The Power of Women by Molly Hock
The power of bringing a group of women together is something no one can deny. Through my personal hardship last year of losing my close friend to ISIS, I realized how nurturing it was to be among women. There were no barriers, we could be among each other and support each other in ways that I hadn’t experienced with my group of guy friends at home.This inspired me to bring women together around the globe. Zoe and I share this mission of bringing women together to provide trauma-sensitive support, so this is exactly what we are doing in Istanbul. We both shared yoga classes with the women and children in the camps while on the grounds in Greece, and our passion and determination for this support quickly intensified. Together we decided to form women’s circles once arriving in Turkey. We reached out to the women who are involved in creating the women’s on center at the school we are supporting, and also to a group of women on the Asian side of the city. Before we knew it, we were sitting in a circle with a group of eight beautiful women. We began by holding hands, and connecting with one another. We shared a sacred circle together where all of us felt safe, and many of us shared about the hardships and challenges we are currently experiencing. It was beautiful to see both the labeled ‘volunteers’ and ‘refugees’ support the challenges each woman faces with open hearts, regardless of the situation.
We then moved into a yoga class, followed by deep relaxation and brief meditation in order to share coping techniques that have helped us both cope with the trauma we have endured in our lives. The women were grateful, but Zoe and I could not have embodied more gratitude for the experience, for the trust, and for the love we shared among one another. The time with these powerful women re-opened my heart on a level words can not justify. We also shared an experience with a much larger group of women two days later on the Asian side of the city. We got to know one another, laughed together as we tried things for the first time, and brought ourselves into a state of relaxation and acceptance. Both groups of women were asking for more by the time we finished, and I couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to continue these sessions. I met with one of the woman yesterday, who shared with me how nurturing the eye gazing was for her. She told me, “you look so much like my friend in Syria. When I looked into your eyes, I saw tenderness.” This opening gave her the opportunity to share more of her story with me, which sends painful chills through my entire being. It isn’t easy to hear one heart-wrenching story after another, but at the same time, nothing has ever made me feel more complete. Due to respect, and privacy, I will not share these stories with you. I can’t express how incredibly grateful I feel to be here among such powerful women. Zoe and my new friends continue to remind me to count my blessings, to appreciate the life I live. They open my heart in ways even meditation hasn’t allowed me to do. I look forward to these connections blossoming as my time here continues.