The Power of the Space we Hold
I am watching magic unfold before my eyes. Two years ago I was in the final stages of my Yoga Teacher Training. The training itself was intense. Over a year I spent five fours every Thursday night sitting cross-legged in a circle with about 15 to 20 others, mostly women, and we spoke about the human body, Yogic Philosophy, connection and the whole purpose of it all. I remember being told by previous graduates that the teachings in that space had only just begun and that a huge period of growth and learning was on the other side of our graduation night.
In the months that followed my graduation, I found that the thing that I missed most from my whole training was those Thursday nights sitting in a circle. This perplexed me a little, given that I had felt a little nervous when we first began meeting in that space 12 months previously. In these first six months post my training, I found myself searching out similar spaces where I could sit in circles of women. By the time it reached late in that year, I had reached the point where I wanted to create my own space, which felt more easily accessible in my community.
A year ago I made a simple post on Facebook, asking if any women in my world would like to attend the women’s circles that I wanted to begin. I wanted to create this space, largely because I felt that it was something that was missing from my life, the ability to connect deeply with other women. I did not understand the healing value of women sitting together in circle and sharing beyond my own experiences and firm recognition of the importance of putting a voice to our lived experiences, and being a part of community from my social work experience.
From a couple of simple posts, I had over 40 women express their interest to me, a number of whom I had never met. From here I began hosting circles most months, on my lounge room floor, purely for the joy of what these brought others, and by default, myself.
I could share a whole bunch of stories from these circles and the things that have unfolded from them. I met one woman who came to our first circle, who as it turned out, was a neighbor of mine. She attended our circles for some time, although I was not sure how she was the experience. I innately felt that this woman was not familiar with being in such as space. As time went on, I watched this woman’s guard gradually drop as she settled into the space and explored her earlier tense connections with other women. This woman became good friends with another woman, despite a significant language barrier. They became strong supporters of one another, despite living in different parts of the world.
This same woman also later shared that as a result of the space created in her life by the circles, she was able to flesh out what was missing in her life. Very soon after this time, this woman was successful in gaining council grants to set up a community garden and reports feeling a deep sense of satisfaction, community connection and contribution than she has in years.
When I meet with the women in our circle, and I lock eyes with each woman, I see them soften. I see them share with one another. I see both their internal and external guards break down as we remember what it means to be human with one another. When I transitioned to working under The Aspire Series, our women’s circles became Sunday Soul Sessions.
The purpose of the change in language was so that we could allow the flexibility for the space to incorporate a range of additional things such as goal setting, as we chose to be relevant each month. We held our first Sunday Soul Session recently and we had women ranging from 12 to 42 present. We learned that despite our differences, we all navigate the same feelings, emotions and obstacles in life. What is relevant for us at 12 continues to play out throughout our entire lives. We also learned the value of surrounding ourselves with, and feeling that we can have open and honest conversations with women who are both moving in the same direction as us, yet are all unique in every single other way.
In this space have seen women standing at the threshold of significant life change, bound by both the fear and exhilaration that could easily sway them back into their place of comfort and knowing. I have watched as the other women have gently guided this woman, with the resources and knowledge to enable her to move forward with greater certainty. I have seen women who almost quiver with nerves at first speaking in a group, go on to commit to public speaking courses.
I have witnessed a woman who is beginning her own business journey as a healer, navigate her inner dialogue around her worth within this safe and non-judgemental space. Only a few days after our time together, this woman approached a venue from where she could grow her business.
In this space that we create, there is no push. These women show up, they are deeply present to one another and they share their heartfelt truth, energy and deeply held honesty. They both step into and create the space to be whoever it is that they need to be.
To me, the stuff that is shared in this space, and both the subtle and significant shifts that occur in the world outside this space, is magic. This is the pure gold that I am blessed to witness and I thank each and every woman who has shared, and continues to share this space with me.
Our Sunday Soul Sessions occur monthly with our next session on Sunday 3rd March 2019
The Aspire Program is an eight week program that offers you the opportunity to deeply explore and realign with yourself on all levels, driving on the other side ready to make a bolder impact in your life and community. This begins on Sunday 17th April 2019