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Yesterday was International Women's Day (IWD) and I know I'm supposed to be inspired by it, but it had the opposite effect on me.

Something had happened at the beginning of the week which triggered 'unheard' and 'powerless' in me and I had dropped into despair, grief too, which often shows up in thoughts of 'what's the point?'.

As I sat with it (I feel if it's possible to just feel the feelings that's what helps me to move through them). It felt much bigger than just the event that had happened at the beginning of the week... It was about climate crisis and war and patriarchy and misogyny. And on IWD I felt deeply sad we're still trying to #breakthebias

And so, I shared in a meeting I was feeling low, whilst at the same time feeling guilty for bringing the mood down.

And yet, that sharing opened the door to some of the amazing women I work with, to check in on me. One listened as I cried, one said yes to our meeting outside in nature and several others reached out offering an ear.

Last night, after I'd shifted through it all a bit (assisted by feeling, connecting and nature) I shared a post on Facebook, in gratitude for all the women I have in my life that support and hold me. And more friends checked in on me.

And I realised that that is what IWD is really about! It's about women having one another's back... its about women looking out for one another... its about feeling safe enough to share our feelings with other women... its about those feelings not being diminished or invalidated, but held, honoured, heard.

Last night I heard that Nicola Sturgeon gave a posthumous apology for the persecution and execution of 4, 000 people (mostly women) under the witchcraft act in Scotland and announced a report was published on misogyny. And that gives me hope... that perhaps we really are moving to #breakthebias

In the meantime, let us gather to support one another through these tough times...

"A circle of women may just be the most powerful force known to humanity. If you have one, embrace it. If you need one, seek it. If you find one, for the love of all that is good and holy, dive in. Hold on. Love it up. Get Naked. Let them see you. Let them hold you. Let your reluctant tears fall. Let yourself rise fierce and love gentle. You will be changed. The very fabric of your being will be altered by this, if you allow it. Please, please allow it." ~Jeanette LeBlanc

The circles of women in my life nourish me deeply, give me strength and a sense of belonging, inspire me and help me to keep showing up in a world that breaks my heart day after day. I literally don't know if I could do it without them.

To all the women that are there for me... thankyou for seeing me, holding me, loving me letting me be naked and changing me.

May you all find circles of women to do the same for you... and in the words of Jeanette LeBlanc when you do, "for the love of all that is good and holy, dive in"!

Jo x

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