If you are a woman and have not had the chance to be a part of a women’s circle, I highly recommend that you give it a try.

I am currently involved with one circle and it has been one of the best experiences of my life. My only regret is that I did not learn about it sooner. Meeting these women actually resulted in me joining two other creative groups. It is so refreshing to step out of our comfort zone and meet new people.

Women from all ages and backgrounds make up my circle. Which has been very eye opening for me personally.

The idea is to gather together and share our stories. This is not a typical tea group where everyone talks over one another or people break off into groups to chat. We start with a short greeting time, enjoying some refreshments together and then the circle forms.

We take turns talking about whatever is on our minds. No one can offer advice or interrupt us while we are speaking. While it is our turn, we are holding the stone and when we are done we pass it along to the next person. At the end, the stone is placed in the middle and someone may pick it up again if they feel the need to continue a thread of conversation, however you must ask permission to offer advice to someone in the circle. The whole point is to express ourselves.

It may sound a bit odd but it is a very moving experience. Too often, when we are speaking with our friends or family, we are planning what we will say to them when they finish speaking, instead of actually listening. In this situation we are simply holding space for the speaker and because you cannot comment, you are actually listening and really taking in what is being said. It is amazing how much you hear, when you actually listen!

It is wonderful to speak from the heart and not worry about what someone is going to offer as advice. Instead of only playing situations and problems out in our minds, we can vent our feelings in a safe space and then let them go. No judgement.

The most important lesson that I have learned from this group is that it does not matter how old or young you are or how much money you have, we share the same stories. Too often we feel like we are the only one on the planet going through a situation and that if we only had this or that, things would be better.

I hear and see parts of my life in all of the stories that are told at every circle. I have learned that my experience is not unique and that we should never feel alone.

I had never tried anything like this before. I only knew one lady casually before jumping into this experience. It was a bit terrifying at first but I am so glad that I gave it a try.

‘Our greatest life, lives on the other side of our fears.’

Have a wonderful day everyone.