When I was 19, I was an instructor to aspiring camp counselors. One of my tasks was to lead the young women on a hike in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
I carefully selected a trail and hiked it myself to verify the time required for this activity. I reported to the senior instructors, “It took me three hours. But I hiked straight through and went really fast. I’m sure it will take a lot longer with a group of 20 girls.”
The women in charge laughed. “It will go much faster with a group of 20 girls.” I did not believe them.
On the day of the group hike, as I had suspected, there was much laughter, much talk, and many stops for complicated photo arrangements. The girls in the lead took a wrong turn at one point and we had to back-track for a while. It felt more like ambling than hiking. And yet, we were back at the trail head in two and a half hours.
I have since learned: progress and learning are faster and easier in a group. (If you don’t have a group to support you, join mine.)
I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends
A Rainbow of Emotions
Before children, I was even-tempered, reasonably calm, and uber-logical. I never screeched or hollered as a little girl. I did not pout or throw fits as a teen. I was a quiet and content wife.
- Exuberant joy
- Intense fear
I had not known these emotions dwelt within me, yet my children could provoke them with a word, a seemingly innocuous action, or by leaning on me.
I Join a Group
The first formal woman’s circle I joined wasn’t for mothers on the verge of losing it. It was a simple meditation group. Mostly, we sat together with our eyes closed. At that time, I wasn’t even interested in (or aware of) meditation. I joined because the opportunity showed up for me when my children were small and I needed something – anything – to get away from home one evening per month.
The act of sitting in that circle began a transformative journey that continues to this day. One of the greatest benefits has been that I am no longer a slave to my emotions.
Support for Stressed-Out Mothers
I have been sitting in women’s circles for over a decade. Some circles lasted an hour. Others have been ongoing for years. Each has enriched my life.
A More Structured Group
If you need a place to start, please consider joining the Swan Mothers Circle. Our next session starts September 25 and is conducted by phone and on-line, so you can participate from anywhere. Recordings are also available in case you are not able to listen at the scheduled times.