I hold regular women’s circles (also known as sister circles, moon circles, red tents) – and I often get asked about what to expect in circle – so, here are SIX things that you can expect at a women’s circle –
1. SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS
Circles include time for sharing your thoughts. Often, these thoughts will be related to the topic or theme of the circle. Sometimes, though, you will come with something unrelated, and it’s completely fine to talk about that too – when it’s your time to talk, it’s all about you, and what you need to express.
2. NOT SHARING YOUR THOUGHTS
This may seem contradictory, after point one, – it’s not. There is always space for you to share in circle, AND you absolutely can choose not to – sometimes, we don’t need to speak, we just need to listen. You will never be pushed to share if you don’t want to. If your time comes, and you don’t want to share, you can pass. Sometimes people pass initially, then find they want to share later. To make space for that, you may be asked twice if you want to share. Saying no both times is absolutely ok.
3. NO JUDGEMENT FROM OTHERS
Circles are a great place to practice vulnerability. As such, there are rules that we must all abide by when we gather. The first rule is that we do not judge another circle sister, whatever they choose to share. This involves taking responsibility for your own feelings. If you find yourself moving to a place of judgement, you are needing to turn that feeling back on yourself, and examine what it is that triggers you. By everybody committing to this, and welcoming opportunities to work on themselves, you are able to share without fear of judgement.
4. NO UNSOLICITED ADVICE (hurray!)
There is a an excess of advice in our everyday lives. We seem to be unable to just listen to people, without wanting to fix things, or make a suggestion. Whilst the underlying reason for this is often wanting to ‘help’, being on the receiving end of unsolicited advice can be frustrating. In contrast to this, in circle, we just LISTEN – we never offer advice. No rescuing, no fixing.
5. IT’S CONFIDENTIAL
What happens in circle stays in circle. In order to allow authentic, vulnerable shares, you agree not to discuss what others spoke about in circle outside the space. In circle, we have the honour of hearing the uncensored truths of others. Their stories are not ours to take.
6. ALL EMOTIONS ARE WELCOMED
This one is a biggie. We live in a society where we categorise certain emotions as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ (happy = good, angry / sad = bad). As a result, we often try to suppress the ‘bad’ emotions. Suppressing these emotions doesn’t get rid of them, it just buries them. Burying emotions consistently over a period of time, and not releasing the stress can result in mental and physical burnout. The simple solution would be to just feel the emotion, and move on – however this is not always possible.
In circle, you are free to express any emotions you have – including ones that you may have previously buried. Remember, we do not judge. We do not fix. Instead, we sit there with you, holding you with our attention.
If you’ve never been to a women’s circle before, it’s normal to feel nervous about what is expected – my intention with this post is to demystify what to expect at one of MY women’s circles (there is more than one way to ‘circle’ – my intent is not to prescribe the right way, rather to explain MY way)
If you are still interested in coming to one of my moon circles, and still feel nervous, or want to check something – I’d love to chat more with you, to help you feel more at ease.
I run regular online women’s circles, on a Monday around the Full Moon and the New Moon. We explore a variety of themes in the circles, and they can be accessed as individual circles, or you can block book. For more information on dates, themes, and pricing click here.