“A peaceful revolution is going on,
a women’s spirituality movement, hidden in plain sight.
Through circle of women, healing women,
Might the culture come around?”
– Jean Shinoda Bolen in The Millionth Circle
How to Change Ourselves and The World
Hi – I”m Christi and I gather women.
Sometimes it’s people in general, but my main joy is in gathering and connecting women*.
Shared experiences have always been important to me. One of my favorite things to do when I was young was to convince my brother and my cousins to put on a show and gather the adults around to watch it.
As I grew, it turned into gathering friends together for events and to travel. For some time that impulse went underground as all of my focus went into my work within the hierarchy of a corporate setting with the objective of getting things done. One of the questions I pondered during this time was about hierarchy and whether life, wisdom, knowledge was really meant to be top down with some at the top holding the secrets, power, and advantage over others.
But then I had a mystical experience. During a business trip in the mid 90’s to Valley Forge, PA, I arrived the day before a meeting. Having two young ones back home, this was a rare chance to simply BE. I took a hike and sat down in the middle of a gorgeous field. As I looked around me the landscape began to pulse and I wished I had brought a sketch pad to capture the moment. (I’ll admit that I might have been on a euphoric high after reading The Celestine Prophecies). I got up to cross the creek and go back to the hotel to get my sketchbook. With that first step crossing the stream, my body was filled with a buzzing, vibrant, transcendent joy like I’ve never felt before. It was luminescent and all-encompassing. With it came an image in my mind of beings holding hands around a circle. I took this as a sign and interpreted it as an answer to my question about hierarchy or equality, that we were all equal.
About 10 years later, the call to gather women was visceral and could not be ignored. A dear friend and I gathered a group of women together to read and study the book The Millionth Circle. I was nervous as we sat together in a small living room because I had no other plan beyond getting everyone there. I trusted that when we all sat down, we’d instinctively know what to do. And we did. And when we didn’t, we found our way.
I’ve since sat and gathered in many circles, initiated circles disguised as success teams and book studies, new moon gatherings and now feminine wisdom circles. While the book was pivotal, I had forgotten about it until it was referenced this week. I remembered that first circle. I realized how far I’d traveled in my own inner journey, because during the last circle gathering, rather than be nervous as I had always been, I felt that joy and pleasure of a shared experience and that feeling of coming home or full circle.
Now I’m appreciating the circle as both simple and revolutionary technology that activates women. When we gather together, our connection and power are amplified.
I’m currently a member of 2 active circles and calling for a third. I cannot fathom what my life would be like without them and I sense I’ll always be learning from the other women and through their experiences and those we share.
I don’t think we ever ‘figure out’ how to do circles, I think there is an ancient wisdom inherent within them that is constantly evolving with us as we answer their call.
If you’re a woman without an active circle or tribe, I encourage you to reconnect with, seek one out or put out the call to initiate one. The safe, positive, loving, healthy attention you receive and give when you are in one has the potential for healing and witnessing so much that goes unacknowledged and uncelebrated in our lives. Look for women you want to witness your highs and your lows and who have the emotional maturity to hold confidence and safe space of acceptance and encouragement.
In 2018 you’re going to see a lot of messages that remind you of what is ‘wrong’ and what needs to be changed in you, your life, your community, country and the world. This is the time to gather together so we have that stable, rhythmic, and safe container to hold space the sacred: for each other, for what we love and yearn for, for what’s working, for appreciating and celebrating the wins and honoring and acknowledging the losses. The space to connect in with our heart of hearts and to witness the many faces of the feminine in the women around the circle and to be witnessed by them. Within the circle, we can rest, reflect, and restore. Within the circle entire worlds and movements are born. And it starts with your own personal revolution.
P.S. If you’re curious about exploring a circle experience, consider this your invitation to join me for this brief introduction to reclaiming your inherent(ence) as a woman: Reclaiming Your Feminine Power.
P.P.S. *In these times of high gender awareness, I want to be clear about what I mean when I say, woman. I honor the identity you use that aligns with your authenticity, whether it be gender specific or non-gender or something else entirely. I choose the word woman not to exclude you if you don’t also use this word, but because I’m a cis female who once hated being a woman and who has now come to deeply appreciate it. I found my way through a lot of patriarchal B.S. to arrive at a place where I am happy to claim that identity. Since that has been my experience, it’s the place I can be most helpful from, my own authenticity, and it speaks to the women I best serve. To me, a woman implies the expression of the feminine essence. If you weren’t born with female body parts or if you’ve had yours removed along the way, I welcome you as a woman who shares the pleasure of being in the feminine essence. We share an energetic affinity and our world is calling for the expression of the feminine in so many places and ways. As one of my mentors, Rachael Jayne Groover, said when I asked her this question, “The software is more important than the hardware here”. In this case, I choose to not go gender neutral because in my current perspective, going neutral continues to keep the gifts of being female and of the feminine essence out of focus, something that has been systematically removed from our world in western culture, religion. There is a deep desire for balance now and I honor and embrace the ways that the feminine essence is showing up to answer that call. Rather than seeing women through a culturally conditioned lense of limitation, I see it as embracing the freedom of a continually unfolding mystery.