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"Now I know that the safety, authenticity and sacred space that circle creates, is an essential part of our journey as women. Nowhere else in my life do I find this place of refuge, than in circle. 'BeComing' brings this to life."
Karen Aznoian
Executive Coach and Co-leader of Women's Circles of Development

Women's Circle Events & Programs

An Invitation to the Fifth Women's Circle of Development
"A Life in Relationship"

"Integral Life Design: Personal Development in a Community of Support"

I think no human being can give more than this: Making life possible for the Other, if only for a moment.”
-Martin Buber

“We have never wanted to be alone. But today, we are alone.”
-Meg Wheatley

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
-Mary Oliver

  • Do you want to create some change in your life, but don’t know how to begin?
  • Have you been curious about and reflecting on what is really next for you in your life?
  • Are you seeking support for your spiritual development?
  • Have you had difficulty in bringing different parts and pieces of your life into an integrated, balanced whole?
  • Are you yearning for deep inquiry and creative play with like-minded women?
  • Are you yearning for a deep and sustained sense of connection? Of belonging?
  • Have you been called to (and yet not know how to) connect with a community of support that would allow you to be more fulfilled and serve what the world needs?
  • Are you curious about cultivating delight and a sense of deep play?
  • Does creativity not find space and time in your life?
  • Do you sometimes feel that life is slipping by?
  • Do you find yourself humming the lines: “What’s it all about, Alfie?”
We are deeply called to invite an exceptional group of women to learn with, play, reflect and develop together. We will co-create an extraordinary community where we are not alone. A circle that deepens and connects.

We invite you on a journey into your interior landscape and into the external world. We will go where women seldom go. A journey of individual and collective development where we will experience being supported and supportive.

At the heart of this program is the opportunity to work on your own development with a professional certified coach. During this time, you will experience both one on one integral coaching, as well as the support of a women’s circle. Our intention is to create the combined experience of individual and collective development.

In a manner of speaking, when we are born, we are alone and when we die, we are alone. In between, we are in a Life of Relationship: we will explore, assess and cultivate this Life of Relationship. What does it mean to be fully human? What does it mean to be a woman being fully human? The current times are calling upon us as women to step into being fully human as a woman and ask “How can we serve, and how can we lead?” This will require an evolving relationship with ourselves resulting in the increased joy and freedom that comes from knowing: “I’m OK just as I am.”

Our promise: An experience of being personally coached towards achieving your developmental goals over a period of more than half a year.
Our promise: We will become more competent at living our lives more skillfully and meaningfully in relationship with ourselves, others, and the Earth/Environment…in an integrated way.
Our promise: An experience of belonging and the capacity to re-create that experience with circles, support systems, and communities of practice.

We invite you to participate in a group of up to 14 women who will meet for two, four and a half-day retreats within six months. In the time between these gatherings, you will be working with your coach and you will have time to connect with other women from the circle of support.

The format will be individual one on one coaching, teaching, group calls, circle work, homework assignments, large and small group work, creative expression, (we will work with music, poetry, art and movement).

A partial listing of content topics:
  • Integrating and developing our individual and collective, interior and exterior worlds.
  • Developing ourselves in different modalities: intellectual/cognitive, our bodies, our connection with Spirit, our emotional intelligence, how we relate to others, how we nurture ourselves and our contribution to the world and the planet.
  • Qualities and principles of being in circle, including potential circle shadows
  • Systems sensing
  • Relationship: the capacity to develop healthy and sustained relationships
  • Support: what does receiving and giving support look like?
  • Transactional support to unconditional support
We are inviting you to traverse this territory in the nurturing container of a women’s circle. We will be honored to be your guides and to learn from you.

A Life in Relationship


Dates and Location:

A Life in Relationship is structured as a six-month program of development:

Holden, Massachusetts Program:
The Boston program begins in October 2008 and ends April 2009
Opening four-day retreat: October 3-6, 2008
Closing four-day retreat: April 9-12, 2009
Structure includes two four-day retreats, six group check in calls, individual customized Integral Coaching program, 10-12 individual coaching calls, e-mail and phone support.

Retreats will be held in Holden, Massachusetts (at the home of Donelle Wright, 40 miles from Boston in the beautiful rolling hills of central Massachusetts)

Program Leaders (for more information)

Sarita Chawla

Karen Aznoian

Dawn Brown


Includes all books and materials and some meals. Lodging extra.
(Some scholarships at a sliding scale will be offered to those who require them.)


Please download the Life in Relationship information packet and registration form (PDF format) for complete information, deadlines and registration:

“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.
Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”
   - Thomas Merton

From Previous Participants....

The women's circle of development is a gift to myself. The coming together of different women sharing the needs and hopes for a better life, and moving that into reality is extraordinary. I was working hard to make my life better - this is a new way to achieve that very reasonable goal. If you thought you weren't the type to enter into anything called transformational, this is the place for you.
Elaine Varelas, Managing Partner, Keystone Partners

As an extroverted solo practitioner who lives alone and works out of my home, I was longing for a community of support. The invitation to join the women's circle of development was an answer to my prayers. As the circle has grown, it has become more than I ever expected. We are learning the true meaning of support and we are experiencing the value of growing with each other and in relationship to each other. I heartily recommend this experience to all women. The strongest recommendation that I can make is that I have been inspired to start one of my own.
Betsy Cole, Ph.D. President, Cole Consulting Group Waltham, MA

A Life in Relationship was a rich and rewarding experience at many levels-emotionally, spiritually and cognitively. It deepened my capacity as a professional coach and facilitator and prepared me to step into the world as a mid-wife to support the development of women's circles as a part of my work in the world. The greatest gifts of the process were the rich and wonderful relationships I developed with the women in my circle, a gift I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Donna Stoneham, President, Positive Impact, LLC

I want to thank you for one of the most transforming experiences of my life. In 2001, I realized that my life was not what I thought it would be. I had a 'great' job that I no longer loved but did not know what was wrong or what to do about how I was feeling. I realized one thing, though. I yearned and longed for the wisdom of other women. I had lived a life with few women friends, my mother had passed with us barely having scratched the surface of an adult relationship and I was feeling empty and sad, for no apparent reason. Not only with the women of the Circle, but I have found myself open and receptive to other women, and I am blessed to say that other women have entered and remain in my life. This would not have been possible were it not for the ALIR Circle.

I had never in my life really believed that I was accepted and understood. Not because I am so special, but because I had hidden myself from so many for so many years. I thought that I was just self- contained. You and the ALIR Circle saved my life by letting me be myself and allowing that scared part that I had protected for so long to come out and play. I am the most self-aware and happier than I have ever been in my entire life. The Circle has been my lifeline back to the life I wanted and now so much closer to having, all the time. I have challenges and I know that my approach is one that differs from the past. I feel strong enough to let stuff become, and not try to make it 'be' something.

Thank you. I love and will be forever grateful to you for showing me the way in.

Nancy Mims