A safe and compassionate space where women come together to reconnect with themselves and each other. Reflecting on the challenges of life in lockdown and sharing their experiences without judgement. Neither therapy nor a place for casual conversation. Caring together for one another.
For all who identify as women. Ages 16 – 100+ Weekly from Monday 11th January 2021 7:30pm -8:30pm on Zoom.
You can also show up for other women whose situations may be worsened because of lockdown. A small gift of £5 can make a big difference in helping refuge.org.uk provide"life-saving and life-changing services to women and children escaping domestic abuse and other forms of gender-based violence.” (https://www.refuge.org.uk/get-involved/organise-your-own-fundraising). THANK YOU! Send your gift to: Dr A Houdijk, account:11637053 sort: 40-0632 Ref: REFUGE
What to expect
Vision: For women to feel more connected with other women during this time of lockdown. To co-create a collective space for reflection, wisdom and care.
What do I need: A quiet comfortable space, pen and paper, an object which will symbolise your connection to the group (e.g. something from nature, a crystal, an object from another important female in your life), and an open mind and heart.
What to expect: All circles will differ depending on the unique make up of it’s members on any given day. You will however, whether you choose to verbally share or not, become an important part of the space created.
What will I need to do: You are invited to participate as much as you can in the process of the group outlined below in the schedule. Sharing is invited, not required. This is also a space for nonjudgment; we are creating safety. As such, please abide by the 4 intentions below as the basis of interactions in the circle. If you experience judgmental or hostile reactions to other speakers I ask that you do not share these but instead, observe and reflect on your own reactions.
There are 4 simple intentions which will guide our interactions in this circle:
“The first intention is to “speak from the heart” . This means to speak not only with your head and your ideas, but with your feelings as well. It means to tell your own story as honestly as you can trust in the moment. You have countless important and meaningful experiences. When you speak about them truthfully, you are speaking from the heart.
The second intention is to “listen from the heart” when another person is talking. This means to listen without judgment, to listen with an open mind, even if you disagree with what the person is saying. Listen not just with your mind, but with your heart as well.
The third intention is to “speak spontaneously.” This means that we try to wait before our time to talk before we decide what we want to say. There are good reasons for this. First, if you are thinking about what you are going to say, then you are not listening completely to the person who is speaking. Second, when you don’t preplan what you are going to say, you will often be surprised what comes to you when it is your turn.
The last intention is to “speak leanly.” Something that is “lean” doesn’t have anything extra on it. When you speak, keep in mind that many others would like a chance to speak, and that there is limited time. Use only those words necessary to get your point or story across. Please remember that no one is required to speak.”
NOTE: These 4 intentions are borrowed from The Centre for Contemplative Mind in Society http://www.contemplativemind.org/practices/tree/council-circle and have been quoted from Guidelines for Creating Circle (Zaher, D. et al, (2014) page 23: https://www.gatherthewomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Guidelines-in-How-to-Form-a-Circle.pdf)
7:30 – 7:35pm – Gathering. Time for people to log in, join the circle and get themselves comfortable. The circle will lock at 7.35pm.
7:35 – 7:40pm – Welcome and creating the space. A brief guided mindfulness and or breath practice to come into the space after a long day/week.
7:40 – 7.45pm – Topic. An introduction to the topic of the week and the focus of our reflections for the session.
7.45-7.50pm – Reflections. Time to reflect and/or write down on how the topic relates to you at this time in your life.
7.50 – 8.20pm – Circle. Time to share your reflections, thoughts, ideas, emotions, reactions, about the topic. When you finish speaking you say “Thank you for listening” to indicate the next person can share.
8.20 - 8.25pm – Closing. Guided mindfulness meditation or compassion-based practice to finish.