I've been hosting a women's circle online since summer last year and on Sunday it drew to a close in its current format... although it will continue in a new form.
The focus has been exploring spirituality and I've loved how it's emerged... the group choosing a different theme to explore in the gaps between the sessions.
It's been beautiful to see the deepening of sharing... sharing of what is real and important and vulnerable as the trust in the group has grown.
In our final session we spent some time exploring what is. What is touching us in what is happening in the world. It felt a profound privilege to be able to hold space for that conversation. And I feel called to hold more of those conversations where we can each share our truths in an open and honest way where there is space for listening and hearing, for not responding, but instead for understanding.
We also reflected on the threads that were woven throughout the sessions and what story they told. And I wanted to share my personal weaving with you...
The first theme we chose was to explore spirituality through a spiritual figure or teacher... in a number of synchronicities Mary Magdalene presented herself to me. I meditated with her and felt an overwhelming love radiating from her. I asked her 'How can I love like you?' and she told me to drop the veils and see through the eyes of love.
Our second theme was stories or narratives, again synchronistically a story came to me... The Celestine Prophesy. Not feeling I had time to read the whole book in the month gap I decided to watch the film (which is pretty terrible... I'd definitely recommend the book!) but there was an opening quote in the film which caught my eye 'look not from the mind but from the soul... find the eyes to see'.
Next we chose a theme of exploring spirituality through art, music, creativity. For me this exploration brought a knowing that creativity is not an aside to the 'real work' of life... but is central and core to living. That we've bought into the lie that life is about productivity and output and only when we've done everything 'important' can we create. This awareness put creativity right in the centre for me. If Spirit/God/Goddess is the Creator then when we create we become the Creator too... bringing us as close to Spirit as possible! And I remembered what called me to the art course I did a few years ago... a student on the previous year's course telling me creating art allowed her to see the world through different eyes. Our fourth theme, which we took over two months... deepening into over midwinter... was to sit with a question. The question that was arising for me at that time from my reading and exploring was 'How do I more fully awaken?' What came to me as we explored was that I am already fully awakened, its just that when viewing through the filter of my ego I am unable to see the truth. Reminds me of the Rumi quote... "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." And our final theme was related to spiritual practice... not to start new practices, but to notice when we feel close to spirit in our daily lives. And again synchronistically whilst in a second hand bookshop just before Christmas the book 'How to Find God in Everything: An Invitation to Awaken to Your True Nature and Transform Your World' by Amoda Maa Jeevan almost jumped off the shelf into my hands! From the exploration, the conversation that opened in our circle answered two questions: How do I invite Spirit in? How do I experience Spirit? I realised there is much I already do in all areas of my life to invite Spirit in... from creating to lighting candles; from noticing in nature to dancing; from meditating to swimming; from ritual and ceremony to verbally invoking; from writing to divining with oracle cards; from asking for help and answers to staying open to what comes. And what does come? How do I experience Spirit? Through synchronicities... through joy... through my heart breaking open to Love... through tears... through intuition & guidance... through inspiration. And a new one to me which came through this circle... through a single, silent, perfect note! We were contemplating how it would be if spirituality were nothing, if there was no such thing as Spirit and I experienced a nothingness... a wasteland... a deep sadness... which then became the most beautiful nothing... no-thing... a single, silent, perfect note... an experience of Spirit in that moment... bringing tears to my eyes. I feel such enormous gratitude for the circles of women I work with! Whenever I delve into the work with others, it always takes me deeper into it too. So where does that leave me? With a knowing there's less to 'do' than I thought! That it's not about doing more of something, instead it's about letting go of the perception, dropping the veils and finding the eyes (of Love) to see. This idea of perception and perspective has always been intriguing to me. We don't see the world as it is but as we are. I think it was Jim Carey that said our eyes are projectors... our eyes filter our experience of the world, projecting our own worldview onto it. And I'm left with the inspiration to 1) Create! Create! Create! remembering that creating makes us the Creator! 2) Meditate with Mary Magdalene more often as both times I have its been a profound experience 3) To keep inviting Spirit in and pausing to notice the moments when Spirit is present. So, where does that leave you? Would love to hear your reflections... in the comments below... And if you're not sure what you think to comment, perhaps you'll leave a wee or so I know my words haven't just disappeared into the ether ♡ Jo Ps. If anyone is interested in their own experience of Exploring Spirituality and would like to be part a women's circle, please message me or comment below. I'll have 8 places available on my next circle