There's just something about circles. I've said it before.
Last week, I had the chance to attend a small, local women's circle.
In all my time in various forms of group settings - the circle has always pulled at my soul's truth about sacred connection and vulnerability.
In sweat lodges, the arbor of the Sundance, out-of-the-box classes, support groups, art studios, making music with others, around the kitchen table....
There is an energy to the circle that is undeniable - it's as if the circle has a breath of its own.
Even in virtual, online circles - where the intention is set toward that posture of honoring and presence.
But for the past few weeks I've been craving a real live tangible space with women, a little filling-up just for me, where nobody knows my name kind of thing. Beyond the solitary safety of my beloved woodwalks.
I almost rationalized myself out of going, since I had the house to myself for that time and the weather was wet and cold... but I'm glad I didn't.
Because there's something about circles that calls us forth into clarity.
We open up, lean in, let the shoulders drop. We see each other - and are seen - clearly.
It asks of us only how we are... and yet leaves space to step into declaration, release, offering, witnessing, discomfort and faith.
At least that's my experience in a circle that is offered with an open heart and self-awareness, anyway. And this one was. Each woman was as necessary to the energy as the one who organized it and brought us together.
She modeled this for us subtly - and might have been falsely seen as timid by some - but there was something about her simple approach and presence that spoke to my own nature - and how I hope to hold circles and space, despite being a sensitive introvert type.
There was something in me that deeply needed to see, in person, and *feel* the grace that moved through her as the facilitator and then subsequently through every woman in that room. She opened the doorways and then quietly joined the rest of us, offering her insight only when she felt called, just like the rest of us. If anyone had the idea that she was going to put on a show or lead the discussion, this quickly dissolved into a softness of humility within which we could all be real together.
At one point, we sat in complete silence, facing each other, comfortably, for at least three minutes. Unprompted. Naturally taken there by the depth of sharing that had been created between us just before - most of us strangers. Those few moments were like pure magic. It is a rare find in new, mixed company, for sure.
This may sound rather insignificant to some. Trust me - the conversations and sharing were juicy and real, and remain honored by being left within the circle in which they occurred.
But this is anything but insignificant.
If you have been part of a quality circle, you know what I mean. Perhaps you are blessed to be part of one regularly.
But I want to implore you - that if you have not, or even if it's just been a long time, or if the only type you've been in for awhile is via the internet...
there is no comparison to real time, live, tangible circle experience between women.
Find one near you (I found mine on meetup.com). Then - GO. If you resist, take that as a sign that you may need it even more than you realize. Try a few if the first isn't your fit.
Or Start One. Invite a few friends or put an ad out there to your local community and begin it when you have response.
You see, I partially wanted to go to a local circle to re-fuel my energies for my own online circles... but also to get a fresh sense of the live setting again for a local circle I'm considering forming myself...
and so I went to see how it was, and it was so good it amplified the calling in my heart to extend my offering of circles both online and in-person (the women there were even aching for creative, art ways to process the energy they feel in their own lives!)...
But more importantly, it reminded me of the indescribable drumbeat of a nourishing in-the-flesh circle, the same as my pulse, my desires, my ache, my knowing... a place of vulnerable, primal grace, a place to be held and to hold and to release into greatness from.
From the quiet place in my heart, I could see in the eyes of the eight women around me, with the greatest clarity to date, the ache and calling to circle that is rising in women everywhere. This is how I sense people - in big ways. When I meekly voiced my sense of this to the group, asking inside that Source speak through me what words most needed to be heard - the room came alive with inspiration unleashed and wide, affirmed eyes - a bubbling forth of the eagerness associated with experiencing something bigger than ourselves, within, wordless.
We are called to make circles happen. We are called to see and be seen. This calling is magnetic somehow right now. We may not know exactly why... but there is holy beauty to be discovered in that mystery.
So this is what I know right now - what I remembered about circles by going to this one:
I see in Circles.
And what I see is Sacred.