“When people live in a culture that has forgotten its relationship to mystery, a number of things go awry. We cease to regard life as sacred because we don’t hear it described this way. We forget we are the sisters and brothers of all life because we are told we are the “masters” of creation. We revel in fantasies of specialness, and are tormented by our sense of isolation. And having lost our understanding that center serves as our point of interaction with the sacred, we fill the hole with substitutions. In modern culture, these substitutions include status, class, ethic and racial divisions, celebrity, violence and personal power.” ~Christina Baldwin, Calling the Circle
If you’re a woman, do you ever wonder why you seek someone to speak to whenever you feel down or stressed? If you’re a man, do you ever wonder why the women in your life just love to speak to their girlfriends all the time?
Research during the lates 90s and early 2000 has indicated that women have a “tend and befriend” response to stress. This is rooted in our innate survival instincts to protect our young and do so with our community of women (we did live in tribes during the hunter-gatherer times).
While the men in our lives are conditioned to protect so they will do this with the other men to ensure the survival of their women and children.
Though our way of living and communities have greatly changed in our modern times, we still have these innate instincts and mechanisms within our bodies in response to modern stressors. (Why do you think the men in your lives love to look for solutions for your problems?)
Unfortunately, in Western societies and with the call to provide the best care for our families, we’ve had to relocate away from our “original tribes” and have found ourselves to be greatly isolated. And though we wish to have support around us, it takes time to build connection and “find our people” so to speak.
This is where Women’s Circles fill the hole that we seek. These are “structured” to provide a safe and nurturing space. Participants agree to a set of principles at the start of the circle and the Facilitator ensures this is upheld.
But what if you’re not a mum yet, how will a Women’s Circle fill you up?
A Women’s Circle fosters a sense of belonging as well as being a natural way to release stress from everyday life. When this happens, you start to cultivate feel-good hormones that would continually support the positive emotions that are developed within you in circle.
Circling is something that has been practiced by native cultures since the beginning of time, has been lost in the modern world, and is now slowly re-emerging because it brings genuine CONNECTION in a divisive and disconnected world.
It holds the sacred in its centre and ties all its participants with love and compassion, which in itself is a reflection of the sacredness within you.
Circle naturally brings healing where needed because here, you are seen, heard and felt simply and wholly as you are. No one will fix you or ask you to be anyone than who you truly are.
On a physical level, a women’s circle is one avenue through which you can cultivate more oxytocin, popularly known as the “love hormone.” This hormone has been known to produce a calming effect on women and can combat fear and anxiety.
How I see that in our modern day is that the more stressed we women are, the more we are actually in need of connection. Our biology calls for it.
Why join a Women’s Circle?
Rumi stated it very well…
“You are searching the world for treasure but the real treasure is yourself.”
Plug in! You’re already connected to everything external to you. But are you connected to YOU?
Reconnect to those parts of yourself you feel you have lost or disowned, but know that they’re always there.
They’re your potential.
They’re your innate capabilities.
They’re what light you up.
They’re what you draw strength from. They’re what make you say, “This is who I truly am.” Why do this with a group of women?
Because the energy of the group supports you in exploring any uncomfortable areas.
Because each woman’s story will tell you you’re not alone.
Because the practices help you normalise what your actual experience is.
Because you can more easily hear and/or develop the capacity to hear your inner wisdom in a safe and sacred space.
What are the flow-on effects?
You’ll feel lighter in your heart and clearer in your head.
You’ll experience what feeling supported is like and start to distinguish this in your relationships.
You start to get more comfortable with being vulnerable in your close relationships; the effects of which is improving intimacy.
People will start to feel safe around you.
You become more comfortable in expressing yourself.
What to expect in a Women’s Circle I run…
A space that puts you first.
I create it so you can bring your energy back in. After all, you already put so much energy and time to looking after others and/or pursuing the many goals you have in life.
We start with a Meditation to tune in with self and become present. Then we each “take our place” in circle with a short intro of why we each joined circle.
Together, we hold the circle as a safe and sacred space. Each of our energies, intentions and shared wisdom contributes to the healing that takes place for each of us. Though we are each unique, we have similar challenges.
I would then facilitate the different parts of the Circle’s theme for you to dig deep, explore your edges, become clear of your desires and set your intention. This is done through somatic exercises, conscious journalling, creative visualisation, and meditation.
There will be conscious sharing, not usually about the details of your story, but more a chance for you to unearth your wisdom or simply allow yourself to be witnessed in your current experience.
I usually end circle with an intention setting, one that you’ll take with you and not just forget.
Because I also create circle for conscious change.
In these challenging modern times, isolating yourself will only continue to breed depression, the constant mental loop of worry, and staying stuck.
Allow yourself to start opening to life.