I am still feeling high on juicy Desire Map workshop vibes. Spending two days with a group of women was exhilarating and made me feel so connected. To myself and to all of them.
As women, we can benefit so greatly from finding a ritual that allows us safe space for self-reflection and intention setting. My heart feels full knowing that I am en route to facilitating workshops + circles to help women feel empowered and inspired.
Can you think of two better feelings for women to honor?
The workshop got me thinking about the ancient art of the women’s circle and how it originated. Funny how our history classes didn't touch on the concept of women's circles or the study of women's empowerment.
“In primitive times, women gathered in caves around the fire to paint their prayers and stories on cave walls. In Jesus’ time, women gathered in tents to sing praises to God in tents beneath the desert moon… In the early 20th Century, a small group of women gathered in a dusty attic to birth a movement to ensure women the right to vote.”
Inspiration overload. At 34 years old, I feel like I found my calling. Again. Women crave connection, the real, warm and fuzzy, face to face kind. It feels good to be seen and heard, to use your voice in a space where you know you won’t be judged. To tell your stories in a space where you will hear “aha's” and “me too's”. We were created for this.
I am learning that it is much easier for women to own their vulnerability, with gratitude even, when they are surrounded by a group of women who support them.
There is actually scientific research that shows that these connections actually increase our happiness. And it is clear that we have to pencil happiness into our calendars. In a culture full of social media outlets and busy schedules, it's tempting to think that some Facebook comments and emails to a friend or family member are enough to sustain our relationships. But research is proving that we will be rewarded if we take the time to nurture the connections in a "tribal" way. Like in the old days.
It helped tremendously that our circle was held at a beautiful studio that oozes love and comfort. We spent each day of our gathering getting started with a prayer or poem. Setting an intention for ourselves. Allowing ourselves to be completely present with each other (we even put away our phones!)
I guided the women through an exercise to find some lovingkindness phrases to help them feel supported throughout the weekend. Phrases that they yearned to hear daily, words that they needed to believe for themselves and within themselves.
The workshop allowed us to discuss our favorite parts of our last year as well as examine what didn’t work so well. We shared stories about the things in our daily lives that we dreaded, and what we wanted to bring more of into our lives. Hint, making dinner for our families came up --- A LOT. It felt good to remind ourselves that as women, we do a lot more than cooking meals to nurture our families and ourselves.
We got fed. Yep, an amazing chef cooked nourishing and beautiful food so that we could continue to map out our desires for the year. We didn’t even have to order it. Self-care feels damn good. And so deserved.
Each day we were led into a delicious yoga practice that had us in touch with our bodies and our breath. We stretched and flowed and savasana’ed. We truly connected our minds and bodies. Right in the middle of getting clear on what we wanted to plant for our year, we got to feel it in our bodies.
We made declarations and supported each other as a collective. We set symbolic intentions by lighting candles and using our voice. We wrote, wrote, wrote. All with background music that inspired us to go deeper.
We let some tears out. To be lighter and because that shit is cleansing.
And we colored. That's right. On coloring pages. With Crayola. Channeling our inner child and connecting to the creative that is within each of us.
We said thank you. As much as possible. First we picked out things that we are grateful for in our lives, and we expressed them. Then we took the time to write thank you cards to ourselves.
When is the last time you said “thank you” to yourself?
That’s what I thought.
I will mail those sweet gems of love back to the participants in a few months, and man, I hope it really makes their day to receive such an honest piece of love. From themselves.
We hugged and laughed. We connected. We bonded. We shared 8 special hours together that guided us to choosing our Core Desired Feelings for the year. And permission. To change those feelings if they don’t feel right. And to keep going.
So, I hosted a workshop. But I want to say that I created a Women’s Circle. Because history shows that there is fierce growth that comes from women’s circles. I am inspired to facilitate that growth as I continue my journey as an Illumination Coach.
Women united in spiritual circles will awaken the wisdom in each other’s spirit -Shikoba
/// Studio: Bohemian Studio Phinney Ridge http://barrebohemian.com/phinney/
/// Food: Becca DeLima
/// Yoga: Maria McDonald http://www.mariamcdonaldyoga.com/
/// Photography: Trek Together Photography http://www.trektogetherphotos.com/