“A circle of women is a nurturing and sustaining resource that can become a spiritual and psychological wellspring tapped into whenever the circle meets.”
— Jean Shinoda Bolen, Urgent Message from Mother
Just a few short weeks ago, I was honored and amazed to sit in the circle of 21 women who attended our first two sampler sessions. As I told them, it was simply wonderful to hear their voices and listen to their writings. This is the beautiful sound of Women Writing for (a) Change — the sounds of women, being heard.
Do you hear what I hear?
Some of you are out there still discerning if this is the right next step for you. As you consider it, may I share with you a journal entry I wrote after I graduated from my leadership course this fall? It speaks to the beauty of the voices I hear in the circle, and the importance of claiming our voices:
Journal Entry, November 1, 2013:
Why is it such a dark, terrible thing when women’s voices are silenced?
It came to me today: Because when we speak our words out loud, and especially when others repeat those words back to us, it signals that those words — that women — have value. They are important. They are worthwhile.
When we repeat each others’ words during the WWf(a)C read-back ritual, it sends a deep, deep message:
I hear you.
I value you.
I honor you.
The first time I heard my words read back to me in the circle, I felt as proud as I did when I received praise from my parents as a young child, or when I graduated from high school, or (embarrassingly), when I made the homecoming court:
I am recognized!
I am valuable!
I am worthy!
Of course, at that time I was fed by outside affirmation, needing it like bread with butter, my teeth making clean marks in the smooth surface of it, sharply outlined. These days, I am defined by my own self-love, and self-worth, and outside affirmation is just icing on the cake.
But it tastes delicious.
So, Dear Women Writers out there: Before you get too caught up in the holiday madness, please let me remind you of this opportunity to be heard, starting January 15, 2014, for 15 weeks of delicious writing, listening, and feeding our souls.
If you register by December 31 with a deposit of $75, you can get the early bird rate of $350. Then please pay $150 by January 10, and $125 by January 14. Or, you can pay all at once. It’s up to you. Here’s the link to register at Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Women-Writing-for-a-Change-Jacksonville/events/140889832/
As a small but powerful thank you gift, I’ll send you a list of outstanding journal prompts to close out this year and ring in the new one, as suggested by my journaling mentor, Kay Adams, at the Center for Journal Therapy.
If you feel this is the right time for you to be called to the circle, and to be heard and honored by yourself and others, do join me for the January 15, 2014, inaugural Core Class of Women Writing for (a) Change, Jacksonville.
I hear the call. And I hope you hear what I hear.
P.S. Perhaps you may have someone else that you’d like to invite to the circle? If so, please do!