I was reminded at a recent gathering of friends, that learning how to build confidence, especially for young women, is a vitally important part of our lives. From confidence, or self esteem, can spring all sorts of possibilities for a full and joyous life.
Every June, sometime around the 21st, (Summer Solstice, or the first day of summer) I get together with some of my dearest friends, women I've known for many years, and we have a bonfire and ceremony to celebrate our lives and our spiritual journeys.
The first time we met (about 1996) there were three of us. We ranged in age from late twenties to early fifties.
I was the youngest of our group in those days. It really was a challenge to keep up with my friends, 12 and 23 years my seniors. But these women inspired me.
Now, ten years later, we usually have about nine women at our fire. I'm no longer the youngest by a long-shot. We had a 15-year-old join us last year.
We never consciously said "Now we are going to create a place for women to learn how to build confidence." But we sure noticed that spiritual healing and self esteem resulted from our gatherings.
Groups of women all over the world gather in groups like ours to celebrate their lives and to commemorate their spiritual journeys. One of the amazing benefits of our gatherings is that the women who join our fire circle gain a level of confidence and learn ways to build sefl confidence that they take with them. The older women teach the younger women about standing up, being whole and independent. The younger women help the older women remember about compassion.
Our gathering always starts with a prayer, an invocation to invite Source Energy to be with us as we begin our circle. We start the fire and let it get burning.
Usually we don't have a lot of structure. We may start off remembering past years' experiences, the fears and hopes and joys that we shared together. Sometimes we make predictions or wishes for each other for the coming year.
The high point each gathering, though, is that time when we present our deepest wishes to the group. Some of us write our desires, some draw pictures, some just tell the group what our hopes are for our lives and for the coming year. Anyone who chooses can throw a prayer or a wish in the fire and we all witness the surrender.
We've gotten to know each other well. Most of us get to see each other through the year, some more frequently than others. We know where we are weak. We know where each woman is strong. New women have joined our circle.
Now we range in ages from sixteen to sixty-something, with every decade in between represented. There is some powerful teaching that goes on, and the "how" part of how to build confidence just happens.
We teach each other. We blaze the trail for each other.
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