If you had approached me 10 years ago, I would have described myself in a totally different way. I would have told you about what I've done in terms of profession, and what I've acquired in terms of material things. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the gifts that God has manifested in my life. And I've come to realize that there is so much more, way beyond my success and accomplishments.
It all began one day in 1995, while walking among 30,000 women at the Beijing Women's Conference. I felt the deepest longing, the deepest sadness of being detached from my true self. I felt alone and it startled me out of my external comfort. When I returned home to my routine and all the expressions of having a good life, I started asking myself different questions about what was my purpose. I prayed to God and the universe answered with my first Circle experience.
I'll tell you the details one day, and for now I'll share with you that it was both confusing and exhilarating, as I didn't understand the terminology, behaviors or protocol of Circle, as a practice. As a result however, I was invited into a Circle called Maypole that had been meeting for many years. There, I began to slowly understand the mystery of being in a Circle space.
In 1997, I joined a beginning Circle of 10 women from diverse backgrounds, called Chakra. We made a life long commitment to come together every quarter, and a promise to be with each other as we transitioned. Four years later, longing for the quality of Circle with women of African descent, I co-founded Shona. And then the same year, co-founded a multicultural Circle called Dancing Hearts. In each Circle, we've made the same life-long commitment and promise to each other.
Convening, co-convening, facilitating and being in Circle, has taken me to such places as: Finhorn and Iona Scotland; Wales; Ireland; South Africa; Kenya; Tanzania; Greece; Spain; Italy; London; India; Canada; Mexico; and across America. And over the years, I found the most incredible inner peace. It turned up in my smile, the sparkle in my eyes, the laugh that falls from my mouth, the softness of my heart, the playfulness of my movement, the joy that bounces from my energy field, the stillness while meditating on my pillow. It's a wonderful feeling of presence and connectedness with spirit.
Three years ago, I gave up my prosperous diversity consulting business and decided to dedicate myself to the practice of convening Circles and Life Coaching. I know now, this is my divine purpose. I have a particular affinity for women of African descent, and convene circles just for us. Developing the practice of deep listening, inquiry, suspending judgment, speaking one at a time and being in authentic community, is real work. (smile) And I know, that the time is way past, for ALL women to come together in deep dialogue about what it means to truly value and understand one another. In response to this knowing, monthly Circles for ALL women will be offered through The Butterfly Series, With Grace beginning Spring, 2007.
It's wonderful and exciting to feel so grounded and on purpose, especially as I approach my 60th birthday this year. And it's wonderful to be living a healthy full life, with my loving partner John and my beautiful daughter Genji.