Image of the Sharing circle at the vagina vérité art & conversation experience. Twelve of the women participating are visible here, listening smiling. Among them, the speaker is mainly out of view, but you can see her hands as she speaks and everyone turned toward her.

What will we talk about?

That was one of many questions that came up while working on the design of this experience and imagining into it: How will it go? Who’ll show up? And what will we talk about?

There was a lot to talk about.

I have to say I’d have been fine with silences. I mean, if that’s what happened, that’s what happened. There’s just no way to know and scripting it, going for a topics-list outcome, that wasn’t the point here. I just wanted to listen. To have the space to talk, to think out loud together. I don’t think we have enough of that. Not in group settings. Not with an expectation of respect. Not at work. At work is where so much of the day goes, too.

I think I’ve trained myself out of believing I have the space to talk things over, only saying raw things, still-thinking things when I couldn’t help it, and pulling back soon after. Not being ok with the silence that followed. Or the not getting it, not interested, not willing, not now because other things just have to get done. We already know what we need to know.

Besides, I’ve always been uncomfortable in a group. Easily overwhelmed by just there being many heartbeats working, and eyes, when they turn toward me. Performance anxiety, I guess. Definitely about getting it right. Even though I don’t believe in that.

Anyway, here, in this space, that was the point. To make room, free up space to say things aloud among us, and just see what was there. Intentionally hold space the space for each other. And ourselves.

At one point, we got into an inquiry into unsolicited dick picks. What are they thinking? What was the point of that? And demanding a pussy pick back. Having strategies, even if it sucks that we should need to, to address what gets thrown at us, or the internalized habits of apologizing for having a different view of things, of hiding what comes with having a female body, making ourselves smaller to fit someone else’s idea. I totally need that help. Strategies ready.

That moment after, when you realize that you caved vs stayed seated inside yourself, in your truth, sucks.

There was a lot of power in the room, compassion. We didn’t go around the room, telling each other about our backgrounds or anything, but you could tell that we weren’t coming from the same place. Or maybe I’ve sloughed off enough layers to just see how it always is. We just are different, we just are specific individuals, the subjects of non-interchangeable stories and even that is too containing to be descriptive.

I felt power, things I didn’t know or understand where there too, but I felt safe.

This group thing can be pretty cool. It can be like nothing I’ve experienced before.

This is just the beginning…

Lay down some intentions, lay out some vagina portraits, step into the circle, and… what will we talk about?

Looking forward to hearing what you think!

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