contemporary and ancient pioneers of wisdom. We’ve all shaped and been shaped by this history, some more than others.

AND, we share a whole lot with circling! We’re grateful to Guy Sengstock, the founder and creator of the Circling™ Method, for graciously blessing us to call what we’re doing something different despite the clear overlap and influence.


7. Honoring Pioneers of this Particular Practice

The practices of Flow, Focus, Fundamentals, Speed Focus, the soon-to-be-renamed Flow Sandwich, the communities we spearhead in Austin, Latin America, and Online, have all been shaped much more profoundly by our team than the Circling™ Method, so it feels wonderful and right to give them more direct credit. From Level Up ⬆️ , to the Life Coach Training, to the Flow Course, to individual coaching and mentorship, to community leadership and translation, both in modeling and explicitly teaching what this practice is, the following pioneers have an outsized impact that we now get to directly honor:

Valerie Daniel, Michael Blas, Philip Watson, Liz Watson, Annabeth Novitzki, Fabiola Romero, Renée Ryerson, Jayne Jones, Shara Chawkin, Kageni Pierce, Marysia Pstrokońska, Pete Michaud, and David Swedlow.

Chad Phillips tirelessly cultivated the online space that allowed us to build a truly global practice ecoystem for over five years with groundbreaking video conferencing technology, from our initial beta launch in 2014 until our switching to Zoom.

The word "relatefulness" itself comes from Anna Werme.

The current team of facilitators is actively in the process of creating, transforming, and defining relatefulness, and you'll be seeing more of their views and influence orienting us as we transition. Look out for and big acknowledgements to—Adam Sippola, Alex Perrone, Amber Williams, Ben Poliakoff, Blake Borgeson, Brian Raszap Skorbiansky, Christina Tonan, Dagny Hov, Dara Harmon, Ellyn Kacy, Enrique Fernandez, James Dial, Joel Harrison, Jason Gross, Jason Minnix, JJ Kovacevich, Josefine Röding, Kedar Shashidhar, Ladaun Jackson, Lisa Lapan, Lisa Rombach, Luc Schoot, Lucie Baudon, Peter Park, Renshin Lee, Shane Orton, Stephanie Hagemeister, Stephanos James, Stephanie Payor, Tess Wegier, Thea Kremser, Toby, Tristana Pirkl, Viktoria Karlsson, & Will Jefferson.

There are many others who have been part of the journey as it's unfolded, and I apologize to any of you who have been crucial in our development but remain unnamed! 


8. “Relatefulness” is so common our company retires

We dream of a future where being relateful is so commonplace that there’s no need for any training company to uniquely point to it. Like politeness today, future parents model relatefulness with their children because it’s such an essential part of humans being. This aim keeps us grounded and connected to the wider world, reminds us that our way is one many ways, and keeps us connected to a vision that transcludes our individuality, our company, and our community.


Questions about Terminology

Much of the Nomenclature will emerge and evolve organically. As Ellyn said recently, "Relatefulness isn’t yet defined, it's emerging, and we are all “emerging it” together. There’s co-creative discovery and an energetic movement away from doctrinated definition, even while we all simultaneously aim to stay true to some essence of what the practices hold".

This is what we’ve got so far:

Level Up Certified → Certified Relateful Facilitator
Coaching Course → Certified Relateful Life Coach
Focus Circle → Focus Session, Focus circle with a lowercase 'c' (already transitioned), or Relateful focus
Flow Circle → Flow Session, Flow circle with a lowercase 'c' (already transitioned), Relateful flow, let's flow, etc.
Circling → Relatefulness, "that thing The Relateful Company does"
“Let’s Circle!” → let's... “be relateful” / “practice relatefulness” “do the relateful thing,” "flow," connect relatefully etc. (evolving / organic)
A Circle → A session (eg: "at today's session") / circle (eg: "Ok let's break out into four focus circles")
“Circler” → Facilitator / Focuser

We're excited to continue exploring what it means to be relateful, and we hope you'll join us on this journey.


All the love always,

The Relateful Company (formerly The CircleAnywhere team)


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