The Many Joys of “Circle Connections”
(A review by Linda Sechrist of the Circle Connections training that took place on July 22, 2006 at the Happehatche Center in Estero, FL)
Keeping pace with life as it whizzes by my doorstep at lightning speed has caused me to muse over the possibility that life is no longer for amateurs who don’t have the endurance of an Olympic Goddess, the wisdom and patience of Buddha or Jesus, the compassion of Mother Theresa and the deep knowledge of Yoda.
“Where does my time go?” is a question that comes up in nearly everyone’s conversation.
Though I cannot always account for dates, I have discovered that I can relate stories of my time spent – but only “if” I have chosen my activities wisely and fully invested my self and my attention in them.
Since becoming involved in Gather the Women of South Florida and Circle Connections, I have come to a profound conclusion – to have a rich, memorable and meaningful life I must compose my time as meticulously as any story I craft. Since experiencing the unity of Circle, I am no longer satisfied to simply live through the minutes, hours and weeks of each month. Instead, my soul’s yearnings have wafted up from deep within. Whispering to me “sing, dance, drum, draw, paint, write, dream and celebrate,” I yearn to collectively co-create positive change in the world along with women of substance, like those I met in June at my first Circle Connections event in Estero.
Though it rained, spirits soared as everyone stepped lightly across a unique suspension bridge in route to bless and initiate the opening of Ellen Petersen’s Happehatche Center. The anticipation of meeting other likeminded women lingered on the fragrant earth-scented air, teasing our nostrils and heightening our sensitivity to the splendor of what was to unfold throughout the day – the awesome vision of 14 women unfurling the magnificence of their authentic selves in a safe space.
The gentle drizzle and intermittent showers co-mingled with the sharing of lunch, rich storytelling, laughter, singing, drumming and uplifting flute playing by Kat Epple. Further enhancing the experience, Carlene Thissen’s lovely voice and guitar playing introduced Circle participants to one of her newly written songs “Go Change the World.”
The gentle yet engaging TAT & T’ai offerings by Janet Weisberg and Deb Stump-Burger allowed for all to feel connected to their bodies and to a nearly tangible air of sacredness that lay about Circle like a protective mantle. At 9:30 a.m. when Ann Smith opened Circle, we were women who had gathered to learn about the Magnificence of Circle and the Eight Ingredients for Creating a Delicious and Nutritious Way of Life. Reluctant to break Circle at 4 p.m., we had become sisters whose intimate lives had gently been stitched together like "An American Quilt."
The pace of my life over the last few months has occasionally resembled that of a train whose speed allows for a barely recognizable landscape. However, the music, stories and women from Circle who wove themselves into my heartscape have provided a banquet for my soul on its journey.
Circle Connections member Linda Sechrist is a Freelance Writer living in Naples, Florida