Finding Your Sisters in a Women’s Circle Part IV

I went back ‘home’ to Illinois and met in Circle there with my Sisters.  I find it so ironic that after seven years of the ups and downs of hosting a Circle, it really feels like the perfect Circle now that I have moved ten hours south to Alabama.   Even that word ‘Sisters’ used to sit wrong with me.  I would in theory be okay with thinking of others as my ‘Sister’, but every time someone used that word, I had to work through this little prickle of:

‘You’re not really my Sister.’

But it’s good to work through those things, isn’t it. 

Because it got me here.  Here with six other women who really do feel like Sisters.  We’ve truly sat and listened to each other over the years, withholding judgement, withholding advice, laughing and crying.  Seeing each others’ raw spots and open wounds and giving each other a place to work through those at our own pace and our own wisdom.

At the same time, filling our senses:  the fire crackling, the beautiful items surrounding it, the incense and the burning herbs.

When you involve all the senses, smell, taste, sight, memories become stronger. 

On the drive back home to Alabama, I listened to Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast (which by the way I was able to find easily while driving through the Resources on*) where she was speaking with renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman about neuroplasticity and our ever changing brains.

Using the senses is essential.

Which is why smelling that fresh baked apple pie can instantly transport you back to your mother’s kitchen and smelling the incense, the burning herbs, seeing the gorgeous items in the Center and the music, can now instantly transport me to this place of safety, nurturance, love and all the incredible experiences that I have had over the years sitting in different Circles.

We had someone new in our Circle: a friend that I had stopped over her home in the morning and had invited to come. 

I have always been very generous about inviting anyone and everyone to Circle. 

Until I actually got this Circle that seems rather perfect without anyone else. 

Then your instinct is to ‘close down’.  We don’t really need you.

What if you change the dynamics that are working so well?  Coming home to Circle feels so warm and cozy like coming home, and now you’re inviting someone new to it.

I’m even fairly certain they might be on different sides of the political spectrum, and you want to bring that whole mess into Circle.

All those thoughts went through my head.

‘Uh.  Yes.’

That is where that whole mess is healed. 

In Circle.

Those of you who have never sat in Circle are most likely wondering just what in the world I’m talking about. 

Crazy new age, crystal toting, witch loving hippie liberal.

Well, yes, I have those sides to me.

But this goes deeper than that.

Here are the principles of a Women’s Circle that are from Gather the Women

Sacred Circle is a way of speaking, listening and relating to each other.

Saturday morning I spent with my oldest son.  He is twenty, and I felt blessed that he had asked me to breakfast and continued to hang out with his younger sister and me. 

But I also find it on the tiring side communicating with him, because it is most definitely not balanced.  He’s so excited about things (which is great) and talks a lot about them (also great), but I find myself having to speed up and meet his pace in order to get my words in the conversation.  Or just sitting back and listening.

I can think of several people in my life like this. People with whom I rarely get to finish my sentence and therefore never truly feel listened to.

And I leave these conversations feeling drained and needing a nice long soak in the tub. 

We had to explain these Circle tenets to my friend new to Circle, because this is such a different way of communicating than what you usually find. 

One of us ‘had the talking stick’ and my friend was nodding to her in agreement, saying words of encouragement ‘yes’ and a short sentence here and there.

I explained to her that we just sit and listen in silence without reacting. 

When you start doing that, you realize how much of your everyday conversation is influenced by others’ reactions.  

You learn to stand in your truth without having to depend on others for your validation.

And at the same time, you’re not pushing those ideas and opinions on others. 

You’re simply stating what is your unique human experience and perspective. 

And you know you will be given the chance to speak, so you do not have to ‘fight’ for it.  You learn patience.  You learn how to truly listen. 100%.  To do this without relating it back to yourself, but really listening to the other person.

We all need that.

We explained also that this applied even when you hit the very hard stuff.  And our instinct is to comfort, ‘there now, it’s okay.’

But sometimes its not okay.

Sometimes you need to be pissed off or sad or whatever you are feeling without someone patting your back saying what is sometimes laced with ‘its okay, be a good quiet girl now.’ 

No.  Say what you want.   Say how you feel. 

Work through it on your own power.  And decide on your own when it is time to leave it behind.

That is true healing.

One of my Sisters in Circle spoke of her Chaplaincy training and how much she has learned sitting in Circle with us.  She provides spiritual comfort to those dealing with serious health challenges.

She spoke of how she has learned to truly listen 100% present and be accepting of their ‘truth’.

I have been so proud of her watching her walk the Chaplaincy path and to know that we had a hand in helping her on that path, brings me such joy and truly makes me feel like a ‘Sister.’

Circles are essential

Find one, start one, join one at:

Have I found a Circle in Alabama yet? Working on it! Come along with me on the journey. Email me at if you are in the Huntsville, Alabama area and interested in attending.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *