Two weekends ago, I attended the first weekend of Circling Europe’s SAS-training.
Teachers John Thompson and Sean Wilkinson are my friends and colleagues, but I’ve felt drawn to taking them on as my teachers for six months, to learn everything I can from them.
This feels important for my own path of stepping into ever-deepening levels of humility and authentic studentship, but also for my continued collaboration with them (I want to study with all my closest collaborators).
I’m very used to taking on leader responsibility in Circling weekends; like there’s some sort of energy that rises in me to step in and facilitate and “hold the space”.
Moving in to this weekend, I was determined to let go of that, because it’s unsustainable and draining, and I suspect connected to some health challenges I’m experiencing.
I felt lots of really vulnerable and “young” emotions that weekend: Fear, loneliness, inadequacy etc. By day three, I found myself lying on the floor, fully drained (a familiar feeling to me).
I spoke hardly a word that whole third day. I laid next to John and Sean as they were teaching on things which I’m an expert in myself, and felt the desire rise in me again and again to step in and co-lead. But I didn’t. Somehow the impulse felt old, compulsive and tiring.
In the absence of my old way of contributing to a workshop space, I found myself feeling very “unimpressive”. And I trusted it.
Three days later, I picked up three men for my first Reclaim your Inner Throne intimate intensive. We headed towards a part of Norway I’ve never been before. As the distance between us and the city grew, I started getting happier and more alive. I take tremendous joy from experiencing new parts of the world, and it felt so good to get out of the city.
The thing which was unusual this time was that I was sitting in that car without a single plan in my head for what to do with these men. And it didn’t feel scary or irresponsible. More like an exciting adventure :)
It turns out I was headed for a breakthrough experience.
I let go of leading altogether. I simply showed up. I showed up as myself, with all my gifts and yearnings and flaws and talents. I rested when I needed, I slept as long as I needed, I went for a walk when I needed.
We had agreed that we were all committed to our personal leadership, and if a man needed something from me, he would ask. Trusting that this would happen, I let go of my old-paradigm fear-based leadership altogether (the fear of not trusting that reality will be okay without me managing it).
And inside this new paradigm, I would spontaneously offer teachings, spontaneously set up rituals, spontaneously Circle, spontaneously point out harmful behavioral patterns in the men, spontaneously bless them, all when it felt appropriate.
I would feel the need at times for more structured space, and I would set it up until the need had passed. And while my directionality was strong in moments of need, it felt fully like a co-creation where all the men were fully honored.
When I returned home on Sunday, I felt rested, peaceful and happy. And when I woke up the next day, I missed the men, and was sorry I was not “at work”.
This whole experience is pointing to something very new for me. I believe this is what John and Sean have been pointing to for a while (which I’m very grateful for), but it’s clear that I’m bringing my own flavour to it.
I want to write more on this soon. I want to speak with you about it, and co-discover this new paradigm together with you (if you have something to say already, do share below!).
I want to share the science that supports my experiences with you, and the research which confirms that this is a higher and more potent form of leadership.
But not yet.
Right now, it will suffice to share this video I recorded for you at the tail end of the retreat :)
An amazing weekend in the beautiful Norwegian mountains. The fresh air, the deep connection with nature and the intimate brotherhood let me explore a new spark of life deep inside.
I was accepted and challenged to see deep patterns that limit me in my life, and discovered an intense inner peace, deeper than anything I’ve ever felt.
I’ve also been supported to fully embrace my life purpose and feel a deep readiness to do what it takes.
– Nicolai Engebretsen