Winter 2018 Creative Soul Women’s Circles
(Seasonal Book: “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown)
with Carolyn Scarborough
January to April, 2018
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 authenticity, creativity and aliveness
- Journal to uncover your inner wisdom
- Join a soulful women’s community
- Have deep, enriching conversations about what matters
- Find grounding and creative renewal
- Intentionally craft what’s next for you
- Have fun, laugh and recharge in a lighthearted ambiance
- Become part of 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 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, what our true desires are 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 January, we will be playing with Brene Brown’s book “The Gifts of Imperfection.”
As the subtitle says, “Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.” As women in the second half of life, we are all about that. Time is precious and we don’t desire to be anyone BUT who we are, as messy as that may be. It’s simply a matter of remembering, over and over.
We have busy lives. That’s why these gatherings, likened to mini-retreats, are so essential.
The focus here is on connection – with ourselves and each other. Brene says, “I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment.” This isn’t about superficial talk and speaking over each other to be heard – save that for your holiday party. Here we gather in a very different way… and don’t forgo the belly laughs while we do it!
Part of the exploration this season will be Brene’s 10 Guideposts
- Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of what People Think
- Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting go of Perfectionism
- Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
- Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
- Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith: Letting go of the Need for Certainty
- Cultivating Creativity: Letting go of Comparison
- Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
- Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle
- Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed to”
- Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and “Always in Control”
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 am not a “writer” – will this work for me?
Answer: 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.” And no one will read it.
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 (although few would believe that). Which means a priority is always creating a safe space. 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. What will I find here?
A: The women in these Circles are pretty cool, and the reason we do 4-month series is so friendships can deepen. And they do. There are a wide variety of women here, including entrepreneurs, therapists, yogis, coaches, retirees, photographers, writers, teachers, various 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), and outdoors women curl up 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: We will meet every other week from January through April, 2018
- (FULL) Daylight Circle: 12:30 — 2:30 p.m. every other Thursday
Dates are January 11, 1/25, 2/8, 2/22, 3/8, 3/22, 4/5, 4/19
- (FULL) Moonlight Circle: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. every other Thursday
Dates are January 11, 1/25, 2/8, 2/22, 3/8, 3/22, 4/5, 4/19
Questions about any of this? Feel free to email me.
Earlybird price is $195 until Wednesday, December 20, 2017; full price is $245 after December 20.
Includes: Private Facebook group, refreshments at each gathering, all materials
The Creative Soul Women’s Circles are currently FULL. To find out about upcoming circles, or to more immediately get 1-1 coaching around life, writing or creativity issues, go here.
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!
Really appreciate the safe, calm and relaxed space that you create
I’m so very happy to have met you and joined the Women’s Circle. You do such a lovely job of facilitating, guiding and teaching us – I really appreciate the safe, calm and relaxed space that you create and hold for us. Thank you for a fun, fascinating and expansive year. I’m looking forward to seeing you again at the next Circle, and the one after that, and after that!
Carolyn is masterful at providing the wisdom to allow your own insights
Joining Carolyn’s Creative Soul Women’s Circle has been 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.
I love your soft, tender, wise, open heart
Carolyn, I love your soft, tender, wise, open heart. You have a quiet power – steeped in wisdom and openness – and a bounty of kindness. I feel safe and warm in your presence, like I can be real, authentic and vulnerable because you are that way with yourself. I feel grateful for this gift!
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.
There were so many parts I really loved!
The pandemic and Zoom finally brought me the opportunity to be in one of your groups. There were so many parts I really loved!
1) Your leadership with great prompts, resources, discussions, and contemporary use of Zoom. (I had not been in Zoom break-out groups before.)
2) The other women with their wisdom and sincere kindness to each other.
3) Mostly, though, the opportunity to pause in the middle of the day, slow down my racing mind and connect with my heart. I am at the threshold of a major life change and I don’t want to miss any parts of it. Thank you!
Carolyn has a talent for taking a topic to explore it all in a deeper way
It may sound strange to say, but although there’s a short reading for each Circle, it’s not really about the book. Carolyn has a talent for taking a topic, widening it with poetry and other resources, and developing questions for us to explore it all in a deeper way. On my own I might superficially read a passage; but in these Circles, I gain insights that often lead to transformation.
Carolyn Scarborough is an award winning coach, author and mentor who facilitates women’s circles on creativity and thriving in the second half of life. She is the author of “Backyard Pearls: Cultivating Wisdom and Joy in Everyday Life” and has studied various creative/spiritual practices for more than 30 years. Her style is intuitive, lighthearted and nurturing. She leads writing retreats and weekly writing circles, telecourses and coaches privately with women around the world. Among the places she has presented in the Austin area are Seton Cove, Eremos, Unity Church, Story Circle Network and the International Coach Federation, Austin Chapter.