Many women, including myself, yearn for a daily conversation with the divine and a more consistent, heart-felt path to meet God/Goddess then offered by more typical, weekly, male-based religions. This is not to say that those faith based groups hold no value or power- they do… and sometimes, so much so, that we as women stop listening to the “still small female voice” within that whispers: connect, connect, listen, love, hug, feed, nurture. All of these things are felt daily and feel quite divine to women, and yet we have no spiritual point of reference for them except perhaps sitting once a week far removed from a spiritual leader that, for many of us, we cannot even relate to.
Where in our religious training were we taught to deeply listen to each other without judgment or agenda? Where were we taught to hold one another and nurture each other’s spiritual calling and creativity? Where were we taught to converse with the divine each day, even in the darkest moments, in ritual in our own homes?
The sacred spiral, the circle, the dance of the divine feminine, is the daily flow of a woman’s life. She wakes and, perhaps, has only a quiet moment to connect with source. She may wake up to a crying babe, a lover yearning for her attention, a pet needing to potty or be fed, or a call from work in which she is needed ASAP. Women have always possessed the gift of multi-tasking, but how often do we allow our own individual expression of divine connection to be the item we allow to fall through the cracks if others need us? I am going to suggest WAY more often than it is that we dismiss the needs of those around us we love or even our work responsibilities. This is why so many women I know express a deep desire to connect with one another in circle and, at least on occasion, to feel their divine juiciness.
Sitting in circle with women is a part of every women’s DNA; we can all recall sitting or simply being with women in one form or another where we felt completely ourselves, part of the collective group and absolutely authentic. I have held circles, been a part of them, and had the gift of being in a “circle”, without the formality of such a thing, simply by being with women mindfully connecting with the divine.
One of the most surprisingly sacred experiences for me to be a part of was a monthly Catholic Women’s Group. Honestly, at times, I felt I had no place there as I struggled with the Faith, and yet the women I was with were nonjudgmental, soul nourishing, and supportive- truly a gift for my spirit at the time. So, to me, “Circle” is the spiral dance of women in relationship and does not always look like we think it must. Sometimes, it just a bunch of us getting together to make a meal and gaze at the moon while enjoying holy Mother Earth.
The challenge in creating a true soul nourishing community is taking the ego out of the experience. This is where far too many times women’s communities, circles, groups, friendships, and partnership get all messed up. We will never have beautiful, soulful experiences if we are in personal angst in our circles.
So, first we need to get clear about WHY we want to be in community, what they do for us and the women we are connecting with, and how we commit to show-up for ourselves and those we sit with, dance with, cook with, listen to, share with, pray with, pray for, cheer for, celebrate, hug and LOVE as a reflection of the creator.
If you yearn to be a part of a group of women, what is your why? Where does your ego come into play? How do you show up for yourself and those in the circle? Do you truly listen and how can you love yourself and each woman more deeply? How can we as women create safer, more joyful places for one another to come and express our divinity? I URGE you all to get really clear here.
I believe we all know the answers to these questions and they are unique to each of us, but perfect when we come from love. We owe it to one another, ourselves, and this planet to get healthy around our relationship with each other and how we enter the SACRED CIRCLE OF WOMEN.
I look forward to sitting with you in circle one day.
With deep love for Presentation’s Women’s Ministry
& EVERY women who sat in circle at A Life Well Lived.
I urge anyone with just a few minutes to watch this thoughtful TED TALK given by Jimmy Carter. This is not about “WOMEN” this is about our world and we MUST be the change – our children’s futures depend on it. Watch till the end… his final thoughts were possibly the most powerful.
Today, I had a great plan! I scheduled my morning so that I could work through my “to-do” list quickly & get into my office to write, work on two retreat outlines, and then get my sagging ass onto the elliptical for at least 15 minutes. I was feeling pretty jazzed as I sipped my fresh hot cup of coffee while making my bed, an organizational rule of thumb passed down from my mother, “Queen Ann”, that helps get my day started on a positive note. I could feel that nothing was going to sidetrack my agenda today- everything was going to go according to plan and then… BANG!
My three dogs, as startled as I was, all ran down the stairs, basically tumbling in unison into my dining room, crashing into a large piece of pottery, which fell to the ground and broke into pieces, causing more instant chaos.
But, what the hell was that banging?! I looked out back and saw, to my surprise, five men attaching large ladders and scaffolding to my house. Shit… the siders! Weren’t they starting next week? I managed to wrangle my dogs into my office, picked up the broken pottery jar in my dining room, and calmly stepped outside, where I proceeded to literally step in dog shit as I approached the foremen of the job.
He smiled at me – I am sure he saw me step into that lovely pile of Great Dane crap- and proceeded to pleasantly inform me that they were doing us a HUGE favor and would be here two days earlier than planned to begin removing the old siding on my house.
I wanted to scream- actually, I was screaming inside as I smiled at this man while he informed me of this “good” news. I needed to get out of my disgusting clogs and clean myself up, but instead I stood there listening to him, swirling in frustration and irritation.
Now friends, if you don’t write or paint or compose, you might not get this, but for most of us that do, quiet or solitary space is often needed to get into a groove of creativity. Certainly not five workmen banging on the exterior of your house while your three dogs go bananas with each bang. Fun times, I tell you- nothing earth shattering, just a complete disruption of my plans to be productive and get to the many creative tasks I had been putting off until just the right time. It felt like a total shit show.
I had a personal pity party for a few minutes and allowed myself to feel good & pissed at how my day got turned upside down, and then… I got on with it. Another “Queen Ann” rule is to not allow the storms in your life to blow your inner house down- your house can shudder and groan, but don’t let it get blown down. My mother, who is one of the most practical women I know, taught each of her children how to get back onto their feet and alter their course, if needed. Quite literally, make chicken salad out of chicken shit.
How do you do this? Simple- change your mind. When we change our perspective and allow for some flow and flexibility, we are allowing for the miracle of a change of heart. Here are a few examples: I could sulk about not having my planned day of quiet solitude where I could write uninterrupted OR I could get excited for the fact that my home was undergoing a transformation I had been saving and waiting on for over a year. I could be annoyed that five men were bashing the side of my home and disturbing my peace and my dogs’ sanity OR I could give thanks that there are people willing to do this type of work on a rainy day, so that I might have a beautiful home.
Need more? The broken piece of pottery was a piece of art I had treasured for over a decade. In this case, I could be angry at my dogs for knocking it down and breaking it OR I could appreciate how protective my pets are of my home and all of us. I could give thanks for having had such a beautiful piece of art grace my home for this long, then bless and release the broken pieces, making way for something new.
In order for this day to turn into a “chicken salad” type of day, it was up to me and the altering of my attitude. So you know what I did? I turned up some Stevie Wonder, poured a big glass of sparkling water, lit some incense, cleaned of my clogs with Clorox Clean Up (another thing to give serious thanks for, BTW) and got my sorry self onto the elliptical. I could at least cross THAT off my “to-do” list.