Birthing Ourselves Into Friendship

Alexa Clay was part of the 2013 Birthing Ourselves into Being one-year women’s circle for self-care in Nashville. As a graduate student and a mother of two boys, Alexa was regularly running short on time. To get time for herself, she realized, she’d simply have to claim it. She joined the Birthing Ourselves into Being circle, and committed to inviting in more joy, more peace, and room for her heart to breathe. In her own words, here is Alexa’s BOiB experience:

Nashville women's circle“I have been a part of many women’s circles in the past and know very well the gifts that come from sitting in a room with a group of women who are there to listen to one another, to open up, and to dive deeply into our collective unconscious. Last Fall, I attended one of Jenni’s Friday night circles. That night, in the company of strangers–and in the midst of an extremely challenging season of my life–I had a realization. I realized that my life was full of so many of the wonderful things that once had only been ideas and dreams. I made a promise to myself that night to create more space in my life for that goodness to grow. Being a graduate student and a single mother of two little boys, I had no idea where I would find the time to justify spending a year’s worth of Sunday afternoons in a women’s circle, but when Jenni offered to facilitate Birthing Ourselves Into Being, something told me I was supposed to say yes.

Within weeks, my life suddenly felt more spacious than ever. I knew that my task was to fill these spaces with more joy, more peace, and even a little more nothingness. Sitting with our circle each Sunday became a normal part of my week. Yes, there were days I did not feel like going, and I saw this as an opportunity to strengthen my commitment muscle. I was not just going to circle for me, but I was going because I was being accountable to others. I missed a Sunday here or there–a friend’s wedding, a child’s stomach virus–but I never, ever stayed home just because I did not feel like going. I did not allow myself to question it. I just went. And every single time I went, I was happy that I did. In hindsight, the best circles were the ones I resisted the most.

During our time together, I experienced laughter, tears, love, fear… I learned how not to take other people’s choices personally when a few women decided not to finish the year with us, and I became more comfortable with letting go and moving forward. I learned how to reach out to others, and I opened myself up to receiving love from my friends. I welcomed the vulnerability that it takes to love someone else, even if it is just the woman sitting across from me.

I would have to say that the absolute best part of Birthing Ourselves Into Being has been the friends I have made. This circle has been an exercise in true friendship. Through the practice of listening without dwelling on rescuing one another, the practice of showing up even when I was thinking I would rather stay home, and through the practice of speaking consciously and clearly from heart, I have learned how to be a better friend. I say “practice” because we are never perfect, and we are sometimes quite messy; but every single week, I left knowing that my friends still love me and that I love them, and that–at the very least–I would see them next Sunday at 1:00.”

The 2014 Birthing Ourselves into Being Nashville women’s circle is now forming! We want you to be part of the self-care, the compassionate support, and the remarkable year that awaits! Email circle facilitator Jenni Derryberry Mann to request an application today.


Read more about women’s experience with the Birthing Oursevles into Being circle:

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