Circles are important for Moms
Circles are gathering places of deep wisdom, healing, connection, vulnerability, and truth. It is a place that will meet you where you are and inspires you to do and be what you long for. A good circle leaves you feeling so much better than when you arrived. I believe women, especially mothers need this.
Women are hardwired for connection with other women, we long to share our joys and struggles. When a woman makes the transition to motherhood, she especially longs to share her journey with other women. Motherhood is one of the biggest transitions a woman goes through. She goes from her whole world revolving around her own needs to her whole world revolving around another person. To top it off she is learning how to raise, nurture, and keep alive a healthy little being. Mothers are literally learning how to be a mom while being a mom. It can be an intense and scary learning curve for some.
As if the job of being a parent isn't demanding enough, becoming a mom can flip a woman's world up side down. Mothers have to adjust and re-learn who they are after having a child. Her sense of self gets lost. This can make each day much harder because she doesn't know what will make her happy or she doesn't have the time or space for self care. Which both are vital in order to maintain sanity and happiness.
Another challenge mothers have is, isolation. Getting out of the house can be hard if not a damn miracle some days. Not only is it hard to get out of the home, some women are also so exhausted that the energy needed to get out of the home can be hard to muster up. Some of the lucky mothers are able to create the space to consistently get out to see other mothers. However, seeing mothers doesn't not mean the opportunity to connect deeply is available. These moms run against constant interrupting kiddos. Also, when mothers hang out they tend to connect through their children. Time together is spent talking about each other's children. This is wonderful and there is a need being filled. However, too often the conversations we really want to have, like last night I got so angry I screamed at my child, doesn't happen enough during a play date.
Some women feel like they are the only mothers out there who are struggling. The feeling of struggle compounds itself because it can create a cycle of guilt and shame. Struggling can feel selfish and this lends to feeling like you are fucking up your child because you aren't a happy and joyful mother. This fear of not being a good enough mom keeps some women even more isolated. The fear of not being good enough creates judgmental feelings towards the self and jealousy towards mothers who seem "to have it together."
So, in my opinion mothers especially could use circles. The need for a safe space to vent fears and struggles with people who completely understand is vital to the health and well being of a mother. This is what a good circle can create. Circles are about the women who show up. Discussion revolves around what each woman brings to the group that day, how she feels about herself, her life, her family, her struggles, and her fears.
The space created allows for the healing magic of vulnerability. When one person leans into vulnerability it engages other women to show up and share the dark hidden fears they we are terrified to share. I am always humbled by this because majority of the time this happens in a circle of women who hardly, if at all, know each other. What this does though is create an instant connection. All of a sudden each woman sees herself in the other women and it creates the first steps towards healing. There has never been a time when a woman leaned into her fears and shared her failures that it didn't transform her and another woman's experience of herself and her failures.
Another interesting thing about circles is that, even if you have the same people show up each week, no two circles are the same. Like moods, circles are vacillating between expanding states and contracting states. The level of connection and vulnerability fluctuates depending on who shows up and with what she shows up with. When in a state of expansion a circle can be very healing because each woman has an opportunity to share her pain, her struggles, and to be meet in that place, which can be transformational.. When in a contraction state the harmony in the group is not as readily available, women in the group have to work a little harder to feel the deep connection with the other women. This rarely happens, but if it does it usually happens at a time when one of the women is struggling, but not sharing her struggle. So instead, she feels jaded or judgmental about the group. If caught, this can be a powerful healing experience. When the woman who is in a state of judgment shares her judgement and is able to process it with the group, it will change how the woman sees and feels about the group because she is heard and accepted for her feelings.
9 years of leading circles and I feel like I am a beginner. Each circle I learn so much about myself and the women I circle in with. It is a constant learning cycle for me because circles never repeat itself. Each one is unique and completely different from all other circles. Every woman who shows up to do work in a circle leaves changed. Hearing how another woman struggles with or in the exact same way that you do is a healing experience. We all know on some level that we are not alone, that somewhere, someone feels the same way, but to be sitting across from a woman who says something that you yourself could had said is powerful. It is a moment of," I am not crazy," "I am not alone," "This is normal." This allows us to be deeply met in our moments of shame and guilt. This allows for something deep within us to start the path to healing those emotions and changing our stories.
If you are ready to find a tribe of women who can deeply listen to you and meet you exactly where you are at, then please join a circle. What are you waiting for? You'll never know the ways in which it will transform your life until you try it out. If showing up and being seen scares you then make a brave choice to lean into your fear. Show up, try it out and listen to that little voice that urges you to share because you never know how it will transform you and the women who hear it.