gathering :: mamaste mothers’ circles

by eringoodman on February 10, 2010

in events, parenting, self-care


People often ask me what happens at my monthly mothers’ circles and I tend to find myself bumbling for words.

It reminds me of many years ago, when I was doing my yoga training and we would have a three hour practice followed by intense discussions about reincarnation and past life experiences and Kundalini energy. I’d come home after being at the studio for 8+ hours and never know how to answer when John asked, “So, how was your day?”

The Mothers’ Circles I lead are nowhere near as intense as my yoga training, but they are similar in that they transport me (and others I am told) to another place.

I usually begin by leading some sort of guided relaxation/meditation while everyone rests in Savasana, encouraging us to unplug from the details of our days and open our hearts to a larger view of our lives.

From there we move into some introspective journal writing (while sipping tea and nibbling chocolate!!). And finally we move into a Sharing Circle, which for me is where the real magic happens.

What takes place in the Sharing Circle varies from month to month and you will never hear me talk about specifics because one of the most important elements of the Circle is that of confidentiality.

But I can tell you a few things…

Mamaste Mothers’ Circles are a place of non-judgment.

We come together as women and mothers who breastfeed and bottle feed, who work exclusively in the home, full time out of the home, and everywhere in between. We come from different economic and cultural backgrounds and have differing spiritual beliefs. Some of us are partnered, while others are parenting alone. One of us may be struggling with the heart-wrenching pain of infertility or pregnancy loss while her sister sitting next to her is desperately trying to summon the strength to face an unplanned pregnancy.

We are thriving and we are hurting.

And when we enter the Circle together…

We are One.

We listen without interrupting, correcting or questioning as each woman shares what is in her heart and on her mind. We laugh together and cry together.

We support each other.

We close each Circle by bowing to each other and saying, Mamaste – the Mother in me recognizes and honors the Mother in you.

And then we part ways, returning to our loved ones (hopefully) feeling supported and expanded and renewed.

*** *** *** ***

Edited to add: This was very challenging for me to write and although it conveys a lot of what I hoped, I think in many ways it still falls short. I hope that some of the mothers who have attended Circle with me (or who have attended something similar elsewhere) will chime in and share their experiences.

Also, I want to share a wonderful resource, The Millionth Circle, for those who might be interested in starting a Circle of their own.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Hannah Marcotti February 10, 2010 at 7:41 am

Yes, you wrote that so well. For me it is self care and realizing that when we have a place to safely say what is really going on inside, it is healing. There is no other person in the world who understands what being a mother is like, than a mother.

If you can make it, I encourage you to come experience the power of these circles.


kate February 10, 2010 at 8:42 am

Beautiful erin. I love this and wish I lived close enough to attend….and I love Bolen’s work. So inspiring.


Denise February 10, 2010 at 8:59 am

i’d love to come too. this is a fabulous idea. and gives me some thoughts as well.
.-= Denise´s last blog ..the art lesson =-.


Kate February 10, 2010 at 9:14 am

I, too, absolutely LOVE this idea and your inspirations!!
And I have that beautiful candle holder in your picture! My husband gave it to me one birthday saying “This is your Wise Women.” I only light it on VERY special occasions ~ and I’m thrilled to see it here!

I would soooo attend one of your circles!!
.-= Kate´s last blog ..My Everyday Magic 2/10/2010 =-.


Elizabeth February 10, 2010 at 10:09 am

Erin…what a gift to give your community. I know the power of women’s circles and this seems like one I would love to be a part of if I lived near you.
.-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..moment of mindfulness…quarters from heaven =-.


Rose February 10, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Wish I was close enough to attend. Your description gave me goosebumps.
.-= Rose´s last blog ..Wheatgrass =-.


Kristen February 10, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I have attended a few mother’s circles and think your description is fabulous! Perhaps the one element you can’t really describe is how individual the journey is for each woman. For me, these experiences offered me an opportunity to reconnect with myself and reflect in a space that was quiet. I found my center! These circle have helped me grow as a mother and as an individual. It allowed me to touch a place inside myself I had abandoned – and now I won’t let it go! I feel stronger and calmer each time I leave Erin :)

With a new baby requiring much of my attention, I won’t be attending this month. However, I hope to join you again soon…and I encourage ALL mothers to attend. And a great bonus is that the women are all incredible and you might leave with a new friend.
.-= Kristen´s last blog ..Best friends at play =-.


Iris February 10, 2010 at 10:34 pm

That sounds so wonderful – I would love to attend a mother’s circle. Too bad I’m not living anywhere near where you are (I’m in Michigan).


runninl8 February 11, 2010 at 11:08 am

This sounds so embracing and empowering….wish I could find something similar here in Alaska!
.-= runninl8´s last blog ..rEVOLUTION within =-.


heather February 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm

i would come to this circle for sure if i could. but i am lucky enough to be in a few circles in my area. yours sounds so special, erin…. you are doing the work so beautifully.
.-= heather´s last blog ..doing the laundry the right way! =-.


Amanda February 11, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Erin’s gatherings are restorative experience! I encourage anyone even remotely local (I traveled 1.5 hours and it was worth every mile) to attend :-)
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..The Perfect Size =-.


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