As with every story, there are many versions of the tale of how Sister Stories came to be. The simplest version of the story is this.
For many years I have worked as a documentary filmmaker. My job has been to gently support people to open up and tell their stories. The more I listened, the more I witnessed the profound healing that arises through simply being given space to share.
There is a cathartic effect both for the person who has shared their story, but also for the person listening, who has played the precious role of witness. The more we hear others being open and candid, the more compassion we have for ourselves and for others. You never know what is going on beneath the surface.
I became curious about how this same space could be offered up to forge community and connection. In a world where screens mediate so much of our conversations, I wanted to bring people together in the flesh. To sit in one another’s presence and feel the depth of connection that can only occur when we sit shoulder to shoulder with another being.
“In a world where screens mediate so much of our conversations, I wanted to bring people together in the flesh.”
Gemma Brady, Founder
I felt a pull to create a space specifically for women and one autumn evening in London, I invited 10 women to join me in this new experiment called ‘Sister Stories’ and the experience moved us in a way none of us had anticipated.
There is something very curious about what arises in each circle. The word ‘magic’ is frequently used to describe it. Not in the broomsticks and potions sense, but in the common feeling that descends upon the room. It is as if we get transported to a timeless space where we are able to shrug off the shackles of modern life and enjoy a different way of being.
Amongst women attending the circles, a committed and compassionate community has emerged. We share joy, laughter, tears, celebration and hope. For many of us, connection to the community has become an important part of daily life, a place that feels like home.
“When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.”
Adrienne Rich, poet
Since that first experimental gathering, hundreds of women from ages 17 to 70 have come together in circles in London, New York, LA and San Francisco.
No matter where the circle gathers, the experience shares a common thread: the belief that when we share our own stories, a space opens in another for their own truth to emerge.
Sisters who have experienced the magic of the gatherings have requested to start their own circles in their communities. From November 2018, we are offering the opportunity for women to train in the art of facilitation and start a Sister Stories community in their area. If you feel a curiosity about what it might feel like to learn to lead groups of women through an experience that allows them to reconnect to themselves and one another, you can find out more here.
Sister Stories is a community, the co-creation of every women who walks through the door. It offers a simple invitation to come together in a joyful, ancient way.
You are so welcome to join us, write to us, learn to facilitate with us. Our door is open….