Many years ago a very intuitive woman suggested I join a Womens Circle. I didn’t know what that was, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t for me. It sounded kind of hippy and a bit scary. I felt that it would probably involve chanting, and maybe hugging. I stayed the hell away.
Cut to 2017 and I was spending a lot of time alone on my couch. I’m not a classic extrovert, but I am lifted by connection with others, even though I need plenty of down time to replenish myself afterwards. I used to catch up with girlfriends over a meal or a glass of wine. Actually, catch up was really just another way of saying ‘wine’. I’d get together with a friend after school pick up a Friday afternoon, share a few glasses and catch up while the kids played. My mums group would schedule quarterly gatherings at a local bar and I’d meet old friends for dinner and share a bottle of wine. On Sunday afternoons we’d have family friends over and they’d arrive with their kids, crackers, cheese and wine. I don’t think I consumed an unhealthy amount of wine. Social occasions came up less often than once a week. But when I did socialise, there was wine.
And now here I was, unable to drink alcohol. It was having too much of an impact on my physical and emotional health. It would take a week to recover from a few quiet glasses with dinner. Besides, I really didn’t have the energy to get dressed up and leave the house for a meal out anyway. I wanted to see my friends, and I was longing for the company of women, but it was going to require a social paradigm shift. Adrenal Fatigue had settled in for the long haul. Maybe I would never have more energy than this again. I needed a new way to sustain connections with women.
Some of my more energetic friends had already found ways to hang out without wine. They met for long walks, did yoga together or played sport. I was barely leaving the couch, so that was definitely out for me. I wasn’t particularly crafty, I couldn’t knit and I didn’t think I had the energy for a new hobby anyway. For a while I toyed with the idea of a book club. I could invite my favourite women over to sit on the couch with me, drink tea and talk about the books I was reading. Perfect! Then I found out all the book clubs met in bars and my literary buddies preferred their literature with wine. One day I found myself thinking again about womens circles. What if I invited my favourite women over to sit on the couch with me, drink tea and…. well, just that actually. We wouldn’t drink wine. We wouldn’t play sport or do craft. We wouldn’t have any particular goal at all. We’d just be together and talk about stuff and enjoy each others company. Actually it sounded blissful. And if I ran my own Womens Circle there would definitely be no chanting or hippie stuff!
At the same time I was having strong intuitive messages about connecting with my feminine side. I was drawn to articles, stories, novels and conversations about women, the divine feminine and balancing the masculine and feminine aspects of the self. My dreams songs (I wrote about them recently in Messages From The Dream Weave!) were all about women and loss of connection with self. I had heard people talk about the divine feminine, and something had taken root, though I couldn’t have explained it at the time. I didn’t really know what ‘divine feminine’ meant, and to be honest it made me feel a bit uncomfortable and awkward. Like I might have to dance naked in public or expose some side of myself that was private and shameful. But I started to believe that my recovery was in some way linked with women and this mysterious divine feminine.
I started googling Womens Circles. It was a kind of compulsion. I didn’t question it too much, I just let it take me. My logical brain was looking for a ‘how to’ guide for hosting a circle. This was not my comfort zone, and I felt I needed someone to tell me the basics before starting. What do you even do in a womens circle? Did we have to sit in an actual circle? What should we talk about? Would I provide food? What if someone bought wine? Should I set rules? I thought about it day and night. I went from believing womens circles were probably a bit weird, to desperately wanting to know how to run one. And then, a week later, I saw the following ad in a newsletter from my local Yoga Studio:
There is a fucking training course in running Womens Circles! Actually that is precisely what I said, out loud, as I read the newsletter. THERE’S A FUCKING TRAINING COURSE IN THIS SHIT!
If your inner voice is telling you that you should be holding circle, but you’re not quite sure what that means or how it looks….
I couldn’t believe it. The ad was actually written FOR ME. This gorgeous woman is coming to Australia, to my yoga studio around the corner, all the way from the U.S, to teach me how to run a Womens Circle. I laughed out loud. And then I cried a little bit, because I wanted to do it but it scared me and I didn’t know how I felt about it. And then I spent a week in self doubt and fear, questioning how I could possibly expect to leave the house from 9am to 5pm for five straight days when I hadn’t been on my feet for more than 2 hours at a time in six months.
And then I booked it.
And then I was diagnosed with Adenomyosis and scheduled for a hysterectomy.
And that was the end of Life as I knew it.