Sunday, December 20, 2009

circle time in seattle

The invitation to participate in this conversation keeps reaching farther out and in to women's hearts across the country. Right before Thanksgiving I sent an invitation to participate through Threshold Choir (thanks to Kate Munger) and heard back from about 40 women in response - from Ann Arbor, MI to British Columbia, Canada. I'm so encouraged by this phenomenon and my belief in the need for and benefits of this project grows with every contact and every circle. Speaking of which ...

Thank you Seattle AND many many thanks to you Melina for hosting!! I was immediately reminded of what a gift it is to give our full presence and listen to each other - this has been true everywhere, but especially so in Seattle. With a majority of the women in her 40s, we covered a span of almost 30 years (ages 36-62) and several countries of origin: S. Africa, Italy and Mexico, in addition to several different states in the US. One stand out for me in Seattle, was that these women had very clear ideas about how they are finding fulfillment in life and channeling their nurturing and love. Several work directly with women who are or want to be mothers; offering counsel and therapy to those who have lost babies, photographing women who are pregnant, coaching parents, or helping mothers reclaim their bodies and selves after giving birth and raising children by offering yoga retreats and personal practices. There was also a lot of interest in this topic from men, including partners of these women, and I was reminded again how this is as profound an inquiry and life determining decision for them too! It is a parenting issue as much as a mothering issue, and the generation just behind me, seems to be more open to the idea of not procreating and much less programed to think this is what we must do as women/people.

Upon listening to everyone's stories I began to see more connections between all the circles and the themes/chapters for the ultimate collection started to emerge. Now it is time for me to pour through the hours of content I've been gathering over the last few months and bring your voices together into an inviting, uplifting, and enriching audio program. I'll be spending January focused on this, in addition to my other work helping protect wetlands in the SF Bay Area, and will post progress reports as I go. Come February, I may need to augment what I've got in some follow up one-on-one interviews, and/or host another circle or two.

I'm excited and challenged by the work ahead, and look forward to the process of listening, learning, extracting and piecing this into a final product that is of benefit to many. May that ripple continue to extend out to all beings everywhere. May you find peace in the holidays ahead and creatively define what they mean to you and those you love.

with gratitude

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