Kathe Shaaf is a founding member of Women of Spirit and Faith a circle of women supporting the emerging feminine and women’s spiritual leadership. She co-edited the book “Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership” which is an Amazon best seller in its category.
I have participated in many women’s circles in the past decade. Some have been productive and some have been deeply still. Some have been challenging, with difficult conversations and strong feelings; others have been gentle and loving and congruent. The most precious have been profound sacred space, ripe with mystery, wisdom, insight and synergy. A month later, I am still integrating the experience of such a circle, gathered with 28 other women at the Young Leaders Retreat convened by Women of Spirit and Faith.
I am not sure I can explain what made this circle so powerful for me. For just three days, we were an intergenerational and interfaith community, with 21 diverse young leaders ranging in age from 19-42 and a cluster of eight ‘seasoned leaders’ bringing the life experience of six decades and more. Women spoke from their hearts and listened deeply to one another. Our conversation was substantial and our laughter was authentic. We surrendered to the flow of this time together, which was grounded by offerings of indigenous ceremony and rendered incandescent by the brilliant creativity of women gathered around a sacred center. There were moments of profound recognition, of seeing and being seen. Many of us had the experience of falling in love, again and again, with sisters in the circle. There was a feeling of destiny dancing among us.
I have been blessed to sit in other circles which can be described with many of these same words … and this one landed differently in me. It rearranged my DNA just slightly and left me changed, a lived experience of alchemy which left me transmuted. I’ve always loved that word and been fascinated by the concept of transmutation; now I understand it from the inside out. I’m still a bit uncomfortable feeling so radically different and find myself without words to describe my experience. And that is also the very source of the joy and freedom I feel.
It just is.