Women, Circles, & Taking Care of Us
One Sunday, a few months ago, I had my second experience in a women’s circle. It began as an invitation to spend time with a friend and all of her friends. A time for just women to be together. To talk, eat, and be surrounded by love, judgement-free, beauty. In my past, I would’ve found a reason not to go as I’ve lived with extreme anxiety most of my life. Also, I have two young kids that would prevent me from experiencing something like this. I’m sure many of you can understand that one. In the last few years, though, my anxiety and my family’s neediness has steadily melted away like snow covered trees thawing on an unexpected spring day in the middle of winter.
This particular day felt so good to me. In less than common fashion, I hired one babysitter to cover two hours and another to cover another two hours. I thought I would go for a bit and then have some alone time to work on my book. My husband travels a whole lot and I don’t make a whole lot of time to be with friends. Even though I wasn’t sure I’d even know anybody, I was really excited to go and connect with other women.
The beautiful, rainy Sunday afternoon in Portland, OR felt and looked magical. A steady stream of about 40 women, quietly stepped into a bath of calm. All of us have in common, a beautiful friend who is going through a tremendous amount of hardship. However, this friend welcomed us into her haven of wellness. Our friend is a yogi, a spiritual goddess, a person who truly thinks before she speaks and always from her heart. She’s a gift.
Nearly a year ago, I went to my first gathering of hers. It was to celebrate Capricorns. There were women of all astrological signs, though, and the purpose was to celebrate each other in a spiritual circle of love, no judgement, and inner peace. I sang my first song as a part of a women’s circle that night. I had no idea what was going on and how I fit into it all. Nonetheless, my heart swelled, my eyes watered, and I was lifted by the voices of women.
I spent the following months practicing more yoga, meditation, helping myself to be more grounded, taming my anxiety, and clearing negativity from my soul. All of my work made me feel lighter, happier, and able to handle stress better.
So, on this Portland Sunday in December, I was prepared for goodness to unfold. I stepped out of my car and I drifted in a dream-like state to my friend’s meditation house. It stands beyond the main house, past a heated pool, hot tub, cold plunge, and next to a sauna. Big, tall Pacific Northwest trees line the property, along with green landscaping and meditative fountains. It felt like I was sitting in a dream; on a cloud. Honestly, though, it could’ve been in a camping tent and the feeling wouldn’t have changed.
The husband and wife have worked so hard in their professional lives. They retired early but now are faced with a terminal illness. I found it astonishing that my friend could offer such a space to connect with friends when her heart is breaking.
The scenery was glorious but the company took my breath away. We mingled for a bit and then sang a song as one. I fought back my tears. I thought to myself, why is this something that I am just now discovering?
I wanted to share this with all of my friends. I wanted to call them up in that moment and have them be a part of it. I wanted my mom there. Everyone needs to feel this.
The singing ended and I wanted more, but before I knew it my four hours had passed and I needed to get home to my sweet boys.
When my joyful kids had full tummies and tired bodies, I brought them to bed and I sat with my experience. This women’s circle was familiar to a handful of woman in the room. I wondered how this came to be. How? When? Why am I just learning about this now? What if I had experienced something like this years ago? I think my life would be different.
Women’s circles have been alive since the beginning. We are a naturally communicative, compassionate, and intuitive sex, but society has tried to prevent women from gathering since we began. But, of course, we persisted. The feminine rising has always been and will always be no matter how much torture or falsification is put upon us.
From Native Americans to Celtic Women, women’s circles have been built, torn down, and rebuilt. Stories and advice are shared. Warm hugs are given. Eyes of ‘I know what you’re going through’ are expressed.
Luckily today, women’s circles are embraced. Circles provide a chance to build community and to become, in a judgement-free space. They aren’t everywhere but it’s time to hold these sacred circles more and more. Not just for women, but for everyone.
We need to create space for us to grow together, help one another, and share our experiences to help heal each other. How? There are books, articles, and women’s circles to learn from to start your own. Be the one to bring people together in a healing, supportive environment.