Two years ago I was giving a Reiki treatment to a woman, when the spirit of a Grandmother appeared beside me. She said, "You must teach this woman the Strong Woman's Song - and you must do a Healing Circle." Then she disappeared.
At the time, I was fairly new to the Aboriginal community. I didn't know the song and wasn't part of a Healing Circle. In fact, I really didn't know anything about Healing Circles. So my reaction was to say to myself, "No, I can't do that." But spirit moves in its own way, and about a month later I was invited to an Aboriginal Healing Circle to learn singing and hand drumming.
I was both excited and nervous. I expected to receive only the gift of singing First Nations songs, but I received much, much more . It became a healing lifeline for me to the power of the circle. An umbilical cord that keeps me connected to my community - women and men who sit in circle - and to the Creator. It provides me with a safe, sacred place where I can express myself, talk about how my week went and be supported for who I am. This proved very necessary when my mother passed away five months later.
Since then, I have attended a Grandmother's Circle regularly. I have discovered and released my voice, the ability to speak my truth, how to be strong and to be listened to. I have also grown close to people who attend the circle by sharing in their lives. We listen to each other with respect and compassion: listening from the heart.
In nature everything tries to be round: the planets, trees, lakes, turtles, bird's nests, and the cycle of the seasons. Even man's life forms a circle from childhood to elderhood. When people sit in circle with the intention to listen and support each other, a bond is formed among them and it becomes a Sacred Circle. Everyone is equal: age, race and job titles have no significance there. The circle provides an opportunity to be heard and to learn.
In January, I will be facilitating a Circle at Centrepointe House. For eight Mondays beginning January 26th, we will join together for a potluck meal and social gathering. The Healing Circle will follow. Each participant will have an opportunity to speak in turn sharing his or her wisdom, emotions, experiences and values. We will work together to develop a safe environment that is respectful of each participant. Afterward, we will celebrate through singing and hand drumming. I will share the teaching of several First Nations songs. Your spirit will be strengthened through using your voice and reclaiming your personal power. No skill is necessary and everyone can participate even if it is by listening.
Published in TONE Magazine, December 2003 issue