A year ago, I didn’t actually know how badly I needed real community in my life. I just remember feeling a kind of a vague, background loneliness that occasional coffee with friends couldn’t quench. I was experiencing the all-too-common phenomenon of motherhood isolation. I felt a strong desire to bring a community of like-hearted women into my life.
While walking our daughters to school one day, my friend and I were both inspired by the idea of gathering a group of women to forge deeper, genuine connections with. This would be a sacred and intentional space that didn’t involve dressing up or alcohol. We would go in instead of going out. I had the drive to improve my group coaching skills, and this felt like the perfect opportunity to hone them. The idea gave me that powerful, sparkly sense of happy possibility, like butterflies and lightness in my chest. Experience has taught me the importance of taking immediate action on ideas that provoke that rare and inspiring feeling. When we identify the desires that light us up and we focus on them, the world conspires to make them possible. I immediately dove into organizing our Women’s Circle.
At our first Circle, the room was tense. The awkward desire for a real connection between acquaintances hung heavy in the air. I was nervous – the sensation of possibility was palpable and I falsely believed that saying the wrong thing could make it all unravel. As with public speaking, I acknowledged my insecurities and then let them be, shifting my focusing to tuning into my intuition about what this precious time called for. I had to release the familiar desire to make it perfect, and practice holding space for every woman in the Circle. I released the pressure to say the “right thing,” and mustered the courage to get vulnerable first. I was fully received, and then some. I had redirected my focus from the thing that scared me to the thing that inspired me. I allowed myself to be seen, and thus intimacy was born and genuine connections allowed to form through authentic relating.
It’s now over a year later, and because of monthly Circles with these amazing women, I do not feel lonely or isolated anymore. We laugh, we cry, we listen, we learn. I feel connected, supported, seen, heard, and received in every way. These feelings have been echoed by the group, so much so that their husbands wanted in on it. My husband was eventually recruited into becoming the leader of a Men’s Circle. We have created our own village by creating a Women’s Circle.
Social media and text-based communication do not actually fill our cups with the medicine of community. They provide a false sense of connection, and a hit of dopamine to temporarily satisfy the deep void we feel without a supportive community.
We all crave real human connection.
We all have words and feelings begging for permission to arise without our typical guards and filters. In other words, we are starving for intimacy. Intimacy only arises when we feel the safety inherent in genuine connection arising from shared vulnerability. It’s only when we invite others in to meet our truest selves that they can learn to deeply trust us and allow their own full expression. A Women’s Circle provides structure and ritual for building the sacred connections lacking in our fast-paced lives. Women have the power to help one another heal.
The feelings of connection and support are invaluable. I am endlessly grateful for my Circle, and I am so excited for you to build yours! I want to support you in that process. Check out our free guide for creating a Women’s Circle with local women in your area. If you don’t feel up for creating your own, consider checking out The Village – our virtual version of a Women’s Circle with group coaching, led by Dr. Emma. We also have an upcoming Mamas Retreat where you can experience the power of a Women’s Circle in person.
Author: Dr. Emma Andre