My Women’s Group

The group I attend is called We@ving Our V0ices. I am being all cryptic on purpose to protect privacy. It is a free, open group that any woman can attend who has experienced abuse or trauma. Because of the huge waiting list to get into counselling the facilitators decided to have an open group to “focus on building knowledge, sharing wisdom and strengthening support through a cycle of topics that encourage awareness rather than disclosure of personal trauma stories. The group format provides a high level of safety and containment to support the development of safety, stability and healing for women affected by violence. By remaining open it allows for changing as well as continuing membership.”

The format used is basically the same each week. There are four questions using the similar wording and only the topic word is changed. For example, last week the topic was Judgement. The first question was, “what comes to mind when you hear the word judgement?” The floor is open and women are encouraged to share their experience or knowledge. If a woman does not want to talk, that is okay. Each bullet is a thought from a woman in the group. We talk about each bullet, sometimes at length. This last week there were 9 of us plus 2 facilitators.

The next question.

And this one,

And then the last question,

We talk for an hour then take a break then do an art project. You have to know, I am not at all artistic but that’s not the point. It’s about sitting and thoughtfully thinking about the topic and words and how we feel about them. The topic of Judgement led me to the thought of Heart Centered Judgment. About how I and we as women need to judge ourselves with loving kindness, gentleness, wisdom, mindfulness, authenticity, caring, courage and compassion.

When judging ourselves we need to dig deeper, to really get to the real answer. For example, when I am angry I want to go deeper to understand why I am angry and not judge myself about the anger. Anyway, I won’t go into why I chose each word. I just did and they have meaning to me.

I now have a big box full of my art projects. I look at them when I am struggling.

This group is powerful and has helped me so much. We have women from all different backgrounds and we help each other. I have never felt judged, only loved and accepted.

20 thoughts on “My Women’s Group

  1. What a beautiful, positive place to be! I’m so glad you have found this group. You’ve made me think this morning about things. Thank you.

  2. It sounds like a good place to be, a good place to be supported and a good place to be heard. I also love your artwork and love that it helps you later when you’re struggling. You’re a strong woman Birdie, don’t forget that, and a kind woman.

    • It’s safety is one of the best things. The building is surrounded by a tall locking fence so nobody can get in or out unless the gate is opened for them.

  3. The group sounds great. I am planning to start going to a breast cancer support group tomorrow, if possible. There’s something important about all-women groups.

    (“Smokers who quit” as a source of judgement made me giggle.)

  4. This is such a beautiful and thought-provoking post. Your women’s group sounds lovely and healing. I love your (he)art project. You are a kind soul, Birdie.

  5. Dear Birdie, thank you so much for sharing with us the group that you attend. I am so impressed with how a meeting proceeds. To take one word and really explore what it means in society and in our lives and in our experiences is so powerful. As is the art project. Thank you for sharing your creative heart with us. I think that what you’ve given me here is a process by which I can explore my own life and the various emotions that I feel when faced with decisions and with the words others say to me. thank you again. Peace.

    • Hi Birdie 🙂 I think that your groups is wonderful. Being judged is something my emotions can’t handle…I’m so glad you found a safe and loving group. I love that you shared this. I like the structure of it!

      • I felt that was for a long time and still do struggle at times. Mostly now I no longer care what most people think about me. It’s the few people that I struggle with that I am now working on.

    • Before attending this group it had never occurred to me to really look at a word. Last week the topic was self-care and how we feel about it as women and how society looks at it. We discussed that most true self-care is free or very inexpensive but society tells us that it should cost a lot. Also, women take time off it’s called self-care but when men do it it’s just doing what they want. Think about that. We have to make time to look after ourselves but men just do it.

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