About Outside Circle
Since the release of the documentary, The Work, in 2017 which detailed what it’s like to participate in an Inside Circle intensive within prison, many have asked how they can experience what they witnessed on screen for themselves. We quickly learned that we can’t take everyone into the chapel at Folsom Prison where it was filmed so we formed Outside Circle where you can sit down in circle with the same men who transformed their lives within those concrete walls.
What we’ve found since we began offering these events in 2019 is that while the conditions are not nearly as difficult, real connection, real healing, and real transformation are possible in a community setting. We’ve also found that everyone needs this work, now more than ever.
Open to all – women, men, and the gender non-conforming from all walks of life – these events bridge social chasms and take us beyond what is commonly thought of as mens work or women’s circles.
We confront prejudice, bias and fear of all forms, along with deep sorrow and unrelenting anger. We confront it all and like our work on the inside with rival gangs, we find that we are not so different on an emotional level and that this courage to sit in what we spend most of our time avoiding is rewarded with critical insights and yes, love – the most transformational ingredient there is.
At Outside Circle I developed an awareness of how I short-change myself due to a shame I no longer need to carry…an awareness of how much fear I have let go of and an awareness of my inner “kind” wanting to direct more of my life. This event was exceptional.
I saw proof that undefended emotional honesty and unconditional love is possible in even the darkest of places and is, in fact, one of the world’s most valuable salves.
Outside Circle was a beautiful experience.…Words can’t even express how grateful I am…all the way back to the participants in the very first Inside Circle. I had never done deep personal work in a co-gender/gender non-conforming circle before. I received a huge piece of healing around father wounds, I experienced judgment-free compassion, not pity(!), and respect from men. I felt really safe with them. It was a gift to feel such deep love and compassion for these people I’d never met before. It was a privilege to bear witness to men being vulnerable and raw, to be able to support them in that, and to receive the same from them… I was humbled and honored by the time, intention, and thoughtfulness that my group put into its development. I felt resounding respect and love toward the men who have been incarcerated and are now so bravely working on not only their own healing, but generously contributing to the healing of others….By all of us contributing to each other’s healing, we can make the world a better and safer place for all.