I’ve thought deeply about writing about this subject. My conclusion has been to finally say what I want to say. The background of this post; I look after an eco group called Inner Transition, as part of the Transition Network. Some months after I birthed this group, I was contacted by a lovely lady who wanted to get involved. Her desire was to create a group, specifically for women. Of course this was met positively and negatively by the core group at first, but we were given the green light to trial it and see what would happen.
The Women’s Circle was born. And quickly became very successful.
Soon after we stumbled across a man who wanted to do the same. With our support the Men’s Circle was also born and is quickly growing.
One of our rules were that any gender could attend either circle. The subjects would just be tailored more towards the gender of the circle. So the women would discuss menstruation and cycles. The men would discuss their role as father. I am still in awe of what these two circles bring to people and the networks they have grown as a result of the bonding in these spaces.
What I am reluctant, but want to acknowledge is that despite the good coming out of these circles, there are people who are upset at what we’ve created. I’ve heard, read and been told a number of comments which have left me confused. One person said they created division, when in fact these circles have brought people together who would have not ordinarily met. Someone else described their creation as “sad”. What is sad about people coming together to open up about the things that are close to their hearts as well as things they would normally be embarrassed to talk about? What is sad about communication, bonding, sharing, increasing the community?
I found a similar theme with the people voicing their negative comments. Not one of them dared approach anyone involved in these circles to either voice directly or ask more questions to see if their assumptions were correct. They sought only to converse with others who would agree with their judgement. One of them had recently spent four hours sat next to me, and then went to someone else to complain about it. Had any of these people approached any of us involved, we would have been more than happy to explain why these circles exist, what good they do and invite these people along to find out for themselves. All of us running and supporting these do so voluntarily and hence unpaid. There are good intentions here.
I am massively proud of what we have achieved. It warms me when I attend a circle and see women connecting, sharing, and often crying because they are in a safe space to open up enough to let themselves be seen as vulnerable. It is so heart based and what our world really needs right now. I love seeing the men post on social media about how their circle has helped them to open up and connect to their hearts. Wow.
I have no reason to write this other than to say my piece, give my perspective and implore anyone out there who does not understand; don’t dumb down your experience of life. Ask questions, step into the unknown, try another experience different from what you are used to.
You may surprise yourself.