Creative Soul Seasonal Women’s Circles
with Carolyn Scarborough
The book inspiring us this season is
“Unfolding: Slow Down, Drop In, Dare More” by Nancy J. Hill
Every other week from January through April, 2020
Have you been looking for a community where you can connect with conscious, creative women, have conversations that matter and amp up truly thriving in the second half of life?
If so, we’d love to have you in our seasonal women’s circles.
Creative Soul Circles might be for you if you want to:
- Live the second half of life with greater freedom, creativity and aliveness
- Use journaling as a tool to uncover your inner wisdom
- Have deep, enriching conversations that matter (rather than superficial, social chit-chat)
- Experience more peace and creative renewal
- Laugh and share in a community of women who get you
- Become part of the Creative Soul Community, a larger group of conscious, creative women in Austin who stay connected through a private Facebook community, special gatherings and friendships.
In the Creative Soul Seasonal Women’s Circles, we are not “improved upon.” We are already wise, amazing women. Instead, this is a space for renewal and re-invention. Here we dive deeper into who we really are – what makes us happy, what ignites us, our true desires and even what we are on this planet to do. It is a place of laughter and deep, respectful listening.
To enrich the experience even more, each “season” we choose a different book to charge up our inner and outer explorations. This winter, we’ll be inspired by “Unfolding: Slow Down, Drop In, Dare More” by Nancy J. Hill.
As the book describes, “In these luminous essays, Nancy Hill draws the reader into a creative engagement with fundamental “soul tasks”: connecting with intuition; being open to spontaneity; aging and self-acceptance; accepting inevitable loss; living with vulnerability; and letting go and finding blessings in our wounds.”
I personally have found these essays to be very spacious and insightful – the kind enjoyed with a cup of tea while pondering the messages. I continue to contemplate long after the book is closed. The heart of the book is summed up in a quote by Rainer Maria Rilke, which is “I want to unfold. I don’t want to stay folded anywhere, because where I am folded, I am untrue.”
So join us to reconnect with our true selves in a relaxed, inviting atmosphere.
What are Creative Soul Women’s Circles?
This isn’t really a book group, a journaling group, or a women’s group – it’s a synergy of all this and more.
We choose a book to inspire the journey (reading is encouraged but optional, because I capture and convey what is needed). The material is simply the jumping off point for our own inner exploration. Instead of a book being something we read and forget, I use my skills as a professional coach, writer and women’s group facilitator to enhance personal transformation and integration.
What Happens Here?
These Circles have a mix that consistently creates magic. This includes a safe space to be yourself, beautiful poetry to drop deeper, quiet journaling time (no experience needed), small group conversation and powerful questions that invite us to more clearly hear our own wisdom. Women often walk in frazzled from the day… and walk out more peaceful, clear and energized.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: I’m really interested in these circles, but the topic of X this season isn’t one I’m passionate about.
Answer: The “topic” is always self-exploration in one form or another. The particular flavor varies each season. Many women have told me that the topic is irrelevant to them. That isn’t because they don’t get value from it. Quite the opposite. It is because they have learned to trust the circle process.
This isn’t slavish studying of a book; this is a place where any topic is meant to lead us back home to our true selves and greater meaning in our lives. That’s the real intent of the circle. So a topic you don’t usually hang out with is often a richer place to see and hear something new. And what we love as much as the topic is connecting with the women and ourselves.
Also, I can pretty much take any book and find the universal threads and create programs of great value. So you may read something and not get much from it, but by the time I have customized an evening with thought-provoking questions for journaling and discussion, what gets illuminated is exactly what you need.
Q: I am not a “writer” – will this work for me?
A: The journaling part of the Circle is about 30 minutes, and if you can write an email, you can do this writing. This isn’t about craft or striving. This is a precious period of time for YOU. You are given self-discovery prompts and then time to explore them on your own. There literally is no way to do it “wrong.” No one will read it. And we are not bound by strict rules here (women are age won’t put up with that!). So if you’d rather sit and meditate on the questions, that’s fine too.
Q: I am introverted and feeling ambivalent about joining a group where I don’t know anyone.
A: I understand! I am highly sensitive and slightly introverted, which means creating a safe space is a priority. What this looks like is lots of spacious, private time for inner listening and writing. Small groups and never any pressure to share. The whole focus of these gatherings is creating a space for you to hear YOUR wisdom, not ours. (We have plenty of those other voices on the internet and elsewhere in our lives.) And we practice radical acceptance and non-judgment here.
Q: Quite honestly, as I’ve gotten older I’ve found I’m more particular about the people I hang out with. My time is precious and I don’t want superficial friendships. Who will I find here?
A: The women in these Circles are pretty cool, and the reason we do a 4-month series is so friendships can deepen. And they do. There are a wide variety of women here, including entrepreneurs, therapists, yogis, coaches, spirited retirees, photographers, writers, teachers, professionals and more. What they all have in common is a desire for inner exploration and open hearts. One of the most common comments I get is about how quickly people feel welcomed and at home.
Q: I already know I can’t make several of the gatherings. Will that work?
A: Yes. The reasonable pricing and structure of these Circles supports everyone. On days you can’t make it, you receive the handouts and prompts via email the next day so you can write on your own if you choose. We also have a private Facebook group to keep up with the inspiration and conversation.
Where: We will meet in a cozy, artsy, light-filled central Austin home. Indoors there are plenty of private writing nooks (including by the fire when it gets chilly), and outdoors women stretch out on the futon on the screened-in porch, write on the hillside deck, on benches under the giant live oak tree, or wander over to the creek a stone’s throw away. I always have food and refreshments on hand, including dark chocolate and hot tea!
When: Every other week (ish) from January through April, 2020. Dates are January 16 and 30, February 13 and 27, March 12 and 26 and April 23 and 30th.
Morning Light Circle: 10 a.m. to noon – FULL (Waitlist available)
Daylight Circle: 1 to 3 p.m. – FULL (Waitlist available)
Tremendous impact on my life choices and future
When I started the Creative Soul Circle, I had no idea it would have such a tremendous impact on my life choices and my future. I had just left a very stressful corporate job and was exhausted, lacking inspiration and just plain blah. Yet I found something powerful about the way Carolyn creates meaning through community, writing and soul searching. This led me to re-examine my priorities and desires in a way I had not done before.
As a result of the Circle, not only did I find like-minded women, I found myself. I am currently in graduate school full time, pursuing a Masters in Marital and Family Therapy. I also have begun painting after a very long hiatus. This experience has been a window opener for me and a refreshing new way to be in this “age” of life. Highly recommended!
Carolyn is masterful at providing the wisdom to allow your own insights
Joining Carolyn’s Creative Soul Women’s Circle last spring was transformative for me. I was stewing in creative angst – not knowing which direction to take and which of the many projects that were calling to me to focus on. Each meeting served up a huge helping of “a-has” and “oh yeahs” for me. The messages I walked away with – from the material we read, from Carolyn’s wise words, from the shared insights of the other women in the circle, or from my own journaling – were strikingly spot-on for what I needed in the moment. Each week, I became more and more clear on the direction I needed to head and what my heart was really calling me to do.
Taking time to listen deeply to your own spirit is critical in any woman’s journey, but especially so if she feels she’s in middle of one of life’s transitions. Carolyn is masterful at facilitating the space and providing the wisdom to allow your own insights, dreams, and desires to bubble up. And then the Circle provides the context and the structure for you to use that wisdom and insight to move forward in your life with confidence.
Carolyn’s authentic “being” with all of us fostered a safe environment
The welcoming setting of Carolyn’s home and her open and warm facilitation — with clear and gentle guidance — immediately established that this was a safe and nurturing environment. Her curiosity and encouragement, and active participation, provides a sense that we are all learning and exploring together. I can’t say enough about how Carolyn’s authentic “being” with all of us fostered a safe environment for personal exploration. These Circles are an exceptional experience.
It feels good to remember who I am
During the Creative Soul Women’s Circles, I have reflected on what is important to me and have shifted my default thinking and actions back to what makes my heart sing and tickles my joy chord. For those few hours on a Wednesday night, I give myself permission to deviate from the “expected” mode of being and operating by igniting what is true and key to my core. I am not always able to sustain these moments – life draws me back to what I think is expected of me. But finding a reprieve to nurture and feed my soul is a God send. It serves to remind me of my true self and allows me to feel empowered. It feels good to remember who I am at my center and to selflessly applaud, acknowledge and honor the beautiful, powerful and loving being that I am.
The ultimate mentor for creative souls
The Circle has taught me that there is more to life and I can have it, be it, do it. I can give myself permission to try anything and not be judged by anyone. Carolyn is an amazing person and the ultimate mentor for creative souls. I’m so glad I found her!
Carolyn founded and hosts the Creative Soul Community, where women in the second half of life gather to create lives of greater purpose, vitality and creative expression. She is an award-winning author, coach and mentor. Her style is intuitive, lighthearted and nurturing as she leads popular writing retreats, weekly writing circles, telecourses and private coaching. She is the author of “Backyard Pearls: Cultivating Wisdom and Joy in Everyday Life,” has worked with national and international magazines and has studied various creative/spiritual practices for more than 30 years. Among the places she has presented are Story Circle Women’s Writing Conference, International Coach Federation, Esalen, Seton Cove, Eremos, Unity Church and the National Speaker’s Association.