Caution: There will be some Truth-Telling and vulnerability in this article. It may not be comfortable.
Every day I hear directly and see posts from women looking for their tribe, looking for deeper connections with other women, something beyond Mom’s Night Out, and Networking events. They are yearning for more, they want to share and connect, be vulnerable, and be witnessed.
BUT THAT IS SCARY AS HELL!
Let me paint the picture, because I have been there many times. You get invited to a women’s circle or gathering that is intended to be deeper than just a social event, there is probably not any wine being served, just tea and chocolate. You are curious, you may even RSVP yes wanting to know what a women’s circle is all about, and then the day of the event arrives. Now you are wondering, what is a women’s circle? Are we going to get all woo-woo and dance naked in the moonlight? The anxiety sets in about walking into a room full of women you don’t know, and actually be expected to share something personal about yourself. And you worry that you will be judged, or God forbid you will cry in front of strangers. What if I have to hug a stranger? You think of a million other things on your to-do list and you decide not to go.
DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
It is to me, I have been there many times. It takes a lot of courage to walk into a room full of women you don’t know, and to not know what to expect from a women’s circle. Our brains are wired to make decisions from past experiences and from the evidence we have collected. And most of us have evidence of being judged, wounded and having our trust betrayed by other women. It is called the Sisterhood wound, and there are women’s circles forming every day, all over the world with the intent on bringing those wounds to light and healing them so we can create circles of trust and love with each other. Because that is what the world needs right now. We need to step out of the shadows of isolation because we are not alone. The joy, happiness, as well as, the obstacles, pain, and suffering is something we all have as experiences. In a women’s circle, we bring these things to light, witness each other, and when we know we share more in common than we have differences we begin to heal.
So I would like to address JUDGEMENT and why a women’s circle is different than a social gathering. The role of a women’s circle facilitator is to create a safe and sacred container for women to gather and share. We generally pick a theme and a discussion and sharing exercises based on the cycles of nature and the issues our particular circle is working through. We set up a confidential and JUDGEMENT-FREE zone. Can we promise there will be no judgments in the hearts and minds of the women? No, we can’t. But here is what normally happens in a circle especially over time.
A.) If a woman is holding a judgment about herself or another woman, over time she begins to realize that other women are just mirrors of herself, she begins to explore her inner landscape, love herself deeply and fully, and the walls begin to crumble, the judgments slowly melt away, trust ensues. This takes courage and time.
B.) If a woman is fearful of being judged or judging herself, over time she begins to realize that other women are just mirrors of herself, she begins to explore her inner landscape, love herself deeply and fully, and the walls begin to crumble, the judgments slowly melt away, trust ensues. This takes courage and time. She also begins to give zero effs about what other people think of her, because she loves herself deeply, all the parts of her.
Do you notice that in either case THE EXACT same thing begins to happen? Loving, trusting, sharing, being vulnerable happens when we come together with the intention of learning and growing and getting to know ourselves on a deeper level, and to begin to release any wounding we have around spending time with other women in a meaningful way.
I would love to hear from you, privately or publically on your experiences, fears, or any other questions you may have about women’s circles. I am always an email away. firstname.lastname@example.org