Finding Your Circle

By Stephanie Sackerman, Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Holistic Health Practitioner & Founder of Live Love Be Wellness Coaching

If asked to describe myself at the height of my postpartum anxiety using just one word, I think I would have said alone.  In reality, I was never alone.  Ever.  Yet, I had never felt as lonely as I did for those few months.  As a new mom, I missed aspects of my “old” life. I missed my job which for me meant being surrounded by others and constantly engaging in conversation. I missed my pre-baby relationships, especially the one I had with my husband.  I missed time to myself.  I missed having the answers.  I wasn’t sure who I even was or how to describe what I was feeling.  I felt disconnected from myself and overwhelmed.  I was totally alone.  Plus, I doubted myself and questioned my abilities in my new role.  I compared myself to others to see how I was doing or to try and make myself feel better.  Since I was afraid that I wasn’t doing very well, I isolated myself throughout the winter.  I rationalized that I didn’t want my infant son to get sick, but in reality, it was my own self that drove us to seclusion.  I avoided going to mom or baby activities for fear that someone might judge me as a mom.  In actuality, the only one judging me was myself, but I didn’t realize that yet. 

 While at my lowest, I was introduced to mindfulness.  I didn’t even know what it was and never would have imagined that it would change my life. Sarah Rudell Beach, the founder of Brilliant Mindfulness, defines being mindful as paying “attention on purpose, with an attitude of kindness to ourselves and others.”  Wow, I thought, that sounds nice.  The idea that I could be aware of my thoughts without judging them, accept myself, be kind to myself, engage with others with lovingkindness, and receive it back in return was mind-blowing.  However, in today’s society, where so many of us are striving and competing to be the best, and judgment is at an all-time high, it’s nearly impossible to find a circle like that.  Until now. 

 One of the greatest changes that has come as a result of living mindfully is that I’ve learned self-compassion.  According to Dr. Kristin Neff, self-compassion is a loving, connected presence.  In fact, in The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook, Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer write that, “when we are in the mind state of loving, connected presence, our relationship to ourselves, others, and the world is transformed.”  That’s the goal of the MindfulMoms™ Circle.  It’s a place to open one’s mind, inspire one’s heart, and transform oneself so she can awaken the mom she’s meant to be.  It’s a place to grow with other moms; it’s a place to be supported; it’s a place to build one another up. 

 At my darkest hour, I would have given anything to have a mom-friend to hold my hand, open her heart and without judgment, say, you’re not alone.  Mama, you are not alone because we’re here.  This is our circle: for moms to learn about themselves, to grow as individuals and as mothers, to be authentic, to build genuine relationships, to connect without judgment, and to awaken the moms we’re meant to be. 

I am so honored to be that mom-friend, to extend my hand and my heart to another mother, and I am thrilled to create this circle alongside Jennifer Watt, Co-Founder of Avalon Wellness Center.  When I met Jennifer, my heart felt so connected to hers.  We knew that together, we could build a circle for mothers whose hearts and minds aligned with ours and whose goals connected with our own.  Let’s support one another on the journey; we’ll see you at the circle. 



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