It was a little over three years ago when I first met my BFF Nellie. She was the facilitator of a women’s circle in our town. I had never been to a circle, so wasn’t sure what it was all about; we decided to meet for lunch, to talk and get to know each other.
I am not a shy person, but it can be uncomfortable to meet someone blindly; “I’ll be wearing a red sweater.”
Nellie was very good about explaining what a circle was (and wasn’t); it wasn’t witchcraft (which I was imagining for some reason). It had no religious or even spiritual basis, it was simply (and complicatedly) time set aside in which a group of women, who sat in a circle were able to share themselves and be heard (without interruption). You were given a ‘talking piece’ and when it was your turn, the floor was yours. It was really uncomfortable at first, all eyes looking at you, ears wide open, no advice, no chatter. Just a few nods of the head. When you were done, you handed the talking piece (maybe a ceramic angel, or a smooth stone) to the next person. When they began sharing, you listened ‘with the ear of your heart.’
But I digress, in order to learn the ‘mirror concept’ I needed to share what the circle was all about, and how I learned (and continue to learn) how to care for others while caring for myself.
The circle, and this group of women changed my life on so many levels. After we settled in, there were on average six women who consistently joined the group twice a month. I have remained friends with all of them, although some I rarely see and some I see regularly. All touched my heart and all shared their ‘grit.’ One thing I really valued about this group was that it wasn’t sunshine and moonbeams. We were able to safely and productively unload the emotional baggage that we’d been carrying – for some, our entire lives. It was incredibly cathartic to ease it out, let it go, pray it away.
If not for Nellie and this group, I wouldn’t have found myself sitting on my basement steps bawling my eyes out at 12:30 in the morning, the evening before the second WIRED conference was to begin. I sniffed and babbled: “I can’t do this, what if.. or that, I am not sure…” I went onto say: “I wish I was more like you; wise and smart and you know what to do.” Nellie replied with: “What you see in me, is what I see in you, I am a mirror, a reflection of you.”
WHAT? It made perfect sense, it was clear and articulate and it made me realize that it was exactly what I wanted to portray to the wired ladies that were coming here to Minnesota – from across the globe to feel and know. I desired for them, to get back – what I was putting out. Wisdom, peace, education, love.
My intentions, although oftentimes flawed, have generally been made with good and positive thoughts.
I desire to be a reflection of goodness, honesty, peace and imperfection.