Held twice a month, the Circle is open to all women and can be joined at anytime. It is an opportunity to come together for companionship and support. The aim is for the experience to be grounding, and for those attending to leave feeling renewed, stronger, and closer to the other women in the group. To be heard without judgement, or being silenced. It is a chance to meet new like minded women.
At the end of the evening there will be a light supper with salad from the garden. The opening circle begins with introductions followed by a group-wide discussion of a theme, seasonal focus or issue common to the group. Occasionally we will have outside speakers. We close with a summing up and offer gratitude. There is a commitment to keep confidentiality. Everybody gives their thoughts on the month’s theme and listens to others in turn,
The Studio offers a safe space for women to share their experiences, a place where they can rest from the busyness of their lives and are accepted just as they are by other women. Our society has increasingly pushed women towards comparing themselves to one another physically and towards struggling to compete. Many women find it life changing to be in heard, witnessed and supported by other women in this way and having attended quite a few circles, I have seen how women can become empowered in each others company.
I can attest to the power of feeling heard. It is quite usual to share things that may not be discussed with even closest friends because it is not help or advise that we seek, but the gentle acceptance and genuine feeling of loving non-judgement from the women in the circle. Friends quite naturally want to help and advise and sometimes we just want a different form of feedback. Vulnerability is crucial to the effectiveness of women’s circles. It is often a word that is misunderstood and feeling vulnerable oneself instinctively encourages us to hold a safe space for others to do the same. Providing this safe space where we can be honest with others and held in unconditional friendship/love by them. It changes how we perceive ourselves in turn and we have the opportunity to accept ourselves at we are.
This is the theory of the wonderful American researcher and author Brené Brown, whose book, Daring Greatly, studies the power of vulnerability. She argues that showing vulnerability is not a weakness to be hidden but a strength to be celebrated, and that the fight to appear perfect stands in the way of true happiness and success.
It’s a powerful concept in a world where everything a woman does, from her makeup to her cooking to her parenting to her often multiple roles as daughter, sister, friend, auntie and mother must be ‘flawless’ or ‘perfect’.
Circle of Stones: Woman's Journey to Herself by Judith Duerk
Women Who Run With The Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
If Women Rose Rooted : A Journey to Authenticity and Belonging by Sharon Blackie
Braving the Wilderness: The quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone by Brené Brown
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead
by Brené Brown
Last Circle: May 13th, June 3rd, June 17th, July 1st