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Circles, where you join as strangers and leave as sisters

I’m going to be honest with you, until December last year I’d never even heard of a Women’s Circles, and I certainly didn’t know what they were. Little did I know they had actually been around since pre-historic times in one way or another. Then one day on my social media someone I followed shared they were going to be doing the Sister Stories Circle Facilitation Course (with Gemma Brady). I was curious so I followed the link and there was something about it that caught my eye (you may say clever marketing) but there was something else. A promise of deeper connections and building a community with other women.

During Covid I missed the real meaningful interactions with others, especially with other women. I missed having my tribe around me, especially as I’d moved 100 miles away. I missed the conversations that cut through the superficial stuff and all similar BS. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a laugh over a glass of wine and to chat about anything from trashy TV, clothes, holidays, home life, etc. But I knew there was something missing, somewhere where I could talk and be really heard, without being judged or having to listen to other people’s opinions on what I should be doing.

When I first sat in a Women’s Circle as part of my facilitation course, I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited, nervous, curious, and unsure of what to expect or say. Would what I say sound silly, not be the right thing, too deep, not enough, would I speak too much or too little, the list went on. What I actually found was when I spoke, it gave me the chance to make sense of my thoughts and feelings. It didn’t matter if I had an actual point I was trying to articulate. I found the answers or insight I was looking for without the need for anyone else’s views and opinions. Having that space and opportunity was all I needed, the chance to hear it out loud and make sense of it for myself.

By the end of the circle, I knew it was what I had been looking for. At the end of each circle, it left me feeling calm, full of love and respect for the other women, grateful for the opportunity to share my story and hear other people’s stories, I felt inspired and empowered, valued and heard.

We had joined the circle as strangers, but left feeling connected and like we were part of this circle ‘sisterhood’. That somehow, even if we never saw each other again, there was these women who wanted the best for me and had my back, and I felt the same about them. Sitting in a women’s circle felt cathartic. It is really hard to explain, especially without sounding all ‘woo woo’.

What I liked about sitting in circle compared to other social gatherings was I could come just as I was. There was no pressure. It didn’t matter if I was having a bad day, feeling shitty, or that I didn’t feel great company. None of that mattered. All feelings and emotions were welcomed, from the highs to the lows, and all of the in between. It didn’t matter if I looked or dressed in a certain way. When I was feeling crappy was when I actually needed it the most, and I always felt better. I liked that I didn’t have to put on a brave face, or that there wasn’t any pressure to talk. That it was okay if I just sat and listened. This makes it all sound a bit dark, intense and serious, but it doesn’t feel like that. I’ve sometimes cried but nearly every time I have laughed in circle. The experience of the joy of being with other women.

For me circle is a celebration of women, where we can all come together and be seen and heard, a place to feel connected. Not so long-ago women often gathered, from washing their laundry together, to raising each other’s children (you know the saying it takes a village to raise a child). Nowadays, we’re all so busy and society can feel a bit disjointed. Circle is a chance to become part of a supportive community, whether it’s in person or online.

If you're curious about circle, I encourage you to come along. You don’t have to speak; you can just be present and listen. Feel free to reach out and we can have a chat beforehand and I can answer any questions you have.

My hope is that at The Feelings People’s Heart and Soul Circle, we are creating a space for you to feel accepted as you are, and that all your emotions are welcome. For you to speak your truth, to be heard and seen, knowing that whatever you share isn’t going to be spoken outside of the Circle. That space is for you.

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