What to expect from your first women’s circle

What can you expect from a women’s circle? Women have been gathering in circles since the beginning of time to share ideas, stories and experiences. It’s a space for women of all ages and backgrounds to join together.


A women’s circle is about finding a community that provides you space to feel equal and safe. It’s also a time for you to nurture yourself and prioritise your self-care. If you feel disconnected from women in your life or find yourself seeking support and inspiration, then a women’s circle can be a wonderful experience for you.

What exactly is a women’s circle?


Each women’s circle will have a different energy and intention based on the host. Circles generally have an element of reflection or intention setting. This is why many women’s circles follow the cycle of the moon. For instance, the New Moon is great for setting intentions for the coming month, while the Full Moon is a perfect time for reflection.

Typically, a women’s circle begins with the women entering the space and leaving the outside world behind. There is time to unwind and get settled and, once everyone has arrived, the woman or women leading the circle will ask everyone to be seated around the altar.


The altar is in the middle of the circle and can be made of flowers and sacred objects. The woman leading the circle will then initiate a clearing of the space by smudging with palo santo, or another cleansing herb. After this, the circle will begin.


What happens during circle?

While the majority of circles are built around a theme that the host will guide you through, circles can also be an opportunity for sharing. This is where each woman shares something with the others in the circle. This can be anything at all. For instance, you might feel compelled to share something joyful, challenging, upsetting, or even a story.


The goal of a sharing circle is to create a supportive space with other women so you can feel heard and feel safe. The host will make sure the discussion stays on track, is inclusive of all women present, and provides an achievable outcome. She will encourage everyone to speak up, but there's no pressure to do so if you don't want to.

After the sharing, the circle is closed by the host. There are a number of ways a circle can be closed.


The first is through setting a collective goal for the group. This ending is best used when the circle is built around a theme, such as the New Moon. This is something specific that you’re going to do before your next circle. It might be encouraging you to step outside your comfort zone or to practice a new skill. An example could be an intention you set to complete before the next New Moon.


Another way circles end is through silence or a meditation so that each woman can internally process the event and take the feeling home. Alternatively, some circles end with a big meal and social time. It's important to explore different circles to find the right fit for you.

What are the benefits of joining a women’s circle?


Practice deep listening


Do you ever feel like you go unheard? Like no one listens to you? This is exactly what makes a women's circle so perfect.


Finally you'll have a group of women who are not only willing to listen, but are curious of your story. Everyone will want to hear one another and to share their own feelings. Everyone can benefit and learn from each other’s contribution to the circle.


At its core, a circle is about knowing that you are heard and this can be a truly special and rewarding feeling. After everyone has spoken, the circle also becomes a learning atmosphere of rich knowledge, individuality, and interaction. It’s the sacred, safe environment that promotes empathy and connection between women.


A women’s circle is about cultivating the practice of deep listening. The art of just listening and not offering advice or trying to solve each other’s problems. By practicing the act of deep listening we see ourselves reflected in the other. Hearing other women’s stories can be a reflection to our internal world. We can relate to the suffering or uncertainty in a compassionate way because we have also dealt with it.


While listening, we learn and see how other women have responded to life's experiences. You're not working to find a solution, or actively thinking of a response. Instead, your primary focus is on what the other women are saying. You're listening to the lessons they have learned and the challenges they are facing. It’s a way to feel united and relatable in shared humanity.

Gather great wisdom


A women’s circle is a great way to meet new people, while also being an excellent space to support and open interesting discussions. When women gather together something infinitely great happens and remarkable wisdom is often revealed.


There is always more we can learn and never underestimate the power of knowledge. While we learn from books, experts and educational sources, we can learn so much from other people who have experience and gained insight from their own encounters. Theory is fine for understanding, but it's all about the experiences we have in life and how we deal with them.


You will undoubtedly walk away from the circle with new ideas, new information and a new desire to keep learning more.

Find a sense of community

You are never alone. There is always someone else who has experienced something similar, who understands how you feel, or who wants to help. By banding together as a community, we can use this strength to battle negativity, insecurity, and life’s challenges.


When we come together in a circle, we come together as a part of a team. This team becomes a support system full of people who have our best interests at heart, who have our back, and who can relate to what we are going through. We can use each other to help us work through issues so that we can come out stronger on the other side. And even if there is no clear solution to our challenges right away, talking about it and knowing we're surrounded by an empathic, non-judgemental community can be incredibly rewarding.


Inspire one another

Often when we're stuck in a rut, it can be challenging to think in a different way or take the leap into unknown territory. A women’s circle is a great example of bringing positivity and change into your life that results from women uplifting women.


It’s a group of accomplished, like-minded, and supportive women who are invested in your success and helping you reach a transformation in your life. Being surrounded by this will bring out the best version of yourself – whether you see these qualities or not.


In the circle, you can inspire one another by exchanging ideas and taking turns leading creative exercises.

Expand your social circle

The beauty of a women’s circle is that it’s a chance to meet others, share ideas and expand your social circle with new and interesting people. You may be connecting with people who you may already know but, more than likely, you'll meet new women too. You may even find you forge connections with others that you can work with professionally or spend time with socially.

Achieve your goals

A women’s circle is built on the concept of honesty, sincerity and acceptance. It’s a group of women who have come together to build confidence and work on self-empowerment.


You have an opportunity to say what is on your mind and be totally truthful. Feeling free and comfortable allows you to state what you want in life. Putting this out there in the universe is the first step to achieving any goals.


You can share your dreams for the future, any fears you may have and talk about what's standing in your way. A circle is the perfect environment to get the ball rolling and make your dreams a reality.


It can be challenging to voice these thoughts out loud in a circle but know that you're surrounding yourself with peers that want to see you accomplish your dreams. You can work with each other to collectively set targets. By doing so as a collective, you can hold each other accountable for working towards these objectives.

 

About Erica Breen

Erica is a life-long mover and forever student. Trained in Pilates, yoga and Ayurveda, Erica has a breadth of knowledge when it comes to the human body and its inner workings. Leading a nomadic lifestyle, you'll find Erica sharing her work online from all over the world!


Find out more at ericabreenpilates.com.

 

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