New Beginnings: The Importance of Circles (And Women’s Circles in Particular)

Last night I did a brave thing. I stepped outside my comfort zones. I made a new start.

Over a year ago now, (gosh, maybe its even been nearly two!) I signed up to be on a classes/events email list for the local yoga studio. The cost of attending was a bit prohibitive, despite my interest in yoga–you know for stretching and physical activity (a huge component of my life that is missing). Being of a more practical/analytical mindset these days, the overtly spiritual approach of this particular studio seemed less “relevant” to me. Still, I would read about the classes and special events with a kind of vague, indefinable longing. Not in any actionable way, mind you, just a general impression that it would be nice to have something like that in my life.

Eventually as my email box became cluttered, I cleaned house and unsubscribed from the list. I didn’t miss it. I only thought of it on the rare occasions that I walked by the studio on Main Street and was actually paying attention enough to notice it.

Then, a few months ago, for some odd reason, I started getting emails from them again. And for some other odd reason, it wasn’t an annoyance. So I kept receiving them. Frequently I just discarded them without even reading the contents. Which is exactly what happened on Wednesday of this week. Only there was this little voice in my head that said, “Ummmm, I don’t think you wanted to do that.” So I went back into my trash and retrieved the email.

It was a reminder that Sacred Circle Yoga was going to be starting up this coming Thursday and it would last for the next 6 weeks. I read the description. I was hooked.

When I was still living in Minneapolis, I took a leadership training course that was designed specifically for women in management. I don’t know what I had expected it to be, but I know I didn’t expect a powerful, supportive circle of women who were sincerely interested in being a part of my journey. What could have been just another dry, boring exploration in the challenges of being a woman and being a leader in a corporate environment became something decidedly other than that. And it all started with one woman being willing to be honest. Completely, refreshingly vulnerable and open. When she started talking, the whole dynamic of the group instantly gelled.

I don’t know how to describe it, but it felt as if all the instincts that have been celebrated in women for centuries and eons just flowed out of every one of us and we became a powerful entity. This is what a circle of women can do and be. Every Friday for a number of weeks, I left work and went to this safe place. It was about asking, what do I want? It was also about career, but it was more than that; it was about finding your purpose. It was intense and amazing and something that I had imagined having my whole life. The three women who led/anchored the group were so incredible, providing just enough support and structure while maintaining a necessary fluidity to let the group be and do what they needed to be and do.

The class ended, and despite our desire to keep it going, it really did feel that it was something that was for a time and a space. We lost touch. I moved away. People went on with their lives, but I never forgot. I had always known that circles of women could be powerful, but now I had proof.

I had this feeling then, as I do now, that I will somehow be involved in doing this with women. Bringing them together. Helping them create a sacred space to explore, grow, change, and challenge themselves. I don’t know how. I don’t know when. But it is a deep part of me. A part of me that I don’t regularly touch. But for the next five weeks, at least, I will.

The class was amazing and interesting and unfamiliar and not my standard MO these days. But I let go. I let myself fully participate. And you know what, parts of it reminded me of myself. Reminded me to remember myself. I’ve been walking around like a zombie for a week. This put me right back in my shoes, feet firmly planted on the ground. Aaaaaaaahhhhh. Good to be home.

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4 Responses to New Beginnings: The Importance of Circles (And Women’s Circles in Particular)

  1. kaizerin says:

    Funny, I was just musing about the human need for belonging on the drive to work today. A line in a song made me choke up a little: “If you ever lose your way, a butterfly will flap its wings, From a million miles away, a little miracle will come to take you home.” (Jonathan Coulton, “Mandelbrot Set”.) Yes, I’m an enormous dork, getting misty over a song about math, but there’s something so affecting about the idea you can never be so lost that you can’t find your way home. Even if it takes chaos theory to lead you back again.

    Your post makes me nostalgic for an all-women book club/study group/meditation circle I attended, also back in Mpls. It quickly became excatly the kind of laugh/cry/share-your-life safe space you’re describing. I’m glad you’ve found something like it again.

  2. CountessZ says:

    It is precisely because you *do* get misty over a song about math that endears you to me for eternity.

  3. CountessZ says:

    And also, isn’t it October 31st yet?

  4. kaizerin says:

    No, dammit; but it is coming! We’ve pretty well put paid to September. And a fine old September it was.

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