Episode 9

Published on:

22nd Feb 2023

9: Celebrating Circles And Purpose With Susan Lucci

Today’s guest, Susan Lucci, takes us on a journey of creating Circles over 12 years ago when she realized that something new was calling to her. Susan is a master storyteller, weaving not only the moments of her life together, but also the wisdom of both her mentors and her clients. Susan reliably upholds themes of peace, possibility and our shared humanity in her work, which is always changing and evolving. Her world view and willingness to gather our collective souls together is exactly the type of leadership that is being called for in our world. Be prepared to be inspired by her messages and visions.


● How Circle tending began for Susan on a dark fall evening

● Bringing the ancient archetype to life in order to support women and humanity

● How what breaks your heart is a portal to your purpose

● Women are the antidote to crises throughout the world

● Why Mystical + Sisterhood are powerful concepts for what’s needed right now

● The crisis of loneliness and why we need each other now more than ever

● We are all needed - all of our various perspectives, views and energies

● How Susan guides high school seniors to write college essays from their essence

About the Guest:

Susan Lucci, a Soulful Facilitator, Life Design Catalyst Coach® and Certified Purpose Guide™, is passionate about encouraging and guiding women to reconnect to their essential nature and boldly, bravely turn up their soul shine to bring more of their authentic selves and gifts into the world. (www.pursuepurpose.co) Attuning to the ache of our shared longing to belong, she became a social artisan of Circle technologies 12+ years ago and has loved using this ancient archetype to facilitate nearly 1000 soulful conversations. (www.2big4words.org) Susan holds brave, sacred space as an activator incubator, a way of deepening dialogue that is generative and restorative and allows for group wisdom and co-creativity to emerge. Passionate about creating healthier conversations that lead to healthier communities, this former lawyer is now a soul advocate for creating a more just and equitable world where everyone thrives! In addition, Susan brings over 15 years of dynamic facilitation experience with a specialty in engaging diverse communities to create more inclusive, sustainable and equitable cultures. She is currently a film festival facilitator with the One Earth Collective, a Guide with CIRCL.ES, facilitating global CEO peer learning cohorts for Harvard Business School, and is designing and implementing a facilitator training program for Translator, a social DEI learning platform—whose purpose is to scale empathy by cultivating more inclusive cultures in large corporations. An entrepreneur, she co-founded the Global Purpose Leaders and FeelReal (a virtual community for DEI-specialized spaceholders).

Learn more



Resources mentioned in the podcast:

Tara Mohr poem: You-Shaped Hole

Jean Shinoda Bolen: The Millionth Circle

Tama Kieves

About the Host:

Maureen Spielman is the Founder of Mystical Sisterhood, a podcast dedicated to bringing more joy, healing and expansion to the world. She is a seasoned life coach who supports individuals through one-on-one coaching, groups and workshops. Connect with Maureen:

● Check out her Instagram @maureeenspielman

● Learn more about her work at www.maureenspielman.com

● Want to join our Mystical Sisterhood Membership community? Find out more here:


● Email Maureen at hello@maureenspielman.com to inquire about coaching, podcasting &

speaking engagements

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Maureen Spielman:

Hi, I'm Maureen Spielman, and this is mystical sisterhood. I'm a soul Care Coach and lifelong learner committed to creating conscious conversations around joy and healing. Each week, I'll host healers, intuitives and other courageous women doing the necessary work of reclaiming our worthiness, honoring our intuition and letting the light in so we can more clearly see the light and others and ourselves. My intention is to plant the seeds that lead to insights and revelations. For you the listener, please join me in building this global magical sisterhood. And thanks for being here

Maureen Spielman:

Okay, welcome back to mystical sisterhood. I'm your host, Maureen Spielman. And today I'm here with Susan Lucci. Susan is a dear friend of mine. And we've known each other for many, many years, I think, coming together over 10 years ago, for certain, Susan is a soulful facilitator, one of her main roles in life, a life design Catalyst coach, and a certified purpose guide. So these are just a few of the oh, I guess, what would we say titles that describe you, Susan, or, you know, if we had to put a label, but you are so dynamic, and you are so much more than that. And so we're here to kind of share your story and your work today. And I couldn't be more excited. And I'll first say that, when we first met, I was a younger version of myself, an exhausted mother, with three small children. And I know you can relate to that. And I spent my days my long days at home with them. And I didn't even know it. But I think I was craving conversation. And I was craving something deeper. And you put out an invitation for what you called circles at that time. And I thought, This looks so interesting to me. And I think I'm gonna go check it out. So it wasn't easy for me to get babysitters in those days. But I did it. And I showed up at your first circle in Oak Park, Illinois. And it wasn't your first circle. But it was my first circle. And I settled into my seat. And I listened to what was being shared. And I took the invitation to soulful questions that you were asking, and I just leaned in. And I didn't even know what exactly was occurring. But I knew that I would take that invitation week after week after week. And then sitting in your circles B, it became something for me that, gosh, I don't even know, I feel like I probably sat in circles six or seven years altogether. So I just want to kind of we can start there about what are circles to you? Well, you know, and how did you get to that point where you were at the place of this is something I want to start and this is something that's calling from within me. So welcome.


Well, thanks, Maureen. I'm so happy to be here. And so proud of you. Birthing this, your latest baby with this podcast. So what an honor to be here with you. And just brings awaken so much alive in me about circles and how many circles we have set in together. So all of those women are now in this space too. And thank you for all you contributed to the evolution of circle, you know, circle as a way of being and being together as an ancient archetype. And somehow I'm so grateful that she knocked on my door at a time when there was a confluence of a lot of life events, including one that brought us together, I think a little brief shout out to our husbands who worked together and introduced us and I had I had played out the moving sidewalk of my life, right? I was a student, I was a lawyer, everything I imagined from a little girl, I'd be gotten married, had my three kids, and started sleeping through the night again, because they were all going back to school and sleeping. And so I had a little bit of time and space for myself and started going on an occasional like retreat. And I would get like a taste of something. And then I would come back on Monday and I would say and now the laundry you know, it was just like back in the day to day and I wanted like how could we continue that retreat, feeling and connection. And I mentioned our husbands because they worked in the financial field and mine had lost his job. And so it was at this point like your kids are in school, what are you going to do next? Oh surely go go back and practice law. And you know, it was all of these circumstances from the universe and I was like, No, I'm not. But what am I going to do? And I did not know anybody. I knew a few people doing really great work. treats but I could not find circle. I tried on book clubs with women, but it wasn't the kind of conversation that I was craving. And I have since found a great poem by terrible are called U shaped hole, which is like, you know, there's a U shaped hole in the universe. And when you identify it, like, that's your work. And so I took out I was like, Well, if I can't find this, it must be up to me to create it. And so yeah, for many years, I was kind of like, known as the crazy circle lady in our town, and, and, you know, just learned learned so much. And one of the silver linings of COVID was to realize, like, I'm not alone, there are hundreds, if not 1000s, of people holding circle around the world, you know, so this, this as an archetype as a way of being human together is ancient. It is indigenous before we even had language, and it's ever evolving. So yeah, I count those years among some of my, my, my greatest work.

Maureen Spielman:

Yeah, I love that. Thank you for the background and explanation, even some of the words you use sacred archetype. And I remember when I first sat in circle with you, you talked about women, and elders being around a fire, and how that was an origin story of how people came together. And so can you talk a little bit about that? Like how, how that's evoked by calling circle together? And then is there a correlation then between that circle, and then the wisdom that comes through it?


Yeah, and it is definitely something bigger than me, you the women there, I learned pretty quickly is that I could, I could prepare and learn best practices and what are structures right that we can do, we speak one at a time, for example, it was that was very counter to the culture at the time, where if I had a women in my group of women in my living room, I, we would all talk over each other, blah, blah. And so that there were some practices and just like slowing down and catching up to ourselves, right, and I very intentionally would light the candle, we would set our intentions, there were a lot of pieces that I was pulling, you know, forward from these ancient practices of when folks sit in circle and how it goes, and some commonalities, and somehow that it just is, it reliably sets a container for trust. And where you invite in people to really share from their heart, right, we sit in circle, instead of having a table between us. And now now we are and we can see each other and we serve as mirrors to each other. And it didn't take many times of doing that to realize like, oh, my gosh, there is group wisdom, like, I just need to get out of the way I need to set the structure and hold the container so that there's enough safety for people to lean in and be courageous and brave and share their truth. And then the side by side nature button with women. Another thing that just you know, I didn't set out with like a business plan to do this, it all just was was occurring through us, between us and among us. And when I could see the transformation of women coming into my living room, exhausted, unfocused, distracted, not not taking care of themselves, really. And yet, having great, you know, careers and raising children and wonderful community activist, but in two hours, us sitting together, something was happening that was nourishing and nurturing all of us, and they would leave restore, we all would restored, inspired with new wisdom, you know, and so I can only credit that to what I now know, as the, you know, the kind of the universe that was moving. And so as a circle tender, just what is what is my role is to is to set that container and hold it as best I can for that emerging wisdom and energy to move through each of us and to really honor it.

Maureen Spielman:

Yeah, I love that. I feel like I want to stay on circles just a little bit, because you're describing a lot of that container that you set kind of a new way of being. And as I was reflecting on when you started them, I think you had in your bio that it was over 12 years ago, and maybe a little bit longer even. But with that idea of what was coming to you, and then how did you build them? Because this is circles are something that that you've trained other people to do, but like if women are crate craving, creating something like this, even in their own neighborhoods, even in their backyard, you know, have you seen that grow in those ways?


Oh, absolutely. And I really honor that and I also do purpose work. So before I share kind of the best practices, because it's an archetype I don't feel like I have like a copyright on this right? I mean, this is something so much bigger. It's it's just more a practice in a way, like you say, of being together. And I had gotten to the point where I had slowed down from my Energizer Bunny lifestyle, and was doing meditation and I was sitting still for like, an hour a day. And I was noticing, like, wow, I was, I'm a much more patient mom, and the kids come home at three, if I just sit still, and it was so hard for me to sit. But I got to this point where I just had this realization, like, I cannot evolve further by myself, you know, and I need like, I this line came to me, which is just that we can't become ourselves by ourselves. And I noticed like moving in into circle like we could with that intentionality, we could really the support that came in that was that was very different than what I had seen at the law firm among even women there, you know, that, that the circle of support and what we could become together by just been together, people often remark like, where we just sitting here together talking and like all of this happened, you know, was, was really remarkable.

Maureen Spielman:

Yeah, I and I think to that, honestly, it when I recollect the time that it really was the beginning of what I look back and see as the beginning of a mindfulness movement. And this vocabulary, I don't know if you remember that, but the vocabulary was starting to be introduced. And, and I recall to talking about moving from the doing to the being, and I also see that is moving to the outer to the inner worlds. And that at that time, because I was a mom of young kids, I was I was taking care of them, I was running to the grocery store, I was running to target, you know, it was all about the errands, and that taking the kids to the lessons and things like that. And you would suggest these things. And I at the time, I was I was pretty far from it, it felt. And I just remark on that. Because I can see my evolution now through the years. And sometimes when certain things are suggested to us, we were ready to hear it. But it might not come out to play in our life for years. And that's okay. And that's that I always used to remember you'd have all these nonfiction books. And I think like, gosh, how does she read those. And again, you know, here it is X amount of years later, and I find myself in that place, too. So it's like we're all moving at our own pace. But I think that what I really, really honor in what you did for me in my life was you simply set the container, set the stage, and you ask the questions. And I just never underestimate the value of a really deep and you used to always call it juicy question.


Yeah, yeah, that really became my work in preparation, along with really nurturing my own presence right to hold space. And I have best practices and a pretty simple like how to guide on my website, you know, that folks are, it's there as a gift that folks are willing to use, there are some best practices and lots of ways to do this, you know, and mine aligns with my purpose. I had that quote from Frederick Buechner, about vocation that was guiding me, you know, and that's what I was looking for, before I got into this work was, you know, that your calling is the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need. So the way I hold circle, right, like, I love learning, I just I just loved and I was studying about consciousness with Barbara Marx Hubbard, and in part of all the mindfulness was training with MBSR, and, you know, Search Inside Yourself and all this stuff, but I could take all of that learning and I could weave it into, you know, kind of an agenda. I always had that but then letting it be what it was, and it really got into like, what are the juiciest questions I can ask? And not not that we will come to answers, but I loved it when at the end. And when we did our checkout, if women they took away a question like they were just leaving with something powerful and and I think the other ingredient that I recommend that I that I have moved from and when I guide people with purpose I'm always looking for is the heartbreak. Right. And so I had this heartbreak and I know you and I have talked about this before, like we come from women who it wasn't safe to share what was on their heart, right? It just wasn't not that they didn't have friends and family and you know, beautiful life. But it just wasn't safe to share. I often refer to that like the 30,000 feet discussion, you know that we often bump into people we've gotten a little bit better since COVID, where we don't just say how are you and expect fine, you know, we're listing the little lingering a little bit, but there was something about my heartbreak in that and then my heartbreak when I would hear women check in and like, What is my purpose? Why am I here? And I like that's broke my heart like, these are amazing. Like I have sat with some omit I mean, I think all but amazing humans. And then I got curious, I'm like I need to learn about purpose I need what is that ancient ache in us, you know. So I think it's really important something about what you're doing and offering here right comes out of your heartbreak. And I think as women especially that it is what I know now is that it's our superpower to wear our heart on our sleeve like to really learn this way of Heart to Heart communication. So I really encourage whatever that looks like, for you for us. You know, it's like find that heartbreak find that and then what does it look like to like wear your heart on your sleeve? It's our superpower.

Maureen Spielman:

Yeah, yeah. And yes, I always recall the the beginning talks, I had never even really considered vulnerability and what that looked like, because I think how I saw it. In women who came before me, it was either pretty tamped down pretty suppressed, or maybe came out in a messy way. And so they're just I think we're we are we've, like on the podcast I've talked about before, just the whole idea of generational change, but it's so powerful. It makes me think of to just, you know, was it an easy thing for you? Obviously, you had this calling that you were considering accepting the invitation to when circles came to you and reviving this ancient archetype. But was it hard for you to leave behind something where you studied for the three year law degree? Or did you just know in your heart that that was done for you?


What the way I experienced purpose moving for me is like, I can't not, you know, like, I can't not and I didn't know the whole picture actually thought at the beginning, I had gathered women in my living room like 30 for a, it was called Living Your inspired life. Camera kids. I reached out to this author who wrote this book, and she ended up in my living room when dark fall night. I mean, it was all just like, beautiful synchronicity. Yeah. And so I was actually thinking we could do this circle thing, because afterwards, women were like, What are we going to do now? And so we started meeting once a month. But what happened is they were like, Damn, you're good at this. You're doing this, you know, and, and I have tried a couple of times to get like, come on, and I love when I can empower other women in here. I just walked this morning with a woman who is who is holding circle. And I just, I love it right, because more is more. There's a beautiful book called the millionth circle by Jean Shinoda Bolen. And somebody, one of the initial circle ladies placed it in my hand when I was learning circle, and this concept of like, the million circle, right, that if we keep working towards that, and I think I'm pretty close to my 1000 Circle contributing to this pool, but then we can shift consciousness, we can shift the way that we are human together, which is really aligned with my purpose of why I'm here is like, can we be better humans together? You know, and what are those practices? Because it's new, it's new ground, it's ancient ground. And here we are 2023. And we really need if we are to, I think make it through these this time of crises. And I think there's something really powerful and potent about women. And Jean Shinoda. Bolen says, In that book do that, you know, women are the antidote, and the answer to these crises. And here's the model that is very feminine that we, you know, can bring together and

Maureen Spielman:

with that, do you see over the years that you've been doing this, and with your recent work, that that's starting to amplify some that that's becoming a little bit exponential in terms of women kind of rising and putting themselves out there?


Oh, absolutely. I was so heartened during COVID to learn of how many people and how many ways because it was to your question was it it was hard, it was hard, like, going to cocktail parties. And, you know, I wanted to talk about these big questions of life. And people just most people just didn't, you know, and, you know, people would say, what's your Do you have a degree do you have, I mean, I didn't have any training in it, you know, now I've got life lived experience, I'm gonna actually have taken a number of facilitation. And it's always hard. It's always challenging. When you're bringing something new in, right, when you're introducing something that is countercultural, you know, people would say, I've got my, my girls group, I've got my tennis club, I've got my, whatever it was, and that's awesome. And there's also something really powerful about creating community with new groups of women. And that's what I've experienced, you know, and now, I mean, I sit in circles with people all around the world, and it just, it just blows my mind. How many people right and yes, and the work has just really exploded and I'm grateful because we need it.

Maureen Spielman:

Yes. Yeah. And I love that too. For our if there are listeners out there today, because when I went through a lot of the path with you I was, I didn't know what was next for a long time. And I have to say I was really hard on myself for it. If I had to do over to go back, I wished I could have been more compassionate with myself during the process. But I think that I did struggle with, oh, gee, you know, I went back for a master's degree. And I studied speech language pathology, which we always say, you and I will joke about the the irony of studying speech and language and getting your voice out there. And then what I ended up doing, but it is a really important part, just to say that hear that, that that was there for me. And it didn't mean that had to continue in the same form that it began in. And I, it took me a long time. But I was willing to go like you're saying down a new path. That didn't have the formal degree, I already had it, I already had a formal degree, I didn't know if I needed that. And I felt a little bit like, you know, a counterculture. Like, I just want to forge my own path. But I really didn't think it was possible. So I have a feeling that you really helped see that possibility for women to when you do the purpose work?


Well, and it's fun also, because you really only have hindsight to connect the dots looking back, right, you know, and so I can see that and I love when I when I can help. I think the older we get to we have more threads to weave into the tapestry of our life, right? So I just came into the world as an advocate, and all I could see and the affirmation I got from the adults around me, because I, you know, was smart. And could I was kind of forced to be articulate and forced to stand on the playground defending my brother who was being bullied in different things like lawyer like it was just, there were only so many boxes that I even saw, right. And so I don't, I still love that I still use my legal knowledge. And it certainly gives me some cred. You know, for folks, sometimes we're like, wow, you're kind of out there. But I do, I think it's really, it's really interesting. When you look back like an advocate, I'm still an advocate. I'm a fierce advocate. And circles. One way I do that I also help people write essays and edit books. Another way of getting their voice out there, right. So I'm, I'm all about expression, and making room for lots of perspectives of expression. You know, I love it's the part of me that is thrilled with you with a podcast using your voice and that way, as well. So so it is fun, I think you can see it. You know, I'm loving it. So of course I am with the lens of purpose is like yeah, this all this all makes sense. I know from the outset, it's like, wow, why do you do all those different things, but doesn't matter?

Maureen Spielman:

Ya know, and it reminds me of the word you used earlier, I think you use either nurture or nourish. And I can clearly see it's just nourishing to your own soul. And then you get to bring that to others, the fire and the passion and the energy. We touched upon when we talked prior to the podcast, just kind of the name of this podcast, mystical and sisterhood. And I liked what you had to say about both of those words if you'd like to share.


Yeah, I know I love I love it. So I think a lot of my work is soul work, right? So to me that the mystical is is our way of communicating with or listening to soul. And also remembering that very young part of us that naturally can can tap awe and wonder and fascination with with this, this mystical universe and right trained as a lawyer, right, logical, right, and a lot of what matters and are, at least in the Western dominated, you know, US culture has to be measured has to be tangible has to be seen. And, you know, I think I'm here in part to make visible that which is unseen, right. And so I think, the practice of honoring the mystical and knowing like, that's also part of us, and how we can communicate with each other. And it really it nourishes, I mean, it's so medicine, you know, so, so, so I love that and right, I've had a number of like woowoo, right people like when it takes a little bit of time, I think to let go of the usual way of orienting with our minds to be like, Hey, did you just see that Hawk circling over there? What is the message right, which my mother passed a couple years ago, right? And now, apparently, that's her communicating to me. And so how, how I can be present and all I can tell you it's so enlivening to do that. So I meant to marry that with sisterhood, right? I think is so amazing. You and I both have sisters, which is you know, a wonderful, messy, complicated, nourishing experience and of itself. And I live in Chicago without any family and I have and this is now home for 26 years. and the sisters that I have made through circle, I mean, it's just the sisterhood, the, the practice of us sisters and each other, which is something I first learned from Glenn and Doyle, but like a really coming in, it's like an architectural term like side to side shoring each other up when we're sagging, you know, I love to just think about that is just that we're in it, we're in it together, right? And what is possible when the sisters see each other, and uplift each other, and not just sisters that look like us, right? Like I have the last several years really intentionally been interacting with all kinds of sisters, you know, from all kinds of backgrounds and voices and perspectives. And it just keeps widening and deepening my experience. So I just I don't have any time for any of the, you know, like kind of competitive me above you. Do you know, that old paradigm. So I think the mystical sisterhood is, I think that's the way forward Marine. Oh, I

Maureen Spielman:

love it. Yeah, it adds extra meaning to it. For me. I think it is an also an invitation to do definitions. We didn't even though we had an old definition, but new definitions of how we come together and how we be together. And I love you know, when you talk about being better humans, and it's just, it is so inclusive. And so just like it's like big arms wrapping around the world. And, and yeah, so you were telling me to that now. So you've done the circle work and really segwaying and adding to moving into facilitating. And so I know you have a few things going on underneath that umbrella of Phillip facilitation. But I'd love if you shared some of them because I think they're fascinating.


Yeah, and I you know, I also think it's important. So I'm 57. And you we can get caught up in Oh, I found this thing, this circle thing. You can see how much I mean, it's it's so fabulous. And it's a chapter it's a chapter that in a way COVID took away, right? If we sold our house, somebody knocked on our door, I don't have my beautiful sanctuary anymore for it. And I think repeatedly, especially as we live longer, right? We have these, these liminal spaces where we we get to reimagine who we are and what's possible, we get to bring forward all of our life lived experience and still create and be in that edge of newness and that adventure. And so my stance right now is just completely open to the universe. You know, every morning, I'm like, what, what, where do you need what you got for me today, right. And so the universe has an amazing sense of humor and the work that I have been doing the last couple of years, it's just, it's fabulous. And it's a lot bigger than my living room. And so facilitation is really what I have been doing and learning and circle as well. But the heart of it is, is creating these spaces, right so that people can be vulnerable together. And it's really wild to do it in a room. Last week, I was in DC all week with 500. Economists from around the world, getting together, right? Our intention are very similar to what you and I were doing in circle to connect, right to engage. They happen to be taking on these big crises in the world, which each of us are living in our own way, right. And I mean, we live in such a complex, complicated time. And so facilitation really holding space is very different than like an agenda that we're going to move through. And so how to me, it's the My role is the practice of me being present. So that I can invite everybody else to be present, which is like we could talk about that for the next year. And then to really engage in ways that they can bring in something new, right? So we're not just sitting there that that is about dumping everything we know, we are now together in a co creative collaborative space. And this is a new life skill and capacity for us, right that we're not just talking at it. So as a facilitator, right, I've got the structure, I've certainly have timing that I'm keeping, right. And I've got this space, and a flow of if there's different speakers or activities, but it's really fun. It can be you know, to bring in some levity and some play in it. And then some mindfulness practices for sure. Breathing is always very helpful to bring in that presence. You know, and so also doing some other platforms on Zoom, were facilitating conversations and so I'm loving the really the explosion of this, you know, I like to use a word other than that, but it has really taken off this facilitation and that people, people are beginning to value the intentionality of design, like okay, what is the purpose of this gathering? And then how can we design for the best possible outcome and let it go that we're not planning for it necessarily, but we're designing to set it up. So it's, it's a really interesting way A of being together and like creating the conditions for us to be our best selves and bring our best selves to play.

Maureen Spielman:

Yeah, absolutely. And I thinking about 500 people in a room, and just, you are working now you've, you know, come from your living room with a group of probably anywhere, you know, 10 to 12 or less people around that fire, let's just call it to this big conference room of some sort with 500 people. So when we're talking about the deep needs of the world right now, like you were saying, like your definition of your purpose, those deep needs. Wow, that amplification. So then what can it feels to me when you describe it, that this is the necessary work? The this work that was kind of it was born in like a really intimate space, but this idea that we can bring intimacy, and those qualities like vulnerability to, to kind of the masses, like, is that possible?


Beautiful reflection. Yeah. And it does it I love being in the world of possibility, that playground of possibility, right, if I stay in the in the same old, same old with where I am, and what I know and who I know, right, it's like, the same things can happen, right? But when we when we keep stretching outside our comfort zone, and it was it was really restored. Each time I'm in those, I have never been with 500. But each time I'm in this space just restores my faith, my love my trust and humanity. And I think that that's really the muscle and the reminder and remembering we need to do now to connect. And as an antidote to the you know, we are all seeing the crisis of loneliness, depression, you know, all of these things that happen when we are disconnected from each other. And we are not fully expressing our purpose, who we are what we came, you know, it is a suppression of potential. And so it was just to feel like if I could bought like, the energy in that room and the conversation and I mean, the number of languages that were spoken alone, I mean, no one looked like me in that room, right? They agree on English as their spoken language. But it was, I mean, I said, let's say good morning, in our language in our native language, right? And that alone, I'm like, wow, that diversity is just so beautiful, you know?

Maureen Spielman:

Yeah. And right there. I feel like just with that question alone, just break the ice. I just feel like so much. In everything that you've described today. People are ready for the work. And they might not even know it. But as soon as they come into the room, they dropped down into that heart space, I think you used to talk about heartspace a lot. And they dropped down into that heart space, and then they're in. It must be such a cool thing to see. Just


Oh, absolutely. Right. Yeah. When I was learning that you were in circle when I was learning, like the capacity of our heart, there's multitudes, they've studied this right at the heart coherence Institute, California, like that capacity, and why was it being protected and shielded? And I get that, you know, it's it is risky business. And it's courageous, when we can share and then the possibilities, it just is incredible, I think. And they were in the in that case, right. I mean, they are solving, trying to write the all the big issues right now of war. I mean, there were people coming from war torn countries, and you know, we're climbing is wreaking havoc on their frontline, you know, all of that. And so, what better than to connect these teams that are facing these, you know, together, and we all are at some level, but if we can, we've got to be in it together. And we've got to find ways to do that the isolation, the the denial that you know, it's going to do us and I think so the, it leads to apathy, like all of that is what I'm trying to create and create and be in places to antidote that Yeah,

Maureen Spielman:

yeah. And it makes me think about to what you were saying with the quote earlier about, we need women now, and obviously, this audience is a lot of women. But I think you were telling me the other day, that you've been working with more and more men in these groups. So what what is not what does that look like? But is this a part of our population that you're inviting to come on board with this newer way of being? Or how would I don't even know how to form that question, necessarily, but I think you probably kind of get what I'm getting at.


Yeah, well, and it's certainly a practice of moving beyond the gender binary, right, which is what we're what we're learning to be invited into. So I would say it's more feminine, bright, which we all we all have feminine and masculine and who knows where that will all come with this new. That's not meant to be gender know, but the the feminine qualities of circle and heart and creativity, right are what we are seeking to come into balance with what we we've already got, you know, we're really good at those masculine qualities, getting things done the doing. So let's even just if we want to put it into a polar, you know, the doing that the beam is what happens if we are doing things and we also bring in it comes from the essence of being. Right. Yeah, it's a whole different, it's a whole different, you know, where we have been ticket, you can feel it, you can literally feel it. And even and so it doesn't matter who,

Maureen Spielman:

you know, I was gonna say even if you take, like you're talking about essence of being even starting with, what's your intentionality setting an intention, right? It it feels like it shapes the energy. And hey, you could have even if you had to, you could have two wildly different intentions, right? And just but you probably have myriads of intentions. So it just opens up the possibilities, when we start to infuse the soulful qualities in ways of life.


Yeah, versus the model of like, Let's go these 500 verses they there are certainly a hierarchy there, right. But our intention is to connect and engage in that all the voices matter. Right. So these are the different ways instead of and we, we did have some sessions where we have the experts talking, and then it's always our our role as facilitators is okay. How what's the wisdom in the room is what I kept asking them was a knowledge exchange. So what and there's so many different ways of exchanging, and there's so many different forms of knowledge, right? And so how do we, how do we engage, we are all needed, it is a time, and I'm not sure it's ever not been a time. But this is a time where we are all needed all the various perspectives and views and an energies, right, we each have our unique purpose to bring. So how do we how do we invite and engage and make possible everybody's participation? I love

Maureen Spielman:

it. I love it. I just am sitting with that for a moment because it's so beautiful. And it's it I so agree with you, from the microcosm to the macrocosm to the stressed out individual to the stressed out, you know, systems. It's just needed at all these different levels. So now, there's only one of you. So, do you work within groups or share sort of these responsibilities with a team? Or how do you work typically these days?


Yeah, right now I'm doing a lot of collaboration, right. I think this is the new the new way of working, I still work one on one with folks. And you know, the way I look at that, like purpose guiding, you know, is that when when each of us becomes more aligned with our purpose and more energized and clear about it, right, we affect hundreds if not 1000s. Right. So I do that in a deep soulful way that does take some energy, but I still I think that's the best way to do that work. But yeah, most of my work is is with different teams. And I I really try to discern before I say yes to those projects, to see what the what the intentions are, right? And how how they play together, you know, what are the shared agreements? What are the practices, because so much happens? In the in between us? Right? And so do we both care for this space? You know, I'm thrilled to come talk with you. Right? We there's something in between us that's bigger than both of us happening. Right? So that's what I'm really curious about, and I'm even working on writing abroad about that, you know, like, what is the potential of what's in between whether it's two people in a conversation, you know, a family, a room, a community, you know, what are those? And how do we, how do we begin to connect in a way to uplift the people that are care taking for our communities, you know, and this, this we, that is between NMLS.

Maureen Spielman:

Yeah, love that. Love it. I also connect some of the work you've done, Susan, with teens. And you mentioned it before, drawing out their voices. And, you know, it's a population right now that so many of us have so much concern about with mental health on the rise issues on the rise, but what do you what do you see when you sit down and you work one on one with teens and sort of like, kind of the hopefulness there too, and kind of what these young people sometimes have to say and share?


Yeah, that is my 10th year really working with that college essay process. And I do it in a way that is that they can really find their voice and then express it very uniquely to them. We're not like cookie cutter approach to this. And I've certainly seen an increase in mental health challenges. They are they are very vocal with me about it. And I get and I love, I have three kids in their 20s now, but I have this unique position, they are not in resistance to me, right at Boston, like, teens going through this right? You know, as a parent, right? It's a very different stance. So in the first session when they see like, Oh, she is on our side, right? It's just, it just opens up so many possibilities, and I can through questions, you know, I can encourage and stretch them to places they might not otherwise go. And so that, that trust and you know, boy, there's just, it's such an honored space to shape and you know, this as a speech therapist, right, very similarly, like, like to really hold space for their voice to emerge and pour out in a whatever unique way, it is not like you've got to write this way, or say this, you know, is there's just nothing like it, I just, I really enjoy that. And when they then we work through the editing, which is its own, because the challenge is right, you've got 650 words, or 150 words. And I'm like, no worries, because now we have the challenge of editing. And then they see that like, like, talk about essence, right? Like, when, when we can say something succinctly, it is even more powerful, like the poets, right? They've got a technique down. And so when we move through that whole process, it is so awesome to see them. I mean, sometimes they're like, can I give you a hug? You know, like, I can really see that arc versus like, they come in, okay, we've got to write you know, we gotta check this box and do this essay. So I, I love transformative work. I love work yet that really honors they go on and become better writers. They I hear about them through college, I had a student just recently bring me a script that he wrote that he is submitting to Hollywood that I did work. So you know, again, to this expression, right? We all came. And this is one unique way is through words, right? You do it through podcast, people do it through painting, however, you can find your means and mode of expression. It's needed, you know?

Maureen Spielman:

Yep. So I hear I hear a lot in that share alone, you know, with working with upper teens on these essays is, I hear safety. I hear essence, I hear trust, I think of my kids worked with you. And I bet you sometimes see these creations and this really soul like Soul coming through these kids. The parents might not even see it. So that's what that you're a person that they come to outside of school. And I say this in a way, like that's so beautiful. Because that role alone, where they can come to you that yes, there's an end goal, but they're, they're trusting you you're in relationship. It's a connected experience. And that reminds me of what must also be a sacred archetype of I can only think of elder in this moment. And what a beautiful thing it is. But yeah, I just I just wanted to give you that reflection of the beautiful work and all. It's not just a process like, Oh, we're gonna go to Susan and have her help you with your essay. It's so much more.


Yeah, thank you. Yeah, yeah, it really is a mentorship of sorts the way I see. And as you're naming those pieces, like it is hard to engage any human right now without their phone. And not one of them is on their phone. Like, they just like I don't have to say put your phone away. We sit like this at my table. I heart to heart and it and they just look right in, I look right into their eyes. And it is it's so such a unique opportunity, you know? Yeah. And it was born out of heartbreak. It was born out of heartbreak. I mean, you know, again, like because of a situation with my own child. And then I was like, This can't be this hard, you know, and this debilitating for right 17 year olds, we've got to create a more meaningful process here. So yeah,

Maureen Spielman:

well, I have to think that a lot of what our listeners are hearing today are things that they are going to want to look into a little bit more for themselves. There's been just so many cool things named and, and in the show notes, I always put where people can find you. But you know, just to share right now with our audience, where can they find some of your work? And yeah, whatever you want to share with how to reach you? Or? Yeah,


yeah, I think I'll just put them to my, to my website, it's all there. And I could fill out a form if they want to, you know, see me directly, which is www, then it's too big for words.org with the number two big the number for words and a fun story. When I was first doing circle, I was with a group of women. And they were asking me about circle and I was trying to talk about it. And I got to the point where I was like it's just too big for words and one of the women was like, that's your website. Yeah. So it has been that's what it's been all these years but my you could see my purpose guy have got kind of everything in there. So okay, Great. And I know that in some best practices if people want to try on circle, you know, I've got resources there too, so they can

Maureen Spielman:

check it out. Okay, perfect. Anything else you want to add for our listeners today? Or? Yeah, please share anything that comes to mind.


Yeah, no, I just have immense gratitude, I think there is something about conversation that is really important to making sense of the world, right and to into making meaning of even what we're doing. So I'm so grateful to be drawn into this conversation to reflect on what it is that I offer the world what it is that you see. And it just has, you know, deepened, widened, expanded, you know, my, my inspiration and commitment to the work. So thank you for the conversation. Yeah,

Maureen Spielman:

thank you so much for being here. And I also have deep gratitude. And one of my kind of ideas foundational for the podcast was just to really share with this audience and this growing audience, people, I mean, incredible people I've met along the way doing such incredible work. And so that's why I just needed you to be here as one of my, you know, first guesses, I launched this, so I appreciate it so much. And like I said, I'll put in the show notes, all the links for Susan and the resources that she named, whether it was a poet today or the million, the million circle book. So you can find those resources too. But many Thanks, Susan. And yeah, thank you to my audience, too.


Thank you. And well.

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About the Podcast

Mystical Sisterhood
Mystical Sisterhood is a celebration of women interested in connection to themselves, community, and the Universe. If you are a woman seeking conscious conversations on modern spirituality, understanding your soul’s journey, contemplating new directions in life, and mystical practices, you are in the right place!

The weekly podcast is hosted by Maureen Spielman, a Transformational Life Coach, trained in the Art and Practice of Spiritual Psychology, as well as Integrative Wellness and Conscious Parenting.

Maureen boldly invites the questions we only feel safe enough to ask in the community of other curious women ready to shift the current paradigm and soar. These curated conversations marry what we think of as our mainstream lives with the mystical.

Each episode infuses everyday women with the strength and clarity to rise above the self-limiting beliefs we have all heard on repeat in our heads so we can step into the limitless possibilities for shining and thriving in this lifetime.

Through interviews with healers, intuitives, and other courageous women doing the work of developing our inner lives, Maureen explores how to leave the lack dance behind, reclaim our worthiness, honor our intuition, and let the light in so we can more clearly see the light in others (and ourselves).

If you want to join this global movement of healers and seekers creating a new paradigm convened by an authentic woman who embodies the transformation practices she promotes, subscribe and listen to the Mystical Sisterhood podcast today.

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Maureen Spielman

Maureen Spielman is the Founder of Mystical Sisterhood, a podcast dedicated to bringing more joy, healing and expansion to the world. She is a seasoned life coach who supports individuals through one-on-one coaching, groups and workshops.