The time for the solitary circle, the circle of one, to end. I've known for a very long time, but finding the right circle, the right group, has seemed like too much work. I've stepped into circle, attempted to create my own circles. Now, a circle is in front of me. Do I step in or do I watch from the periphery?
The first circle I attended was in 1997. I had prayed feverishly for 3 things that year. I didn't "goal set", which I do now. There was no vision board (you better believe that visioning is now a huge part of my life). But, there was certainly a singular focus and an understanding that year that if I did not do "something" that my life would NEVER be what it could be, what it was supposed to be.
So, I prayed and thought and visualized in my head for:
1. The love of my life
2. A great job to pull me out of the bonds of retail management
3. A connection to the Divine so real and powerful and would meet me spiritually in the deep primordial way that I so longed for.
Within 6 weeks in late summer/early fall of 1997, they all came to be. My BFF was part of a women's circle and I was invited to come to a weekend with a Shaman from New Zealand, which changed my life and opened a door to something that (this is my ego talking), most people can only dream of - not because they cannot experience it - but because they won't.
Those other two things. Yes, they happened as well. After meeting the Grandfather from NZ, I received a call from an old acquaintance that offered me a fantastic day job in property management AND I met the man I now call "husband". 1997 was a good year.
From that time until 2001, I stood in a circle, twice a week plus equinoxes and solstices with a group of men and women that worked together in earnest and in pursuit of the higher teachings that truly have been mysteries for thousands of years. This was a magical time of my life - in both real and esoteric terms.
But, somewhere along the way, I shifted. I know when it happened. It came with pregnancy. No longer the maiden - stepping into the power of the mother - my eyes adjusted and my place as equal and as a carrier of a different knowledge grew, which made the facilitator of our circle not very happy. Truthfully, it was time. Spirit knew it was time. Discord grew among the circle and unhappiness with the ego of our dear friend who had been our homebase, our "leader" in a way for so long. In 2001, I left that group, not entirely knowing why, but knowing it was the right thing to do.
Over the next couple of years, I stepped in and out of other circles, trying to find a new spiritual home. It never happened. Maybe my fear of being hurt, my knowledge that I needed to focus on motherhood, I don't know. In 2016, I wrote a letter to her, my friend, my mentor, who taught me so much. The letter told her how grateful I was, I thanked her for opening her home and her life and sharing and teaching. A shift happened, as they do when you release.
In 2016, I went to a full moon retreat. I had been leading a small circle off and on at my home for a year or so, when women were interested in coming, but truthfully, this isn't my calling. Am I a teacher? Yes. Coach one and one? Yep. Hold the energy. Yes. Serve as mentor. Of course. But, lead the group in that way. I'll leave it to others. At the retreat, I wasn't going to learn or to even be among sisters. I went to get away, to see if I could reconnect with that part of myself and to see if I could stomach being in a group in this way again.
It was a beautiful weekend and I recharged myself in the way I needed. Now, here we are a year and a half later. My friend, the leader of the retreat, has formed a new sisterhood. A circle of women. I've watched this unfold the last few months as she has geared up to launch this new endeavor. The last few months have found me in great silence and listening for the calls of my soul as I heal from grief and embrace this middle life I have entered. I am listening to Spirit as she guides me forward. My business has changed. My direction has shifted slightly. And, she has told me that I need to be in a circle. No longer a solitary practitioner of her arts.
So, I signed up. It did it. Once in March, once in April. No anxieties. No second guessing. Just the call and answer.
3 weeks ago I turned 45. I was dreading this birthday. It seemed heavy to me, like a turning point on a wheel that is rapidly spinning and a reminder that I still have so much to do and need to make every moment count. When my friend Angela called and asked me to host a Pampered Chef party (yes, I do occasionally buy things), I said yes and let's do it on my birthday. We invited 60 women and as I know how these parties sometimes go, I assumed we would have 4 or 5 women show up. Was I wrong. But, that's not what this post is about.
The week leading up the party seemed fairly normal with the RSVP list, then the day prior to and the day before, the RSVP's started rolling in. When all was said and done, I had about 15 women, 10 kiddos, the hubby and 2 dogs plus myself and my Pampered Chef consultant all in attendance. I'm not gonna lie. We cleaned. I mean, it's me, right? The kids and I spent part of Monday and a little bit of Tuesday cleaning and tidying the house. We put things away, swept and vacuumed all of the floors, made the beds, cleaned the mirrors and the glass doors. In other words, we did what should be done each and every week but some of these things get missed. In a couple of hours on Monday and a couple of hours on Tuesday, we cleaned the entire house from top to bottom. Mostly. There were a few things that I could have done. I could have wet mopped the hardwoods or cleaned the baseboards or wiped down the chairs.
But, we didn't and we had the party anyway, because we could.
What I mean by this is thanks to keeping a fairly organized, clutter free home, it does not take us long to literally get the entire space ready to host a large gathering.
I'll be really frank with you. We have had to remove the storm door on the front due to shattering the glass, there are two pieces of tiles broken in one of our bathrooms, our downstairs carpet needs a very good cleaning and I need to reupholster two chairs that I have currently slipcovered.
It doesn't matter. No one cared about those things. They cared about me and they cared about us. And, I decided to not sweat the small items. I want to assist you in getting your space to where you want it to be. Do not forgo your joy because of your fear of a less than perfect home. You may have a few small hotspots that need to be addressed before you achieve perfection. You may have a home that is just shy of a Hoarders episode that need the chairs excavated so you can move into joyful living. You may have something in between.
We can tackle your big problems in your home through my new program and then the small stuff won't seem as big!
My Clearing the Way Course will help you to create a welcoming space in your home for your loved ones and for yourself. It's NOT ABOUT PERFECTION. It's about releasing yourself from your stuff. It's about freedom. It's about a respite from the storms of life. If you are not sure if this is for you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat or follow the link below for all the goods on this life-changing course.
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Let me go back and explain some things about me. I am not a feminist. There was a time when I would have claimed that title and you can be sure that I am SO GRATEFUL for those women in our past who have worn this as a crown to allow me the freedom to be whomever I choose to be. I am a woman. A daughter, a sister, a friend, a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur, a priestess. I am all of these things and I get to choose these things. But, there came time when I no longer could say, "I am a feminist" in the way we view it in our society. I believe in gender roles (there, I said it). I believe that that MAJORITY of us fall into gender roles and are happy to be associated with our gender while some do not. To each their own, but, I am comfortable in my woman-ness and know I can be a badass woman who loves, parents, relates, and leads ferociously.
This Goddess-worshipping Southern woman chooses her own path each and every day and revels in being a W-O-M-A-N.
And, this is why I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie above all others. I mean really. I am even going to see it again. An island full of warrior women. They are lovers and fighters and teachers. Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta, is the perfect feminine archetype. She is soft and loving and wears her wrinkles like a beautiful piece of art, all while wielding a sword and shield to protect her tribe and her family. Her sister, General Antiope is the harsher of the two. Beautiful, hard, and aged like a fine wine to show that beauty is not only for the youth but those in mid-life and beyond, she has a softness for Diana and her students that is rarely revealed. I identified so much with both of these characters. Hippolyta, the leader and the mother, Antiope who teaches in much the same way as I parent, I am nearly at a loss for words and cannot get enough.
To me, this movie is everything that represents women at our best. It is the story that needs to be told. Is there a group of Amazonian women living eternally due to their connection with the gods? Well, even I don't think so. Nevertheless, this is the story of women and our abilities, it is what I didn't even know we needed right now in this moment in time. We need this for each woman from 18 to 88 and for each girl who is growing up now. I need it for my daughter to show her what she can do. I need it for my son so that he knows that women can be strong. I need it for me to remind me that being in my mid-life can be beautiful and fierce. We have needed this story for longer than I can say.
I was not going to let the Moon see the movie. It is a little more violent and edgier than we normally allow her to see. I have tried to stand my ground. But, my hubby is the one who is insistent. I don't know if he is worried about her in some way or just knows somewhere inside that the girls of this generation, in the face of where we are as a society, needs this. With this aaaaallllll said, I'll leave you with this quote from the movie:
“YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU BELIEVE. YOU HAVE GREATER POWERS THAN YOU KNOW.” - Antiope
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I’m Dana Croy and I am a modern day mama. Balancing family and work is not always easy (not to mention a little self-care). Though being Mama to two fantastic kiddos is a huge part of my life, that was not always the case. I wear many other hats and invite to sit down and find harmony with me.