Women for centuries have gathered in circles to connect and share stories…
And yet this ancient past-time somehow got lost in the modern world (maybe somewhere between the invention of electric stoves and iPhones!). Rest assured, women’s circles seem to be making a come back and I’m so grateful that now is the time.
I vividly recall and hold dearly in my heart the feeling I had at the first women’s circle I attended some 7 years ago. It was while I was working my 9 to 5 (plus extra!) corporate job. I was confused with what to do with my career and flirting with what felt like a double life practising yoga (a lot!), attending workshops (on everything!), and escaping on retreat (frequently!).
My world was starting to crack open with new ways I could move through, express and be in it.
This particular women’s circle was within a retreat structure and when the time arrived for the men to dive into their men’s circle, the women nestled in for ours. Perhaps there were 8 men on the retreat; while meanwhile twenty-something women gathered in an intimate space. It felt sacred and mystical; sage was being burned and I sat on the floor eagerly and maybe a dash apprehensively. I felt so alive, on my growing edge, captured fully and curious about what would occur.
What occurred is nothing extraordinary; we just went around one by one sharing what was present for us in our lives right now, but what was extraordinary was the authenticity and vulnerability each woman shared with. I was seated two-thirds into the circle and got to feel and witness the circle deepen as it progressed. By the time it was my turn my heart was burst open, voice quivering, eyes watering. Personal stories of struggle, beliefs and dreams told by one was felt by all. Emotions stirred, and compassion and connection sparked with the healing realisation, ‘I am not alone’.
“I feel it in myself and see it in others how easy it is to get consumed and swallowed up by our own circumstances; feeling like we’re alone, the weight of the world on our shoulders, the only person on the planet going through something; yet by sharing in circle we get to remember the undeniable truth…”
When it comes down to it, we are all human.
I’m beginning to realise that there is no by-passing of anything. I’m pretty certain we will all come to know of love and loss, confusion and clarity, powerlessness and confidence at some point or another. There is no end to the twists and turns, the ways in which life will unfold.
A women’s circle is a place where we’re reminded that all is welcome. Our voices are welcome, our messiness, our imperfections. We support each other; without words or advice, but by simply, and powerfully, holding space for one another. The invisible walls of separation get dismantled and in the potent words of Ram Das, we receive the felt remembrance ‘we are all just walking each other home’.
It’s not about a quick-fix, or any fix really. No answers are given; instead, each woman is heard, seen, and held in safe space, for her to access her own strength and wisdom. It’s a time and space where we can tenderly hold space for the triumphant moments in the same way we hold space for each other in the tumultuous moments.
I am so honoured, humbled and excited to offer the healing space of Women’s Circle’s at Living Flow Yoga (also known as Lunar Ladies). Held over 2-hours, the evening is a blend of yoga, movement, a ritual or journal/art activity and sharing. The yoga/movement aspect is key so rather than our energy getting pulled up into the head and thinking our way through the circle we can inhabit our bodies; sit heavily through the pelvis with a body that’s open and receptive to feel.
Expect a candle lit atmosphere, abundant props for your comfort, essential oils, a nature mandala in the centre of the circle, dark chocolates and luscious berries. The invitation at the beginning of each circle is to lean into the guidance of some simple principals, which I curated for myself but you might find helpful also. It’s here we call upon the acronym for the mystically mundane, SOCK 😉 Here’s why….
Accept your experience. The more we can meet and hold what we’re experiencing the more we can accept others.
Remain open and let go of any judgements.
Be curious as you explore the process.
Keep it real
You don’t need to look or sound a certain way to fit in. For example, letting go of looking good is a biggie for me! This is a reminder to be authentic and honest.
The humble and healing space of a women’s circle can be considered a microcosm of the larger microcosm of our lives, so embracing these principles in a safe space is a wonderful way to encourage ourselves to move from this compassionate, curious place every day.
Let’s take this time for ourselves, to reconnect and remember. Lunar Ladies is frequently integrated with the lunar cycle and as such a potent time to drop into the depths of our being to retrieve the wisdom that is within us. Stay tuned for future events. I do hope you can join me.