Welcome to the Wisdom Tending Women's Circle for Midlife & Beyond

Perhaps your list of pressing tasks is still long. Leave it there fluttering in the breeze, uncrossed, undone, unfinished…to do the only thing you can do. –Christine Valters Paintner

Hello there, Wise Woman.

Does life feel like it’s going too fast? Does every year seem to speed up even more?

You’d probably like to grab more of life’s precious time just for you. Time for meeting yourself at the door. For discovering (or rediscovering) yourself in midlife and beyond.

Because: you’ve been changing.

The midlife you that’s trying to emerge might be kind of elusive.

Maybe she needs space to stretch out and fully claim herself. Or maybe you need space to get to know her better.

Deep down you realize it’s time to set aside some of the going and doing that often defines our lives these days.

It’s even possible (and actually pretty common) to think you had this midlife thing all figured out and can’t quite believe it’s come back to shake up your life again.

Wherever you are on the midlife path, the Wisdom Tending circle will meet you there.

This women's circle is grounded in creative process, depth psychology, and inner work. It's also multifaceted: part women's circle, part group coaching, part personal retreat time.

This might be very different from other women's circles or online programs you've considered or participated in. In fact it might seem a bit unnerving, the thought of putting down the road map and joining others as you make your way through midlife’s passages.

Is there a part of you that longs for an invitation to pause?

An invitation to stretch out and take the time to more fully trust your inner wisdom?

This part of you is ready for some gentle, heartfelt support. It knows you’ve cultivated years of wisdom and experience. It might even suspect that revitalizing your relationship with your own inner wisdom (and perhaps traveling by the stars) is exactly what you need right now.

Rather than hard work, problem solving, or self-improvement (which you don't need more of in midlife), you can think of this as a partnership between deep personal exploration and meaningful action. 

There is no wrong way to take this journey. And Wisdom Tending is made for you to take it in a way that meets you exactly where you are.

(Because the last thing you need in midlife is another to-do list.)

The group restored my faith in people and helped me realize that deep connections with women are possible. I learned so much from what the other women were thinking and going through. -AA

There is a place for you in this unique midlife women's circle.

Deep support: Women's circle and group coaching, facilitated by a licensed therapist and board certified coach.

Deep exploration: A beautiful and downloadable PDF Journey Guide filled with creative and contemplative activities for self-understanding, inspiration, aha’s, and fresh approaches.

Deep progress: Moving towards feelings, behaviors, experiences and practices that matter most to you; moving away from internalized beliefs, confusion, and the distractions of daily life.

Wisdom Tending is for you if…

  • you sense something’s missing, in your life or in you
  • you’re tired of rushing, feeling distracted and disconnected
  • you tend to be hard on yourself or minimize your needs
  • you want to retreat, regroup, move out of autopilot
  • you’re curious about nurturing/tending your own wisdom
  • you’re inspired by the collective wisdom of women’s stories
  • you’re a helper or healer who works with women in midlife+
  • you’re pretty sure there’s more for you

About Wisdom Tending:

Program Details

  • 10 live circle gatherings: Saturdays 10am-12pm PST on Zoom
  • 10 live self-care journaling sessions: Fridays 11am-12pm PST on Zoom
  • Open enrollment: Wisdom Tending runs continuously throughout the year (with time off in July and December)
  • Begin any time and choose the pace that works best for you
  • Make one payment only: Purchase the Journey Guide and you’re automatically enrolled in the ongoing women’s circles and journaling sessions

This updated version of Wisdom Tending is returning in 2024. Scroll down to add your name to the waitlist to be the first to know when the Journey Guide is available to purchase.

I realized that I needed to recognize other aspects of my life. I had totally neglected my passions for so long that I had forgotten exactly what does make me happy. The result is that I’ve done things I never expected to do. -JJ

As compelling as Wisdom Tending may sound, you still might feel like something’s missing.

In midlife and beyond it’s common to feel pulled toward something you can’t quite name or touch. So you wonder: Is it something I want but don’t have yet? Something inside of me that I’ve lost track of?

Although you might not know what’s missing, the yearning is real…

  • to make room for the creative, inner work of midlife
  • to claim your stories and personal narratives: past, present, future
  • to honor the parts of you that want more space at the table of your life

The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.

You’ll have real life/real time opportunities circle up with other women in ways that meet your individual needs.

That means you can attend the live women’s circles when they work for you.

And you can be assured that I will be there.

Every few weeks or so I’ll be there to facilitate, guide, coach, and invite you to…

  • complete activities in the Journey Guide together
  • share stories and tend wisdom during group coaching time
  • support and encourage each other in optional small groups

You also have the option to go solo at your own pace, supported by the Journey Guide and recordings of the Zoom sessions.

It’s unusual to find this kind of flexible, real time, ongoing connection.

These days, instead of sitting in a circle with your wise sisters, you might be sitting in front of a screen viewing an online course or hanging out on social media. And instead of sinking into meaningful conversations in the moment, you might be sharing your thoughts in an online forum or communicating via text and direct messages.

Yet the hunger to connect and belong intensifies for women in midlife and beyond. In fact, the feelings of belonging you get from scrolling and clicking probably won’t make up for the real thing.

This women’s circle is a haven and a safe place for all of you.

Here, you’re invited to bring it all.

Bring your if only’s and late night longings. Your doubts and hopes. The messy parts and joyful parts of life.

Bring your deep desire to collect all the parts of you and claim your innate wholeness.

Bring your unique needs and boundaries, participating in the way that’s right for you and you alone.

The Wisdom Tending Journey Guide is your companion through the landscapes of midlife and beyond.

Within it you'll discover meaningful activities, inviting stories, supportive resources, as well as inspiring poetry, prose, images, and guided meditations.

You can print it out, hold it in your hands, and engage with it (if you choose to). It's an ally and resource to help you access the deep wisdom of your mind, heart, body, and spirit. Creating and writing it has been a labor of love, reflecting years of my work with women as well as my own personal journey.

It also reflects another truth about midlife: that we're on a spiral journey rather than a linear one.

As the circle moves through the journey guide and the landscapes, we're held together in the spiral. However, you are free to make stops along the way wherever and whenever you need to. You can test the waters, double back, or jump around when that feels right.

Every woman in the circle is encouraged to give herself the freedom to be exactly where she needs to be, trusting her own wisdom. The Wisdom Tending sisterhood supports you in that, no matter where your individual journey takes you.

Journey Guide/Women's Circle Themes

  1. Gathering and Savoring. The words wisdom and savor share a root word: Sapere. It means to taste, and not just in the culinary sense. So the journey begins with this invitation to embrace savoring as a path to wisdom tending and self-care in midlife and beyond.
  2. Taking Stock and Emptying Out. Women carry a lot of beliefs into midlife, about who they must be, what they must accomplish, how they must spend their days. Here, you'll delve into what it means to unravel these beliefs and narratives with kindness, acknowledging their often difficult roots as well as the gifts that may be residing within them.
  3. Knowing and Not Knowing. There’s an essential paradox at the core of midlife: although it’s often a time of uncertainty and confusion, there may also be a deeper sense of knowing exactly where you are. Here, you'll practice wisely holding these two opposites.
  4. Being With All of You. Your distant parts emerge and call to you in midlife and beyond. Here, you'll explore what your wisdom is telling you about welcoming and inviting these parts closer, as well as caring for them with self-compassion and self-love.
  5. Moving Away and Moving Toward. As you make your way through midlife it often feels like you're in a continual cycle of moving away and moving toward, experiencing a rebellious urgency to clear out and make room. Here, you'll experiment with tending your wisdom in order to avoid the burnout and overwhelm that can come during this phase of transition.
  6. Receiving and Opening to Let Things Come. Midlife asks you to imagine something different: reaching less, loosening the reins and stepping back to allow things to come. Here, you'll consider that it is possible to begin to believe this and move into receiving the gifts that you can’t yet see.
  7. Surveying the Territory. Somewhere in the territory of midlife you arrive at a place where the ground feels more solid, yet you’re not sure you can trust it. Here, you'll learn to hold the balance between growing optimism and also knowing and holding your boundaries.
  8. Naming and Claiming. There’s magic in naming and claiming yourself in midlife, an act of true transformation. Here, you'll practice seeing and saying “this is me,” while holding the depth and breadth of the inner work you're engaging in.
  9. Embodying the Inner Wise Woman. At some point you begin to fully comprehend that you are a Wise Sage, able to hold both light and shadow. Here, you'll experiment with releasing yourself from the quest to know things for certain, while you begin to grasp more fully that both wisdom and truth are complex and many-layered.
  10. Celebrating the Journey. As you embrace the sweetness of midlife and beyond, whatever your age or circumstances, you'll drink in your freedom to experiment and explore, to see many perspectives, to be unselfconsciously who you are. And you'll consider, as Mary Oliver writes, that even in the worst moments, “joy is not made to be a crumb.”

I wanted to let you know how much I'm getting out of this. You certainly have an excellent way of helping others “see for themselves.” I feel like I have known the other women for a LONG while, even if it is just a few months. -NM

Hi, I'm Patty, your women's circle guide

Wisdom Tending_ New women's support group with Santa Rosa therapist and Life Coach Patty BechtoldI am so honored to do this work with midlife women and thrilled that you're here. I tend women’s circles with a gentle hand, lightly guiding, deeply listening and taking care to create a safe and sacred space.

My coaching style is open and facilitative. I've discovered that the coaching conversations that happen in a women's circle often feel like all of us breathing together, supporting each other in unison.

Professionally, as a board certified coach and a licensed psychotherapist, I’ve successfully guided both in-person and online/virtual women’s circles. During the last two decades I've also spent countless hours (in both private practice and higher education) counseling, coaching, teaching, training, facilitating, and leading groups.

But none of that had anything to do with why I created my first women’s circle back in 2011. I've been on the same path as you, and I created that first circle because I knew there were women out there who needed it just as much as I did.

Now, years later, we need circles of women more than ever, where we can join together to companion each other on the journey. So I hope you'll consider joining us!

This journey is fabulous and spurring movement for me in my personal world, work-land and marriage–a truly rich experience. I wish I could bottle you up and share you with my friends! -CL

You might be wondering: what actually happens during our women's circles and journaling sessions?

During our Saturday circles we gather together and make space for self-reflection, group process, and group coaching.

Our monthly theme guides us, and I open each circle with a brief centering and settling in process, followed by personal, reflective journaling.

Then we'll dig deeper into the month's theme with an activity from the Journey Guide that we'll complete together.

After that there’s personal retreat time as well as optional small group time. During the last 30 minutes or so, we'll wrap up with group coaching and questions, followed by a closing ritual to anchor our most important insights and takeaways.

During our Friday journaling/coaching sessions, I’ll share a favorite poem to inspire us, as well as a journaling activity to help you stay connected to your wisdom tending and self-care practices. Since reflective writing is the perfect transition into coaching, we'll spend the rest of our time in coaching mode.

I found the activities helpful in better understanding hidden parts and long-lost pieces of myself. Also, I am so amazed by the wisdom, insights, fragility, strength, humor, love, and hope these women have shown and shared. -JM

What parts of your life and yourself need tending and nurturing?

Whatever they are, they’re welcome here. You’re invited to show up exactly as you are.

Nothing to fix. No one to become, except more of your real self.

Truly known for who you are. And free to be you. All of you.

The Wisdom Tending Women's Circle will help you…

  • nurture both your inner life and outer life, soul and self
  • take time to regularly visit, nourish and replenish your well
  • begin to transform what no longer serves your life or growth
  • make space for more of what matters most to you
  • experience your life in harmony with your needs and values
  • find your personal sweet spot between being and doing
  • deepen your relationships with yourself and other women
  • light up your wisdom, imagination and sense of possibility

Take the next step and join Wisdom Tending

Wisdom Tending is set to return in 2024.

Add your name to the waitlist below to be the first to know when registration opens.