Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Self-Love Celebration with My Ladies!

Since 1999, every other Tuesday night I have gone to my E-Circle. My E-Circle (aka Empowerment Circle) is a group of woman of various ages and backgrounds that was formed after we each had attended the Woman within Training Weekend. The weekend itself was an amazing journey that no doubt helped direct the course of my life and I highly recommend it to any woman. (There is also a men’s weekend called New Warrior Training Adventure, which my husband has done). However, even more than the initial training weekend, the experiences with my e-circle and the love and support from the woman in it have deeply impacted my life. Being barely 18 when the group started, the women of my e-circle have literally watched me grow up. They are my strongest group of unconditional supports, so when I suggested we celebrate MADLY IN LOVE WITH ME DAY, they we all in!

Last night, we had our MADLY IN LOVE WITH ME CELEBRATION. The ladies brought food to share. Yummy earthly food like dark chocolate, guacamole, apples & honey, cherrys and cheese (some cake and cookies too!) We came dressed, without reservation, as our most unique selves. There were skirts and scarves, sexy red tops and colors galore. We talked about self-love and what it meant to us. We shared letters we wrote to our younger selves and talked about our childhoods. Finally it was time for dancing! I love dancing, especially with ladies like these! It was a beautiful celebration of being our authentic selves. It was a special night, but experiencing my authentic self in the container of these women was not a new thing. Every time I have been with these women, it has always been easy for me to be myself. I credit this group of FABULOUS ladies for introducing me to the truest, most intense, most spiritual LOVE OF MY LIFE….MYSELF! After the introduction, there was quite a long courtship, full of turmoil and drama, but after all these years its official…we have tied the knot of UNCONTIONAL LOVE….I am unabashedly in love and committed to myself! It absolutely perfect that I could celebrate MADLY IN LOVE WITH ME DAY with the woman that helped make my own transformation possible!

I wish that all women could experience, having a group of woman like this in their lives. There is something about communing with other women that feels ancient and of the earth. In today’s world, woman often experience each other in competition, in distrust, in comparison and judgment of each other. In my circle we experience each other in connection, in safety and trust, in love and acceptance.

One of the women in my circle came last night, despite the fact that her mother in-law, that she had been the main caretaker for, had just passed away. She spoke about how glad she was that she had came, that the e-circle was the only place she thinks she would have left home for that night. She left home, because the safety of a group of people, who love and support you unconditionally, is like a second home.

The moral of the story is this, SURROUND yourself with as many people as possible that truly love you unconditionally, the more mirrors that reflect that back to you, the easier it is for you to do the same for yourself. Thank you my e-circle sisters past and present: Dorothy, Debbie, Elizabeth, Joyce, RhiOna, Beverly, Sue, Maureen & Jen for being those mirrors for me.



“There must be a positive and negative in everything in the universe in order to complete a circuit or circle, without which there would be no activity, no motion”
-John McDonald

I am a woman, a part of and the whole of the first circle, the circle that transcends space and time, the circle of women joined. I am woman, a human being of extraordinary strength, wisdom and grace. And this is true.
- Ann Valliant and The Womancraft Guide Manual Collection

"We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars … the stars form a circle, and in the center we dance."
 - Rumi
Writing the letter to my younger self (I picked 5yrs old) was a powerful experience. I originally started to write lots of advice to my little girl about loving her self, in the hopes that she’d listen and avoid the pain I experienced Something didn’t feel right, I erased what I had written and started again, this is what came out of me. I feel like I reaffirmed to myself that my life took the course that it has for a reason, that my pain and my struggle, probably has much to do with me getting to the positive place I am today. I have no regret and am filled with gratitude for all of my process.

Dear 5 Year Old Stephanie,

Sitting here, writing to you at almost 30 years old, it’s hard to find the words I want to share with you. I think back to my life and try to decide what I could tell you that would make things different for you. What could I say that could help you experience less pain? What could I tell you that might help you find some peace a little earlier?

I could say a lot of words, give a lot of advice, but your life may very still run the same course that mine did. Even if I impart my hard earned wisdom upon your young ears, you will still walk through your life with the same parents I had, and live in the same world I did. You will need to survive your life. I am not with you yet, to help you do this. So do what you need to do.

Just remember this, one day I will be with you. One day I will be the one to keep you safe. One day I will be able to show you the love and acceptance you deserve. One day I will let your light shine for the whole world to see. All of the experiences you will have over the next 25 years will create me. And guess what? I LOVE and ACCEPT the woman you will create. So thanks in advance.

Almost 30yr old Stephanie