This circle has been running monthly for 3 years and was started by me, Regional Coordinator for Liverpool, Deborah Zaher. I’m now also the Communications Convener for Gather the Women and my role is to ensure the website, Facebook and Twitter all run smoothly. This includes the website blog, hence the inspiration for this feature arose. I thought about the net of Gather the Women cast all over the world and a desire arose within me to “know” all those sisters out there! As many as possible! To see their faces, know their names, see them sitting in circle. I have a vision of a beautiful book featuring all these Circle Spotlights… All of GTW’s circles… So we can see between two covers the many incredible women of GTW!
I’ll admit, I had no idea what I was doing when I started the Liverpool circle! I had read Jean Shinoda-Bolen’s book Urgent Message from Mother and I had to act. Within reading the first paragraph I was emailing Gather the Women asking how could I help? How could I be the tiniest cog in the works of this important machine? Three years later the Liverpool circle has grown from around 8 women per circle to around 25 women per circle. In the early days I really had no clue what a circle was or how to create one! But the call was so strong… so I did what I could and over the years I’ve learned such valuable lessons and depth about circle, all through my own experience. I’ve grown with circle and matured with circle and have much to thank circle for. Setting a safe, still space is important to me; when women walk into the room I want their hearts to feel held. I wish for every woman in my circle to feel that she’s sitting on her mama’s lap having her hair stroked and being given undivided, unconditionally loved attention… that it’s okay to be honest, okay to cry, okay to laugh, okay to say nothing. I pay attention to the atmosphere of the room and how it feels and looks… creating beautiful circle centres (sometimes hugely elaborate ones!) and ensuring the space looks and feels calm and relaxed. When I first paid attention to the look and feel of the room, women walked into the room and gasped. Some contacted me afterwards to say as soon as she walked into the room she felt held and safe and I began to consider that how the circle looks can have instant impact before people have even sat down. I spend time in the room alone before circle begins, asking that each woman feels heard, held, connected and loved. That’s my only intention with the circles I facilitate.
It is such an honour to hear women’s journeys, stories, truth… I am inspired by each woman who attends our circle, by her courage, her honesty, her capacity to love. I’m blessed, so very blessed, to know these sparkling women. To all my sistas in Liverpool… I love you very much, I honour you and I support you on your journeys.
In Liverpool, due to the incredible women who attend our circle, the love we share for each other and due to my passion and perseverance, we’ve created a beautiful, genuine sisterhood. We have over 50 active members who attend at least twice a year. We welcome all women and recently have been running out of chairs and seating women on the floor! We come together and listen intently and gratefully to each other. We all feel safe and held in our space and I always mention that it’s everyone’s responsibility to hold the space for each other and that it’s rare to fully lend your ears and presence to another and that we’re all grateful to each other for doing so.
As a circle we’ve found that we like to share our feelings, thoughts and stories around emotive deep issues and this has led us to set themes such as “Shame” “Sexuality” “Death and Dying” “Forgiveness” and “The Unspoken.”
After circle there is often a group of us who spend the afternoon together, eating, catching up, sharing ideas… Last month there were 16 of us who shared lunch!
We have a thriving Facebook group… Join us here.
Here are just a few of the incredible women of Liverpool GTW…