Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women's Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual traditions that nurture the soul.
In 1994 I attended a William Glasser Conference in Dublin, Ireland. There I met colleagues from the Balkans. The Balkan War was raging and their once peaceful lives were in chaos. When asked what The William Glasser Institute could do, they said they needed support.
Funds were donated and used to purchase diapers and formula and other necessities like soap and shampoo that were in short supply.
A group of us went a step further and organized a small conference on the shores of the Adriatic Sea in Rijeka, Croatia. We paid our own way and raised additional monies to put on the conference for those who could come. In addition we volunteered to lead workshops and provide whatever counseling services were needed. Our group was received by the Mayor of Rijeka, one of our members was interviewed on a national radio program. A highlight was the evening the government minister for prisoners of war and torture victims spoke to us.
|Shield of Life|
When Zagreb, the capitol of Croatia, was bombed (we were about 50 miles away), I went to breakfast and found colleagues I’d had dinner with were missing. No one talked about where they were. They’d just vanished—called back to the war.
That morning we were also ordered to leave the country. That was difficult but knowing that our being there actually put them at more risk than if we left. We were an easy target and to kill ten US, Canadian, Irish citizens along with Croatians who were leaders in their country was tempting.
The Mayor sent his van and driver to take us across the border into Slovenia and on to Bled. Traveling through border check points where the guards were armed was an event I’ll never forget. We were in Bled for a couple of days waiting until our flights back home left.
Sitting in an airport waiting for a flight with military tanks on the runway, armed soldiers carrying automatic rifles patrolling the concourse—I’d never had any of those experiences.
When I reached my home I was compelled to do something more.
|Shield of Life with added feathers|
This is my Circle or Shield of Life. While the flowers are silk, everything else is natural (well, actually the silk flowers are made from the spinning of silk worms). Feathers do not always survive and so I've added two feathers before taking this picture. The black feather in the upper right quadrant is one I picked up in Scotland in 2008. What's magical is that when I got home, there was the exact same feather by my driveway. In fact this might even be that feather instead of the one from Scotland!
What life altering event have you undergone?
How has it changed who you are?
What have you done to honor that experience and that transformation?
You can learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series on my website.
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© 2016 Judith Ashley