OUR WORLD Excerpt from The Sacred Ego: Making Peace with Ourselves and Our World by Jalaja Bonheim Relational Education I “Profession?” demands the application form that will, I hope, lead to the renewal of my Green Card. hesitate. I could say that I’m a Circlework leader, but who has ever heard of such a thing? I call my friend Margot. “What should I say?” I know I can always count on her for a laugh. And indeed, without missing a beat she says, “Tell them you’re a high priestess.” Hearing my merriment, she relents. “Okay, okay, maybe that’s not such a great idea. Tell them you’re a public and leadership trainer.” This would be true. But in the end I pick up my pen and write in big bold letters: “Relational Educator.” Whoever processes my application probably won’t know what that means any more than she’ll know what Circlework is. Perhaps, though, she ’ll get the general idea that I help people create healthy, fulfilling relationships—with themselves, with others, and with the planet. The cliché has it that outer peace flows from inner peace. It’s true, but I don’t think it’s the whole truth. Some people are perfectly peaceful as long as you leave them to their own devices. But ask them to maintain peaceful relationships with others and they flounder—not because they’re innately incapable of relating well, but because they never received the relational education that would allow them to do so. 54 | NEW CONSCIOUSNESS REVIEW Initially, I didn’t think of my work as educational because it bears so little resemblance to what typically goes on in our schools. In my circles we never sit at desks and rarely work with books. You’re more likely to find us dancing, meditating, telling stories, or walking through the woods.