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Becoming a Circle Facilitator with SISTER STORIES!!! ☺️

In October 2022 I began training as a Circle Facilitator with Sisters Stories uk Founded by Gemma Brady and supported by Lucy Lee, our Circle Training Facilitator, former student of Sister Stories and Founder of Come As You are Club.

As I am writing this, I am about two weeks away from our graduation 👩🏾‍🎓 and I am smiling while reflecting on how I even came to this space, and how far I have come; this training really is so much more than simply 'learning how to hold a circle'.

I believe that there is a collective need for these spaces. I get to hear many people tell their stories, share their deepest truths. Their stories of joy, sorrow, triumph, trauma, rites of passages and celebration. I am a witness, and I am very honoured to be able to call myself a Story Keeper for others. People often share with me very vulnerable parts of themselves, and I see that there are stories which need to be witnessed because within them, there is much wisdom. I am a space holder naturally, this I believe is in my bloodline as I observed my Nan (Maternal grandmother) do the same! But on my healing journey so far, I also have learnt that I alone cannot be the container, because I too have an unspoken story unwitnessed! And because I have faith in the transformational insights & healing that can come from collective gathering and from story-telling.

"I witness that despite our perceived and actual differences, our varied experiences, the different genres and chapters of life we find ourselves in, there is a common thread that connects all... and that is our humanity, our emotions, our yearning for connection and community."

As much as I'm feeling the call to hold circles, to cultivate community and spaces for gathering I also hear, feel and see the need for these spaces to be cultivated with the principles of honouring all of us as wisdom keepers, that has compassion, and where we can share without being judged.

I believe that we need this now more than ever, but not only do we need these spaces I feel it is vital for them to be intentionally safe.

I have a varied experience of women's 'circles', 'groups' and 'meetings' and while some have been spaces of honour and nourishment, others have left me with wounds, or reinforced wounding I already had! I have heard and witnessed similar stories to my own from other women (and men!).

This is why I advocate for the creation of spaces that are trauma-informed, intentionally safe, sacred and ensure the holistic wellbeing and of all who attend.

Because of this, it was knew it was important for me to seek to educate myself, to have a solid framework and ensure that I am prepared to hold these spaces confidently enough to provide others with a sense of holding and comfort and informed enough to support challenges if they arise!

When I read the words on Sister Stories website, I felt like I had found exactly what I was looking for, not just in what was being offered for the training but also in alignment with their Mission, Values and Beliefs.

The last four months has felt like I have been on a journey into the unknown and even retrieved lost parts of myself. As I come towards the end of this training I realise that really I am reaching the threshold of the path that I have been destined to take with all the tools I need, both practically & emotionally! I will forever be grateful for being granted a bursary to do this training...

*(Vulnerable share....)*

Recovering from devastation following a relationship I can only describe as insidious! left me having to put many of my goals and ambitions on hold. I could write a book about my experience, let's just say all I had the strength left to do, was focus on healing and recovering from the overwhelming debts I had been left with! I'm glad to be able to say that the situation is was left in has improved as too has my health, yet I still have a way to go and healing to do. I would not have been able to devote to this training without being granted this bursary, which is why I also see it as a blessing, a gift for doing the hardest part of my healing (which was to do nothing, just pause & trust!) and also a confirmation that this vision and path of devotion is exactly where I am meant to be!

So much has opened up for me since joining the mission, this training in some ways has felt like a birthing process, as if I have been placed into a metamorphosis, while simultaneously becoming aware of the transformations I had already been through.

I'm emerging now, with a deeper connection not only to myself and others but also a deeper sense of connections to my ancestors! After coming off a Masterclass with a guest speaker called Eva Glamaris Founder of Sacred Inclusion and jumping down a deep rabbit hole to find even more confirmation of my connection to the Maroons of Jamaica. I found birth, death and marriage certificates of ancestors from the 1800s including my great-great-great grandparents!!!

The mission I am emerging with has also expanded! While I seek to cultivated places to share our stories and connect, I have identified some 'causes' that are important to my purpose which I will begin to share soon!

It's extremely hard put into words what I have gained from training with Sister Stories, Gemma is an absolutely amazing and inspiring Mentor & guide along the way. The way in which Gemma has created the course to bring you into an inner reflection of self, through inner inquiry is awe inspiring. I came into this with the intention of learning a framework for circle process and holding space with honour, care and integrity for those who come to circle, which I feel confident I have gained. But I also have rested a little deeper into my own heart, my own story, it's mysteries!; and the new beginnings ahead of me.

I believe that Circle is part of our 'Ancient Future', where we revive elements from our ancestral practices for the benefit of humanity and our evolution. The art of gathering in circle is part of our collective ancestry and an ancient practice that connects us all.

I am honoured to join the mission to revive circle and to be part of the Sister Stories; Circle Facilitation Training Lineage. Thank you to Gemma & Lucy for seeing me!!!

The connections I have made with other women along this journey have been profoundly healing and I feel extremely grateful to have met some remarkable, generous and inspiring women. This is only the beginning for us!

As I cultivate these spaces and deepen my study I would love for you to join me along the way! This is a collaborative process and I am extremely looking forward to working with others to ripple these spaces out as far and wide as possible!

In the meantime please watch this space as I will be sharing more of my journey, story and my first circle offering.

Love Always 💚


(Li High Pri)


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