What is a Women's Healing Circle?
“One of the things this society is most deficient in is safe spaces for truth-telling about the condition of our souls”
Author and contemporary wise man Parker Palmer has been doing this kind of work for years now; creating safe spaces, or "circles of trust", paving the way for people to find a new sense trust in their own inner voice. I've been talking about this idea this week in my classes - the 'hidden wholeness' that we all have within, but is often drowned out by the world around us, the demands of everyday life, and even the voices in our own heads. More on that later...but in the meantime, my friend Kristen Kalp has some insightful things to say about those loud voices.
When I heard Parker Palmer say these words in an interview with Krista Tippet, my soul sunk and leapt at the same time. I felt a resounding YES coming from within. And I thought to myself, 'this is what I want to do.' I desire to help cultivate this kind of space for people (and for myself).
Thomas Merton claimed that “there is in all things...A hidden wholeness.” But back in the human world-where we are less self-revealing-Merton’s words can sound like wishful thinking. Afraid that our inner light will be extinguished or our inner darkness exposed, we hide our true identities from each other. In the process, we become separated from our own souls. We end up living divided lives, so far removed from the truth we hold within that we cannot know the ‘integrity that comes from being what you are’.
I've been reading this and other quotes from Parker J Palmer this week in my classes. There's something profound about being reminded that we have a true self, an inner light, a deep sense of wholeness within. And also recognizing that that our society and lives often tempt us to stifle this inner light or true self; our soul.
"When we are rooted
in our true self, we can act in ways that are life-giving for us and for all those whose lives we touch. Whatever we do to care for true self is, in the long run, a gift to the world." -Parker Palmer
So what will we be doing at the Women's Circles?
We will sit together around a circle and hold space for one another. We will do some breathing, simple seated movements, and then a candid conversation with a specific theme. This month (September) will be themed around Self-Care. Why we struggle and how we can find ways to care for ourselves even in small ways to push us toward more wholeness and authentic living.
It will be a breath of fresh air.
Hopefully, it will be a spring of fresh water to your soul that often doesn't have opportunity to speak into your life. From Parker Palmer's own words in his book A Hidden Wholeness;
“So what do we do in a circle of trust? We speak our own truth; we listen receptively to the truth of others; we ask each other honest, open questions instead of giving counsel; and we offer each other the healing and empowering gifts of silence and laughter...A circle of trust has no agenda except to help people listen to their own souls and discern their own truth.”
You are welcome here.
Monday evening (9/3) from 7-8pm at the studio. Wear comfortable clothes and bring some thoughts on self-care if you want to! I (Abby) will be leading this time so if you just want to show up and be present with other women, please do! We'll have coffee and tea! You can register here or just show up and bring a friend!