” The invisible power of women’s circles on the women in them grows out of the power that people have on one another, which is extraordinary.
Anyone’s self-esteem, accomplishment, development of talent, has to do with whether we have been listened to and valued, loved for ourselves, encouraged and supported to do what we believed we could do.
When there is psychological or practical support for making a significant change, change is more likely to happen. That others believe in us, or have the same perspective we have, or are role models, has a powerful and invisible effect.
The power to resist the collective comes from being in a small circle with like-minded others. It allows us to keep on in the face of ridicule or opposition that we don’t know what we are talking bout, or don’t belong wherever it is that we want to be.” (Jean Shinoda Bolen)
Who are the people in your life who listen to
and value what you say and who you are?
We all need someone(s) to bear witness when we are struggling, changing, suffering, confused, wondering, seeking.
I am adept at managing and trying to wind my way through challenges independently and what I’ve discovered is that when I really NEED help…it would be better if I would actually stop being so independent. This is a sign I’ve fallen into a well-worn adaptive pattern.
My early childhood years were a bit chaotic (and full of love) and what it meant is I learned not to depend on the grown-ups around me. I learned to try to support myself, work it out myself, lean on myself. It was ever so much easier to just lead my life by myself.
It really works for me even now that I know better!
It exhausts me, frustrates me and leaves me without access to the ease I really crave in my life.
I recall learning from the world around me that women’s circles were a bit scary because the women in them were scary to my young self. Many of the women in my family didn’t have the ability to effectively interact with someone as sensitive as my very young girl self.
In my 20’s, while working as a classroom teacher, I had the opportunity to experience circles of women in my profession. They were a bit scary to me too. I found safety in becoming a leader in this world. I didn’t really like depending on these women though. They were not the kind of social circle that encouraged creativity or risk-taking or soft, tender heart-opening work.
I avoided circles of women for decades.
I learned that I prefer private counselling when I’m struggling.
I won’t share my vulnerabilities as freely with a group.
And that’s ok.
As an older adult, I’ve been fortunate to discover there are lovely, encouraging, supportive, beautiful women’s circles.
And I take part when I feel called.
I offer to lead or co-lead circles in my own home. This is possible now because of a business I ran for 20 years.
In the 1990’s, I opened a music and movement school for babies and children. I became the queen of a tiny kingdom. It was wonderful!
I had the huge blessing to have facilitated thousands of circles with moms and dads and their infants and young children through my music and movement work at Musicalia.
This was ever so much safer than being with JUST women.
There was a kind of safety in this work that can really only exist when we all have a single focus on our younger generation and everyone is offering respect to one another.
This looked like softer gazes, a willingness to forgive, a willingness to try harder to understand and feel compassion for others and leading these groups I could feel that flow and connection between the members of every class. I was able to call that out in so many people because of the social/energetic containers or structures I created for the families.
These small groups of 8 families or less, allowed us all to resist collectives at schools, in the parking lot, on the parent advisory boards, in our extended families and in the outer community.
Time spent weekly with these like-minded folk, gave us all a shared sense of the importance of kindness and cooperation as we sang, talked, danced and played music.
This would never have been possible without the nurturing care of my own counsellors. Taking the time to heal my own heart in therapy during my 20’s and 30’s helped me to grow up. It helped me to grow into the kind of person who could hold space for others.
I think I would affectionately be referred to as “the wounded healer”…someone who has sustained deep emotional wounding and done the inner work to become a safe haven for others searching to heal their own inner wounds.
Maybe you are in the process of healing inner wounds or wish there was a safe place for you to bring light to those shadowy places inside. If that’s you, I have created a healing space designed for the exact purpose. It’s called Breathing Space.
Read more about Breathing Space here
I invite you to contact me for an initial conversation.
AFT is a step-by-step process using essential oils to trigger a permanent shift in how we experience ourselves and the world.
AFT is a tool for clearing traumatic memory. AFT is a tool for clearing blocks, negative memories and stressful memories. You do not have to believe in the process for it to work and be effective.
Introducing the aroma of specific essential oils at the right point in the process of recall can break apart this memory complex and thereby restructure the implicit learning connected with the memory. Results are consistent with the most recent research on Memory Reconsolidation.
How does it work? We use beautiful, healing essential oils as part of the healing process because essential oils affect the memory centers of the brain extremely quickly.
Memories that are stressful or traumatic are stored based on the feeling of the event, not on the details of the event. The memory is stored as a complex of images/thoughts/feelings/body sensations. Our emotional learning is based on this memory complex. When specific essential oils are used at the right point in the process of recall, they can break apart a memory complex and restructure your connection with the memory.
Our conscious mind makes assumptions. Our conscious mind assumes that the memory creating stress or trauma is the one we consciously present. This isn’t always the case. With AFT we allow the unconscious mind to access our memories and present us with the events we may have forgotten or have not connected with our current concern.
AFT is an amazing tool to use as part of intuitive counselling. We honor what arises in each session regardless of what it is. Sometimes the events that are recalled seem unrelated but it’s the energetic imprint of that event we are healing.
I had already lived out and created my big dream.
I recently realized that the gap between where I am now and my big dream was that I didn’t think the next dream could be BIG.
I’d already created something truly impactful and huge that consumed me body mind and soul…for many years.
What I finally figured out was to be ok with leaving the other dream behind and creating a new dream. To fall in love with a new dream and my new life and a new way of moving through my days.
To fall in love with a new dream is to be committed enough to being in that limnal space studying, practicing, meditating, visualizing….dreaming.
Remembering how to dream.
Knowing, also, as even the scientific world attests, that we are apart of an interconnected universe, in which the smallest movement of a butterfly’s wing could actually have an effect on the whole system, I can imagine that each of us generates ripples of influence through who we are, what we do whether we love and if we pray and that someday we shall know.
(Jean Shinoda Bolen)
People who can access friendships during times of transformation and tumult, experience greater resilience. And it only takes one friend.
I’ve been so lucky! I’ve had a handful of friends this year who have listened to me, called, texted, messaged, skyped, prayed, imagined, laughed and laughed and laughed and sat quietly and taken it all in. They’ve just been present and that presence has increased my balance and made it possible to quietly move forward.
They haven’t been the friendships I’ve nurtured in the last 15 years either.
They have been super old ones from childhood and high school. And super new baby ones from my new life as an intuitive life coach.
Fascinating. (to me)
I was in the midst of a series of posts on resilience when my own life rose up in a huge distracting way and I needed to put all my mental, emotional, spiritual, financial resources toward facilitating this HUGE shift. Reserves of resilience were required.
There is soooo much research now on this topic from studying survivors + thrivers of the various holocausts around the world, survivors of abuse, survivors of extreme challenges, thrivers in business.
Dr. Borysenko says knowing the Map of the Territory (3 stages) is helpful in navigating your own life challenges and impending transformations. Sounds simple, right?
1. First you die to who you were.
It’s understanding that whether it’s an illness or a life challenge, you realize you are no longer who you were and you have yet to become who you will be.
For me, I had to die to the idea that my marriage and home life were workable. That life was clearly over. That dream died. Quickly. Unexpectedly. Once I accepted this I moved and took charge completely of creating a new beginning.
2. The Limnal Phase.
Be patient with the unknown. You are at a threshold of a new life. You are living in the time between no longer and not yet and you can’t rush through. You have lessons to learn.
So much of the last 3 years of my life felt limnal. Who was I after closing my children’s music school? Will I be able to successfully work as an intuitive life coach with my new training? Who am I without all the people and activities that kept my life in place?
Even though this crumbling of my marriage really should logically require time in the limnal phase, I feel that walking away from that world was right at the edge of my limnality.
3. The Return to Life.
This is where you come back to life. You return with a soul that is deeper, more compassionate and wiser.
I’ve moved back to the city. I’m back in the throes of the energies of a more urban life. Back at the gym. Meeting new people. I’m starting to imagine my life beyond all my losses of the last few years. I still rest more than I used to. But my appetite is returning. I’m cooking. I’m beginning to create in my art studio. I’m playing with my favorite folk orchestra again.
It’s a beginning. I’m juuust on the edge of my new life. Not always happily. Yet.
Not always able to not look back. Still I’m not imagining that old life will return. It’s over. I have a new home. I’ve accepted that many friendships will not travel with me into my new life. I’ve been shocked to discover some childhood friendships are the strongest ones in my life. I’ve leaned on them with gratitude.