A Langley-based nonprofit has a new offering for its senior population.
Healing Circles Global, a group that provides social support for individuals going through certain life stages or challenges, recently added an aging circle geared toward those moving into their later years.
Beginning May 17, the aging circle will meet at 10 a.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. Because the circle is open to folks from all over the world, meetings will be held virtually.
Prospective participants can register at healingcirclesglobal.org/passages. The new group is titled “Aging Together 2: Discovering depth, grace and beauty in aging,” though more aging-related circles and circles for other topics are also found here.
Healing Circles Global facilitates safe spaces where community members going through similar experiences can come together for support and sharing. A typical healing circle meeting begins with a minute of silence intended to help participants transition from their everyday lives to the meditative, open space of the circle. Participants then have opportunities to share what is on their hearts, sometimes through poetry, readings or deep questions.
To finish, circle attendees may share what they have gleaned from listening to others during the circle, and the circle closes with a poem or a reading.
In the new aging circle, participants may address topics related to belonging, letting go, dying, acceptance or their hopes for their remaining years, among other topics. This is an especially relevant circle for the South Whidbey population, where an increasing percentage of the population is approaching or past retirement age, Healing Circles Langley co-founder Diana Lindsay said.
“Aging can often be an exercise in loneliness. Best friends have now died. Partners have died. Children live elsewhere,” she said. “To have a place where you can always come any day that you’d like company, and to find others that share not only this time of life, but also interests … That’s why I think people come to the community conversations.”
The aging circle isn’t the nonprofit’s only offering; Healing Circles Global also facilitates virtual circles on topics such as living with cancer, caregiving, grief and loss, culture and identity.
For those looking to gather physically, Healing Circles Langley is beginning to reopen in person from the pandemic. The local branch offers meetings on topics such as race, community connection, suicide, resilience and health, as well as lighter gatherings where participants can sing, dance and socialize together.
Healing Circles Langley was founded in 2015 and received around 600 visits per month prior to the pandemic. After moving online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, founders realized they could expand their virtual offerings to include people from all over the world and created Healing Circles Global.