Sunday, August 6, 2017


The Mystery within...
I was privileged to attend another Women Gathering circle where two skillful women, Cathy Gawlik and Dawn Zak, designed and facilitated our personal introspection and sharing circle around self-compassion.  Through our own  reflection, and sharing, we helped one another experience the essential grace of self-compassion.  We began our weekend together by calling in our ancestors to help us know compassion for ourselves.  I’ll confess my initial reaction to this calling in of the ancestors was a bit negative since my life became much easier after of some family moved on.  The beauty of sharing my negativity was I learned not only can my ancestors now assist me, but what grows me now can also grow my ancestors.  It connected compassion’s circle for me.  My self-compassion allows me to be compassionate toward another for our mutual healing, and also reveals a Creator sourced in love. 

Among the tools given to grow us was a worksheet with questions that helped me identify how I react to life, and myself, when the negative shows up.  We were encouraged to stay with the negative when it does show up for it is there to teach us.  A telling question and answer for me was, “How do I think I would feel if I could truly accept myself exactly as I am?”  I answered, “Relieved.”  That one word answer brought back all my past hard won learning that nothing changes until I first accept whatever is. It has been, and will always be, my starting point for growth. 

Other tools to help me reflect and go within was a gift of a picture, I chose randomly, of seven large round stones piled in two stacks and illuminated by a pair of candle flames; and later some real stones I chose from a pile to speak to me.  Lying down, after reflecting on those tools to help me get in touch with their effect on my body, was revealing—it was numbness.  When our facilitator Cathy touched my shoulder and gently asked me what I was feeling I told her,  “Just a numbness.”   She suggested I breathe into that numbness and as I did the beauty of a hidden Wholeness within me was revealed.  I now know the Mystery of Breadth can touch my hidden Wholeness to continue healing the numbing effects of past traumas.  To take time to sit, breathe, and go within sounds so simple, but for me it is not.  I now know I can hold that struggle with compassion.    

And then came my OT (Occupational Therapy) challenge, to construct three prayer flags on a string to be a visible reminder of my weekend’s work and learning and apply it to my life going forward.  Thankfully, the cloth squares of many different colors and prints we had to choose from were already precut as well as the white center squares to be decorated with our choice of sequins, strings, glitter, beads and more.  My printed fabrics soon found me.  The leopard print represents my love of quiet and solitude; the beige print with tiny green flowers spoke to my domestic side; and the center, more childlike floral print, represents the fun I want to incorporate more of in my life for better balance.  The bright yellow flower at the center of each white square is the hidden Wholeness I glimpsed within; and the nine different colored flowers surrounding it represent the nine different Enneagram personality types (of which I am a One).  I initially said the nine little flowers represent the different personalities “I have to deal with” but am now formally amending it to “whom I can learn from.”  I love these little flag reminders of who I am and what will grow me.  They now hang above my bed next to a gloriously imperfect weaving from a past Women Gathering circle OT session.  Both will now remind me to be compassionate with myself as I lay me down to sleep, when I wake, and will guide me through my days. 

What if we all gifted ourselves with compassion more often?     


  1. Your prayer flags are beautiful just as they are but also for what the represent for you.