The Joys of a Creative Women’s Circle

photo, vine wood fence, words, the joys of a creative women's circle, blog post by Santa Rosa CA therapist Patty Bechtold at wiselifetherapy.com

The first time I sat down to guide a creative women’s circle, I knew I’d come home. It was like I’d stumbled on the secret password that opened the door to sisterhood, and I entered into a beautiful room. A room that was so human, so ancient, and so deep.

words, wisdom is the joys of a creative women's circle blog post from wiselifetherapy.com

It was the beginning of my great love for creative women’s circles.

Looking back, the experience of that first circle still feels rich and alive today. In the years since I don’t even know how many women’s circle gatherings I’ve facilitated. Certainly well more than a hundred.

Still, it was in that initial experience that I discovered there’s nothing quite like a group of soul sisters.

Knitted together from the start, we connected in that unspoken way that often happens between women. All of us were carried along by the rhythms of creativity, belonging, and curiosity.

And almost always, no matter where we started with our group process or creative process, we invariably came back to enoughness.

It was like we were digging into fertile soil that contained everything at once.

  • wisdom
  • connection
  • depth
  • creativity
  • light/shadow
  • healing/renewal
  • joy

(And so much more.)

Although I didn’t quite understand its full impact on me at the time, it was an in-the-moment experience of wisdom tending that led me here today.

This is me collage, Patty Bechtold, wiselifetherapy.com

It wasn’t always like this for me though.

I grew up in a house full of boys, with three older brothers and no sisters at all. But it didn’t matter because I had my mom. She had a sister too, and they invited me into the deep, unspoken bond they shared.

Sadly, my mother died quite unexpectedly just as I was about to enter into adulthood. Years of floundering followed, when worry and depression set in. For a long time I was lost, but eventually I healed.

There were a few tastes of sisterhood along the way — in a community of actors, during my counseling studies, with a small group of newly-minted counselors after grad school — but I couldn’t recognize it because I didn’t even know I was looking for it.

Then a strange thing happened when I got to midlife.

I began to miss my mom again and envied the connection some of my friends had with their mothers. As a therapist and coach I’d also witnessed many stories of difficult mother/daughter and sister/sister relationships.

To make sense of my deep (and confusing) longing I turned to books, reading about the kinds of relationships women can create with one another. Two words entranced me: women’s circle.

In an instant I knew this would be part of my work in the world, to marry the deep knowing of women’s wisdom with the life force of creativity.

And on a warm September night  in 2011, the final day of summer, my first women’s circle was born: the women’s creative wisdom circle.

Now, years later, I’m thrilled to offer a virtual creative women’s circle for midlife and beyond.

Wisdom Tending begins in January 2025, and you can click over to learn more about it.

It’s grounded in community, creative process, depth psychology, and inner work.

It’s all of of this, and more…

  • women’s circle
  • creativity circle
  • coaching group
  • personal retreat

Within it you’ll discover abundant support, tools, resources, and activities to continually bring you back to your own deep wisdom and quiet knowing.

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Remember: women have been circling up for thousands of years.

We come together to listen and be heard. We share space, we offer an ear. We find our way to wisdom together.

In these days of distraction and confusion, a creative women’s circle is a sacred space, a lifeline back to ourselves and our wisdom.

And it’s a place to show up just as we are. Perhaps the greatest gift of the circles I’ve been a participant in is that the circle always gives me what I need, no matter where I start. No matter what.

Circles foster both the ability to voice what matters and say out loud what is in the heart and mind, and an equally important ability, to listen with compassion.
-Jean Shinoda Bolen
Patty Bechtold

Patty Bechtold

Welcome. I'm a Santa Rosa therapist and life coach, and I help women who feel like something’s missing in their lives or themselves. I specialize in self-esteem, anxiety, depression, grief, life transition, and women's groups. On this blog I write about different approaches to help you find your way back to your deepest wisdom. Thank you for being here.