This past week I had my host training for Women’s Wellness Circle up in Uxbridge. The training truly resonated with me, but there was one thing in particular that really sealed the deal for me—it was this idea of circle.
Being that I had not yet experienced a wellness circle, when I first agreed to take on the role of host, I don’t think that I fully understood the concept.
In order to teach us how to host circle, Jill Hewlett, our leader, walked us through the circle experience, one step at a time, and I very quickly began to appreciate its essence.
There was an activity at the beginning where we were asked to say our name, give one word to describe how we were feeling, and then say the words, “I’m in” while raising our hands up and placing them with intention within the circle.
For me, this exercise was both powerful and spiritually uplifting and left my body filled with goose bumps. Upon reflection, I have come to realize just why it was so impactful.
This past year I became an “empty-nester,” when my youngest son left for University. I did not anticipate the feelings of loneliness that would soon follow.
Being that I devoted so much of my life to my family, I was feeling a bit lost without them. All of a sudden the dynamic had changed. I was no longer needed in the same way as mother, my husband was working full time, and family and friends were busy moving through their own lives.
Pursuing my career did not fill the unspeakable void. As a matter of fact, my work as author, speaker, and coach left me feeling, for the most part, equally unsatisfied as it was proving to be a very solo journey.
Using my self-created story curriculum I attempted to treat myself by rewriting my stories, doing the inner work, and once again diving into my career. But the patterns resurfaced, no matter what I was doing. I could not find the remedy for being content and at peace in my world.
But during that “I’m in” exercise in the circle, something fell into place; it was a beautiful realization.
Being a stay-at-home mom for decades, I committed to the roles of mother and wife—and within my family I did belong and feel strongly connected. Although I did not sufficiently nurture my friendships and find balance in my world, I was sure that the love of family would be enough to sustain me.
Then my mother passed away and my world was shaken. Other challenging personal chapters followed that chapter. And as my world was being turned upside down, I found myself slowly disconnecting, suffering in silence, and in search of wellness of mind and body. At this time I was sure that doing the inner work would be enough to sustain me.
As my youngest child stepped out into the “real” world, connecting and engaging with life, I think I began to lose my true sense of belonging and connection—the umbilical cords now stretched too far from home.
My life moved forward, but the emptiness prevailed. The inner work was constant, but the peace and satisfaction were not at all guaranteed.
But in that moment in circle, when I raised my hands and said, “I’m in,” something opened up inside of me that was dear and empowering. I felt a strong sense of both connection and belonging—I felt the essence of circle.
I now see this that this wellness circle is a place for women to gather, to connect, to share, and to empower—to feel seen, heard, acknowledged, validated, and valued.
A circle speaks to an eternal bond, to a continuous cycle, to a more concentrated flow of energy that can feel welcoming, inclusive, and inviting.
I was wrong to think that I could heal on my own, by doing my inner work, daily and alone. I neglected to understand the importance, too, of external connection—of circles of support and friendship.
In that moment, there came the realization that I am ready to commit to honoring my values of connection, contribution, and service. I am ready to expand my reach and grow my cause—wellness of mind and body, by enhancing both internal and external connection.
Wellness research speaks to the importance of love and connection, which plays a huge role in one’s well-being. This has been scientifically proven.
Let us allow life to be a shared experience; let us feel the essence of circle. My wish for you is that you reach out and find your circle(s), with whomever and wherever they may be.
This upcoming November, I will be launching the Vaughan Women’s Wellness Circle. More information regarding this new Wellness Circle will follow.