In Oct 2019 I found myself at a crossroads, my work contract had finished and found myself being called to step full time into my Coaching business. I had been doing coaching and consultancy work for over a decade on a part time basis, working a part time role alongside my own work.
This just wasn’t working for me anymore, I wanted flexibility, I had ideas I wanted to bring to life and I so much wanted to help women move to a deeper level of Self-Empowerment and transformation. At the same time it was really scary, I hadn’t really bothered with social media and had always got work through word of mouth. That was ok with a salary to back me up, but now there wouldn’t be a salary, eek !
So there I was a mature woman in my late 50s, a single mum, no media experience to speak of but brimming with ideas and a vision. I felt a deep calling to support women to a deeper level of Self-Empowerment where they could speak their truth without fear and return back to their strong authentic self.
It was scary to be taking this leap of faith in me but I could draw on over twenty years of experience holding space for women as I had been teaching and mentoring educators for many years. I had managed teams and coached and supported hundreds of women over the years. I had also experienced my fair share of life crisis situations with some leaving me broken and feeling deeply lonely and isolated.
But things had now settled and in Oct 2019 I decided it was now or never and took the plunge to do what I wanted to do. I made a list and started with some reflective questions ,What do I love to do , What are my values, What is important to me and What truly ignites my soul.
What came out was I love to teach, I love to write , I am creative, I like different, I value inclusiveness I love engaging with people, I love coaching and I find joy in supporting women to live a life they love.
I started to research Circle Work, went to circle and completed my circle certification. I felt in my heart and soul circle work would play a key role in the next part of my journey. I believed that the power of circle work could create positive change for women. I also believed deeply that it could be a way to give back, if I offered a free circle once a week perhaps the women would come. I wanted to provide a safe nurturing, welcoming and confidential space where all women would feel welcome. I knew through my work and through my own experiences that many women feel isolated and lonely in this world of busy and online connection. I wanted to provide real connection, face to face, to sit in circle just as women and men have done for thousands of years.
In circle there is no hierarchy, the power of circle is created by the circle, it offers women an opportunity to be heard, to feel included to be supported. So began the journey of the Free Sunrise Sister Circle. It was really important to me that it would be free. I have felt the sadness and shame of debt, having no money to buy food or wood for the fire a few years ago. I thought of my mum years ago a widow at thirty four years old with five children, isolated and stuck due to no money in her purse. The Sunrise Sister Circle would always be free to ensure every woman can access its support.
I chose my start date the first Saturday of 2020, I decided it would be weekly, we would meet at sunrise on the beach at Quinns Rocks and I would hold space for all women that wanted to join us in circle.
I advertised locally asked a few friends and went down on the beach just as the sun was rising. I wondered if the women would come and I set up my circle with a beautiful circle of fabric , some candles and crystals and I waited.
Then they came, beautiful women of different ages and backgrounds, up with the sunrise walking down the beach, chatting and laughing as they walked down to sit in circle ready to begin a new journey. I was so happy to see them and our journey continued every Saturday we never missed. They loved circle, they found them selves feeling uplifted and empowered, all the different elements have become loved as part of circle. Sharing wisdom in circle, finding our inner strength and wisdom, the ocean dip for those who choose after circle, then delicious engaging coffee and conversation together.
We moved on line for a few weeks as Covid hit the country then we went back to the beach. The image is our last circle of 2020 a celebration of all the amazing women who have come to circle over the year every one of them bringing their own special uniqueness and wisdom to circle. You can also view a beautiful video of this morning here on the site.
Together we celebrated the growth and transformation of many women who have consistently come to circle and found themselves again and feel empowered again. I am delighted that Sunrise Sister Circle has now been acknowledged and recognised as being a support for positive mental health through the Act Belong Commit Government programme.
I continue to offer Sunrise Sister Circle Free and we sit in circle every second Saturday which just created a better balance and the circle gets bigger and bigger as we go, as the women come to connect & to belong.
You are welcome to join the free Sunrise Sister Circle face book group and keep up to date with circle by clicking here and you are of course welcome as a woman to come and sit in circle with us any time you would like.